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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14935/the-antisocial-network/

The Antisocial Network

December 7, 2010 by

The Federal Trade Commission declares war on Facebook, and the company responds accordingly:

Facebook is expanding its Washington, D.C., office and consulting with privacy advocates as lawmakers question how well the world’s largest social-networking site protects the personal information of users.

The company is looking for a public-policy expert and a deputy press spokesman after the June hiring of Marne Levine to head its D.C. office. Levine is a former top aide to Larry Summers, director of President Obama’s National Economic Council. The new hires would bring Facebook’s Washington team to eight, up from zero three years ago.

As smart as the people who run companies like Facebook are, they lack the intelligence to put their resources into discrediting and undermining the regulators — who seek only welfare and destruction — instead of wasting scarce capital in futile lobbying efforts.

{ 12 comments }

Dave Albin December 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm

We can’t have 500 million people freely interacting with one another – how would they figure out what to do?

Seattle December 7, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Mr. Oliva, I have to respectfully disagree with you here. As depressing as it is to admit, the track record of businesses who openly stand up to the US Government is not a bright one. Not everyone prefers death to a life of slavery.

Jonathan M. F. Catalán December 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Why compete, when you can have government shut down your competition?

HL December 8, 2010 at 1:13 am

How cruel of SMO. He asks Facebook to stand and suffer. Meanwhile, our lords in DC only request Facebook kneel comfortably on a pillow of regulatory weave and fluff, while offering some small tribute.

B December 8, 2010 at 4:33 am

Your stance here seems to be inconsistent with your recent views on Amazon’s plight, Mr. Oliva.

J. Murray December 8, 2010 at 8:04 am

Not really. Amazon didn’t ask to become a member of the establishment. Facebook wants to actively be part of the system.

B December 8, 2010 at 9:59 am

Please read the first sentence of the blog post. As Mr. Oliva put it, the government has “declared war on Facebook.” In other words, the company has felt political pressure and, in a move of self-preservation, responded to it. Perhaps Facebook does, as you argue, wish to be part of the system. But why, then, does it wait for the government to pressure them to make such a move? And judging by the blog comments here and on Mr. Tucker’s recent positive views of the company, I don’t think that I’m alone on this one: http://blog.mises.org/14364/a-movie-that-gets-it-right/

If you wish to defend Mr. Oliva, that’s perfectly fine. I’m not accusing him of anything heinous. But something is off with this post. It happens to all of us.

Kurt Magnussen December 8, 2010 at 4:41 am

Yes, while most users of Facebook that I know are not concerned about security of information, many others are aware of the fact that they want privacy information made more transparent, so that they know if Facebook is tracking the friends they see, the people they see, etc, in case this is recorded on a database somewhere and kept, which is similar to recording someone’s internet history which is a very hot topic at the moment as well, as to whether this is a breach of privacy which is the core of many Western countries’ values. I suspect Facebook will continue to be popular as most are not worried, but you never know, if the media highlights these privacy concerns, people may become more wary.

Kerry Chhim December 8, 2010 at 9:06 am

Investigating another big company that has a lot of money and is really apolitical. Almost sounds like a repeat of what happen to Microsoft. I could be wrong about this.

Eric Morey December 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm

lobbying works. It is a signal to potential and existing representatives that there are campaign funds available to those that vote favorably for the lobbying interests. This lobbying will eventually cause some unrelated and seeming minor amendments to various bills to be passed that significantly favor business interests in collecting and monetizing customer data.

The system is corrupted in favor of those with campaign funds to donate.

Luke December 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm

This article assumes that Facebook and government are of seperate orgins. Given the CIA’s propensity to data-mine the web, and especially Facebook, I am not so certain that a distinction exists between “government” and “Facebook” anymore. I say this as a heavy facebook user.

CFD March 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm

The social graph is by far the most powerful corporate tool facebook has under its belt. How and to what extent this information is used is somewhat beyond the users control but if we were aware of advertising interception facebook simply would not work. Of course its vigourously defending information capture because more prevalent exposure would result in massive destruction of the companies assets. It will be interesting to see if Facebook eventually goes IPO/public stock offering and whether the information policies will adapt accordingly.

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