Reply to post: Re: @ Big John

FCC: Oh no, deary me. What a shame. Too bad, so sad we can't do net neutrality appeal during the US govt shutdown


Re: @ Big John

Yes... I would probably write corporations will "nearly always" act against the public good in order to maximize profits, not "usually". But good point: there are some corporations which have actually behaved well in that respect.

But: "In fact, isn't this sort of public shaming of corporations a primary tool of politics because it IS so effective?"

It isn't effective. Tobacco smoking and lung cancer were linked by the late 1950s. Remember when Philip Morris finally admitted that tobacco smoking can cause cancer? October 3, 1999. Of course the public shaming involved -- being shown to be promoting a product which kills human beings -- caused them to stop advertising cigarettes.


Wherever it is legal to do so, Philip Morris continues, in 2019, to advertise cancer sticks. Even next to schools and in youth venues.

And repeated public shaming has certainly caused Facebook to stop gathering and selling user's data, hasn't it?

Again: Not!

Public shaming doesn't stand a chance against the lure of profit.

Even laws have a hard time of it. Corporations often evade regulation in order to increase profits. You'll recall that the the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement and the Coast Guard compiled a report on the Deep Horizon oil spill, and found that BP had broken seven separate regulations which should have prevented or mitigated the disaster. Complying with safety and hazard-mitigation regulations already in place would have cost BP money. And so they didn't.

Now, whether an ISP should profit from throttling customer traffic for Hulu and greasing the speeds for Netflix, because Netflix coughed up the proper protection money, is less about public safety than was Union Carbide's failures at Bhopal. "Public good" is a moving target. Once it was about rural electrification, and then about interstate highways. Maybe it is now about the internet?

Whatever. I use very little bandwidth, and it amuses me to imagine Comcast as Doug Dinsdale -- "Noice streaming movie sarvice ya got thur, be a shame if it got throttled or sumpin'..."

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