While deplatforming (shutting down social media platforms) can be effective in reducing users and content produced, it’s not a long-term solution for what is a very complex issue, according to Jeremy Blackburn, assistant professor of computer science at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Platform banning can reduce growth of new users over time, and there is less content produced overall, said Blackburn. On the other hand, migrations do happen, and this is often a response to real world events – for example, a deplatformed personality who migrates to a new platform can trigger an influx of new users.
“Ultimately, it’s unlikely that deplatforming, while certainly easy to implement and effective to some extent, will be a long-term solution in and of itself,” said Blackburn. “Moving forward, effective approaches will need to take into account the complicated technological and social consequences of addressing the root problem of extremist and violent Web communities.”