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It’s Time For a Class Action Against Facebook to Force Remedies The Government Has Not.

(DRAFT)

INTRODUCTION

Despite years of criticism and threats of nationalization or regulation, Facebook has failed to implement features that are technologically possible, in many cases technologically trivial, and in all cases, in the public interest, for reasons we cannot know but appear to suit commercial and personal political interests of management, investors, and staff, whether by conspiracy of intent, conspiracy of common interest, or conspiracy of biases, political, cultural, and personal.

BELIEF WE WILL PREVAIL

  1. It is inexpensive for Facebook to implement the demanded remedies.
  2. The court has acted similarly to Microsoft and AT&T as well as others. Yet none of those actions were as severe a threat to a polity as the those of Facebook.,
  3. The remedies will force Facebook to bear a short term cost, but pose no threat to the ongoing operations of Facebook.  Even if it did, nationalization would be preferable to current condition. Furthermore, Facebook spends far more heavily on experimentation than it does on operations and features compared to other organizations.
  4. Facebook has evolved into the primary platform for political discourse in the world, as is evident in political use both revolutionary and conformative.
  5. The problem is a matter of long standing domestic public criticism and discourse, with accusations of interference in the election. The problem is a matter of long standing international criticism.
  6. Facebook has a record of flaunting a personal, cultural, and political bias over the will of different nations.  Facebook as a record of avoiding these remedies even though trivial to accomplish. And where facebook has submitted to pressure merely hires individuals to subjectively curate user postings and continuing its propagation of personal, cultural, and political bias, and circumventing the will of people and state.
  7. The remedies are in the interest of free speech, civic discourse, and the people. Failure to remedy the circumstance is against the interest of free speech, civic discourse, and the people.

COMPLAINT

WHEREAS

  1. If AT&T and Microsoft warrant action because of monopolistic dominance of the market then Facebook warrants action because of monopolistic dominance of communications for the same reasons.
  2. Facebook’s constitutes a practical Monopoly due to its Network Effects: because Facebook functions as a necessary personal, commercial, and political utility; and because Facebook delivers information over publicly regulated infrastructure; and because Facebook de facto functions as a privately operated civic utility within the civic  Commons – no different from Water, Power, Telecommunications, and Broadcast Media.
  3. Facebook differs from other utility services in that it has operationally limited fixed capital costs, makes use of private and public distribution of its services, where the method of distribution is paid for and maintained by public and private organizations; requires operationally trivial service costs for the individual user of the utility, and operationally trivial costs of customizing the presentation and distribution of information by individual preference and jurisdiction.
  4. Facebook provides both publication, communication, and information-repository services. Publication services distribute information outside of intentionally selected subscribers.  Communication services assist in voluntary communication between users. Facebook can separate publication from communication.
  5. Because of dependence upon advertising as a means of revenue, Facebook is subject to malicentives of distributing private information to its customers, against the will of the users of the utility; and Facebook is subject to malincentives to maximize the distribution of user created content in order to market to advertisers; and Facebook is subject to malincentives to limit free speech of users in order to provide an attractive vehicle for advertisers.

THEREFORE

Facebook serves as a principle method of communication within and across the polity on matters personal, familial, communal, commercial, educational, scientific, and political, and because of its ubiquity and network effects faces and cannot face competition, despite major efforts of equally capitalized attempts.

We seek remedies such that free speech is preserved, individuals may voluntarily associate and disassociate in all forms of speech, and individuals may communicate or not, in the informational commons provided by the monopoly utility of Facebook.

We seek to prevent Facebook from interference in personal, family, communal, educational, scientific, and political discourse, both domestic and foreign, due to commercial interests, and personal, cultural, and political bias.

We seek specific remedies that will preserve the independence of Facebook as a private provider of a civic commons, financed through advertising, while at the same time providing a means of disassociation for the purpose of discourse in matters of personal, familial, communal, educational, commercial, and public interest.

REMEDIES

Facebook shall not:

  • Destroy user-created content, only sequester it.
  • Inhibit the communication between individuals with declared subscriptions to one another.
  • Use art or artifice, to circumvent the intent of these remedies.

Facebook shall:

  • Provide for the recording of user-created content on the user’s account in the form of publications (posts or their future variations), collaboration on publications or their future variations, and communication (chats, messages or future variations) between individuals and groups outside of publications.
  • Preserve sequestered content for one calendar year, during which the user may download it in human readable form.
  • Provide for the subscription of one person’s user-created content by another, and visa versa. (Current features termed: Friends, Follows, Likes and Comments, serve this purpose.)
  • Provide for the communication of user-created content between individuals who have in any way subscribed to one another’s content.
  • Provide for the isolation of user-created content via declared subscriptions between users, from the publication of user-created content outside of declared subscriptions between users.
  • In user interface similar to the selection of other ‘interests’ Provide for the user-selected option of participating in discourse on Sensitive Topics (“Taboos”), and limit the distribution of all user-created ‘Posts’ or their equivalent, to those who have selected to participate in that same Taboo.
    • Absolutely Prohibited Taboos:  Believable threats of interpersonal physical or sexual harm. Pedophilia.
    • State Regulated Taboos: Criticism of the state. Criticism of Political Individuals.
    • Religious Taboos: Advocacy of or criticism of any major world religion.
    • Political Taboos: Advocacy of or criticism of any political ideology, philosophy, or party. Tolerance for advocacy or criticism of
    • Psychological Taboos: Race, Gender, Disability
    • Sexual Taboos:  Erotica
    • Purity Taboos: Gore.
    • Honesty Taboos: Ridicule, Shaming, Rallying;
  • Provide for the automatic prohibition on State Regulated Taboos by jurisdiction of author and delivery.
  • Provide for the user-reporting of Taboo violations, by the selection of the Taboos that were violated, only for those Taboos the reporting users has not elected to participate in.  Prevent reporting of taboos the user has elected to participate in.
  • Incorporate the ‘Sliding Scale’ technology by __________ that filters profane, hostile, and emotive content, and preserves rational content, so that users may filter content, with the understanding that english exists, but the algorithms for other languages must be implemented incrementally.
  • Expose a measure of the number taboo violations in the past year as well as the number of violations by the user, on each user account, so that ‘sensitive’ and ‘offensive’ users can be identified, and excluded from association.  Require approval of ‘followers’ who have either sensitive or offensive ratings higher than those of the user.
  • Expose a record of all user profile data that is exposed to Facebook customers within the user’s account profile.
  • Provide for verification of identity by passport country, name, and passport id, and the decoration of users
  • Provide for both “Display Name” and “Real Name”, as well as the invisibility of “Real Name”, if the user has survived verification of identity by passport.

Facebook may:

  • Sequester user-created content if it advocates a specific instance of violence
  • Sequester user-created content if in violation of specific regulatory limitation by a National Government
  • Limit distribution of user-created content to those that subscribe to the creator’s account
  • Limit the user from posting on the pages of those who have not subscribed to the user’s content. Limit the user from Chat, Text, and other communication to those who have subscribed to the user’s content

As a consequence:

  • Users shall retain access to their information and ability to communicate, yet lose rights of publication if they violate taboos.
  • Users may elect to participate escape from or include in the discourse of subjects which others deem Taboo.  And users who do so will be limited to those who subscribe in the same Taboo.
  • Users will self-select into groups that favor their Taboo subjects, but self select out of groups that antagonize them.
  • Users of common interest and common ability will form echo chambers;  those seeking compromise and understanding will cross echo chambers; and those that lack ability to engage in the discourse of understanding and compromise will be eliminated from one another’s discourse.
  • Advertisers will obtain more accurate profile information – whether they like that information or not.  And this more accurate profile may prove a disincentive to advertisers if the profiles of their customers are understood, just as it is a disincentive to users.  Therefore this may cause negative impact to the financial condition of Facebook until advertisers acclimate to this information.
  • These remedies will drastically reduce the conflict in a world of peoples with different interests, and will prevent the use of Facebook as a means of imposing least common denominator discourse via monopoly and thereby forcing by consequence a set of least common denominator political propaganda upon diverse populations with diverse interests.  No commercial interest may claim moral or legal priority over the the function of advocacy, debate, and criticism in matters of the commons, all of which are taboo to one individual or another, because it is this advocacy, debate, or criticism that is the purpose of free speech, and individuals do not wish the competition by free speech, only achievement of their ends, regardless of truth or consequence.

 

SIGNATORIES

We the undersigned join this action in whatever jurisdiction it is filed, transferred, adjudicated, or enforced.

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