Could Supernova be an 'ethical alternative' to the social media giants? (2022)

Supernova is a new app that has now gone live on the Apple and Android app stores, billing itself as a new “ethical alternative” to Instagram and Facebook, where most of the ad revenues go to charities. Does it have a chance?

It would be fair to say that after many years of either watching Facebook become a panopticon-like prison which jauntily suggests you join private groups to topple the U.S. government or doomscrolling through Instagram, where you and your teens’ mental health is slowly eroded, many people would be quite happy with an alternative social media platform with — please God — higher-minded principles. A few of these have come and gone over the years (RIP Path) but none have managed to wrestle the masses away from Zuckerberg’s vice-like grip.

Perhaps what people have forgotten is that the only reason Facebook (and by extension, Instagram) are as big as they are is that their advertising revenues prop up these free services. If advertisers had somewhere else to go that could capture the social media crowd with a compelling enough app, Facebook and Insta would start to feel some heat. At least, that’s how the theory goes.

Now, a British entrepreneur, who knows the ad industry inside-out, plans to take on these giants with a solution of his own, designed to appeal to millennials and Gen Z-ers who are generally led by a desire to support good causes far more than previous generations.

Could Supernova be an 'ethical alternative' to the social media giants? (1)

Dominic O’Meara, founder and CEO of Supernova. Image Credits: Supernova

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Founder and CEO of Supernova, Dominic O’Meara, a former Saatchi advertising guru and Bafta Award winner who is largely bootstrapping the startup, said sponsors like ASICS and charities like MQ have chosen to join at the launch because of the app’s “inclusive social network with user safety at it’s heart. It’s exactly this gap that Supernova fills and we’ll be scaling into that gap as the social network that gives back in the months and years ahead.”

He added said: “Our technology andaccessibility make it possible for the world to genuinely help each other using social media and the power ofadvertising. And to see transparently exactly how and where their actions are helping at all times.”

Supernova plans to do this by preventing toxicity on its platform (more on how in a moment) and aims to create a place where users feel “safe, secure and encouraged to have positive, inspiring, life-affirming interaction with their friends… without having to witness and endure hate, racism, homophobia and extreme politics.”

The business model is simple. It will give 60% of its advertising revenue to global charities, with the money distributed according to members’ preferences across the following subjects: Climate Change, Animal Welfare, Emergency Causes, Health & Wellbeing, Help the Homeless, Human Rights, Mental Health and Ocean Cleanup. Which causes get the most money is determined by users.

If it can capture 1% or more of the global social media advertising market, says Supernova, it would be passing £600 million a year to charities. By contrast, the equivalent amount coming from Facebook and Instagram would pump out £51 billion. But of course, all that cash currently goes into Zuck’s coffers.

Facebook and Instagram famously say they ban hate-speech, but of course, we know this rarely happens in practice. Supernova claims it will have “100% human moderation” to begin with, based on its Community Standards, and even pledges a whole Charter for users.

Could Supernova be an 'ethical alternative' to the social media giants? (2)

Supernova app. Image Credits: Supernova

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So what is the app like?

Well, immediately you can see the similarities with Instagram. Users can share photographs and videos along with comments and messaging. Users can follow or be followed (although one or two bugs remain — my profile appeared to auto-follow users I hadn’t selected).

Users can also set an account to private, explore, follow and block unwanted users — basically most of the usual social media tools we’ve become used to.

What is different here is in the underlying mechanics.

Firstly, users can nominate in their profile which charitable field they want to support with the cash that Supernova gleans from its ad partners.

Next, instead of inducing narcissism in users, “Likes” work like votes for a share of the ad revenue for charities. When a user’s post is Liked, their choice of charity will earn a bigger slice of the “Supernova Action Fund” as a donation.

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When a post gets a Superlike, or a “Supernova”, it gets 10x the regular “Like” in votes for the poster’s cause. But there’s a catch; to give a Supernova the user must first earn sufficient “Karma Points”, which are somehow determined via the user charter. Presumably this is to incentivize engagement.

So far, global sports brandASICSis the first to sponsor Supernova and mental health charity MQMental Health is the first charity selected to benefit.

Next up, unlike Instagram (but more like Facebook) Supernova has a “Groups” facility where users can congregate in, well, groups.

O’Meara claims over £1 million has been invested in Supernova from a “friends, family” funding round, with a larger raise planned for the first half of next year with institutions.

I asked about human moderation. I was told by O’Meara that it would be done by “a trained team based in the U.K. and they cover in shifts managed by us 24/7. They are young, smart people mostly computer science grads/ undergrads and our intention is to develop them within the company as we grow, so that our team has an affinity and empathy for the community right from the start.” However, they will be assisted by machine learning as the company scales, he said.

“Supernova will free from the toxic, radicalizing content that is actively promoted through AI on other platforms.As a result, Supernova will certainly not be for everyone, and that is deliberate,” he said.

Will it allow nipples on the platform, which are famously banned from Instagram?

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“It all depends on the context and nature of the post and subjects within it, but it would certainly be checked for accordance with our Community Standards. If in breach, it would be removed,” he said.

If the context was a woman explaining breastfeeding, would it be allowed, I asked?

“Yes, probably, so long as the intent was clearly informative and addressing a genuine aspect of the subject. If the intent or content was in our view disrespectful/harmful/otherwise negative towards the subject and our community, then it would infringe our Community Standards and our Charter and would be removed,” he said.

So, what’s in it for advertisers?

O’Meara said: “Being part of a ‘new era’ social media that is doing the right thing is great for their brands (PR) as opposed to being part of an old toxic order that potentially harms their brands. Deloitte tells us that 80% of millennials only want to buy from brands that put others’ interests above their own. Large advertisers are fed up with the social media status quo: I met one yesterday with a global budget in excess of $10 billion who told me exactly that.”

“Our product is entirely scaleable and if we reach only 1% of millennials we’ll serve 40 million people with our sponsor’s ads every day. That’s quite enough as advertisers are now looking for ‘Quality over Quantity’. The Facebook boycott of 1K+ advertisers spending $4.2 billion was an early sign of this and it hasn’t gone away, there just hasn’t been an alternative offer available to them and now there is: Supernova,” he added.

Whether Supernova will survive, or perhaps become another “MyEye” — the streaming social media app launched by David Beckham which sank without a trace — remains to be seen.

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Questions remain over whether being a sort of “vanilla” social network where few tough or controversial subjects ever appear will be enough to attract users. And with content moderated by potentially biased humans, will Supernova end up being sued by those who dislike its decisions?

But at least from this first showing, Supernova appears to be off to a good start.

FAQs

What is Supernova social media? ›

MQ, has joined forces with new 'Purpose Led' social network Supernova, the new social media app that gives back. Based on a charter for 'More Love, Less Hate', Supernova uses human moderation to ensure the safety of if it's community, and donates 60% of all its ad revenue to charities, including MQ.

Is there an ethical alternative to Facebook? ›

Ethical Facebook alternatives: Okuna

According to the tagline, Okuna is 'an ethical social network for a brighter tomorrow'. It's built with open-source software, and they're transparent about their values.

What is the app Supernova? ›

Change the world for good forever with Supernova. We give you 24/7 safety from haters with a team of trained human moderators. We give to charities representing your chosen causes. And We give you a great reason to use social media: helping the world and helping others.

Who owns supernova social media? ›

According to WeAre8, if a billion people watched an ad a day on the app, £100m would go to users and £10m to charity. One platform trying to put sharing back into social media is Supernova. Launched in 2020, Supernova exists to “give back”, explains founder and CEO Dominic O'Meara.

What is next wave of social media? ›

TikTok, Clubhouse, Snapchat, Discord…and several others are leading the charge as a new wave of social media platforms. The fundamental idea underneath the entire social media industry is maximizing engagement. The need for personalized communication and socialization is never going to run out.

Why is social media an ethical issue? ›

The unethical use of social media has implications for privacy and can result in security breaches both physically and virtually. The use of social media can also result in the loss of privacy as many users are required to provide information that they would not divulge otherwise.

What is the biggest ethical issue in the world today? ›

Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace

Harassment and discrimination are arguably the largest ethical issues that impact business owners today. Should harassment or discrimination take place in the workplace, the result could be catastrophic for your organization both financially and reputationally.

What is a better alternative to Facebook? ›

Overview of the best alternatives to Facebook
Founded inUsers
Minds2015Around 2.5 million registered users
Mastodon2016Around 4.4 million registered users
Diaspora2010Around 800,000 registered users
Vero2015Around 5 million registered users
3 more rows
20 Jan 2022

What is the next best alternative to Facebook? ›

Best Facebook Alternative for Work: LinkedIn

A much better place for finding job openings than Facebook. Highly engaged users on a variety of professional topics.

What is a good replacement to social media? ›

Here are new things to try and learn instead of scrolling through social media:
  • Make a new recipe. ...
  • Listen to music and/or make a music playlist.
  • Listen to a podcast. ...
  • Write in a journal. ...
  • Create goals for yourself. ...
  • Plan a trip with friends or family. ...
  • Have fun with a coloring book. ...
  • Go to a museum.

How does a supernova happen? ›

But as a star burns through its fuel and begins to cool, the outward forces of pressure drop. When the pressure drops low enough in a massive star, gravity suddenly takes over and the star collapses in just seconds. This collapse produces the explosion we call a supernova.

When was the most recent supernova? ›

Although no supernova has been observed in the Milky Way since 1604, it appears that a supernova exploded in the constellation Cassiopeia about 300 years ago, around the year 1667 or 1680.

Is a supernova? ›

A supernova is what happens when a star has reached the end of its life and explodes in a brilliant burst of light. Supernovae can briefly outshine entire galaxies (opens in new tab) and radiate more energy than our sun (opens in new tab) will in its entire lifetime.

What social media does Elon Musk own? ›

Elon Musk is the new owner of Twitter, giving the Tesla billionaire control of one of the world's most powerful megaphones.

Who is social media butterfly? ›

These people with excellent social skills are called social butterflies. Here is a definition of the term: “a slang term for a person who is socially dynamic, networking, charismatic, and personally gregarious”.

How can I live a social media free? ›

To live without social media, deactivate your accounts and delete any social media apps from your smartphone or tablet, since this will remove the temptation to check them. If you use social media on your computer, use a browser extension like StayFocusd to block social media websites.

Is social media bringing us closer together? ›

Although social media has gained a negative reputation for tearing us apart, at its core, it brings people together. Social media helps people stay in touch regardless of distance or busy schedules. Social media provides a platform for old friends or family to connect.

What happens after leaving social media? ›

“One is less likely to get FOMO anxiety, too, and leaving social media will allow you to cultivate better relationships with the people around you. It can also let you enjoy the things you have and instead of focusing on what you don't,” boosting your confidence and your overall sense of wellbeing.

What are examples of ethical issues in media? ›

In relation to news coverage it includes issues such as impartiality, objectivity, balance, bias, privacy, and the public interest. More generally, it also includes stereotyping, taste and decency, obscenity, freedom of speech, advertising practices such as product placement, and legal issues such as defamation.

What does it mean to be ethical on social media? ›

Ethics, by definition, is the concept of what is good, bad, right and wrong. In social media, the right ethics equals the right perspective and the right thinking on how to leverage social media appropriately and how to engage people in the right manner.

What are the ethical aspects of social media? ›

Maintain Transparency. Be honest and transparent with the the content that you post in your social media marketing campaign. Disclose and provide disclaimers pertaining to the products, ideas, and even people that you are supporting and endorsing.

How can social media prevent ethical issues? ›

Although some of these points will vary depending on your industry, here are some general guidelines to help you steer clear of ethical pitfalls on social channels:
  1. Be honest. ...
  2. Give proper credit. ...
  3. Do not solicit clients. ...
  4. Don't give specific advice. ...
  5. Be careful about who you friend. ...
  6. Don't share confidential information.

How can we solve ethical issues? ›

A 10-Step Process for Resolving Ethical Issues
  1. Identify the problem as you see it.
  2. Get the story straight—gather relevant data. ...
  3. Ask yourself if the problem is a regulatory issue or a process issue related to regulatory requirements.
  4. Compare the issue to a specific rule in ASHA's Code of Ethics.

What is the most important ethical issues in technology? ›

Respect for Employees and Customers

Businesses that engage in ethical technology have a firm moral sense of employee rights and customer protections. Data is valuable, but the employees and customers who power your business are undoubtedly your greatest asset.

Which of the following is the most important ethical issue in technology? ›

These are explained with their affects as following below:
  • Personal Privacy: It is an important aspect of ethical issues in information technology. ...
  • Access Right: The second aspect of ethical issues in information technology is access right. ...
  • Harmful Actions: ...
  • Patents: ...
  • Copyright: ...
  • Trade Secrets: ...
  • Liability: ...
  • Piracy:
27 Jan 2020

What makes Facebook different from other social networks? ›

With Facebook, users can not only post comments and photos, but they can also look through their local news feeds, create live videos, make an event plan, send messages to friends, ask for recommendations, and buy or sell items. Facebook also tends to have a wider audience than most social media sites.

What can I replace Facebook and Instagram with? ›

The 10 best Facebook alternatives for Android and iOS
  • Twitter (Android, iOS)
  • Instagram (Android, iOS)
  • Snapchat (Android, iOS)
  • Pinterest (Android, iOS)
  • LinkedIn (Android, iOS)
  • Nextdoor (Android, iOS)
  • Vero (Android, iOS)
  • Minds.com (Android, iOS)
11 Dec 2018

Is life without social media better? ›

Researchers have demonstrated numerous times why you should take a break from social media. The most important thing in life is one's pleasure and life satisfaction; nevertheless, we often compare our lives to those of others on social media, which can lead to feelings of inferiority and depressive symptoms.

Is no social media good for you? ›

Eases anxiety

A 2019 study found a positive relationship between social anxiety, loneliness, and social media addiction. Social media use can cause FOMO and a sense of inadequacy. This may lead to loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Stepping away from social media may help reduce FOMO-induced anxiety and loneliness.

What is a supernova answer key? ›

A supernova is the explosion of a star. It is the largest explosion that takes place in space. Where Do Supernovas Take Place? Supernovas are often seen in other galaxies. But supernovas are difficult to see in our own Milky Way galaxy because dust blocks our view.

What happens if there is a supernova? ›

Both types are extremely powerful, sending energetic radiation and blast waves of ejected gas far into space. If a supernova explosion were to occur within about 25 light-years of Earth, our planet would probably lose its atmosphere, and all life would perish.

Can a supernova create life? ›

The top luminosity of a supernova has been compared to that of an entire galaxy. We now know that these extraordinary events could be partly responsible for life on Earth as we know it.

Have we witnessed a supernova in real time? ›

On average, one or two Milky Way stars per century undergo core collapse, according to the most recent estimates1. Yet throughout history, only five supernovae have been recorded as being visible with the naked eye, with two thought to be of the core-collapse type2.

How old is the oldest supernova? ›

As detailed in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, light from the event has taken 10.5 billion years to reach Earth, making it the oldest supernova ever discovered and studied. The Universe itself is thought to be 13.8 billion years old.

How long does the supernova last? ›

The explosion of a supernova occurs in a star in a very short timespan of about 100 seconds. When a star undergoes a supernova explosion, it dies leaving behind a remnant: either a neutron star or a black hole.

Are humans supernova? ›

'It is totally 100% true: nearly all the elements in the human body were made in a star and many have come through several supernovas.

Why is it called supernova? ›

supernova, plural supernovae or supernovas, any of a class of violently exploding stars whose luminosity after eruption suddenly increases many millions of times its normal level. The term supernova is derived from nova (Latin: “new”), the name for another type of exploding star.

What is better than a supernova? ›

A hypernova — sometimes called a collapsar — is a particularly energetic core-collapse supernova. Scientists think a hypernova occurs when stars more than 30 times the mass of the Sun quickly collapse into a black hole. The resulting explosion is 10 to 100 times more powerful than a supernova.

What does social media blast mean? ›

One of the cardinal sins of social media is “brand blasting” – when a business engages in the rapid-fire publishing of self-promotional content with little to no interaction with their audience.

What is Nitro social media? ›

Nitro Social is a self service growth tool to help you grow your Instagram. In the words of Nitro Social: “At Nitro Social, we build your audience by compiling a detailed list of your competitors and the top influencers in your niche.” Pricing: Nitro Social's monthly plans range from $99 to $149.

What means social media butterfly? ›

A social butterfly is a slang term for a person who is socially dynamic, successful at networking, charismatic, and personally gregarious. It may also refer to: Social Butterfly, a character in the comic book series Livewires.

When did social media start to boom? ›

Social media started in the early 2000s

The first social media site to reach a million monthly active users was MySpace – it achieved this milestone around 2004. This is arguably the beginning of social media as we know it. In the interactive chart we plot monthly active users, by platform, since 2004.

How do you explain social media to someone? ›

Social media is an internet-based form of communication. Social media platforms allow users to have conversations, share information and create web content.

Is social media a boom? ›

According to recent data, as many as 90% of young adults currently spend time on social media sites and majority of them using WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, at least once per day. These figures are increasing day by day as social media has now become quite important in everyone's life.

What are the benefits of Nitro Discord? ›

  • Custom emoji anywhere and make them animated.
  • Custom stickers anywhere plus 300+ Nitro exclusives.
  • Bigger file sharing. 100MB.
  • HD streaming. Up to 4K and 60fps.
  • 2 Free Boosts + 30% off extra Boosts.
  • Animated avatar, profile banner, and custom tag.
  • Custom server profiles.
  • Nitro badge on your profile.

Why is Discord Nitro so important? ›

Discord has some built-in screen-sharing features that allow you to share gameplay and other moments with your friends. However, the quality is locked at 720p 30 FPS for non-Nitro users. Subscribing to Nitro lets you stream HD videos at 1080p 60FPS allowing for a smoother and better streaming experience.

Does Nitro cost money? ›

While the core Discord experience is free, the company does offer Nitro, a $10-per-month subscription service that unlocks the ability for users to make custom emoji, support servers, stream HD video, and upload larger files.

What does 🦋 mean in texting? ›

It conveys nervousness.

Ever heard the phrase “butterflies in my stomach?” The bubbly, fluttering feeling you get in your belly when you're nervous can be summed up with 🦋. You may see this emoji when someone's talking about a crush or an exciting but nerve-wracking opportunity.

Is a social butterfly a good thing? ›

A "social butterfly" describes someone who's socially oriented, outgoing, and often very charismatic and charming. If someone's called you a social butterfly before, it's probably because you've always got plans lined up and/or you have a way with people that others notice.

How do you become a social butterfly? ›

They might just help you too.
  1. Escape the prison of personality. ...
  2. Retool how you see others. ...
  3. Stop terrorizing yourself with worst-case scenarios. ...
  4. Experimentation over expectations. ...
  5. Read some books — but not too many. ...
  6. Develop and take care of yourself. ...
  7. Get genuinely curious about other people. ...
  8. Be a passion detective.
20 Mar 2021

What is cerns main goal? ›

What is CERN's mission? At CERN, our work helps to uncover what the universe is made of and how it works. We do this by providing a unique range of particle accelerator facilities to researchers, to advance the boundaries of human knowledge.

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