“Don’t Fix Facebook… Replace It”

Monday, April 9, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tim Wu, op-ed via The New York Times,
ZeroHedge.com
Mon, 04/09/2018

After years of collecting way too much data, Facebook has finally been caught in the facilitation of one privacy debacle too many.

When Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, testifies before Congress this week, lawmakers will no doubt ask how Facebook might restore the public’s trust and whether it might accept some measure of regulation.

Yet in the big picture, these are the wrong questions to be asking.

The right question: What comes after Facebook? Yes, we have come to depend on social networks, but instead of accepting an inherently flawed Facebook monopoly, what we most need now is a new generation of social media platforms that are fundamentally different in their incentives and dedication to protecting user data. Barring a total overhaul of leadership and business model, Facebook will never be that platform.

Every business has its founding DNA. Real corporate change is rare, especially when the same leaders remain in charge. In Facebook’s case, we are not speaking of a few missteps here and there, the misbehavior of a few aberrant employees. The problems are central and structural, the predicted consequences of its business model. From the day it first sought revenue, Facebook prioritized growth over any other possible goal, maximizing the harvest of data and human attention. Its promises to investors have demanded an ever-improving ability to spy on and manipulate large populations of people. Facebook, at its core, is a surveillance machine, and to expect that to change is misplaced optimism.

What the journalist Walter Lippmann said in 1959 of “free” TV is also true of “free” social media: It is ultimately “the creature, the servant and indeed the prostitute of merchandizing.”

The Rest…HERE

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