The World Is Relying On The Virtue Of Mark Zuckerberg To Protect Us From Facebook

"Facebook is going to try to be a monopoly, why would it not?" asks Columbia University law professor and information monopoly expert Tim Wu. "Fortunately, it's a monopoly of social networking. It's not like it's bread or something."


But the potential for Facebook to have the world's monopoly on social networking is not trivial, concedes Wu. It will, after all, be the world's largest repository for personal data, as well as the world's largest digital phone book.

According to Wu, there are three entities that can regulate Facebook—and anything else for that matter: government can regulate from the top down, consumers can revolt from the bottom up, and the company leaders can regulate themselves by choosing to be virtuous.

"That's why Google hasn't been broken up," says Wu. "They have not been evil. That, and they don't know nearly as much about you."

When asked whether it Facebook seems like the kind of company that will engage in rigorous self-regulation, Wu was skeptical. "It doesn't look that promising," he says.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

In U.S. first, drug company faces criminal charges for distributing opioids

It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.

George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
  • It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
  • Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less

Calling out Cersei Lannister: Elizabeth Warren reviews Game of Thrones

The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.

Photo credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
  • Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
  • Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
Keep reading Show less