Zephyr Teachout, a candidate for governor in New York in 2014, has complained that Facebook’s congressional hearing was a sham.
Of course it was a sham. No one’s interests are aligned to getting this solved.
Facebook want to get away with as minimal regulation as possible, and any regulation that does happen it wants to harm its incumbents.
Politicians want to get re-elected, and want regulation in so far as it harms the chances of anyone ‘doing a Trump’ and using social media to unseat their own Congressional seat. They’re not that exercised about privacy otherwise they wouldn’t have spent the last year arguing for a right to hack people’s phones.
Users want to make the right noises / virtue signals to their friends about privacy but ultimately don’t want to pay for Facebook.
‘Researchers’ want to make a name for themselves off the back of this issue and appear on TV but Oh My God don’t ask me any questions about how this actually works or what an alternative looks like.
The media and publishers want the exposure and ad revenue that comes from running this story, but want to avoid anyone asking any difficult questions about them signing over their involvement in FB schemes such as Instant Articles or how they track their own users.
The process worked exactly as designed – it allowed everyone to have their pound of flesh while ensuring nothing actually gets done.
Categories: Random Thoughts