The Man Who Would Be A Monopoly
"I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators," says the man who can't be bothered to show up when governments and regulators have been asking him about his company's role in distributing information.
When huge corporations call for specific government interference in their markets, it means they've identified weak spots in competitors. The best role of government, sadly, is to erect barriers to competition by generating onerous regulations, such as requiring 1,500 hours of training for hair braiding. It can have the effect of preventing small firms from growing, and large firms from entering new markets.
"Mark Zuckerberg calls for global regulations in four areas: policing harmful content, election integrity, GDPR-like privacy framework, and data portability." Could Zuck's proposals be designed as attacks on competitors? Here is one set of possible attack vectors:
- Policing harmful content => YouTube
- Election integrity => Twitter
- GDPR-like privacy => all smaller sites, like independent blogs
- Data portability => Google
For instance, new pre-election regulations caused Google to sit out Canada's upcoming federal election, while Facebook is all-in with the advertising during it.
And could Zuck be thinking of making the following proposal to the world? We here at Facebook are the only government-approved safe harbor for your videos (Facebook), your messages (Messenger), your independently-written content (Facebook), and your advertising (Facebook).
BBC notes that Zuck's proposals do not address the biggest problem with Facebook: tracking users and [and non-users] so that it can sell their personal data to advertising agencies.