http://www.slate.com/articles/technolog … ghts_.htmlOver the last several years, Facebook has become a public good and an important social resource. But as a company, it is behaving badly, and long term, that may cost it: A spring survey found that almost half of Americans believe that Facebook will eventually fade away. Even the business side has been a bit of a disaster lately, with earnings lower than expected and the news that a significant portion of Facebook profiles are fake. If neither users nor investors can be confident in the company, it’s time we start discussing an idea that might seem crazy: nationalizing Facebook.
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.
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I was going to write a commentary on this article stating how much of a lunatic the guy is and questioning why the media gives so much weight to the ideas of academics... but that would be boring.
I actually appreciate the fact that academics live in a world where they can feel free to express ideas, no matter how wrong they may be. Actually, especially if they are wrong. It's refreshing to see opinions and ideas that are outside of the box that force you to think rather than just autopilot through life. Of course, I think his entire premise is nigh retarded, but I think the old John Stuart Mill quote is apt here:
I just lament the fact that some people will actually think this is a good idea. Hopefully not too many.
John Stuart Mill wrote:The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.