Perhaps The Dumbest Idea We've Heard Yet: Nationalize Facebook
from the say-what-now? dept
By “nationalizing Facebook,” I mean public ownership and at least a majority share at first. When nationalizing the company restores the public trust, that controlling interest could be reduced. There are three very good reasons for this drastic step: It could fix the company’s woeful privacy practices, allow the social network to fulfill its true potential for providing social good, and force it to put its valuable data to work on significant social problems.None of that makes any sense. Think of companies that tend to be government run or owned. How many of them have "public trust"? Right. Second, while many people are uncomfortable with Facebook's view on privacy, it seems like a stretch to call the practices "woeful." The real complaint Howard seems to have here is with privacy laws -- and it seems to be based on an ignorance of what kind of mess it would make to start mandating privacy rules of the nature that he seems to think are important. Next, I don't even know what that part about "social good" means, let alone how it makes even a sliver of sense. That same argument could be used to "nationalize" any company. You know, the laundromat on the corner isn't providing enough social good, so we should nationalize it. Finally, nationalizing a company to force it to provide data to solve "social problems" again makes no sense at all. And, um, who determines what the "social good" is here or which social problems to focus on? Howard? The President?
Everything that he discusses is already handled, and handled much better, by keeping Facebook as a private company. If it loses the public trust (which it hasn't), they'll go elsewhere. If it's not giving off enough social good, users will go elsewhere. If that data can really solve significant social problems, there are plenty of incentives to make Facebook release it. None of these arguments make even a sliver of sense, other than that Howard apparently thinks that Facebook should be working on a few of his pet projects. If the post was designed as satire, then I'll grant that it fooled me, but if it is actually serious, it just seems like pure troll bait.