Facebook and pornography cannot just be left to the market

Here’s one way to discredit the market system:

The great The clueless Arnold Kling asks the question:

I am sick of reading about people who want to regulate Facebook. You didn’t come up with the idea. You didn’t build the business. Now that it’s here, who the heck do you think you are telling them how to run it?

There is not a business in the world anywhere in the present or at any time in that past that is not and was not regulated by government (see the toothpick industry for a salient example). It is sometimes done well and sometimes with devastating consequences. At the present moment in most market economies, the level of regulation is heavy-handed and could use greater restraint. But to imply that because a business has been set up by some private entrepreneur that there is nothing further to be said by the community via its government shows such a lack of sense that I can barely believe this was a genuine quote.

Let’s therefore have a look at another area of the business community that has just come to our attention: A Group Of Republicans Want The Government To Start Fighting Hardcore Pornography. They’re Right. Here’s Why.

As National Review reports, a small group of Republican lawmakers have sent a letter calling for Attorney General Bill Barr to enforce obscenity laws as a way to fight hardcore pornography. Representative Jim Banks of Indiana explains that pornography causes measurable harm in a number of significant ways.

Who can deny it? And speaking of Facebook and pornography, as it happens this was the front-page story in The Australian just yesterday: Facebook fuelling avalanche of child sex abuse.

Facebook was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the 18.4 million worldwide reports of child sexual abuse material last year, as a new international threat assessment warns of a looming ­“tsunami” of online child abuse and exploitation in 2020.

The report found publicly ­accessible social media and communications platforms were the most common place for meeting and grooming children online. It warned that the nearly 12 million incidents of child sexual abuse material reported by Facebook Messenger were likely to be the tip of the iceberg.

Regulation is a balancing act, but this is a cesspool that most people will agree that something needs to be done, even if Arnold is not one of them. There was then this, also in The Oz: Google hit for billions but EU chief regrets not going harder.

A European competition chief who imposed fines of more than €8bn against Google says she should have been “bolder”, as the Morrison government moves to respond to the Australian regulator’s report into the tech titans.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher are on Thursday to ­announce the government’s ­response to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s digital platforms inquiry released six months ago.

“There are privacy issues, consumer protection issues, competition issues, a lot of media policy issues, and so we are obviously working through our response on that,” Mr Fletcher said.

His comments came after ­European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said with hindsight she would have taken a different line with Google despite imposing massive fines after a decade-long investigation.

“If I knew then what I know now I would have been bolder,” Ms Vestager said.

For me it’s their disgusting political bias that riles me the most, but there are other things as well that are also clearly important.

And then there’s this, from our ABC even, which you can tell by the snide leftist presenter who is even more unctuous than normal, and that is truly saying something. But the story is truly interesting, bias or no bias.

“By now we should realise that we can’t really trust Facebook.”

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