At Reset, we want to change the way the internet prioritises the spread of news and information so that Big Tech’s business model serves the public good instead of purely corporate interests. The world has never been more polarised – and the digital media monopoly companies, which use algorithms to curate content to hold our attention, are largely to blame. Their willingness to allow extremism and disinformation to flourish online in this process of attention capture is jeopardising the very foundation of representative self-government. With society no longer operating off a shared set of facts, how are members of the public to engage in informed civic debate or deliberation? Where is compromise to come from?
All of us, in one form or another, have experienced the ugly real world consequences that stem from the unchecked proliferation of artificially manufactured online division. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is still time to stop this democratic decline. To do so, we must reset the rules and standards for the products and services at the centre of these issues. And we must raise public expectations about how the internet can better support democracy by explaining what’s wrong, exposing why it’s happening, and offering solutions. Together, we can make the online sphere once again become a force for good – not a marketplace for manipulation by the highest bidder.
Our vision is to restore the critical connection between media and democracy in order to sustain a polity that is more informed and less divided. We seek to neutralise the threats posed to democracy by digital media monopolies and re-establish the power of information technology as a force for effective self-government. To do this work, we’re developing and promoting new ideas and technology to help change public policy, industry standards, and consumer attitudes. We believe elevating the quality of the public debate and restoring a baseline of shared facts will make effective solutions more likely for every major challenge facing the world today – from climate change to racial justice, economic inequality to public health.