What the FTC should do AFTER it fines Facebook $3-5B

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/28/prelude-to-a-breakup.html


First thing, multiply the fine by ten. Make it hurt.


Again, why does bb have the fb/Twitter trackers, er, I mean buttons?


Because eyeballs mean $$$ for BB and it is a necessary evil for any business really to have a presence on FB and twitter.


Letting users of different services talk to each other is reasonable, and Facebook’s commitment to end-to-end encryption for the unified service is great (if it’s for real). […] This may help Facebook enrich its user profiles for ad targeting and make it harder for users to fully extricate their data from the Facebook empire should they decide to leave.

I’m probably missing something too obvious, but I cannot see how an end-to-end encryption can be compatible with an increase of its capacity to profile users better.
It is either encrypted and they don’t have access, or they can harvest something from the messages somehow.
(I thought about the metadata, but they would already get it from the main app)
Can someone explain it?

Maybe only accept the fine in Canadian currency ?


There is no flippin’ way a dude who just happens to work at the EFF is named Bennett Cyphers.

I don’t approve of talk of “breaking up” Facebook, nor most of the highly specific structural solutions people suggest.

With something as intrinsically odious as Facebook, the solution is for it to fuck off, and at least when it’s a monolithic company we can hope for it to go bust and put us out of its misery. Forcing it to metastasize would escalate a single shitty company into a whole shitty industry. Similarly, having the state micromanage its operations would turn Facebook into a legally-enshrined part of civic society.

If we can think of fundamental ways to regulate Facebook that would also prevent the next Facebook from sucking in the same way, that would be worthwhile. But insofar as the goal is to stop this specific group of people having a major role in our civilisation, fines are probably the way to go. Just, bigger fines I guess.

The only thing I want the government to do is force facebook to allow outside connections to it’s network. Then I can run any social media client that I choose, manage my own data, filter my own social feed and never log into facebook ever again, while remaining in contact with friends and family still on there.

We need to develop an open social media protocol, just like the other open protocols that run the internet (SMTP, HTTP, TCP/IP) and force facebook to respond to it. This is so much more critical than merely breaking up facebook corp into smaller pieces. We need to take back social media itself from any proprietary, vested interest and run it like the rest of the internet, free and open. Social media is obviously a core function of the internet. Facebook should not be allowed to monopolize that function.


What happened to spinning off Instagram and WhatsApp? You know, make competition possible?
Why limit the fixes to trusting the proven untrustworthy?

I’ve read suggestions in other threads that the whole reason Facebook has succeeded where so many others have failed is because its questionable business practices are the only way to provide a sufficient revenue stream. What if an open social media protocol is developed, but no one can afford to keep the servers running and make sure the software is adequately secure?

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That’s the entire point of an open protocol. There are no centralized servers that run the network. It runs on servers all over the net. Just like the web and email. Nobody owns it. You can run any software you want to access your social connections.

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