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The Future of Facebook-a not so Modest Proposal

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posted on May, 10 2019 @ 01:44 PM
Well I'm sure most ATS'ers, at least those who have had the time, have observed that Facebook's co-founder Chris Hughes has, in a recent article at the NYT, called for the break up of Facebook. Generally speaking he seems to believe Facebook should be forced to divest itself of Instagram and Whatsapp.
Warning, its a long and tortuous read.

At "The Atlantic" there's now an article proposing that breaking up Facebook simply isn't enough; more must be done, primarily in the sense of eliminating the various classifications of stock ownership, i.e., voting shares vs. non-voting shares. That move would seriously dilute CEO Zuckerberg's control of the Company. As of today, Zuckerberg controls 60% of the "voting" shares.

Facebook has two classes of stock. One of the purposes of stock ownership is to give investors a say in the way a company is governed. That’s done through the board and through proxy votes by individual and institutional investors. In Facebook’s case, Class A shares are issued to the latter; they are worth one vote per share. Class B shares are controlled by Zuckerberg and a small group of investors and insiders; they are worth 10 votes per share. Zuckerberg controls the majority of Class B shares. This structure, known as dual-class stock, has become more common in recent years as a way to give founders and investors greater control of their companies, even after they go public. Proponents of the multi-class approach sometimes claim that the structure helps executives focus on long-term growth, but critics see it as a way to avoid oversight even after a company goes public.

In reality, Facebook is simply a victim of its own success and has been heavily targeted by the Leftist Democrats since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. They see Facebook as undermining the institutions of Democracy and causing the defeat of Hilary Clinton in 2016 via the indiscriminate propagation of fake news and Russian propaganda. (An assertion I have serious reservations about). But it is cited in the Atlantic article that 68% of US Adults daily use Facebook.

There is talk as well in that article that in a sense, Facebook could not be genuinely "splintered" in the sense of a break up because its a "natural monopoly" as a social network it resembles other "natural monopolies" such as Railroads, water and electric grids. That's a important point considering my "Modest Proposal".

And that Modest Proposal would be that Facebook be "Nationalized": to somewhat understand "Nationalization" of an industry or elements of a key infrastructure, see:

In that article, you'll see that:

Although sometimes undertaken as part of a strategy to build socialism, more commonly nationalization was also undertaken and used to protect and develop industries perceived as being vital to the nation's competitiveness (such as aerospace and shipbuilding), or to protect jobs in certain industries.

I care nothing for building socialism, but I do see Facebook's social network as being vital to the nations security and in that sense, vital to the nation's competitiveness. A great example of Nationalization is Germany's Rail Roads:

The railways were nationalized after World War I. Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company is owned by the Federal Republic. In 2008, it was agreed to "float" a portion of the business, meaning an end to the 100% share the German Federal Republic had in it, with a plan that 25% of the overall share would be sold to the private sector[7] . However the onset of the financial crisis of 2007–08 saw this cancelled.[8]

Another fantastic and fascinating example of Nationalization is the story of British Petroleum: See:

In 1913, the British government acquired a controlling interest (50.0025%) in the company and at the suggestion of Winston Churchill, the British navy switched from coal to oil.[19][20][21] In 1914, APOC signed a 30-year contract with the British Admiralty for supplying oil for the Royal Navy at the fixed price.[22]

The British government sold 80 million shares of BP at $7.58 in 1979 as part of Thatcher-era privatisation. This sale represented slightly more than 5% of BP's total shares and reduced the government's ownership of the company to 46%.[62] After the worldwide stock market crash on 19 October 1987, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher initiated the sale of an additional GBP7.5 billion ($12.2 billion) of BP shares at 333 pence, representing the government's remaining 31% stake in the company.[63][64]

So, up until 1979, BP was run by the UK Government and is now entirely privatized (I think). What makes that history so fascinating was that BP was used by the Administration of the British Empire as something of a spy and intelligence gathering mechanism and as well, an instrument for weaseling in British influence and control of overseas governments and industries, (read the article). Yes, dear readers, the stuff of Novels and intrigue.

Why should the US Nationalize Facebook?
1) Facebook operates and controls the accounts of 68% of the US Adult population and actually the number may be much higher. Should all the intel acquired and maintained by Facebook remain in private hands? Would it not be far more prudent that the Government oversee and protect that data?
2) The intel and data acquired by Facebook provides a web of inter-connections that is essential for data mining to identify potential threats and potential terrorist actors. Furthermore, Government Counter-terrorism analysts could use that data to better identify terror "cells" and their nexus to overseas operators. As well, the data found on Facebook could be cross-referenced to data already acquired and archived at the NSA and the FBI to better develop information about possible terrorist operatives both foreign and domestic.
3) Facebook accumulates an enormous sum of "familial" data as unwitting users who share information such as their being anti-vaxxers and the like. This data could (and in my opinion should) be provided to local authorities to be used to identify potential health, safety and welfare risks. Think of the number of times idiots have posted their hateful rants on Facebook with selfies of themselves and their caches of guns an ammo! No better way to more speedily interdict the next mass killing than to have Government oversight of Facebook.
4) Facebook has infiltrated foreign markets around the world! Who better to use the data gathered up daily by Facebook from those overseas accounts?
5) Finally, there's the potential revenue stream to the US Government if it owns Facebook. In 2018, Facebook generated 55.8 Billion in revenue.

I could outline far more reasons the US Government should own, operate and control Facebook. It certainly seems to me that now is the time for the Government to take such action.

I submit the aforementioned to ATS for your lively and informed debate.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 02:19 PM
I've never had a Facebook account. I must be like one of a handful of people who just never signed up for it. I have no plans too, but it is becoming hard to avoid it because so much of social media relies on Facebook.

There will be a better competitor come along. Remember, before Facebook was Myspace. Before Google we had Yahoo, AskJeeves, Lycos, Excite and a whole host of other search engines.

Demographically, apparently Facebook's users are aging out really bad. Younger people don't use it as their primary social media.

I generally don't like government getting involved with free markets as they ultimately tend to make it harder for natural competitors. The one thing they could do is just prevent Facebook from acquiring anyone so new upstarts don't get bought out.

My big issue with Facebook is that I don't like their ability to censor with no oversight given their pervasiveness in society.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 02:33 PM
a reply to: Edumakated

Oh my goodness, AskJeeves... haven't heard that in forever!!!

You are right about younger generation not liking FB. They use snapchat, and instagram.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 02:36 PM
a reply to: TonyS

No more ideas from you. Yours are scarier than the reality.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 02:45 PM

originally posted by: JAGStorm
a reply to: Edumakated

Oh my goodness, AskJeeves... haven't heard that in forever!!!

You are right about younger generation not liking FB. They use snapchat, and instagram.

Facebook owns Instagram. This is why I said they shouldn't be allowed to acquire any companies which is a round about way of squashing competition. They also own WhatsApp.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 02:59 PM
When Facebook was first transferred from the C_A, uh I mean started as a business, all of the headlines were about how were they going to make any money. It was a fun platform but had no revenue stream. I started an account. That's when they decided that they could sell information they collect from everyone to advertisers and started making a profit. Then they realized they could make even more money by using the platform as a propaganda machine. And that's when I deleted my account.

When a new company comes along with a way to let people have the exchange without the data collection and manipulation, and still make a profit, they will take over the space. Just like Duck-Duck-Go has started eating into the Google pie, someone will eventually make Facebook obsolete and it will become just a bad memory of how money corrupts.

The last thing we need is to hand it back to the government where corruption rules.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 03:37 PM
a reply to: JAGStorm

If the Government owned Facebook, they would make the rules. The Government already has a monopoly on Public Education; they could issue a rule to the effect that begining in elementary school, all students must start up a Facebook account. Going forward that Facebook account would need be maintained and authenticated in order for people to get into College, receive a degree, get a drivers license, a passport, etc. In that manner, Government owned Facebook would not only maintain a user base, it would necessarily expand the user base to every resident of the Country.

It would also be of great use at the border. As asylum seekers enter the country, they could be issued a $35.00 Obama smart phone and made to create a Facebook account to which the government could transmit data concerning their asylum seeking process. Failure to maintain the Facebook account and or loss of the phone, (with its GPS tracking data) would result in immediate deportation.

The implications are endless!

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 03:57 PM

the US Government should own, operate and control Facebook

They already do Tony.

If you can still find it, it's mostly been scrubbed from the internet, look up lifelog.

Lifelog was the Facebook like program run by the pentagon/darpa.
Congress shut it down and Facebook popped up at the exact same time.

It's funny, they even made a app called Lifelog to help dilute the name on the net.

The fake congress grilling of fake Zuckerturd was funny too. They grilled him about selling info, overlooking the past and continued issue of them activating microphones and probably cameras on everyone's cellphones when you install fb messenger.

The whole thing's a spy op they switched to "private ownership" for obvious legal and ethics questions.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 05:31 PM
a reply to: Mandroid7

I've never been on face book. Ever.

I've never downloaded an app to this phone(my only internet access).facebook app comes preloaded.I've never opened it.

My phone requires the camera being unobstructed when I swipe to unlock.. it won't let me unlock unless it can see..

Also, I have had, on several occasions unlocked my phone to see the camera open, facing forwards.

I don't do selfies, the only thing I take pictures of is my garden/landscaping and Delanea Agapita (my dog).I never use the front facing option.

My point is, it seems they don't even need you to make an account to spy on you..when most smart phones come with that app (or worse) preloaded.

I'm not the most tech savvy, but even I can see how complex this inter-web is woven in order to ensnare us flies..

Good post


posted on May, 10 2019 @ 05:36 PM
a reply to: TonyS

Funny thing is that FB is a Democrat machine, they are eating their own.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 06:54 PM
a reply to: TonyS

I totally get what you are saying, I'm just not sure it is a good thing.

I'm pretty sure I've seen some movies about this.

I've already noticed some very scary things related to social media in regards to the realm of mind reading.
Mind reading is probably not the correct word. More like thought anticipation.

I once thought to myself I need to re-buy some pot holders from Williams Sonoma. I did not search it, did not
search pot holders or Williams Sonoma, or kitchen stuff or talk about it into any microphone. It just showed up, like minutes after I logged on.
It freaked me out. I'm sure they do some calculation, and it was a mere coincidence (I hope), but I've noticed it happening more with random stuff.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 07:56 PM
a reply to: JAGStorm

Predictive algorithm, mixed with a dash of predictive programming, a sprinkle of Neuro Linguistic programming,and a smidge of all encompassing surveillance..

It went from theatre programs
Radio programs
To television programs
Computer programs..


get with the Program.....


posted on May, 10 2019 @ 08:05 PM
a reply to: Mike Stivic

smidge of all encompassing surveillance

Pretty scary stuff. I was in telecom years ago, like more than a decade. They were talking about stuff like this.
When you walked into a store it would communicate with your phone and coupons would pop up. Little did we know that info would be eventually used for far more sinister things.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 08:10 PM
a reply to: JAGStorm

Some of us did and do..

But let's be honest,

both of us are still watching tv on our flat screens, cable or satellite ,and using either a computer or phone(gps) to convey our concern about our privacy.

I find it as amusing as I do scary.

I keep telling yall I'm not too bright..


posted on May, 10 2019 @ 08:55 PM
Web services like Facebook and Youtube absolutely need to be transformed into public utilities away from corporate shareholder decision making.

In exactly no way will this change anything regarding the whole 'wiretap for life' thing that everyone with a smidge of power has learned to love and enjoy.

But it may curb the censorship of ideas and people if people being blackballed have a reasonable appeal process *coughAlexJonescough*

I dunno, I'm trying to see a ray of sunlight in the inevitable future.

posted on May, 11 2019 @ 05:19 AM
a reply to: Unresponsible

As if the government wouldn’t censor people? They would likely go further and implement social credit scoring like China has.

For anyone who doesn’t like these various platforms don’t use them. For those that do ask yourself do you really need them?

posted on May, 11 2019 @ 05:43 AM
Facebook can be dangerous for some folks.

My middle daughter quit using facebook and posting every single event and detail of her life. It all started or ended I should say on a trip to a nice park.
One day she went to a park to take some pitcture's. When she came off the nature trail she found a white van with no windows pulled in beside her car. When the guy saw her he got out and pretended to be looking into a problem under the van on the side her driver door was on.

She got a really bad vibe so waited for others to come off the trail and walk with her to her car explaining the van as they went along. When that happened the guy hurridly got in the van and pulled out just before they got to the car.

They could find the guy by knowing who visited her web page that day. It couldn't have been that many people.
I've never had a FB account myself but might as well to have. It really doesn't matter now does it?
edit on 11-5-2019 by Trucker1 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 11 2019 @ 01:15 PM
a reply to: surfer_soul

I would guess that something like China's social credit system is inevitable and Facebook would be the backbone for such a system. Far better for the government to be in charge of that than some Corporation.

posted on May, 11 2019 @ 02:12 PM

originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: surfer_soul

I would guess that something like China's social credit system is inevitable and Facebook would be the backbone for such a system. Far better for the government to be in charge of that than some Corporation.

China's social system (India too) are a little different. Both of those cultures have a class system already. Social media just makes it more obvious. In America we have a class system but the lines are much more blurred. We have poor, middle class, and rich. The problem is that most people don't even know what class they are in. Most would think they are in the middle class. It is also a lot easier for people here to go from one class to another.

I had an India friend say to me that he thought it would be very easy to be an American, much easier than any other country. I think what he said is true, and that's why everyone wants to come here, be it good or bad.

posted on May, 13 2019 @ 09:19 AM
a reply to: JAGStorm

You are somewhat correct about the class system thing, although of late, say the last 5 years, I have noted some hardening along the class lines. Where I live in Texas, there are truly 3 distinct classes, the "working" class, the middle class and the wealthy. And by wealthy, I mean really wealthy.

The new development is that while the working class and the middle class get along quite well and find themselves working together to solve problems, the Wealthy are happy to display their disdain for the other two. The wealthy are arrogant, obnoxious and very exclusive and really quite disgusting.

As for the immigration thing, my observation is that while your India friend is correct, its easy to "be an American", being an American has come to count for less and less as the system is continuously overwhelmed and truly overwhelms the systems that facilitated asymilation.

To demonstrate what I mean by that, we recently re-modeled our Church; one of our members is a nice young woman from Peru. (our church is 75% Hispanic/25% Anglo). At one of our church luncheons I over heard her say, "when I am in America, I am American; when I am in Peru, I am Peruvian". By the same token, when asked if we wanted flags in the Church, meaning the US and Texas flags, some members wanted Texas flag, but no one wanted a US flag. I asked one of the older Anglo's why he didnt want a US flag and he (a veteran) said he didnt want the flag of a government that sold us (the Anglos) out at the Border.

Maybe a Nationalized Facebook would work to unite people?

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