Lawyer, computer scientist & author of new book 'Getting Out of Control.' Was chief technologist @FTC, now innovation evangelist @CKInstitute & @StandTogether.
1 added to My Authors
Aug 6, 2021 • 14 tweets • 4 min read
So I've been stewing on the swirl around the @Facebook / NYU's Ad Observatory / @FTC issue for a few days, and it just keeps getting further under my skin. This latest news triggers me. A THREAD. washingtonpost.com/technology/202…
As prelude, I am a strong supporter of independent research on social media platforms. My org has funding at seven figures+ such research. I support even adversarial research and would support CFAA reform to enable it. (Reach out if you want to collaborate there!)
Jan 12, 2021 • 11 tweets • 3 min read
The Parler antitrust case against Amazon AWS is weaker than a wet noodle.
Yes, I am going to beat this dead horse. THREAD. /1
It's not surprising to see Parler attempting to use antitrust laws to force Big Tech back into doing business with them. Antitrust seems like everyone's fix-it tool these days. But Parler wields this tool particularly ineptly. /2
Dec 9, 2020 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
Ok, I've read the FTC complaint against Facebook and have a few initial thoughts. A quick thread.
At first, I was like "Wow, this court filing is so well written and the grammar is tight and it's filed in the right court!"
And then I realized I've been reading too many Trump team election appeals so my standards might be low.
Dec 9, 2020 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
You may be asking, "Wait, the FTC vote on the Facebook case was 3-2, but where are the dissents?" I am! Well, there are two possibilities. SHORT THREAD.
1) Sometimes dissenters don't post out of courtesy to staffe. That's more common in low-stakes cases. Seems unlikely here.
Oct 20, 2020 • 11 tweets • 3 min read
The DOJ complaint against Google is out. Here is a thread with a few thoughts i had while reading it. courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco…
As with all complaints, first read alleged violations (p55) to learn what the DOJ thinks actually matters, legally.
*Not* in the allegations: search bias, acquisitions, Play store fees, scraping, self-preferencing, or display ads. Many GOOG enemies prob. feeling left out today.
Jun 24, 2020 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
"How in 20 years did we go from the promise of the Internet to democratize access to knowledge ... to this litany of daily horrors," Hany Farid says @EnergyCommerce.
A theory: the internet is disrupting the shit out of powerful social gatekeepers & they are fighting back.
Here's some evidence for that theory from my paper with @CaseyMattox_ about online free speech and antitrust: knightcolumbia.org/content/the-br…
Feb 18, 2020 • 16 tweets • 4 min read
I'm on a panel at tomorrow's DOJ Workshop on Section 230. Here is my submission. A few highlights, including a story about my amazing 7-month-old daughter: 1/16 techliberation.com/2020/02/18/my-…
First, Section 230 is a focused law that embodies a clear and conservative principle of individual responsibility. In the simplest terms, it says that individuals are responsible for their actions online, not the tools they use. 2/
Jan 21, 2020 • 13 tweets • 4 min read
This short essay has sparked a THREAD. One of the most formative books of my preteen years was James Gleick's "Chaos," about fractals, nonlinear systems, and other complex yet orderly systems. 1/?
Another was "Metamagical Themas" by Douglas Hofstadter, which talked about memes, strange attractors, self-referential systems, and complexity theory (among many other things). 2/ amazon.com/Metamagical-Th…
Sep 23, 2019 • 20 tweets • 7 min read
Attending the “Social Media and the First Amendment” discussion hosted by the Knight First Amendment Institute and @FreeSpeechGU.
Thus far, lots of negativity about social media. Scams, misinformation, Donald Trump. Don’t any of these people use social media to, you know, keep in touch with friends and family?
Jul 24, 2019 • 40 tweets • 8 min read
I'm digging in to the Facebook complaint and order. My real time thoughts. Thread.
First, a little background on how I like to read such things. I read the complaint first. All of the background one should read a context. This section usually seeks to paint the defendant in the worst possible light, so I expect a lot of pejorative language here. BUT...
Last weekend @FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson also invaded England with a great speech to @BIICL on what U.S. history can teach us about our approach to big tech. Read it! A few highlights. 1/n ftc.gov/system/files/d…
She argues we can learn a lot from past attempts to regulate the dominant industries of the time - specifically the failures of the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Civil Aeronautics Board. (Hey look, "non-discrimination" requirements. Paging @HalSinger!) 2/n
Jun 12, 2019 • 9 tweets • 4 min read
THREAD. This @TheAtlantic article by @alexismadrigal has its own slight of hand and what it *doesn't say* is very revealing. #Section230theatlantic.com/technology/arc…
The article does a good job describing the history of the term "platform" and how its use has expanded over time. BUT - here's the slight of hand - it suggests the term "platform" has always conveyed neutrality. Yet technical platforms were often quite "opinionated".
Mar 31, 2019 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
THREAD. Mark, I get it. You're trying to do hard things and you're not doing them perfectly. Some you might not be doing well. Some you're doing down right badly. washingtonpost.com/opinions/mark-…
Because of these imperfect or failed attempts to solve hard problems, you have a public relations problem. You have a gov relations problem. And you have a compliance problem.
Mar 29, 2019 • 8 tweets • 5 min read
Enforcer Roundtable at #ATspring19: @JoeSimonsFTC talking about Tech Task Force. TTF will be looking closely at monopoly maintenance through acquisition, particularly of nascent competitors. #antitrust
Now, @vestager talking about the interaction between fairness and competition. She notes that people can care or not care about politics, but everyone participates in the market. (It's a nice observation. Markets proceed politics.) #ATspring
Mar 28, 2019 • 15 tweets • 6 min read
1st panel I've been able to attend at #ATSpring & panel is debating a paper by @M_Ohlhausen and Alex Okuliar (summarized nicely by Gail Slater). That paper sets out when a questionable biz practice is a consumer protection or competition issue. Read it! papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf…
Now, Isabella De Silva (Autorité de la Concurrence, Paris) says that small startups, like the French version of Spotify, complained that GDPR data portability meant big companies could easily steal their hard-earned customers. #ATSpring
Mar 10, 2019 • 15 tweets • 7 min read
On Friday I called Warren's proposal a plan for "government-controlled internet". New details show it's closer to government-controlled economy. Warren talks @reckless from the @verge; my thoughts, 1/X theverge.com/2019/3/9/18257…
My Friday thread argues that her plan isn't based on helping average Americans, seeks to turn the most highly innovative companies in the world into utilities like your gas company, and naively argues that IF YOU LIKE YOUR INTERNET YOU CAN KEEP IT.