Category Archives: Economy

Proposal for Anti-Trust Measures for Social Media Companies that allow Market Forces to operate again (thus prevent abuse of power) – Split each of them up like AT&T in the Past

These measures are intended to balance the network effect, and its concentration of power and its potential for abuse of power.

Basically take the AT&T antitrust measures that were applied quite some time ago in the USA, i.e., splitup + mandatory interconnection.

Applicable to all social media companies, such as Twitter, Facebook etc.

Let’s take Twitter for example:

  • split the software into a separate company.
    The software has to be provided to any interested customer for the same conditions.
    The conditions shall be in a way that startups can also afford it. E,g, revenue share model,
    and the conditions shall also provide the software company with sufficient funds to pay for high quality software development.
  • split the operation of Twitter into several separate companies that have to interconnect so that the platform keeps beeing integrated and does not fall apart into separate networks.
    Each of these companies operates its own servers.
    There needs to be a defined interface for interconnection.
  • As long as the interface is fulfilled, Twitter operators (“providers”) can choose software written by another vendor.
    Providers must not write their own software, they need to use software provided by another vendor.
  • Users are free to choose the provider they want to be customers at.
    Users can switch to another provider at any time.
  • For The initial split up, users are split up randomly, and so that each providers gets an approximately equal number of users.
  • Initially, 10 providers are created.
  • If a provider gets more than 25% market share, it is split in half with users randomly distributed among the two halves.
    • Advertising customers:

  • Advertising revenue is allocated to the provider which hosts the user that takes the action that leads to revenue, e.g. a click or impression.
  • Avertising is managed by ad-broker companies that run their own server infrastructure.
  • Each ad-broker company has to work with every provider.
  • Revenue is split between ad-brokers and providers. Maybe a fixed percentage?
  • Avertising customers are free to choose their ad broker.

Filtering of content etc

  • Either: Each provider can filter content according to its own rules. This applies both to content posted by its users as well as content received from users of other providers.
    The filtering must not be done based on the provider of that user, but solely based on the content of the message.
  • Or: separate filtering agent companies that get a revenue share from the providers.:
    • Each user can choose which filtering agent they want to manage what they can see.
    • A filtering agent needs to make sure that at least those tweets are filtered that are required by law to be filtered.
    • Each provider has to work together with each filtering agent and vice versa.

These anti-trust measures shall be applied worldwide to all companies that have gained a certain amount of market dominance through network effect.

E.g. social network companies like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube

For other companies with strong network effect, other strategies would need to be developed.
This applies to companies like Ebay, Amazon, Google Search engine, …