EU should regulate Facebook and Google as ‘attention utilities’

I will refrain from commenting on the political aspect of the argument. It is too convoluted to make any sense.

EU missed the “technology bus” in terms of software and hardware. Building up a platform isn’t difficult. Getting users and building networks is.

Absolutely no one has coerced anyone else to be on Twitter or Facebook. People “believe” and “perceive” that they would derive benefits from being there.

Digital advertising is “hit or miss” and the data being collected is for mass behavioural manipulation”. It was being done by the mainstream media (under the garb of freedom of speech and journalistic freedom); the goalposts have merely shifted to another domain.

Signs include rampant polarisation, extremism, fake news and toxic tribalism, which are amplified by today’s major digital platforms. Tech companies are distracting, dividing and outraging citizens to the point where there is little basis for common ground. This is a direct threat to democracy.

Regulating technology companies involves taxing their money in offshore accounts. EU should fix that before making bellicose statements calling them as “attention utilities”.

via EU should regulate Facebook and Google as ‘attention utilities’ | Financial Times