Adam Thierer, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, discuses recent calls for nationalizing Facebook or at least regulating it as a public utility. Thierer argues that Facebook is not a public good in any formal economic sense, and nationalizing the social network would be a big step in the wrong direction. He argues that nationalizing the network is neither the only nor the most effective means of solving privacy concerns that surround Facebook and other social networks. Nor is Facebook is a monopoly, he says, arguing that customers have many other choices. Thierer also points out that regulation is not without its problems including the potential that a regulator will be captured by the regulated network thus making monopoly a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- The Perils of Classifying Social Media Platforms as Public Utilities, by Thierer
- “Let’s Nationalize Facebook”, Slate
- “10 Reasons Why Nationalizing Facebook Would Be Ridiculous”, by Thierer
- “Stupid Idea Of The Day: Let’s Nationalize Facebook!”, Forbes
- “Nationalize Facebook? Really?”, Reason