Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Facebook is a Much like a landfill, not only because it’s full of other people’s shit but because everyone agrees Something Something needs to be done about it, no one seems to know. What most (American) commentators have in common, though, is where they are looking for answers: confidence-busting and progressive movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when activists and politicians broke the pernicious concentration of economic power in everything from oil to railways. Gave. . Applying antitrust protection to Facebook has been discussed until death; So, too, there is the concept of Facebook as a Public utility-As socially responsible resources like water and electricity.

The first issue in this debate is whether Facebook should be considered a public utility at all. Wired reporter Gilad Edelman The view is that it is not. Susan Crawford Also the argument that it is not, Or shouldn’t be, mainly because (to explain) he thinks that the infrastructure it provides is not central enough to society Stay A utility

Others argue that Facebook should be considered a public utility, but disagree on what that might mean. Dipayan Gosh, over in the Harvard Business Review, Said that it, And feedback should control the company’s data handling, consolidation, and approach to advertising and hate speech. This position is strongly aligned with that of Danah Boyd, who In 2012 it was proposed to frame Facebook as a utility way, With the essential difference that Gosh sees a public utility approach as a cure; Something has to be done Instead No other action.

I think some of Facebook’s services are important enough to be considered a part of the social infrastructure And The appropriate response from that company, what would we say, is that the endless litany of jack-ups is the placement of the controller boots. But the biggest problem is that to consider Facebook as a public utility one has to not only answer the question of whether it is a utility but also which one should be accountable to the “public” – and this is a much more difficult issue.

Technology company loves Claiming that they are innovative, disruptive, and bring us hitherto unseen scenes — but when it comes to socio-political dynamics, Facebook and its problems are old. E.g., 19th century old. Before American society took on a new shape through the Internet, it was rebuilt by railways, power companies, water suppliers, and a range of other new industries and resources – all individually regulated and highly centralized and, ultimately, with enormous political power.

19th century solutions came in two forms: exclusive breaks, and their reconstruction. “Breaking” was the antitrust law, which treated monopolies as bad in their face and tried to force the companies that hold them to actively break. The “rearrangement” was for situations where the monopolists did not have problems within themselves and within themselves. Railroads, electricity, water supply: There are some obvious public benefits to standardizing these, since the value of the track gauge or voltage changes every hundred miles (or a hundred houses) and they all lose their true usefulness.

In such a scenario, Louis Brands and the progressives speak in favor of a “public utility” model rather than a larger movement. Companies and industries that had a “natural monopoly” – where centralization was in some ways part of the product base and parcels – were not dismantled but were forced to adhere to various rules and regulations of public responsibility.

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