None of the proposals for ISP regulation or platform regulation currently in the mix are very good. If the Internet is good for anything, it’s a great disruptor. Is is too much to ask it to disrupt its own policy frameworks toward the goal of producing more of the good and less of the bad?
Enjoying the benefits of ICT and the Information Age requires us to adopt new models of regulation that are fit for the task. For this to happen, we’ll need to stop demonizing every new invention for the sake of eyeballs, audience, and ad revenues.
Finding sponsors to carry the bill may be troublesome before the mid-term, but a legitimate work product will be useful whenever Congress is of a mind to consider legislating. We may actually be closer to legitimate, regular Congressional action on Internet regulation than we’ve been since the summer of 2010.
Their problem in the long tail of pirates, scammers, and amateurs who impose costs on the platform but don’t generate revenue. That’s a business model issue that should concern Alphabet. It’s not an excuse for making artists pay for YouTube’s content-related costs out of their own pockets to support piracy.
At a minimum, Facebook needs to reorganize the company in such a way that a single CEO can exercise effective control over its major pieces. An Alphabet-like reshuffling with a new level of management would at least signal seriousness about improvement.
The web’s greatest shortcoming, as well the greatest shortcoming of the Internet before the web, is the absence of tools for commerce in the plumbing. The web needs to provide each user with a persistent identity – or more, and they don’t need to be real – and a dance card for all the permissions we’ve given for data collectors to record our activities.