Someone believes cartels are just for drugs here is a link about some of our remedies:
The DOJ can raid them, and states attorney's can file separate suits. Perhaps there is one state government that hasn't succumbed to the corruption.
The lobbyists you mentioned, for example, aren’t like mosquitoes which just show up in DC — companies and industry groups hire them to make sure members of Congress hear their preferences. Some are hired by tech companies, others by their opponents or special interest groups. The tech companies have a ton of money and an enviable reputation as one of the best growth industries for the future so they’ve been very successful at preventing or defanging regulation. That doesn’t mean that people don’t know what’s going on – more commonly, they don’t think it’s a problem, know they don’t have the votes, or have other priorities.
Agreed, and one of the reasons for the failure of policy is the millions of dollars spent by companies like Google and Facebook in lobbying and spreading FUD among politicians and the GP alike.
That said, eventually some remedial laws will have to filter through, as you cannot keep sweeping shit under the carpet and ignoring it forever.
However, that's when the real problems of policing new laws begin, as the long and tortured history of trying to get corporations to comply with laws
repeatedly attests. Cigarette companies deliberately lying and obfuscating the truth about the dangers of cigarettes for decades is a quintessential example.
The only surefire way of resolving this is to simultaneously legislate that company employees are equally liable under the law for a company's violations of the law. This would mean that employees would be in violation of the law if they engaged in or formulated company policies that violated the law or if they learned about such violations and did nothing about them.
In essence, as employees could no longer hide behind corporate structures, self preservation would kick in and to save themselves from possible prosecution they would make the company's wrongdoing public. (There is little doubt that this would be very effective law if penalties were high enough.)
The fact that laws aren't already properly framed in this way shows how successful corporate influence has been on government policy up until now.
If citizens feel sufficiently strongly about this then they'll be politically motivated to do something about it. Personally, I find it very odd that there hasn't been a general call from the citizenry along these lines long ago.
The fact that all past blustering about corporate misbehavior has amounted to essentially nothing and that there has been no change of any significe along these lines to remedy matters tells me that either the general public doesn't really care sufficiently about the issue and or that too many people own shares in corpations and thus have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
Are you talking about the DOJ and many state governments run by people that received donations and support from Google and Facebook?
Let me know when a politician bites the hand that fed them.
So the story isn't quite complete without mentioning: It's mostly the Republican party that has stopped acting in ways that could be considered good for the country. It's gotten so bad they are actively trying to undermine democracy in every imaginable way, including opposing any constraints on campaign donations and even the regular application of the few safeguards left after Citizen United.
Are you suggesting we use their distribution networks to move crack in to the cities, then use the money made to fund illegal interventions in South America?
Seems a bit extreme, i'd say just break them up.
"Michael Cuesta’s movie 'Kill the Messenger' tells the story of Gary Webb, whose August 1996 investigative series “Dark Alliance,” published in the San Jose Mercury News, uncovered ties between the Central Intelligence Agency and massive drug peddling by the right-wing, mercenary Nicaraguan Contras. Webb’s three-part series established that in the 1980s the CIA-backed Contras smuggled cocaine into the US that was widely distributed as crack. The drug profits were then funneled by the CIA to the Contras in their war against the left-nationalist Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
The CIA meet all of their own criteria to be a terrorist organisation.
When did so many on Hacker News become so pathetically fatalistic? I expect this from spoiled teenagers, not hackers of all people.
Alright, lads, we can't rely on the government for this one, how are we going to do it?
Ownership aside isn’t big tech something of an expert workers council?
If there’s literal logistics value to these systems we’ll build them anyway.
Political labels like cartel help politicians sell us on big ownership.
Let’s do novel things literally and ditch figurative political tradition. No more political tradition, no more big corp.
Obviously it can’t happen over night. We could invoke old politics or let big tech takeover the world and let workers takeover big tech as they forget about politics
Sorry, but who are you to speak for the entire world? You may not like facebook and google personally, but it is far streach to think you know to represent one country let alone the whole world.
For one thing, your are not speaking for myself: both google and facebook are some of the best tech I enjoy using every day, and they have and are improving mylife daily. They did not violate my trust in any way.
And for your allegations, can you provide any proof for it? Even out of respect for the community, so here supporting material not just words, in the air is what appreciated the most.
What I don't understand, is how a tendentious hateful post is not downvotes here on HN?
> And for your allegations, can you provide any proof for it?
Read any of the half dozen articles on the front page this morning detailing google’s behavior. Or the links in TFA.
> What I don't understand, is how a tendentious hateful post is not downvotes here on HN?
Turns out that person does speak for a whole lot of people.
So why then speak for the "entire world"? It would be much better phrased if some one wrote: "*in my opinion* the entire world is ... ", even this small addition of "in my opinion" makes for a much more serious discourse, I believe.
From my personal experience, when I check a random sample of some of the accusations against facebook, then they all seem to be a misrepresentation of facebook...
For the last part, I don't think HN is anywhere repesenatative of even the opinion of US, let alone the whole world. So not sure why you decide to mention that a lot of people on HN might agree with the op, what does it contribute to the discussion?
Actually, yes. The reason this is news is because it was recently unredacted from internal Google documents submited to the court:
There has been plenty of proof of illegal (downright malicious) behavior in multiple dimension by big tech (anti competitive, anti privacy, bad security practices, keeping wages low, lying in front of congress, inciting (or at least turning a blind eye on) war, genocide and riots, the list goes on...) and new revelations like these here are showing up nearly daily. Especially in the ad industry incentives are not aligned.
The problem is that fines (which is proof of their illegal actions, since you asked for proof) are always very low - so companies design their actions with that in mind.
Maybe it's an indication that you are so impartial that you equate facebook with drug dealer?
It contends that there was collusion between Google and Facebook to protect their abuses of dominance in the marketplace:
"Google quickly realized that this innovation substantially threatened its exchange’s ability to demand a very large – 19 to 22 percent – cut on all advertising transactions,"
"However, Google secretly made its own exchange win, even when another exchange submitted a higher bid,"
"And as one Google employee explained internally, Google deliberately designed Jedi to avoid competition, and Jedi consequently harmed publishers. In Google’s words, the Jedi program 'generates suboptimal yields for publishers and serious risks of negative media coverage if exposed externally.'"
"For example, Google and Facebook have integrated their software development kits (SDKs) so that Google can pass Facebook data for user ID cookie matching," the amended complaint says. "They also coordinated with each other to harm publishers through the adoption of Unified Pricing rules…"
Maybe Google could say they are including quality & spam in their winning bid selection instead of only highest price.
Also conversion optimized bidding messes things up/more complicated the highest CPM might not be the best or most profitable ad for them to clear (another problem when they own all sides of the transaction).
FB for instance say they take ad quality, engagement, & predicted user behaviors into account when choosing winning ads not just price - which is also transparent..
Another thing is publishers can usually set floors and optimize for specific bid sources, like newssite.com could let their IOs win bids until it's filled even at a lower CPM.
Or also clear rates, like maybe an SSP bids $100 but it doesn't go through/get paid?
Every advertiser auction selects the winning bid on a combination of the bid price per click as well as the quality of the ad because per-click payment means they want to optimize for the highest expected revenue - if nobody clicks on your shitty ad, Google makes less.
Then there's the added little bit around optimizing for secondary objectives like user engagement so that you don't kill the golden goose by running shocking/negative but highly clicked ads.
I actually don't think the system is "incomprehensibly complicated," but it is opaque.
I have never worked at google or done anything close to the scale or complexity of building galactic sized RTB networks, but from their papers and the couple people I've talked to they put insanely impressive work into the beast. I'm sure there are all kinds of auction dynamics that I can't even imagine just because of their scale.
Horizontal management transfers don't have that.
Lol I guess that employee missed the training where they tell you not to put this stuff in writing.
People would rightly scream if NYSE was owned and operated by a cabal, playing both sides of every transaction.
One pillar of open markets is clear division of responsibilities. To prevent this kind of market manipulation.
No conflicts of interest. No competing with your own customers. No hiding important economic (market) activity.
I would make a slightly smaller claim. Google Search should still be able to operate adwords, but they shouldn't simultaneously be able to operate the marketplace.
Similarly, I don't think Amazon ought to be able to operate a marketplace as well as selling Amazon branded goods.
There is a long precedence for that though. Companies like Walmart and countless other retailers have been doing that for decades.
That said I would mind it being outlawed.
Is it fair to ask some other ad exchanges to run ads on NYTimes or CNN, Fox news?
I don't see your point. There are millions of ads currently sold on existing exchanges by third parties, why are you claiming it can't scale?
> Is it fair to ask some other ad exchanges to run ads on NYTimes or CNN, Fox news?
I don't understand your point. None of those news organizations operate an ads exchange.
How do we make it happen?
People who think the tech giants maintain their dominance via patents are 60 years behind the times. It's network effect plus some outright illegality like this.
No matter your views on Google, Apple or Facebook, the issue here is nefarious practices predicated on the implied right for these companies to make money from you by polluting your internet experience with injected, paid for, content.
I'll play devil's advocate for a second and say that "not all advertising is bad", but the fact that this even reached court should tell you what the companies involved care about.
We really need to regulate online advertising. My personal opinion is that we should eradicate it and let the cards fall where they will, but that's unpopular and unrealistic for many valid reasons.
I also would like to see some changes but this seems like a case of Google actively trying to be evil. They architected their systems to choose their exchange, even if another exchange had a higher bid, and then lied to ad publishers about the practice, along with fully acknowledging it in writing! How much more self-aware could you be? How could people, in good conscience, work for a place like that?
The only effective punishment for those is to calculate how much they gained from it, calculate all profits that resulted from those gains, subtract all that from them, and then apply some huge fines as well in order to leave them in an even worse position than they started. Basically reset the company to the position it was in before this move, and then make that position worse. Like rewinding a chess game but they also lose a rook or something as punishment for their audacity.
This should serve as an example for other companies not to behave in the same way.
From a practical (and economic/game-theoretic) perspective, you need to insert a risk adjustment (by which I mean, if their odds of being caught were 50%, you need to divide the fine by 0.5) and a net-present-value adjustment (if an additional dollar earned at the time of the violation is worth 80 cents at the future time of the judgment, divide the amount by 0.8) prior to the calculation of profits and the addition of punitive fines to be truly effective.
1. True justice would have been 100% chance of them getting caught. Since it was not 100%, it means they took advantage of some inefficiency in the system in order to get away with it. They should be punished for this disrespect through bigger fines. The less risk there was to them, the bigger the fine.
2. They earned dollars years ago. Today's dollars are worth far less. Therefore the fine, calculated based on that year's profits, must be adjusted upwards to compensate. Just like their profits must be adjusted upwards for inflation in order to make sense of their value in terms of today's dollars.
To be clear, net-present-value is the bird-in-the-hand principle. A dollar now is worth more to you than a future dollar, EVEN IF YOU ASSUME NO INFLATION.
I'm not trying to be universally damning, and I respect Apple's actions in relation to this, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a battle between powers that don't have our individual interests in mind. This is a battle of mind-share.
Overstated a little, don’t you think? What about opioid addiction? Sedentary lifestyle with poor diet? Cost of health care and education? Racism? Should I go on?
Yes, those are real problems. How's that got anything to do with our digital lives though? That's what I meant by technological society. I could probably have expressed myself better.
What I mean is the internet used to be a lot better and advertising is responsible for making it worse. All of the abuses we suffer today on the internet, especially our lack of privacy, are caused by advertisers and their insatiable need for our attention.
If we ban advertising altogether, we're gonna be in a worse situation with many people not getting access to news.
Ban awful advertising practices especially by big tech companies, not advertising itself
Informed? You mean manipulated, right? Watching open television makes me physically sick because of the constant agenda pushing. I can't watch 5 minutes of news without some person imposing their moral judgements on me and telling me what's right and wrong. It's made even worse by all the advertising, the open networks get the bulk of it.
If banning advertisers kills these networks, we'd be doing humanity a favor. Facebook's election manipulation and clickbait news articles have got nothing on these folks.
Advertising is a universal scourge, in my book. I don't care what form it's in. It's a manipulative intrusion and a pollutant. I'd legitimately rather you mine cryptocurrency on my machine than mine advertising photons on my retina.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine
It was also compelled speech by the government which plainly violated the first amendment.
You can really see someone's ideals in what they do under pressure, and apparently people's liberal ideals of free speech etc aren't very strongly held.
The question is if there is any cure that doesn't destroy legitimate political speech.
(Illegitimate speech being the calculated, coordinated distribution of false information).
You're presuming that TV and news media never lied to the public before the end of the fairness doctrine, and the giving equal time didn't give undue weight to some bullshit ideas.
The controlled messaging around the war in Vietnam is a great counter point here.
I see your point but don't think it's an infinitely slippery slope.
In real life, people don't have labels floating above their heads saying 'Liar', and statements don't have labels saying 'Known' or 'Malicious'. Someone, or some group, or some process, needs to decide what is true and what false, who is benign and who malign, and so forth.
And now that I've guided you to this point, I hope I don't need to explain where things can go wrong from there.
We'll have to agree to disagree for the time being. There are things known as facts, and things known as lies.
Again, I'm not saying we should jump to any particular solution to misinformation, but I refuse to watch it happen and say "I immediately know there is nothing we can do".
Yes, I understand that. But if you want to give the state the power to ban speech (or 'throttle' speech, whatever that means) then you need to give someone the power to determine which speech falls into that category. Please... do you really not see this problem, after so many people have explained it?
Throttle, by the way, would be something like Facebook not quite banning a topic, but limiting how many times it can be shared per unit time, or by how many people, or how much a particular account can share things, and so on. Not a ban, but a limit on speech via its velocity.
Just to hammer it home: I get the danger. What if the former president, or what if the head of some far-left student group at Yale, got to determine what is legitimate speech or not? Yes, I get it.
But there is a lot of options on the slider between "let all broadcasts continue without challenge" and "have the central committee delete all non-approved govthink".
The problem is that the slope isn’t slippery until someone in power decides to abuse it, then there’s no footing left at all.
There another often overlooked point here. When you cede the ground that there exists speech that should be sanctioned by the state, you are giving a powerful argument to people who stand against pluralism. The troglodytes who shot up the Charlie Hebdo office specifically accused the writers of hate speech. We shouldn’t give ground to people like that. Even abhorrent speech must be free from government sanction or else we allow for state violence to be used to suppress free expression. When we open that door, all manner of vile creatures might push there way through. Within the broad expanse of human beliefs everyone is a heretic open blasphemer to someone.
Down here in Texas, we have a law where teachers have to teach both sides of controversial subjects. So, of course, someone is teaching both sides of The Holocaust.
Because it is controversial. And that is the law.
I am reasonably certain that in the aftermath of Charlottesville we arrived, as a result of extensive public soul-searching, at the nuanced and bi-partisan conclusion that Nazis are Bad, so I am not sure where the controversy lies.
But I get that most children won’t do this, so overall, yeah, it seems like a terrible law.
Ultimately, it comes down to what TX defines as “controversial.” Is this interpretation (teach Holocaust denial) legal or is it some rogue teacher who decided it means they get to teach whatever they want because all their opinions make their family angry at Thanksgiving dinner?
Killing mass media is a favor to these people. They would remain ignorant but at least they would not suffer the indignity of being manipulated, herded like cattle.
The point of regulation is to, ideally, force societal institutions to adhere to set of rules. The point of government should be to make sure these rules are unbiased, based in fact, and equally applied to all sectors of society.
It's a crazy dream. I don't know a single country in the world that gets this right, but certain individual countries get different elements of the equation right, so my hope is not yet in tatters.
Yes. And they achieve this through advertising too.
Sprayed willy-nilly over the population, driving us insane. Propagating down the generations, driving our grandchildren insane.
Contagious memetic cancer.
Like an hour ago I was writing a post and reached the conlusion advertising is mind rape.
I've also often thought advertising are like military psychological operations except run by civilians.
I should probably start keeping track of these analogies...
And then they use their botnet against the actually useful targets, which aren't the wedge issues like trans people in toilets, but rather the tax breaks, going to war, electing biddable politicians, etc. Fox's viewership is one of the most potent and malign botnets in the world. It's quite a relevant metaphor, really.
I wonder if we can draw even more parallels. What other conclusions we can reach?
They freak out (having read about this ancient evil called "advertising" in their history books). Afraid that even looking at it will infect them with memetic plague.
They carefully look away from the soda can while burning it to ash with a laser.
> Sometimes, and often in a pejorative sense, it may refer to the theory that the end of capitalism should be brought about by its acceleration.
Huh. I certainly believe in this. I think capitalism will end itself by automating everything and depriving people of disposable income with which to consume. We'll end up either in a post scarcity society like Star Trek or a cyberpunk dystopia with corporations making artificially scarce goods for the sake of the status quo. The latter is looking more and more likely...
Had no idea people with similar ideas existed. It's nice to discover I'm not alone.
you won't get anything out of the introductory texts of accelerationism, and a lot of the more famous politics of people who take on the mantle of accelerationism are really just crude and uninteresting justifications for (often distasteful) pre-existing ideology. there are a lot of people who embrace that "should" you quoted with a bit of bloodthirst, they fail to approach acceleration as descriptive/analytical rather than an ideological -ism, and then disappointingly apply the -ism to whatever cruel bullshit they were already thinking.
what's interesting, to me at least, is the willingness to think about superstructure and culture as a techno/memetic hyper-ecosystem, really integrating psychology and sociology into political thought, and providing an analysis that works on a continuum through history.
i haven't seen anyone say or do anything useful with it yet, but it's there, and it's not anywhere else.
The most likely outcome is a post-scarcity world for the owners of the companies and automation that make goods. We, and all of our descendants, would have starved to death long before that since we aren't needed anymore to generate goods or wealth.
Now, this is pure anecdotal but every result I found on DDG was from a company that either advertises, consults about SEO/ads, is Google, or otherwise part of the ad scumbaggery somewhere in the chain.
The thing that got me was they all said ads are brilliant (I know, odd, isn't it?). They all had click through figures ranging from a few percent to 35%. Are you kidding me? A third of people click on ads?
I couldn't find anything that said ads are shit or dangerous or even anything vaguely negative.
Now, I don't see ads. Ever. I have UBlock Origin and privacy badger and other settings to prevent them from showing on my screen but the odd time I setup a PC and have to open a gaping browser, it's such an assault on the senses.
I've asked on here before but is there somewhere out there in the internet that I can see unbiased research on ads. Something! Anything at all?
> the odd time I setup a PC and have to open a gaping browser, it's such an assault on the senses
Oh god I know exactly what you mean. I install uBlock Origin as soon as humanly possible but that short window of time before it's done is such a bad experience.
I firmly believe this. However, I try to be more objective these days and even if I hate/disagree with something I still like to find some objective facts/data about things to see stuff from other perspectives.
Even if I find research that says everyone on earth likes ads except me, I won't change my personal stance on them.
Edit: forgot to add that by lying, I was referring more to the click rates and returns and whatnot, rather than the claims of the products that are advertised.
You're right -- it's nothing like 30%, except for maybe some extremes, e.g. "mesothelioma" where the user really wanted that information.
A few percent.
Is this possible? If you are stating from the go that you do not trust the numbers so you are doing your own study, isn't that a bias already?
I want something from, say, The German Institute of Being Really Honest, who are government-funded perhaps... a few studies from entities who don't have a dog in the fight is all I'm after.
If their conclusion is that people are happier with ads then so be it... I'm happy without them, that's for sure.
Why can’t you believe some ads have a clickthrough of 35%? You never see ads so you don’t know how good they can be, right?
Also, you see ads all the time on HN. This whole site is a marketing/advertising campaign for a VC company.
Personally. I love to buy stuff and I love to click on ads for things I might want to buy.
Ads come with tracking now... that needs to die immediately!
And I'm not talking about sites like HN: I know who owns it but they're not actively forcing me to watch some claim that "This thing will stop you being an ugly bastard and make women throw themselves at you"...
In fact, UBlock Origin shows nothing on this site.
That’s the very best kind of advertising. The kind that has fooled you into thinking it’s not there.
Every site has logs. They can all see where I've been, what I've looked at, how long I looked at it and so on. I get that part. I'm a developer. I build that stuff myself.
However, I need to draw the line somewhere and using UBlock Origin and never ever seeing an on-page advertisement AND minimising all tracking is the threat-model I'm targetting. And, I'd reckon that most people who care about privacy would stop about there too.
With HN, there are no distractions on the screen. Nothing flashing or moving or asking me to sign up or anything... that's what I am trying to prevent.
In any case, lets say I could stop everything and still let the text on a web page through on my browser... just the text, nothing else: we've seen in the past how even that is a signal that can be tracked.
We can't stop it completely but I feel that I'm doing my bit to make it less effective and hopefully, eventually, pointless.
You're really understating the problem here. It's not injected content, or paid for content that's really a problem. It's that state of the art social engineering has been used to create platforms in which the ability to manipulate people and their attention, beliefs and behaviors is sold at scale.
I personally would still mostly use the free ad-supported version.
How would regulation work here? I'm relying on Sponsorblock for now, but that doesn't work on Chromecast.
Youtube is a great example of that. I see post after post of people here bragging about using ad blockers on Youtube -- rather than pay. Nevermind that the creators on Youtube get screwed by this behavior. Most people on HN can afford to pay the monthly fee (easily!) But somehow they think ad blocking is more "moral".
It's ads or subscription fees or all these services go away. Pick one.
They'll just stop showing you ads, which we can accomplish for free via an adblocker. Many people are willing to pay a premium for actual privacy (see: Apple)
I suppose you could watch Youtube in a new incognito window for every session. But I doubt that is what most ad-blockers-users are doing.
Does that bother you any more or less than Youtube?
This greed? would probably lead them to ruins.
- humanity is really, really, terribly bad at the kind of large-scale practical cohesion needed to actually go "okay we fix" and actually follow through, for as many dimensions as have developed over the past 100 years
- the only collective impetus that would scale to this sort of challenge would basically amount to a cult-following phenomena (see also: world history full of inexplicable mass deaths and rituals and whatnot that make no sense, and also generally suboptimal religious practices, as a result of cults).
IMO, humanity's ability to keep up with itself and chip/computer complexity kind of dovetail a bit: things were pretty hazy (ahem, okay, academic) in the 40s-50s, academic/industrial in the 60s-70s, reached a peak of industrial design/practicality around the 80s-90s, and basically "exploded in complexity" from the 90s on. Except things didn't really explode in complexity, they just exceeded our ability to "think small" and execute at the same time.
Looking at the Web, I remember reading an article recently that talked about how the Web standards (HTML5 (incl. video/image format support, network I/O, etc), JS (incl. "web stdlib"), CSS (incl. animation), SVG (incl. kitchen sink), etc etc (incl. etc)) are basically tens of thousands of pages long in total, and exceed the complexity of every other protocol, technical standard, file format, architecture specification, etc - in the world, possibly combined. The article made a point of comparison with the 3G cellular protocol being much simpler than the current Web.
And this is being paid for by... advertising.
Chrome is basically a technology that has the "implementation commitment", if you will (it's massive, it has the R&D pedal to the floor, it's constantly refactoring, it continuously pays out massive bug bounties, etc) of something too big to fail...
...all the while it's funded by, IMHO, what amounts to a really big tech bubble.
It's like, how will it crash? Something has never gotten this big before... and something has never gotten this big without anyone realizing, in particular. Chrome is just like, yeah, duh, it replaced the telephone ("my telephone exists to run Chrome"). It's a standard utility. Of course it isn't going anywhere.
Will it somehow become like a broken telephone pole held up by the wires it's supposed to be supporting (https://old.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/3umd5d/buddy_of_mine_..., https://igorpodgorny.livejournal.com/177105.html)? Will we all end up going back to proprietary clients a la AOL and CompuServe? Will the massive 100-to-0 in infosec investment suddenly mean hacks go through the roof 100x?
It probably won't be the end of the world, since the Web is basically just a re-API-ification of desktop OSes, and apps on mobile OSes have enough traction to be a viable escape.
IMHO, buying/using reusable shopping bags, or only using bamboo or metal straws, or buying a zero-emissions car, have much the same amount of impact as deliberately watching ads.
There is absolutely no action you can take, including paying for services, that will match the trillion-dollar advertising industry.
Nothing at all, not even if you were to become a billionaire. That is the problem of advertising.
Consider the above a sort of "what if" / "is this right? how close is this?" / thought experiment, presented as though it were fact. (I tend to pose ideas to myself in this style, which I think is probably fairly common, but given the "people writing as though they're right on the internet" thing it seems useful to add something like this.)
I think the only thing I can ask you to consider is that, despite how bad fossil fuel use is, and despite how bad we've fucked up the environment using it, no-one can claim it wasn't actually useful (wasteful, short-sighted, wrong, polluting, possibly apocalyptic, whatever, but still physically useful).
Advertising isn't useful. It could be considered a perfectly renewable resource! It'll be viable as long as humans are around! Yay!, but it's not useful. It's actually actively harmful. The primary, secondary and residual effects of advertising could be summed and tallied and they would be shown to be a net negative. Those who are on the positive side of the calculation will have you look at their gains and swoon, but the negatives far outweigh the positives.
It's a fundamentally different question to dealing with global warming because global warming has externalities that we can't immediately control. Advertising has externalities that, given the chance, we could nullify within a generation, if not faster.
Companies are not people. Their speech should be fully regulated.
That is one bizarre definition for the word "fraud".
I've tried advocating for Satan in that way as well ... but could honestly find no compelling points with which to argue the case. It always boiled down to enabling one party to get money from another party irrespective of the one's party need for or ability to afford said product.
When aggregate demand is weak, people spend lots of money to try to redirect that demand towards them, when demand is strong people are too busy fulfilling orders to waste money on demand.
Crank up the fiscal policy and reduce working hours, and banning ads will be a lot more politically feasible than it is today.
I pay for YouTube to not advertise at me, and I'm a Patreon. I happily pay AWS and GCE costs. I pay for streaming services and other random hosted services.
I'd love to have an advertising free option for search engines (Yes, I use DDG), Reddit, Twitter etc.
I'd also like it if any news services I subscribed to removed advertising on any articles I accessed, but this still seems like it hasn't settled into their mindset, so I'm still hesitant on this particular front.
I'd also happily subsidise other people's access to these sites. I'm a regular donator to Wikipedia, and I've funded archive.org . I want people to have these resources. I Just don't want them to be advertised at when they access these resources.
Why? I see no reason for that, it would just lock out most people in the world from these products.
if we really want to inject fairness and competition into the ad business, we must accept that the quest for money, and all that it represents, is the driving force behind these kinds of behaviors, and that the only effective means of curtailing them is to ultimately rein in the drive for money (not simplistically to limit advertising).
both money and ads are useful tools in context, which also means in moderation. money is an overly simplistic metric poorly correlated to what we all want, which is human worth: to be loved, respected, esteemed, and included. having been gamed for so long, it now represents, and correlates with, our vices more than worth. we need to get beyond money as this simplistic on-size-fits-all metric for human worth.
To me it's a mistake to think "we" here. You or me will never make any online advertising regulations.
Making regulations is a political process, and the outcome will be determined by those with political power.
So the question is if you want them to regulate online advertising?
As soon as you're paid to inform me about a product, and you subjectively promote that product's virtues over their competitor's virtues, you've become at best untrustworthy, and at worst manipulative. You may be correct in your statements, but, because you gain financially from those statements, you can't be 100% trusted.
This is just the way of the world. I'm sorry you may feel otherwise.
Turns out we only want to ban the ads we don’t like.
EDIT: HN is run by a venture capital company. The hosting of HN almost certainly costs a tiny fraction of the profits of said company. Their advertising is minimal, and I'm sure the return on said advertising is minimal compared to the benefit of just running the site. @dang can correct me if this is wrong.
Either way, HN is not, as far as I can see, an advertising funded site. It has financial benefit to YC in other ways.
Being entirely anti-ad is an acceptable position to hold, and I don’t really disagree, though it feels a bit of a cheap shot to single out HN like this.
Yep. Hence the comparison to mercury tilt switches.
> it feels a bit of a cheap shot to single out HN like this
You can be fooled into believing HN is not advertising because you like it, but that doesn’t change what this site truly is.
You're also wrong about why HN exists. pg created it for a bunch of reasons. Some had nothing at all to do with YC (e.g. wanting interesting things to read, once Reddit stopped being that for him; and wanting to make a web app in Arc) and others did. All of those reasons are still alive today, so your interpretation is much too reductionist.
It's true there are job ads for YC startups, and Launch HN threads for YC startups get placed on the front page (this is all in https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html). I'd like to hear what you think we should do instead. Surely you don't think HN should give nothing back to YC in exchange for funding it?
You’ve got a passionate community of rich/technically skilled people who claim to hate ads falling over themselves to explain why this site is somehow different.
Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s more the cognitive dissonance of the commenters here who proudly announce, “I never see any ads” and “ads have no effect on me” that I find funny.