University of Michigan to launch new website to help people navigate social media

The site will be live June 30

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The ninth annual Social Media Day is June 30, so the University of Michigan is launching a new website that helps people navigate social media platforms.

U-M Social and the School of Information Center for Social Media Responsibility have partnered to launch Social Integrity, a new website designed to promote digital citizenship and offer resources to help members of the campus community and general public protect their privacy, spot fake news and learn how best to deal with bad behavior on social sites.

"Social Integrity is about educating social media users to create a more productive online space and empowering them to use the tools for the betterment of society," U-M director of social media Nikki Sunstrum said.

For the past five years, Sunstrum and the U-M Social team within the Office of the Vice President for Communications have been working to establish a proactive, strategic approach to social media. The plan was to show how social media can be used to address online harassment, crucial topics such as mental health and sexual assault and the promotion of research.

The Social Integrity site includes tools to help users understand their digital footprint, protect themselves online and cultivate civil social media communities. 

The Center for Social Media Responsibility was established earlier this year by the U-M School of Information to address challenges and opportunities that have arisen since the growth of social media, which is a primary source of information for many people.

The center mission states its goal is to help and encourage social media platforms to meet their public responsibilities by dealing with the "challenges that come with broad access to public communication channels: harassment; a credibility vacuum; a race to the bottom in the competition for attention; a triumph of mobilization within echo chambers over persuasion across political fault lines."

Garlin Gilchrist, executive director of the center, said the website's message that "it's time to reclaim your space" is meant to empower individuals to do their part to create a positive and civil online environment.

"We provide people who participate in our information ecosystem with tools and insight that will improve the quality of how people connect and share information," he said. "The Social Integrity site is a key resource that will help improve our collective experience online."

Visit the site at SocialIntegrity.umich.edu.

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