Vote, act, change. A social media website built by and for the users.
Social media is pervasive. It is the most powerful tool for social reform and freedom of speech, yet is constrained by being owned and run by corporations like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Though users of these existing websites can voice their concerns regarding issues like privacy, there is absolutely no obligation, and in most cases little incentive, for the websites to listen. In fact, issues like privacy are second to the profit motive in an industry that profits from users' information.
My proposal is to develop a social media website by and for the users. EVERYTHING about the website is determined by voting, which will be the key feature.
Make no mistake, this website will not directly address issues like climate change. However, it necessarily will address climate change if that's what the users care about. A website based on democracy and crowdsourced intelligence, much like climatecolab.org, will allow people to unify with the purpose of action. Not just for issues like climate change, but also anything you can imagine. 'Groups' will be formed not only to socialize, like Facebook, but to collaborate toward like-minded goals.
Money is a necessary evil. I am not of the opinion that social good and profit are mutually exclusive. After all, it costs money to make a website. In some ways, money can buy climate change through research and education. For that reason, I would also propose that this website would not preclude profit (presumably through advertisement and users selling products). People need products and business want to sell you those products. In an ideal world, advertisements are not a bad thing. They inform and offer goods to people who need them, and in return might offer discounts.
Most importantly though, how are profits spent? Easy. Voting. Profits could be funneled toward things like climate change if that's what users want.
What actions do you propose?
Who will take these actions?
Anyone who uses or is willing to contribute to this social media website in some way.
Where will these actions be taken?
On the internet on a global or local scale.
How will these actions have a high impact in addressing climate change?
What are other key benefits?
Exclusion of corporate motive and influence.
Direct democracy, putting the power in the hands of the people.
Making money a tool, as opposed to an end goal, for the purpose of social good.
Users of websites like Facebook's information is already being sold right now, whether they realize it or not. Why not direct that money toward what they vote on. Or if they don't want their information sold at all, then it will be voted as such. For the dollar value of the users' information, you need not look further than the valuation of social media websites.
What are the proposal’s costs?
Unknown. The website could theoretically be made for free given a sufficient number of contributors. More realistically, it would require a grant and dollar contribution to pay programmers. If the previously mentioned web applications are used, I would propose setting aside a portion of money toward donating to them.
Also at issue, is an intrinsic assumption that the users of the website will use it in a positive way. Not voting for profits to be redistributed to users or to a single person, for example.
Unscrupulous individuals will no doubt try to 'game the system' for personal gain. Therefore, users verifiability would be a large, but in my opinion, surmountable obstacle. I think there would need to be a trust factor associated to individuals accounts. More usage, more contribution and social interactions would lead to a better trust rating.
A basic functioning website could be made in a 1-2 years perhaps. Then the goal would be gaining momentum and spreading the word, which could be 1-5 years.