Here’s what I thought when seeing this young billionaire kid trying to explain Facebook (I’d say “the new world” at large) to US senators.
It is clear that the steps for state bodies all over the globe to have an at-least-partial control over the online world should’ve been taken a while ago. For years, politicians have underestimated the relevance of a net which de facto overtakes the cornerstones of statal power themselves, such as citizenship, languages, borders; now they are realising they are late, and don’t know how to behave. It’s like observing two-hundreds-years-old fervent colonialists confronted with the modern equal rights movement: they just won’t understand will they. Not their fault, either.
Truth is entities such as Facebook, Google, Amazon at al., they should be born in public environment in the first place, at least partly, just like the school system, the army, the healthcare apparatus. What happens when the military is run by privates?
The states are slow to embrace the change, because entirely controlled by the old generation. Period.
They are struggling to run back to a position of advantage, but will fail because lacking the capability to understand what unfolds before their eyes, a completely revolutionised world.
It will take fifty more years, and the substitution of a whole generation, for states to be able to face conflicts such as this one; indeed, by then technology will have asked new questions, and it will be my generation’s turn to be the old slow one, fighting for our right to express ourselves.