Every now and then we like to flip the model – and the talking points. Seems that the model of tech is freemium. Everyone loves to get stuff for free – no one more than the tech cartel, particularly Facebook and Google. As the Wall Street Journal (Tech’s Titans Tiptoe Towards Monopoly) noted, Google and Facebook “benefit from something historically unprecedented: the ability to get users to subsidize them with enormous quantities of free labor. Their systems are fueled by personal information.”
Here’s a thought: since the cartel are such outspoken advocates of Universal Basic Income, let’s make it easy for them to literally put their money where their mouths are by having them pay users for providing information/content every time they post/share/search. These systems are built on algorithms: they can no doubt figure it out. There’s even a metric for payment to writers. On the lowest end (and far from our rate, fyi): two cents per word.
There you go.
The platforms been collecting our information and posts for years, and know exactly what you’ve been doing, whether you’re on their platforms or not, so part of the mechanism is already there. They can easily remit payment.
We won’t even make payment for previous posts/work performed mandatory. We helped them to build their platforms. All well and good and happy to help, but now the waiter is coming around with the check.
There will be abuses, no doubt – at lease initially – but as Christine Jantz, chief investment officer at Northstar Asset Management, said in a statement during the shareholder’s meeting. “If privacy is a human right then we contend that Facebook’s poor stewardship of user data is tantamount to a human rights violation.”
Oh, and Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends. Let’s not forget those payments as well.
Facebook denied it. But then, why didn’t they disclose the information to Congress? Especially if they were in the process of closing the program down?
Payback is a bitch, and our proposal is one way to correct many problems/social wrongs.
Lest we forget, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan did say that they would donate almost all of their Facebook shares, when daughter Max was born. Although, charity in Silicon Valley isn’t what you’d think, considering that they’re for-profit ventures . According to The Guardian (The trouble with charitable billionaires), “More and more wealthy CEOs are pledging to give away parts of their fortunes – often to help fix problems their companies caused. Some call this ‘philanthrocapitalism’, but is it just corporate hypocrisy?”
According to The Atlantic (The ‘Black Hole’ That Sucks Up Silicon Valley’s Money), “A fast-growing type of charitable account gets big tax breaks but little oversight.” In fact, this is charity in Silicon Valley: Code2040 has a staff of five, who collect a little over a million in salaries. Thank you, Ben Horowitz.
Seems that many in Silicon Valley have more money than they know what to do with. This is potentially a win all around: the hitherto so-called ‘product’ now receive long-overdue payment for their collective services, and these proponents of UBI can now easily implement their plan. In fact, it would be UBI in the truest sense of the word, since both platforms have global reaches, and can remunerate users globally.
Just a thought and at the end of the day, just our two cents.
Onward and forward.