23
March
2018
|
10:45 PM
America/Los_Angeles

If Facebook Switched To Subscriptions It Wouldn't Need To Spy and Snitch On Users

Its focus on ads will become increasingly adversarial as tracking technologies become ever more powerful and resented.

I wish Facebook worked for me and looked out for me and my communities -- instead of trying to sell me out at every opportunity.

I wish Facebook kept an eye out for me -- instead of keeping an eye on everything I do.

If Facebook worked for me, it wouldn't have to keep guessing the news sources or people I want to see in my news feed. I'd gladly tell it. And it wouldn't have to worry about developing ad technologies and new ways to sell more stuff.

If Facebook worked for me, I would pay it to make sure my mom can still get to my photos. I'd pay for messaging, calendar, and other services.

If Facebook worked for me, it wouldn't need to collect, store, analyze, and sell all that private information. It wouldn't need to build all that IT infrastructure.

If Facebook worked for me, it wouldn't have to keep guessing the news sources or people I want to see in my news feed. I'd gladly tell it. And it wouldn't have to worry about developing ad technologies and new ways to sell more stuff.

If Facebook worked for me, I would pay it to make sure my mom can still get to my photos. I'd pay for messaging, calendar, and other services.

If Facebook worked for me, it wouldn't need to collect, store, analyze, and sell all that private information. It wouldn't need to build all that IT infrastructure. And it would have just one person to worry about -- a Facebook user -- instead of having to deal with advertisers, politicians, regulators, privacy groups, endless media attention, and disgruntled staff.

AI and Algorithms...

It's not going to get any better. It's going to get worse, and AI and algorithms can't help.

Zuckerberg clearly wants to do the right thing. A solution to his headaches is to convert Facebook to a paid service -- one that helps people thrive in the modern digital world instead of becoming their chief adversary.

The bell tolls for Google, too. It might think it's getting away scot-free in the storm raging around Facebook, but it won't be able to side-step the inevitable regulations that will come.

They're inevitable because Facebook and Google won the media war. They hold two-thirds of the entire digital advertising market and more than 85 percent of all new mobile advertising deals.

The remainder goes to Microsoft, Oath, Amazon, and Twitter,  in order of size. There is no traditional mass media company on that list.

Mass media laws...

Facebook and Google have disrupted mass media. They have displaced mass media. They are now the mass media. And mass media is heavily regulated. Legislators understand the problems mass media can create -- better than Facebook and Google it seems -- which see themselves only as technology platforms.

Politicians know a media company when they see one, and they will apply similar controls.

Silicon Valley can change entire industries, but disrupting governments is a fantasy. Legislators know how to code laws, which always trumps coding apps.