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Media and Content

The easy availability of information on the Internet may lead to the commoditization of content. However, if content is free or low cost, it may be difficult for those who produce it (like journalists) to earn a living. Economists and other scholars examine this tension and suggest various solutions.

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Quotes

Leaks Just Exposed How Toxic Facebook and Instagram Are to Teen Girls and, Well, Everyone

“In short, the problem with Facebook is Facebook.” — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Modern Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The Guardian
September 18, 2021

Texas Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting Social Media Giants from Blocking Users Based on Viewpoint

“Even if it’s struck down, it’s a symptom of a much bigger structural problem we have in the country that politicians think this is how they should be spending their time.” — Eric Goldman, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University


Eric Goldman
Source: The Washington Post
September 9, 2021

Lawmakers, Taking Aim at Big Tech, Push Sweeping Overhaul of Antitrust

“This is a reaction to the fact that our antitrust laws have been construed so narrowly by the Supreme Court. Because of this problem, it is very appropriate for Congress to be stepping in to prohibit and determine what’s bad and what’s good for markets.” — Eleanor M. Fox, Professor of Law, New York University
Eleanor Fox
Source: The New York Times
June 11, 2021

How Websites Use "Dark Patterns" to Manipulate You

“This is a classic obstruction dark pattern — we're making it a little bit more painful, we're sucking up a little bit of their free time if they want to say no.” — Lior Strahilevitz , Professor of Law, University of Chicago


Lior Strahilevitz
Source: CBS News
May 14, 2021

Can the FTC Stop the Tech Industry’s Use of ‘Dark Patterns’?

“There’s no backlash for companies that employ these techniques, if our results are externally valid. They can employ just a couple of dark patterns and get away with it.” — Lior Strahilevitz, Professor of Law, University of Chicago
Lior Strahilevitz
Source: Fast Company
May 6, 2021

Snapchat Can Be Sued Over Role In Fatal Car Crash, Court Rules

“I don't think that this opinion actually will open up the Pandora's Box of saying, 'You can sue a website for how it's designed under all circumstances” — Eric Goldman, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University


Eric Goldman
Source: NPR: Technology
May 4, 2021

Stopping the Manipulation Machines

“Everyone is frustrated with dark patterns. Companies are taking a calculated risk that they won’t get caught doing deceptive things because there is no consistent enforcement mechanism for this.” — Lior Strahilevitz, Professor of Law, University of Chicago
Lior Strahilevitz
Source: The New York Times
April 30, 2021

Facebook Ends Ban on Political Advertising

“When you ban all campaign ads on the most accessible and affordable platform out there, you tilt the balance toward the candidates who can afford radio and television.” — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The New York Times
March 6, 2021

A Leading Critic of Big Tech Will Join the White House

“Extreme economic concentration yields gross inequality and material suffering, feeding the appetite for nationalistic and extremist leadership.”  — Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University
Tim Wu
Source: The New York Times
March 5, 2021

Biden Adds Big Tech Critic Tim Wu to his Economic Staff

“I think breakups or undoing of mergers are actually called for more than we have appreciated in the last few decades.” — Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University
Tim Wu
Source: Reuters
March 5, 2021
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TAP Blog

Matthew Gentzkow’s Study on Facebook: What’s Not to Like?

Stanford economist Matthew Gentzkow presents his findings that deactivating Facebook leaves people less informed but happier.

TAP Staff Blogger

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Featured Article

A Global System of Work, A Global System of Regulation?: Crowdwork and Conflicts of Law

Digital platforms that post tasks for completion by online workers are popular world-wide. Courts must consider how local labor laws should be applied to remote workers and platforms based in other nations.

By: Miriam A. Cherry