Archive for March 2nd, 2017

Quote note (#338)

Don’t go there:

Twitter’s precarious position has left some users — traditionally those on the left — calling for Twitter to be pseudo-nationalized by the federal government through “social network neutrality” or classifying the platform as a public utility. Applying traditional monopoly analysis, they argue that Twitter’s dominant market positions could allow it to unfairly downplay competing services or prioritize the company’s own related commercial interests. Others say that privacy concerns should compel some kind of government regulation. […] Interestingly, these tides have recently turned. These days, I more often hear people on the right make the argument that services like Twitter should be run by the federal government. (Many on the left, meanwhile, have turned to petitioning internal social-network regulatory bodies, like Twitter’s aforementioned Trust and Safety Council, to implement their desired platform changes.) The baroque reasoning goes like this: Private companies don’t have to afford the same kinds of free speech rights that the federal government does. If the federal government takes control of the platform, U.S. users will be afforded the due process and First Amendment protections many feel are owed to them on Twitter. […] But the inherent surveillance and procedural problems presented by this “solution” should be immediately apparent. What’s more, the Twitter user base extends to millions of people outside of U.S. borders. Some Americans might not mind if their government ran a major social network, but plenty of people around the world certainly would. And let’s not forget HealthCare.Gov; the federal government doesn’t have the best track record running major public websites.

March 2, 2017admin 13 Comments »