People over profit: saving social media from big tech

Dispirited by the polarisation and hatred sown by social media, a group of journalists created a new platform that “holds its participants accountable to facts and decency in conversation”. As a social enterprise, the new platform prioritises people over profits. Pixstory’s founder and chief executive, Appu Esthose Suresh, writes that altering the business model is a key piece of the puzzle that they have managed to solve.

Have you ever heard of the Tucker 48, an innovative automobile that fleetingly saw the light of day in 1948? Maybe not. In 2021, there is less of a chance that you will have heard of Pixstory, which greeted the world just two months ago. But in many ways, Pixstory is the Tucker 48 of social media.

By the late 1940s, owning a car had become a middle-class aspiration in the United States. As sales soared, so did fatal road accidents. The reason? A lack of safety measures. Car manufacturers knew about these problems yet were loath to invest in safety. Can you imagine building a car today without shatterproof glass? Without a perimeter frame? Without a crash chamber? Preston Tucker, the man behind the Tucker 48, tried to build in safety via simple, elegant design innovations. He introduced a centrally located headlamp that would activate at steering angles of greater than 10 degrees to light the car’s path around corners and added a leather cover for use when driving through any of the 17 US states where third headlights were against the law. The Tucker 48 – nicknamed the Torpedo – was ahead of its time, but sadly was blocked in its infancy.

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