The Great Unhack (or, How to Avoid Another "Trappuccino")
Listeners more erudite than us — yes, grammarians, it could be “we” — are undoubtedly familiar with Carole Cadwalladr, the British journalist who uncovered Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 election. Her work was the subject of the recent Netflix documentary “The Great Hack,” exploring the weaponization of social media.
(Not familiar with Carole Cadwalladr? The Great Hack? Cambridge Analytica? Ahhhh..... but you know Netflix. Small comfort, there. Might we suggest a little less time with “Schitt’s Creek”? But, we digress ...)
When they aren’t pretending to skewer the high-tech industry on CSPAN, certain now-vacationing Washingtonians have proposed regulation of social media as a cure to that ill. Picture the legislative proscriptions as a big glass dome separating the evils of social media from us, and us from them. With apologies to Matt Groening & Co., you might call it “Trappuccino.”
(Sound familiar? Dial back to the Simpson’s Movie of the mid-‘oughts. You know, the one in which the EPA placed a big glass dome over the namesake’s polluted hometown, Springfield, at the request of a president who was “elected to lead, not to read.” But, we digress ...)
Glass domes and regulation aren’t the answer, of course. As any student of economics knows, there is no greater power than Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Aggregate consumer self-interest, unhindered by governmental or capitalist influence, will always produce the best outcome — whether in retail, news-reporting or democracy.
(Fancy that! Self-interest solving a problem. You say it can’t be? Well, tell us ... what’s a more powerful incentive for your purchases in Apple iTunes or Google Play: 55,000+ downloads, or a handful of positive reviews that might well be fake news? Please, don’t ask us to explain the 300,000,000,000 burgers sold by McDonald’s. But, we digress ...)
Join the team from Failure - the Podcast in a discussion with Nadeem Mazen, co-founder of fabrk.io, a social network that is powered by cryptocurrency and consumer choice. You can decide for yourself. Will society be better off with regulation of social media Trappuccino-style? Or, should we simply let the fingers of Adam Smith’s invisible hand do the walking to fabrk.com and its progeny?