Saturday, April 07, 2018
Internet "surveillance capitalism" business models in real trouble; DHS wants to monitor "media influencers" (like me?)
Back in January, HuffPost had already run a big story on why the “surveillance capitalism” business model of both Google and Facebook is in trouble, by Paul Blumenthal. There are new rules called the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, set to go into effect in May. And we all know the “national security” threat of Russian meddling – and the controversies of the Internet and campaign finance that date back to the early 2000’s and were forgotten.
Pondering what I wrote yesterday – I can counter-ponder: Hillary Clinton lost the election because she ran the campaign poorly, and because of the Electoral College, not just because of the “Russians”. And users do know that the content they are fed is based on their past activity, especially likes and commenting activity (“Likenomics”). True, it drove them into bubbles. But users should know that if they kept on liking birtherism, that’s what they’ll see in their news feeds.
All of this matters as Congress is surely going to consider restricting the use of CDA230 (Section 230) to protect social networking sites that manipulate what users see.
On the other hand, hosting providers don’t do that. They just serve up what a user goes to (the user has paid for the domain name and hosting service, or could have provided his own). The same with blogging platforms.
Robert Kuttner weighs in further with a more recent article on How to Regulate Facebook.
There is also a story, by Michelle Fabio of Forbes, that the Department of Homeland Security wants to maintain a database if journalists and “media influencers”. Maybe that includes me!! Count me in. I was willing to allow my likenomics to be sold in order to have influence (and escape having to be loyal to other groups to be heard). Beyond what has happened already, when this gets matched up with data on the dark web from other hacks, I could imagine how this could lead to new kinds of personal intimidation and terrorism by foreign influences even in the US, not just by the government. Hasn’t really happened yet.
Look at the Fibbies page on Media Monitoring Services.