Quality control

This report from the UK think tank Demos, supported by the Publishers Association, looks at reading, publishing and the modern attention economy.

The report, supported by the Publishers Association, shows that the majority (59%) of UK adults think social media content should be edited by moderators to reduce its social harm. The report, which features a new representative poll of 2,000 UK adults as well as analysis of the Millennium Cohort Data, shows that the public think social media either causes or worsens a range of social issues, including disinformation or ‘fake news’ (54%), followed by mental health conditions (46%) and self-harm or suicide (45%). Younger adults were less likely to be in favour of social media moderation, with 45% supporting the idea, as opposed to 71% of those aged 55+. The report recommends the establishment of a voluntary ‘citizen editors’ training scheme, developed in partnership with the publishing industry, to help current social media moderators more effectively manage potentially damaging content. Other recommendations include: the development of a public service publishing ethos to help create an online environment where harmful and poor quality content is less valued; that tech companies should develop new product standards to promote a better reading environment, including a ‘reading mode’ on mobile phones and that digital publications should be zero rated for VAT in line with print publications.

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