Via n+1, Benjamin Kunkle argues that social media mega-sites need to be turned into public utilities so as to save us all:
On November 6, Twitter went public, in the private sense. Twitter shares appear ludicrously overpriced. As John Cassidy of the New Yorker calculated, “Investors were paying forty-nine dollars per dollar of revenues, and five hundred and forty-one dollars per dollar of cash flow.” But large for-profit social-media services are contradictory entities at any price, because they attempt to profit from activity that, precisely because it is social, is basically non-economic and non-productive.
The IPOs of Facebook and Twitter should therefore be reversed, through the socialization of both companies and other social-media services that attain a similar scale. The time has come, in other words, to socialize social media.
Social media should be socialized because services tend to be or become monopolies. Large social media companies—Facebook, Twitter—tend to lack competitors, for the simple reason that their platforms are not compatible.