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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:29 pm 
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SteelPro wrote:
How exactly would you break up facebook?


Basically think of Facebook in terms of connected modules - news, pictures, video, messages and timeline. So we'd say Facebook can be like a hub or UI, but not control any actual content. Then you restrict the amount of user info that can be shared between different apps, that deliver the content, and between apps and Facebook. In this model, Facebook is not a publisher - they don't choose and deliver your news, but rather you choose a provider to generate your news feed.

And when you look at it that way, you also see that Facebook is actually just a combined platform that does have competition. But, like Amazon, there's a huge demand for that integrated platform and market dynamics such that "there can be only one".

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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:37 pm 
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While fake news is a big problem, stupid people is a bigger problem.

So I get really concerned when I discussions about how Google, Facebook, etc. should "deal" with fake news.....because it's only ever a problem when people are stupid and lazy, and otherwise sounds suspiciously like an assault on free speech.

What would the criteria be? What if some nobody expressed an opinion that was certifiably wrong (like saying atmospheric CO2 hasn't increased)....does that opinion get effectively erased from the internet? What about someone ranting about astronomically unlikely (but not impossible) threats from GMOs? Basically disaster porn - do we delete that from the internet or tag it with a science fiction label?

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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:33 am 
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Breakup is not the answer for these companies. How will breaking up a company that collects and sells your private data help? Just spreads the data out to more DB opening up more vectors of attack. This is not AT&T tht can be broken into baby bells. Each with their own physical infrastructure to control. This is about data collection and then the selling of you. Regulation of how they use your private data should be the answer. This encompasses companies like Equafax and Transamaerica that sell your financial data.

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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:58 pm 
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jebrick wrote:
This is about data collection and then the selling of you. Regulation of how they use your private data should be the answer.


But that alone might not be enough to ensure privacy. If you regulate/ban the selling of private data, that just makes Google and Facebook that much more valuable. If you really want to ensure more privacy, you ALSO will have to break-up some of these companies. It's all the different verticals they have that gives them a 24/7 picture of your life. And so if we don't want anyone to have that kind of info, you HAVE to break them up (in addition to regulating how privacy data can be shared).

Sure, Google search would have plenty of information about you. But when combined with Gmail, Chrome and other apps one company now has a much more complete picture of you. Signed into Chrome (or just not using a vpn), Google can basically scrape EVERYTHING you do online.

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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:11 am 
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Kodiak wrote:
SteelPro wrote:
How exactly would you break up facebook?


Basically think of Facebook in terms of connected modules - news, pictures, video, messages and timeline. So we'd say Facebook can be like a hub or UI, but not control any actual content. Then you restrict the amount of user info that can be shared between different apps, that deliver the content, and between apps and Facebook. In this model, Facebook is not a publisher - they don't choose and deliver your news, but rather you choose a provider to generate your news feed.

And when you look at it that way, you also see that Facebook is actually just a combined platform that does have competition. But, like Amazon, there's a huge demand for that integrated platform and market dynamics such that "there can be only one".


So the solution is to outlaw hugely demanded platforms? I find most of this discussion crazy talk. Yes, there has been some misuse of data and some of these companies have been poor stewards of it. But they are solving some incredibly complex problems too and changing the world for the better. Amazon competition isn’t killing retail. It is changing it and forcing the survivors to be far more efficient and thus lowering consumer costs. Giving companies huge amounts of data helps them figure out what you want. I like people that want to give me what I want! The solutions proposed here are the same innovation stifling ideas that always happens when government gets heavy handed with regulating business practices. Regulation should be a light touch not an Fn jack hammer.

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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:12 pm 
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SteelPro wrote:
So the solution is to outlaw hugely demanded platforms? I find most of this discussion crazy talk....Regulation should be a light touch not an Fn jack hammer.


It's a lot more complex than that. There are a number of tests/questions to answer in deciding if breaking up a monopoly is warranted. The big one here is privacy, or consumer welfare.

But there are also difficult questions to answer around competition. Are Facebook and Google really keeping a level playing field with respect to things like news, video and other services? These guys are getting heavy into the content game, and we've seen with cable companies and wireless carriers some pretty underhanded anti-competitive practices to favor their own content.

Most economists would agree that companies using their size to stifle competition is normally not a good thing for consumers.

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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:23 pm 
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Kodiak wrote:
SteelPro wrote:
So the solution is to outlaw hugely demanded platforms? I find most of this discussion crazy talk....Regulation should be a light touch not an Fn jack hammer.


It's a lot more complex than that. There are a number of tests/questions to answer in deciding if breaking up a monopoly is warranted. The big one here is privacy, or consumer welfare.

But there are also difficult questions to answer around competition. Are Facebook and Google really keeping a level playing field with respect to things like news, video and other services? These guys are getting heavy into the content game, and we've seen with cable companies and wireless carriers some pretty underhanded anti-competitive practices to favor their own content.

Most economists would agree that companies using their size to stifle competition is normally not a good thing for consumers.


I think most of the arguments you are making are theoretical and based on fear. I don’t see where competition has been stifled or consumers have been hurt at all. In fact, I would say it has been the opposite. The data privacy issues are a different matter. And we probably need some type of new government agency to provide some guidelines for data governance. Big tech doesn’t belong within the purview of existing agencies that are now almost 100 years old.

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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:14 pm 
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SteelPro wrote:
I think most of the arguments you are making are theoretical and based on fear.


I would have gone with "based on economics and history", but ok.

SteelPro wrote:
I don’t see where competition has been stifled or consumers have been hurt at all. In fact, I would say it has been the opposite. The data privacy issues are a different matter. And we probably need some type of new government agency to provide some guidelines for data governance. Big tech doesn’t belong within the purview of existing agencies that are now almost 100 years old.


But privacy is a huge, huge issue. Google and Facebook have basically a 24/7 picture of your life. Regulation alone will not be enough. You're actually making an argument for more govt intervention than I am. You're essentialy arguing for internal chinese walls, while I'm saying a different company in a different location is far superior in protecting the information you're trying to with regulation alone.

Competition hasn't been stifled? How would you know? They buy up all their competition. That's a textbook example of how monopolies maintain their monopoly.

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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:07 am 
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People have willingly given away their data. The data collected by Cambridge Analytical had a disclaimer saying that their data might be sold to 3rd parties.

IT IS FACEBOOK'S BUSINESS MODEL! If you use Facebook, your data can be used and sold. If you wanted to pay FB for the right to use their APIs, you could harvest the same data. all you need is a bit of social engineering to make a survey that people will fill out.

I have more of a complaint about Equafax and their ilk. Not protecting private data should be a death sentence for companies. It has become so common that everyone just shrugs and posts a picture of their breakfast to twitter.

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 Post subject: Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:12 pm 
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jebrick wrote:
People have willingly given away their data. The data collected by Cambridge Analytical had a disclaimer saying that their data might be sold to 3rd parties.

IT IS FACEBOOK'S BUSINESS MODEL! If you use Facebook, your data can be used and sold. If you wanted to pay FB for the right to use their APIs, you could harvest the same data. all you need is a bit of social engineering to make a survey that people will fill out.

I have more of a complaint about Equafax and their ilk. Not protecting private data should be a death sentence for companies. It has become so common that everyone just shrugs and posts a picture of their breakfast to twitter.


100

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