At first I wanted this to be just a post in Technology sucks, but then I realized this is going to be more lengthy than my usual post there and with more potential for discussion.
So yeah, big portals are convenient.
It's nice to not have to think too much which platform to choose when you want to post a wideo or a picture, or a song or share piece of news, or start a discussion, or buy/sell something, or find some art, or ...
Looking for different alternatives for each of these tasks and making sure they are reliable isn't exactly fun. What's also important, for people who aim to reach audience, service being good isn't enough, it also needs make their work discoverable. What it your game is easily found on a portal with great interface and functionality if no one knows abut this portal so people won't look for it there?
Unfortunately, with growth of the platform problems arise.
Moderation on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, ... is just broken. Perfectly legit content being taken down or creators being robbed, loads of abusive comments. And too be fair it's not all their fault. Moderating something that big cannot be done without serious manpower (and even then it's difficult to train that many different people judge content fairly and similarly). And with data-mining based economy where profit comes from huge amounts of users need for paid moderators might exceed profit from those users. (At the same time they need data-mining based economy, because most people won't pay for those services and they need users to stay relevant.)
But that's not the only problem with moderation. When your service is meant to be used by pretty much everyone, what kind of rules should there be in the first place?
People are very different. Even those who grow up in same communities have different values and believes. And even if that wasn't a factor, there's also matter of age and certain conditions making some sorts of content and interactions unwanted. You need rules to apply to kids who visit your site to watch cartoon and black metal band leaders doing Q&A with fans. Both should be protected and at the same time none should feel too limited. I'd say It's impossible to do without some sacrifices on some fronts.
Next problem - monopoly. Because everybody is dependent on everybody using the platform, even when there is better one ,it has small chances on gaining audience. While big one gets away with being bad.
And finally, social media are killing communities. This one is bit different, because it only applies to platforms that are meant for some kind of discussion. And here the problem is, you can't have meaningful conversation with over a 100 people and huge platforms give you much, much more than that. That's pretty much it - when you make a tweet its not only gonna make to much more people than you can handle, it's gonna reach people who normally wouldn't follow you at all. At the top of that, even if you have community made only of people interested with the topic, you miss on getting to know other users, which could be a whole another topic.
Also going back to the moderation - trolls have it much easier.
What do you think? And thank you for reading this long post.