Serge Abiteboul, Jean Cattan

We Are Social Media Publication date : September 7, 2022

Serge Abiteboul is a research director at INRIA (National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology) and ENS Paris, and a member of the Collège de l’ARCEP (agency in charge of regulating telecommunications, postal services and print media distribution in France). He also runs a blog hosted on lemonde.fr, Binaire.
Jean Cattan was an advisor to the president of ARCEP (2017-2020), after being in charge of European affairs (2014-2017). He was also a judicial assistant with the Council of State and a university lecturer.
Social media includes digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc., that enable us to stay informed, exchange, satisfy our curiosity and express ourselves. These networks don’t replace social ties, but they profoundly transform them, moving our interactions into the digital world. Social media relies on sophisticated computer techniques, complex infrastructures and economic models as clever as they are dangerous. However, its main resource remains the humans who build these links: we are social media!
Based on this conviction, the authors defend the idea that although we can’t put our lives into the hands of “a few of American companies”, we can’t regulate social media so strictly that it becomes sanitised. There is another more democratic and more participative way: social media is what we make of it.
This tangible and accessible book explores and analyses social media, without underestimating any aspect of it, from the most convivial platforms to the most dangerous. The authors propose a new regulatory model and, beyond that, the possibility of creating social networks based on other business models.