Stop Trying to Regulate Facebook

2018-03-26

I don’t like Facebook. I don’t have a personal account, not since I tried it out at around 2008. Also no WhatsApp. I appreciate my privacy too much to use their services, which I consider terrible. However, since the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, and the posts dominating HN recently, I find myself urging to write about them. Specifically, about their proposed regulation.

Please, stop trying to regulate Facebook. Regulation is both immoral and impractical.

Immoral

Facebook belongs to its shareholders. These shareholders have an agreement describing their amount of influence on the company, among other things. These agreements are the only source of control over Facebook. Government has no right to regulate the private property of someone else. If someone has a problem with the way Facebook is behaving, please do as I do and avoid using it. This latest trend of making companies deliver a service the way you want it is awful. Other people’s companies owe you nothing. If you do not find their offering satisfactory, please try somewhere else. If there’s no alternative, too bad. Maybe you should be thankful they exist to begin with.

Impractical

Even if it was moral to regulate Facebook (which, again, it is not), it would still be a bad idea to do it. Regulation hinders progress and rarely achieve its purpose. The proper course of action here is to proper enforcement. Once you make sure Facebook isn’t committing fraud, let people decide if they want to use their service or not. If they decide they want to use it even after a case such as Cambridge Analytica, then they are willing to pay that privacy price for that product. Regulation can not anticipate that in any way.

All you armchair regulators, take a step back.