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posted by martyb on Wednesday December 06 2017, @05:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the thorny-questions dept.

The bloom is off the rose:

It was about an hour and a half into a hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee when Sen. Dianne Feinstein laid into Facebook, Google and Twitter.

"I don't think you get it," she began. "You bear this responsibility. You've created these platforms, and now they are being misused. And you have to be the ones to do something about it. Or we will."

The tech giants were being grilled by Congress over Russian trolls abusing their services to meddle in last year's US election, and the California Democratic lawmaker had had it.

It was just one of very public tongue-lashings the Silicon Valley companies received over the course of three marathon congressional panels last month, held over a two-day span. The hearings were anticlimactic, in part because the three companies only sent their general counsels instead of their famous CEOs -- a point several lawmakers bemoaned during the public questioning.

Is it Google, Twitter, and Facebook who don't get it, or Senators like Dianne Feinstein who don't get it?

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by microtodd on Thursday December 07 2017, @01:43PM (1 child)

    by microtodd (1866) on Thursday December 07 2017, @01:43PM (#606782) Homepage Journal

    I actually agree completely with this. This is the research (well.....wikipedia article) I've found that points to (imho) the root of the problem. []

    Relevant quote:

    "corporate officers and directors have a duty to manage the corporation for the purpose of maximizing profits for the benefit of shareholders"

    Yes, there's some disagreement on the validity and interpretation, but as you've said the default posture seems to be to maximize this quarter's returns and financial statements, and not worry about a) long term environmental impact b) long term customer goodwill and c) corporate responsibility.

    I call it the "Disney Effect". When Disney reaches a point that they are making ridiculous amounts of money, and (for example) the theme parks draw record crowds every year, there's no benefit to improving quality. Why bother? They've already got more customers than they can handle.

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  • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Thursday December 07 2017, @03:24PM

    by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Thursday December 07 2017, @03:24PM (#606817)

    But there is a benefit (to shareholders, in the very short term) to cutting costs. If Disney can't make Disneyland bring in more revenue, but you can make it cost less to operate, should they have a duty to cut costs to boost profits? Even when the park is already profitable, and cutting costs might just kill the goose that lays the golden egg?

    If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?