Technology

Can social media work without hate? Dominic O’Meara launches Supernova to test the power of positivity

As Elon Musk’s hostile takeover of Twitter progresses, many fear the “toxic hate fest” he’s already been accused of will soon look tame by comparison.

Musk has made it very clear that it’s his intention to champion unrestricted freedom of speech, even if that means allowing the liars, extremists, scammers, wingnuts of fake news, and others to pour it onto his new toy.

Musk’s move has added new heat to the long-running debate, which became quite heated last year, when brave Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed hard evidence that Zuckerberg’s algorithms are cynically designed to sow anger, outrage, controversy and extremism .

Does all this mean that social networks don’t work without hate? Sex may sell, but hate keeps people glued, makes them join in the shouting and grows the crowd.

Dominic O’Meara, a BAFTA winner and former Saatchi advertising executive, has just launched Supernova as an ethical alternative to Instagram, Facebook etc. to test his belief that a growing segment of the population actually craves good news – for a positive, life-affirming, uplifting, glass-half-full view.

He has invested most of his accumulated personal fortune from a career in advertising that has left him first shocked by Big Tech’s annexation of the sector and then depressed by the toxic nature of the digital space run to attract advertising .

O’Meara said: “With the increasing dominance of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, initial hopes for our super-connected world have evaporated as big tech’s ‘profit before the people’ march has pushed them to tap the dark side of humanity to the fullest.”

To test his belief in the power of positivity, O’Meara’s ethical alternative Supernova carries his mission of “love over hate” on its sleeve. It gives 60% of its earnings – like all social networks from the sale of advertising – to charities in areas chosen by its users. The more you like things on Supernova, the more money goes to the charities you care about.

O’Meara’s first goal is to grow Supernova to a modest 1% share of the social media advertising market. At this point, his platform would pay a staggering £600million to charity every year. If Zuckerberg had done the same thing last year, £51bn would have been donated to charity, not his back pocket.

supernova

Supernova’s second difference is more obvious to its users; a safe, friendly, secure, positive and uplifting social space, free from the hate and bile that plague the major platforms. Supernova maintains this strictly positive environment through human moderation.

said O’Meara, “Having watched social media engulf the advertising world, it was disturbing to see them increasingly focus on the dark side of human nature and build an experience that exposed everyone to content they found controversial, disturbing, or annoying found or nurtured their own darker impulses. It might have made bigger profits quickly, but at what cost?

“I believe in the positive in human beings and that there is room for an enlightened social network that could help people share life’s uplifting moments without having to swim through other people’s bile. To capitalize on the popularity I believe this will achieve, donating 60% of our earnings to charity from day one completes the virtuous cycle. Supernova’s positive contribution to the world is not just happier users, but is accurately and transparently measured in our financial contribution to charity, month-on-month.”

But can Supernova’s “uplifting breath of fresh air” compete with the bossy brawls and dark news that seem to have tied millions of people to the existing platforms?

First signs are promising. Many advertisers would like to avoid associating their brand with the latest negative headlines from Planet Zuckerberg and Musk. Businesses want a positive, upbeat, and enlightened place to advertise and raise their profile, and Supernova looks promising.

Global sports brand ASICS was the first to come on board to become a sponsor at this early stage of the startup. Fittingly, UK mental health specialist MQ was the first charity to work with Supernova, knowing how much their big competitors fuel the problems they are trying to tackle.

Will Supernova’s feel-good inspiration be the pick-me-up the public wants? Will it be enough to pull them off Facebook and co., or at least get them to adopt Supernova as their channel for good news?

The recent $200 billion fall in Facebook/Meta stock following the initial drop in user numbers was tantalizing as evidence that people might be fed up with the dark side they find on Zuckerberg’s platforms. While the numbers are unconfirmed, there’s an exodus from Twitter even before Musk’s edits go live. All of these people might be drawn to O’Meara’s vision when they hear about it.

We will see. Last but not least, Supernova will be a fascinating barometer.

https://techround.co.uk/news/can-social-media-work-without-hate-dominic-omeara-launches-supernova-to-test-the-power-of-positive/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-social-media-work-without-hate-dominic-omeara-launches-supernova-to-test-the-power-of-positive Can social media work without hate? Dominic O’Meara launches Supernova to test the power of positivity

Fry Electronics Team

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