Barry Lynn For Daily Beast: “Here’s How To Finally Fix Facebook”

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(Last Updated On: December 29, 2018)

Another interesting press release from “Freedom From .”:

The op-ed can be read in full here and is excerpted below:

In short, rather than serve the American people, manipulates the American people to serve its own private interests. And the model serves ’s executives incredibly well. Last year, the corporation earned $40 billion from advertising—accounting for almost all of ’s revenue.

The team has proposed some ideas for fixing itself. Last month they called for the United States to adopt European-style privacy regulation. Yesterday Zuckerberg spoke of creating a “supreme court” outside of ’s direct corporate control to help police its content.

But Zuckerberg and the rest of his team have adamantly opposed any change to ’s business model. When Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this year criticized ’s manipulation of its users, Zuckerberg called Cook’s comments “extremely glib.”

’s goal, Zuckerberg said, is to help “connect everyone in the world.” An “advertising-supported model,” he said, “is the only rational model.”

More fundamental, it’s now clear that ’s advertising-based business model is anything but cost-free. To use its service, we must share our most intimate secrets with strangers. And make ourselves subject to price and information discrimination. And cede fundamental decisions over what we read to a powerful corporation. And, as was made amply evident this week, trade away much of the cohesion of our society and the stability of our democracy.

“Freedom From ,” a diverse group of organizations sharing deep concerns about ’s extraordinary power over our lives and democracy, is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to use its broad authority to break up ’s monopoly and re-establish competition in the social networking space by spinning off WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger into independent businesses. Freedom From also calls on the FTC to develop interoperability standards, so users will have the freedom to communicate between competing social networks, as well as implement strong privacy rules to give users more control over the collection and utilization of personal information. Learn more at freedomfromFB.com.

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By Roger Robarts

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