• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Regulation of Software Platform Firms

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
There is a lot of hoopla whereby some people think software platform firms should be regulated. Most notably of late are firms like Facebook (FB) and Twitter which some members of Congress have proposed, via the Social Media Privacy Protection and Consumer Rights Act (SMPP), to regulate via a veritable grab back of regulations that augur to govern how social media firms operate.

The SMPP proposes to the following:
  • Require "social media networks" by law to disable consumer data tracking and collection (when so requested by a user)
  • Require "social media networks" to provide notice of a data breach within 72 hours;
  • Require "social media networks" to delete user data when asked; and to provide copies of what has been collected about them
You'll notice I've scare quoted "social media networks." I've done so because social media -- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like -- aren't networks; they're software platforms, "social media platforms (SMPs), that provide functionality that allow users to use the Internet (which is a network) to share information. Basically, they are super sophisticated email software programs, doing exactly what folks would do with email, save for one's not having to store locally on one's own computer the information that is instead stored on the platform.


The proposed measures portend to hasten the end of free -- monetarily and qualitatively -- communication among humanity. Why? Because SMP firms provide their software to users who "pay" for it by sharing information about themselves. SMP firms sell that information to third parties who have their own reasons for wanting to buy it. If users can disable the collection of that information, there's nothing for third parties to buy, which'd mean that the users themselves would have to pay to use the platform software.

I'm one of the people who doesn't care to share my information too much. This site and one other forum are the only places buyers of SMP user data will find any data about me. Even so, there's nothing about me specifically that'd allow them to connect this account to the "real world" me. The point, though, is that I chose not to join FB, Twitter or Instagram because I don't want to give my information.

Has my abjurance of most SMPs diminished the quality of my life? No, not in the least.
  • I still call, visit and write to my friends/acquaintances and they do the same. We did that just fine before SMP, and we've not lost our ability to do so.
  • There's little to no news I can use that I'm missing, but I'm not savvy on what Kim, Kanye and other celebs are up to.
  • Stuff that doesn't make it into mainstream news but that yet interests me is still on the Internet and I consume plenty of it.
  • My elected representatives (or their staff) still take my phone calls and they still send me emails to inform me of "what's what."
  • I can shop and travel to my heart's content.
  • I still hear the scuttlebutt that flows through the various branches of my grapevine.
In short, if one doesn't want one's data sold, don't use the platform. Alternatively, if one wants pecuniarily free use of an SMP's functionality, fine, use a SMP, but know the price of doing so is one's information in as per the platform's terms of use.
 

Felis Leo

Moral clarity is needed
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
9,108
Reaction score
9,748
Location
California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
There is a lot of hoopla whereby some people think software platform firms should be regulated. Most notably of late are firms like Facebook (FB) and Twitter which some members of Congress have proposed, via the Social Media Privacy Protection and Consumer Rights Act (SMPP), to regulate via a veritable grab back of regulations that augur to govern how social media firms operate.

The SMPP proposes to the following:
  • Require "social media networks" by law to disable consumer data tracking and collection (when so requested by a user)
  • Require "social media networks" to provide notice of a data breach within 72 hours;
  • Require "social media networks" to delete user data when asked; and to provide copies of what has been collected about them
You'll notice I've scare quoted "social media networks." I've done so because social media -- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like -- aren't networks; they're software platforms, "social media platforms (SMPs), that provide functionality that allow users to use the Internet (which is a network) to share information. Basically, they are super sophisticated email software programs, doing exactly what folks would do with email, save for one's not having to store locally on one's own computer the information that is instead stored on the platform.


The proposed measures portend to hasten the end of free -- monetarily and qualitatively -- communication among humanity. Why? Because SMP firms provide their software to users who "pay" for it by sharing information about themselves. SMP firms sell that information to third parties who have their own reasons for wanting to buy it. If users can disable the collection of that information, there's nothing for third parties to buy, which'd mean that the users themselves would have to pay to use the platform software.

I'm one of the people who doesn't care to share my information too much. This site and one other forum are the only places buyers of SMP user data will find any data about me. Even so, there's nothing about me specifically that'd allow them to connect this account to the "real world" me. The point, though, is that I chose not to join FB, Twitter or Instagram because I don't want to give my information.

Has my abjurance of most SMPs diminished the quality of my life? No, not in the least.
  • I still call, visit and write to my friends/acquaintances and they do the same. We did that just fine before SMP, and we've not lost our ability to do so.
  • There's little to no news I can use that I'm missing, but I'm not savvy on what Kim, Kanye and other celebs are up to.
  • Stuff that doesn't make it into mainstream news but that yet interests me is still on the Internet and I consume plenty of it.
  • My elected representatives (or their staff) still take my phone calls and they still send me emails to inform me of "what's what."
  • I can shop and travel to my heart's content.
  • I still hear the scuttlebutt that flows through the various branches of my grapevine.
In short, if one doesn't want one's data sold, don't use the platform. Alternatively, if one wants pecuniarily free use of an SMP's functionality, fine, use a SMP, but know the price of doing so is one's information in as per the platform's terms of use.

I tend to agree, Xelor. I would find the Democrats using Russian electioneering interference on Facebook and other Social Media Platforms as a pretext for extending regulations upon these sites laughable were the implications not so sinister. And I am sure there is no shortage of people on my side of the aisle who would be happy for social media companies to be cudgeled to death for their contemptuous treatment of conservatives at any available opportunity. But as sweet as the schadenfreude might be to many left, right and center, I am distrustful of the state being used as that cudgel.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom