It does not make sense to treat Facebook as a public resource

It does not make sense to treat Facebook as a

Facebook a very much like a landfill, not just because it's full of other people 's shit but because, although everyone agrees something must be done about it, no one seems to know what. What most (American) commentators usually have, however, is where they look for the answer: the late 19th and early 20th centuries breaking trust and progressive movements, when activists and politicians shattered harmful concentrations of economic power in everything from oil to railways. . The execution of antitrust protections to Facebook has been talked about; so, too, you have an idea of ​​Facebook as a public convenience- as a socially responsible resource such as water and electricity.

The first question in this debate is whether Facebook should be considered a public resource at all. WIRED reporter Gilad Edelman takes the view that it does not. Susan Crawford also argues that it is not, or should not be, largely because (for a transcript) she feels that the infrastructure it provides is not at the heart of society. bhi facility.

Others argue for treating Facebook as a public resource but do not agree on what that might mean. Dipayan Gosh, over in the Harvard Business Review, states that the response is, and should be, govern the company's data handling, unions, and adware and hate speech practices. This position is strongly contrasted with that of danah boyd, who proposed Facebook as a resource back in 2012, with the crucial distinction that Gosh sees a public resource approach as a panacea; something to do rather than any other action.

I think some Facebook services are important enough to be considered as a piece of social infrastructure and that the appropriate response to the company 's endless litany of zuck - ups is to put on the management boot. But the biggest question is that treating Facebook as a public resource not only answers the question of whether it is a resource but who is "public" for which it should be held accountable - and that is a much more difficult problem.

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It is loved by technical companies claiming to be innovative, confusing, and giving us unprecedented views - but when it comes to socio - political dynamics, Facebook and its problems are outdated. Like, 19th century old. Before American society was redesigned with the internet, it was redesigned by railways, electricity companies, water suppliers, and a range of other new industries and facilities - all privately controlled and fully integrated. , finally, with a lot of political power.

The 19th century solution came in two forms: breaking monopolies, and redesigning them. The "breach" was an anti - trust law, which treated monopolies as an antithesis and sought to remove companies that held them. The “redesign” was for situations where monopolies, and in themselves, were not the problem. Rail, electricity, water supply: There are obvious public benefits to keeping them normal, as they all lose much of their usefulness if route measurements or voltage standards change every hundred miles (or hundred houses).

In such a situation, Louis Brandeis and the wider movement of Progressives proposed a "public utility" model. Companies and businesses that had a “natural monopoly” - where centralization was in some way an integral part of the very product base - were not broken up but instead had to abide by various rules and accountability systems. public.

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