The convergence of forces, the recently disclosed use of the social media platform to promote the interest of foreign entities coupled with the self righteous statements of Silicon Valley that they are merely conduits in the information age, could be leading to the creation of one of the most significant regulatory programs in recent US history– regulation of the social media.
If history repeats itself, in lieu of a balanced program which allows the social media to continue to grow as a important component of the US economy, it is likely that there will be an overreaction which could dampen its prospects in the long run. On the other hand the vast constituency of the social media could hamper any such regulatory initiatives as is the case with Uber.
Given the fact that it is difficult to get legislation passed coupled with the distaste of the incumbent Administration for the social media, it is likely that any forthcoming regulation will take place as a result of Executive Orders and related administrative actions. Options at hand include government oversight of self-regulation by the social media as well as the initiation of civil and criminal enforcement actions.
It should be noted that any and all of the aforementioned administrative actions must comply with the “good-government” laws which regulate the regulators, including the Data Quality Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act and Executive Order 12866.
Notwithstanding all of the above, the debate has just begun.
Editor’s Note: It is by coincidence that this post is on Friday the 13th.