It's Your Data: Why Facebook Should Pay You
Facebook is seeking to raise $5 billion in cash by becoming a publicly traded company. But that money would not exist without your personal data. So do you deserve a cut?
What's the Latest Development?
Facebook is seeking to raise $5 billion in cash by becoming a publicly traded company, an action the social networking firm is expected to take by this spring. Over 70 percent of the company's profits currently come from advertising revenue, which is tailored to match your tastes thanks to all the personal data you supply Facebook. And how nice of you to offer it all for free. Facebook, which could be valued as much as $100 billion after its IPO, would not be anywhere without its 800 million users, of which you are likely one. Do you deserve a cut?
What's the Big Idea?
What makes Facebook different than other businesses which profit from their customers' contributions, such as cafés that attract customers by allowing patrons to linger? Cafés don't solicit personal information to sell to advertisers. Facebook's value comes entirely from its users and as revenue streams flow directly to the relatively few people who work at the company, society 'distorts and divides', says Jaron Lanier, an 'innovator in residence' at the University of Southern CA. He proposes a two-way revenue stream that benefits customers.
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
- Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
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