04-20-2018 by Fernando Azevedo
We need to talk about an old and famous web problem: the “free rider”
The last US financial crisis was in 2008 and the previous one in 2001. Many believe that the economic cycle of recession and bonanza is an average period of 8 to 18 years. It’s 2018, and it’s been 10 years since the last crisis. And what astonishes is that the market is extremely positive in the US.
Being Brazilian and having been through so many economic crises in Brazil, my head does not stop to sound alerts. The economy is very positive.
And all those catastrophic predictions that automation would vanish with jobs? And which sites that offer services of $ 30 a month would end your $ 5,000 monthly employment? And that artificial intelligence will revolutionize all our production and logistics by taking jobs out of billions?
These predictions are still present. And there’s more!
The sharing economy is growing fast as well. Using Uber and Lyft for your transportation and renting a car when needed is already totally plausible and cheaper, perhaps even more convenient. Online boutiques and luxury goods-sharing companies also gain strength by breaking up to the luxury industry that dictates a high price for the quality of its craftsmen and high budget in marketing.
And where will this bubble burst? Exactly where it started – on social networks. The last 10 years of Silicon Valley was not from computer chips made of silicon, they were from social networks. And the fact that they were for free caused the whole problem.
An old and famous problem that only began to be seen now – the problem of “Free Rider” (the traveler for free). According to Wikipedia in Portuguese: “refers to the case of someone who benefits from resources, goods or services without paying the cost of the benefit.”
And the Wikipedia explanation is so prefect that I prefer to copy: “For example, imagine an urban street with several owners along its length. A street-cleaning service would clear the street, take out all the rubbish, for a non-divisible cost Fixed, but some owners may refuse to pay, providing other owners agree to pay the cost of the service. If some owners refuse to pay the money collected will not be enough, the service can not be hired.
Now, let’s apply the “Free rider” problem in social networks. Who pays are the advertisers. And advertisers who do not want to pay create mechanisms to benefit from the social network. They enter the run of viral news and called “fish bait” titles, and finally enter the Fake News.
Companies create robot factories to create account creation services, manipulate search engine results, share, tanned, comment, and fake views.
Organizations with hate content also take advantage of the vulnerability of the environment and hire services to “scream” louder and stifle the love affixing and inclusion.
So much work and wear to try to keep the model “free rider” in social networks …. (long sigh)
Social networks gather information to better earn money from paying customers – advertisers. And extrapolate your privacy to try to sell more and keep us addicted without changing platform.
Ok, so far the title of the article has not even entered the discussion. Was it a “fish-bait” title? “No, I’ll get there.”
For governments to wake up, fight and prepare for the global internet, the government will need to be global. After all, we are living globalization for at least two decades and I still dream of seeing the United Nations carry out its own name.
And when this at least partially global government becomes aware of the problem as a whole, including manipulation of influence, impunity, drug trafficking, pornography, copyright infringement, cyberbullying, cyberbullying, etc, etc, etc., they will arrive at a common consensus: browsing the internet can not be more anonymous.
And when you show who you are, the laws can be applied on the internet and you take the responsibility of social networks. Laws also bring obligations and I see no problem at all, no more free riders, pay taxes to have police and efficient legal system on the internet.