TechnologyPaul McAleer


TechnologyPaul McAleer

One thing that's very, very clear to me amongst a number of Silicon Valley companies – Twitter, Reddit, Facebook – is that they want all of the profits and positive vibes that go with building something on the open internet with none of the responsibilities.

The beauty of the open web and the open internet is that it's open. Twitter wants to be a town square. Reddit wants to be the front page of the internet. Facebook wants to be everything, including a news company. Incidentally, Twitter is a private version of finger, plan, and project comments; Reddit is a private version of Usenet, and Facebook is a private version of the web.

But when the chips are down and something happens, these companies abdicate their social responsibilities and hide behind a business curtain. Their PR keeps beating the “open! open!” drum and they allow hate speech, threats, and worse on their platforms. They won't get rid of it because it's not in their fiduciary interests to do so.

The current path of internet access in the US is all about privatization. And when net neutrality goes out the window in the coming years, it's going to get much worse.

The centralization of the internet in this manner remains a bad idea. Shame on the people at these companies for being complacent in this, and shame on us for settling for it all.