Do we Need to Regulate Google and Facebook

Was reading an article by Stan Ward of BestVPN concerning the fact that so much news is being made accessible on social media that it may soon face the same regulations as the established print media . I doubt it, myself , if this regulation would ever take place , policing it etc , but makes for an interesting read .


YES. Especially the impenetrable ‘terms and conditions’ before use. I would like to see these simplified and put into a minimum number of short sentences. Such as - 1. If you want to use this service you agree to us using all of your information in anyway we want to. 2. We will sell your preferences to marketers so they can plague you with advertising so you will be tempted to buy buy buy.
If enough people opt out then these organisations that know and share all of our interests, sexual preferences,
shared thoughts, political preferences, and more will need to modify their exploitation of this.
As many wise people say - if you do not want the world to know something about you, do not ask about it / comment on it / show photos of it on the web.


An oldie and goody, and more relevant every year.


Even more so. Services industries operate in the publics “face” everyone can see what they do and they’re ‘reasonably’ accountable. Facebook and Google have NO such restraints. They operate on other continents and in other jurisdictions,
Just try to remove your self from Facebook. Nearly impossible.
Try to get a search listing on Google that is NOT an ad on the first page of results.
Both are commercial entities operating in the “multi-national” arena (ie. not paying tax anywhere), trying to make a profit (ie. billions) all the while creating monopolies and crushing their opposition.
Sounds a bit out-there but ten years ago there were many search engines and facebook wasn’t the sixth biggest country on the planet.


I understand where you are coming from and you have lots of highly valid points.

In the meantime there are still a number of search engines, one of the top for privacy and being ad-free is duckduckgo.

Unfortunately some of these engines are location blind and often useless for finding anything local unless you are in the US, but that is another problem where ‘the internet’ usually sees the US as the epicentre of the universe by default and then some.


It all depends on the nature of the regulation and who does the regulating. I like that anyone can have a say but I don’t think hate speech or racist propaganda should be allowed. Similarly I don’t think trolls, bullies , harassment should be allowed either. Currently alot of such internet crime goes unhalted, unpunished because either lack of evidence/traceable I.D. or just lack of oversight staff and policies.


Sometimes it is easier to ‘vote with your feet’ or in this case your mouse, chose to simply avoid them.

I don’t use google as they track you activity and use it for targeted advertising; now, but who knows what they could use it for if they wanted to be nefarious. Also I avoid anything with android OS for the same reason.

I have set my computer browser’s default search windows to use other search engines, never google, I have my own preferences and there are plenty out there for users to choose from to avoid google.

As far as Facebook and other social media, I don’t, its that simple I am too busy enough in life with my real world friends and family to waste time making new ones online liking people I don’t know


An interesting case from the USA.


Gee this ones a no-brainer. Of course they MUST be… Google don’t use HTTPs because they don’t want their users tracked, they use it so their competitors can’t get their data…
This data is worth a fortune to them - it is their business to hide it and sell it.

Facebook has no face… It is not accountable to anyone. Just try to get yourself removed from the site or get them to stop bullies… Lets change the outcome of the American Government’s election to make a profit !!

Not sure how they would regulate these types of companies… they pretty much own everything now. Zuckerberg stated he would “fix” facebook this year but he IS facebook… not voted in, just IS. So we must wait until the almighty cross border corporations decide how they can both make it look as if they’re playing ball at the same time as they make the enormous profits their shareholders demand.

Try to force them to be regulated and they will either move head office to some country that “likes” facebook (and alphabet) and will look the other way, or a deal will be made with the US govt swapping data for whatever and we’ll then be back to fake news but from registered news outlets.

I’d say the best way to deal with it is to dump your facebook account and use a different search engine. Or, all become Americans.

1 Like

(raise voice) YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THAT! (/raise voice)

Seriously, unless you plan to live in the USA permanently and die there you get no benefits and lots of headache. I have posted some of the ‘joys’ of being a ‘United States person’ in various threads. If you are interested I’d be happy to give you some detail via a P.M.


It’s a funny thing … “you get how much annual leave??” “what is this long service leave?” “you mean your company can’t just fire you or reduce your salary or change your role against your will?” … etc etc …


…and the biggie (drum roll) is you get a lifelong personal relationship with the United States Internal Revenue Service regardless of where you live in the world and regardless of whether one has any US assets. Only the USA and Eritrea subject their nationals to this overstep. My understanding is the USA enacted it to collect revenue from ‘fleeing non-combatants’ during the civil war.

For anyone who opens a new financial account almost anywhere in the world there will be a question whether you are a US person (FATCA) so your accounts income will be reported to the USA for taxation, or you can falsify a legal document. Pick your fav.


… rights and freedoms conceded are often not returned. I guess anything given away has to be considered gone … which ties in interestingly with Google and Facebook.

… even the Commonweath Bank? surely not? :wink:




Oh, my tongue was firmly lodged in my cheek when I said that :wink:


… From this years Web Birthday Letter by Sir Tim Berners-Lee …

The web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today. What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms. This concentration of power creates a new set of gatekeepers, allowing a handful of platforms to control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared.

These dominant platforms are able to lock in their position by creating barriers for competitors. They acquire startup challengers, buy up new innovations and hire the industry’s top talent. Add to this the competitive advantage that their user data gives them and we can expect the next 20 years to be far less innovative than the last.

What’s more, the fact that power is concentrated among so few companies has made it possible to weaponise the web at scale. In recent years, we’ve seen conspiracy theories trend on social media platforms, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts stoke social tensions, external actors interfere in elections, and criminals steal troves of personal data.

We’ve looked to the platforms themselves for answers. Companies are aware of the problems and are making efforts to fix them — with each change they make affecting millions of people. The responsibility — and sometimes burden — of making these decisions falls on companies that have been built to maximise profit more than to maximise social good. A legal or regulatory framework that accounts for social objectives may help ease those tensions.

It could be said like anything that becomes widespread and a source of profit, it becomes controlled, regulated, ‘made safe’ and the lowest common denominator makes it a shadow of what it was and should be …


From this article, quoted in entirity for obvious reasons :wink:

Andrew Bosworth
June 18, 2016

The Ugly

We talk about the good and the bad of our work often. I want to talk about the ugly.

We connect people.

That can be good if they make it positive. Maybe someone finds love. Maybe it even saves the life of someone on the brink of suicide.

So we connect more people

That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.

And still we connect people.

The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good. It is perhaps the only area where the metrics do tell the true story as far as we are concerned.

That isn’t something we are doing for ourselves. Or for our stock price (ha!). It is literally just what we do. We connect people. Period.

That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified. All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it.

The natural state of the world is not connected. It is not unified. It is fragmented by borders, languages, and increasingly by different products. The best products don’t win. The ones everyone use win.

I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this. Most of us have the luxury of working in the warm glow of building products consumers love. But make no mistake, growth tactics are how we got here. If you joined the company because it is doing great work, that’s why we get to do that great work. We do have great products but we still wouldn’t be half our size without pushing the envelope on growth. Nothing makes Facebook as valuable as having your friends on it, and no product decisions have gotten as many friends on as the ones made in growth. Not photo tagging. Not news feed. Not messenger. Nothing.

In almost all of our work, we have to answer hard questions about what we believe. We have to justify the metrics and make sure they aren’t losing out on a bigger picture. But connecting people. That’s our imperative. Because that’s what we do. We connect people.


I just posted this link on another board, but then I noticed this board on my way out. Although the “Without Bullshit” post is 10 days old, it’s still the best analysis of the current Facebook brouhaha I’ve seen, which is a surprise coming from a blog about language.


If you do want to see the sort of data Google has been capturing of you, you can download the data collected by Google using this website. Warning, best to do it on a PC as the files can be of significant size if you use Google for almost everything and don’t restrict privacy settings.