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The real problem, of course, is that the Internet today consists almost exclusively of private companies profiting from other people's content. Twitter doesn't pay its users, it makes money off their tweets AND by having them look at ads (yes, this is work). Similarly with Facebook, or with any review aggregator (Yelp, Amazon, Google+), monetizing the free labor of others.

The DMCA protects certain forms of property very jealously, but other forms (e.g. a review) aren't even recognized as property, and the idea of users being appropriately compensated (as we'd expect each nickel to be accounted for a song owned by EMI) is practically absurd. (Note that I do not want the world where we monetize everything)

At the end of the day, which forms of digital property we create and enforce are going to be what determines who can amass wealth - the existing regime was obviously set in place to benefit corporations, billionaires, not joe user.

Some people seem to be downvoting you because they disagree with your view point.

I'm not sure I agree with you but your views are valid and a positive contribution to this thread. Just want to call out that I'm a bit disappointed with the rest of the community for targeting you.

That's very common here. I'll usually have it in waves: I post on internets state, some criticism, sysadmins take a lunch break and my post is voted up, then front end guys go out for a coffee and that's reverted, when startup founders start midnight hacking it's flagged etc. :) this is annoying, though I do understand that the comments that one disagree seem more likely to be spammish to them, and that this instinct is hard to overcome.

Twitter exists as a platform that allows politicians, entertainers, businesses and more communicate more quickly and cheaply with people interested in them than ever before. The profit a user gets out of Twitter depends on what is put into it.

What you're describing as profit is a diffuse social value, public discourse, not a narrowly-defined piece of property that can be monetized and sold (views/impressions/clicks).

I would like to suggest out that the latter is a heavily-defended form of property (belonging to the platform, not the user who does the work of viewing/clicking) that is monetized into the billions, while the former does not directly, probably just because it cannot be defined by terms of contract, and would be exercised on behalf of users, a diffuse unorganized source of power, and not the corporation, a narrow, organized source of power with specific intent.

We might despise users for not having their shit together, and watch happily while large corporations cart off billions and build giant systems of surveillance to further probe us, but this sort of 'vae victis' attitude is I think why 2016 is the debacle that it is.

Twitter isn't profiting off their users, or at all for that matter.

Twitter has a market cap of $13 billion mostly because of content produced by its users. The only possible way it can make money is by showing ads to users (getting them to do free labor).

The joke was that Twitter isn't profitable.

What does profit have to do with market cap.?

It is really strange to me to see this comment downvoted without anyone giving a justification.

I didn't down vote you because I don't agree with anonymously down voting people when I disagree with a comment like a sneaky coward, but maybe I can shine a little light on a possible disagreement.

Twitter is made up of it's shareholders and workers. The workers have been receiving a salary(profit essentially). Twitter shareholders make money when the market cap goes up(profit essentially). It's likely a semantics discussion about what "profit" specifically means to each person more than anything.

Um, that's a semantics discussion, I guess, but one with a clearly right and wrong answer.

It's likely a semantics discussion about what "profit" specifically means to each person

Fortunately, profit isn't defined so subjectively when talking about a corporation.

It can also make some money by selling data.

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