Hello world, from Centroly

Hello world, from Centroly. Our movement to build a better internet starts now.

By Evan Tan
Published 25 Jul 2021

Originally posted on Centroly.

Welcome to our journey, building Centroly in public. I’m Evan, one of the 3 founders of the Centroly platform. We have big plans for what we believe Centroly can become, I wanted to share some ideas with you about what we’re working towards here.

We’re growing further apart in societies

The echo chamber problem of our online worlds is real. Despite having access to a wealth of information with the internet, our views and ideas are becoming more divergent. Instead of broadening our perspectives and world views, people are digging deeper into their bubbles, blocking out input that challenges existing ideas and notions. It’s difficult to say whether technology aggravated the problem, or just brought to light existing differences that had always been there.

This graphic from Pew Research captures this problem quite compellingly, showing how political beliefs in the US are drifting further apart. This certainly is not an issue restricted to just America.

Ideological divergences are growing and straining the social fabric.
Ideological divergences are growing and straining the social fabric (Credit: Pew Research (2014))

More digital, more problems

As digital trends accelerate globally, this increases both the velocity and volume at which information moves about. The challenge of misinformation and divergence becomes even more dire, affecting how we share and exchange ideas.

We all know that person in a chat group that spreads bad information and links, all the while believing it to be confirming their views. We are already starting to see how a critical mass of people spreading a message of intolerance and hate can result in social upheavals that affect our real physical lives. The digital world is shaping our physical lived experiences, and not always for the best.

Collaboration of ideas at scale

Yet this vector of influence can also be the solution for our networked digital lives. There are stories of how people on the internet came together to solve cases that were decades old without any progress, or reuniting long lost family members that had given up hope on ever finding each other. Communities of developers and volunteers band together to launch new products and tools that improve our daily lives, or to organise information to overcome gaps in coverage by the media and institutions to protect local residents.

There are so many positive externalities that have come about from our ability to self-organise with digital tools, underpinning all this is our willingness to share and learn from one another.

A global marketplace of ideas, curated by empowered users

This is the seed that inspired Centroly. We’re a bunch of curious individuals, eager to learn from each other. This willingness to share the best knowledge and ideas we’ve learnt, in order to advance the state of our private and even public conversations, is the essence of what I believe to be the key mindset that will allow us to have better conversations as a society and within our own communities. It’s a mission I find deeply worthwhile, as our world grows ever closer and smaller into a single digital village. If the internet can bring out both the best and the worst of us, I would like to be part of the solution that nurtures our better natures, to engage in the most exciting live dialogue there is today.

Join our movement to bring out the best

As it stands, we’re at the very beginning of this journey, and we’re building Centroly in public in real-time to respond to the needs of our community to realise this vision. You’ll be an important part of helping us to shape what Centroly can be, to bring out the best of each other. I hope to see you on this quest!

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