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Facebook Nation Needs to Be Accountable

Posted January 5th, 2011 by Andrew Goodman

I agree with John Battelle’s rationale for suggesting that Facebook has such widespread ramifications on citizens’ lives that it needs to be subject to all relevant forms of regulation, including the obligations of a public company regulated by the SEC.

Earlier, we argued that Facebook’s top management (with few dissenters, at least in public) seem to believe that Facebook is a world unto itself. That’s a painfully paradoxical approach to “being social”. Social means more than just what a few software developers say it is. It also means occasionally dealing with… the world out there. Companies like Microsoft and Google had to learn this, and Facebook will too.

Currently, what does Facebook management say when, for example, partner abusers of its API steal (and distribute) private user data? “Whoops.”

Is that good enough?

We do live in a system of laws and obligations, even more so when we are dealing with a privately-held information repository that has potentially the most far-reaching implications for privacy invasion in history. Facebook needs a CEO, not a King.



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