While many in Washington seem quite determined to "regulate" social media platforms, the "how" part of the execution is proving to be quite difficult. Both this WP piece, & another from Techdirt highlight the many challenges (cont). techdirt.com/articles/20211… washingtonpost.com/technology/202…
For me, the last thing we want is to hold the platform accountable for determining what is "misinformation." Why? 1) "Truth" is very hard to discern, especially on the issues that are most discussed. This is WHY they are being discussed. No one cares if I post 2+5=6. (cont)
2) Having the platforms "decide" what is right or wrong, actually gives them more power, not less. We have already seen multiple examples in the past year where leading UGC platforms have blocked posts incorrectly or prematurely. wsj.com/articles/faceb… (cont)
3) Any agency official that would oversee "compliance" of proper "blocking" would bring enormous bias to the table in their evaluation. If you disagree, just imagine the party you don't support being in charge of the oversight! (cont)
4) As many great scientists have already opined, the scientific process is actually dependent on open debate of ideas in the public forum. This back and forth process is actually what leads to progress and new discovery. Silencing new ideas early is a really bad idea. (cont)
I am a huge fan of the @benthompson argument that the proper solution is actually "more speech" not less. If people object to a POV, give them a forum to air that objection. Even though no one asked (😀), here is my "draft proposal" on how said platforms could attack this issue.
Allow all major media outlets to "register" to be a "trusted source" on the platform. Part of the process would be to outline the editorial process they use in their work (which could be disclosed). These "trusted sources" would then have special badges and privileges.
One such privilege would be the right to "tag" a popular post as something they disagree with or believe is "misinformation." The platforms could publish a list of the popular or trending posts so that the media partners could focus on those that have meaningful reach.
These "official challenges" would then live alongside the questioned post (rather than the post being removed). This uses "more speech" to aid in debate, vs using censorship to curtail ideas. If a single post is challenged by 10 different sources, readers would now see that.
If the best media outlets in the world are not interested in such a responsibility, then perhaps the whole problem is overblown (either it matters or it doesn't). From my POV, the platforms should act fast with their own solution (such as this) before they have one given to them.
This type solution would be a great 1st step. Quickly, we would have tons of data about which posters are most challenged, wether there is broad support in the challenges, & the challenge history of each "arbiter." We would also learn more along the way reading the debate.
Platform companies need a "platform" solution. There is no scalable or reasonable way to simply insist these companies have a divine insight on "truth." It will never work. Let the community do the work, and we can all learn more along the way. "More speech" is the right answer.

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16 Aug
What if there were a outrageously cheap generic drug that was super impactful against Covid? Wouldn't that be an awesome? Really great? I have no idea if Ivermectin works against Covid. But I really hope it does (cont). wsj.com/articles/fda-i…
If Ivermectin IS effective isn't that like 1000X better than if it isn't? It costs like $0.01, and Remdesivir is $3K. So here is my question. Shouldn't the government, the media, & all of us citizens "hope" that the news is true? Let's go optimistically find out... (cont)
But that's not what is happening. The govt & the media "assume" the negative POV. This makes no sense, & one worries it is regulatory capture at work. The "generic" drug has no advocate in Washington. Which is horrible. A generic drug is like "open source" software. We all win...
Read 4 tweets
14 Apr
Congrats to @brian_armstrong & @coinbase on historic Direct Listing on @Nasdaq. As Mike Moritz noted, the choice of a direct listing or a traditional IPO has become a test of two attributes: courage and intelligence. Applaud Brian's courage in leading us to a modern approach.
Using their archaic non-market based pencils, bankers would have recommend the reference price for a traditional IPO. This $250 price is off 50%/$34B from actual market price. Why we continue to allow a non-market approach with intentional limits on participants is baffling.
Coinbase's founders, employees, & investors all accrue massive, real economic rewards as a result of the DL. Had they been exposed to the exploitive, archaic IPO process they would all suffer at the hands of the machine. These constituents should be thankful for DL decision.
Read 5 tweets
13 Apr
Working w/ @kmlake has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. As such, when we first discussed the idea of a new CEO, I had mixed feelings. That said, as I have grown to know @ElizSpaulding, I am remarkably optimistic/excited about what lies ahead. [more]
@ElizSpaulding is a powerhouse leader. One of the smartest strategic thinkers & most ambitious leaders I have ever met. And she intersects with @stitchfix at an opportune time. I have never worked with a company where at year 10, I see WAY MORE opportunity ever before.
The vision of delivering a personalized store for each & every customer is real & underway. It leverages the vast resources & data science capabilities of the company, & we are well positioned to thrive. I have high confidence in @ElizSpaulding leading us on this special journey.
Read 5 tweets
31 Jan
Many say $GME/RH situation is a "problem in the plumbing," implicating the structural integrity/complexity of our financial systems. If the SEC/government wants to "fix the plumbing" the number one thing they should do is ban Payment for Order Flow. [more] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payment_f…
PFOF is a practice that "smells bad" the moment you hear about it. Only through contorted mental gymnastics can one come up with "pro" arguments, but never in a clear enough way that you could pass it along yourself. UK outlawed it in 2012. Illegal in Canada. Why...? [more]
In 2004 letter from Citadel's attorney Jonathan G. Katz to SEC, he makes a a definitive & eloquent list of all the reasons that, "The practice of payment for order flow creates serious conflicts of interest and should be banned." Please read detail. [more] sec.gov/rules/concept/…
Read 4 tweets
16 Jan
In 2009, I wrote "However, if a disruptive competitor can offer a product or service similar to yours for 'free,' and if they can make enough money to keep the lights on, then you likely have a problem." This is why Signal vs Facebook is so interesting. abovethecrowd.com/2009/07/15/bil…
Signal has two things most non-profit efforts lack. First, in @moxie, a talented, technical-capable, ambitious, & mission-driven leader. Second, in @brianacton, @jankoum, & likely @jack as well as @elonmusk, you have an endless supply of funding. That's a powerful combination.
For Facebook/WhatsApp this represents a extreme form of what I call "orthogonal" competition. There is no class in business school that tells you how to deal with a formidable, non-commercial player in the market. Your core intuitions about how to attack & respond are likely off.
Read 5 tweets
22 Dec 20
A wonderful 2020 Xmas present to the founders, employees, & investors at VC-backed startups. SEC just APPROVED the ability to add primary capital (fundraise) to a direct listing. It's very exciting to see the SEC enable innovation in this way. (more) sec.gov/rules/other/20…
This is HUGE & will hopefully end 40 years of mispriced IPOs through an old antiquated process that failed to match supply/demand & wasn't open to all investors. 2018:$6B in underpricing. 2019 $7B. 2020, new record => $34B in one day gains for i-bank customers with allocation.
The SEC properly honed in on the two key advantages of a Direct Listing. The first key point is "open access to all investors." Hot IPO access is limited to a few selected ibank customers. Now anyone can participate.
Read 5 tweets

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