Pressure from the European Commission on social networks - especially Facebook - due to the regulation of its content is large. In response, at least Facebook set up its own self-regulatory mechanisms to meet EU requirements. Trying to direct Facebook from a position of power to manage its content, some Czech politicians also have - all this effort, no matter what level of government it initiates, is dangerous. It is not about freedom of speech, it is about violating the legal environment, property rights, space for investment and much more - it is about violating the principle of ownership.
Ownership is the basis of freedom
Private property is extremely important in the free world - owning means (among other things) a possibility to decide. Decide on things that belong to me, decide on my own life, future and consequences.
Ownership is in a way translating imaginary "freedom" into everyday practice. Infringement of property rights is thus always a fundamental threat to freedom.
Ownership as the management of a liberal society
Ownership shows responsibility - who is to blame? Who to bother with, who has something to take care of, who to turn to with what? Who owns what?
We do not have the answer to these questions unless we have clearly defined and guaranteed property rights. Each of their disturbances from the position of power - for example, to dictate how a social network operated by a private company should work - answers these questions. not significant.
Should I blame Facebook for blocking me when it is requested by the EU? Should I "appeal" to Facebook or the EU institutions? If Facebook harms me in my business on the basis of Eurotlak, should I demand compensation from Facebook or from the EU?
If the EU in some way directly or indirectly dictates to Facebook what content it should not tolerate on its social network, the owners of Facebook are not its real owners and they are not the ones we can charge for possible damage. So should we cover the "EU"? But who is the "EU"? Is that Juncker? Is it the EU Parliament? Where is he? last responsible?
And should the new team be responsible for the decisions of its predecessors after the elections? Why should she?
In any organization that is created on the basis of voluntary agreements (associations, companies and others), if there is a similar division of responsibilities, there will be a situation where no one is responsible for anything, no one is doing anything, no one is responsible for anything - and such an organization is certainly not successful. Clear vLimitation of responsibilities is the basis of good management - and the management of a free society is precisely property rights. It is precisely property rights that show us clear responsibilities.
The regulation of "Facebook" then has an impact on the perception of property rights in whole society - most u nearest competitors (substitutes) on the market, still enough on the whole Internet, a little less in all other areas of our lives - anyway it's about the impact negativeWhen the clear responsibilities become more and more I dilute.
Ownership is the basis of development and investment
Clearly defined property rights then clearly define who is responsible for losses and gains - the possibility of profit and having direct responsibility for it is then the basic driving force of the business, innovation and investment.
Infringement of Facebook's ownership rights through enforced content regulation increases owner-unintended business risks - what if there is a competition that is able to escape regulation? What if users or advertisers move elsewhere to control content? How can a Facebook owner prevent this if they have to comply with legal regulations?
So why - from the point of view of Facebook owners - to further invest in this network and substitutes? Each such regulation reduces the amount of investment - and the resulting innovations that we get. Regulating private property thus makes us all poorer.
Violation of ownership increases externalities
Infringement of property rights to such a large extent as with Facebook (which is a large and important company) is a warning to all other owners - it can happen to you too!
This has the greatest impact on the nearest competitors and substitutes of Facebook, especially the media and other social networks. It leads to indirectly enforced self-censorship, restrictions on freedom of speech, less diversity in public debate. For fear of other similar regulations, everyone will start to behave in the same way on the market, even if they are not affected by the regulation.
Restrictions on free competition of opinions are thus a negative externality of Facebook regulation. And who is responsible for it? In a world of clearly defined property rights, a clear owner is responsible. Here it is a "public institution" where no one is the clear owner. It is similar tragedy of municipal pasture.
Decision-making is the basis of freedom and prosperity
The opportunity to decide for oneself, to own, is the basis freedom and prosperity. Clearly defined property rights prevent the socialization of losses, define clear responsibilities and rights. They are of great importance in the functioning of a free society - without them there is no such thing as a free society.
Interventions such as Facebook regulation, this whole concept disturbs. They help to move everything "private" to the "public" sphere, where no ultimate ownership responsibility is defined. Control of responsibilities is lost, innovations are rotted, innovations get stuck, negative externalities spread, for which the whole society bears the "cost".
Against any attempt at similar regulations - whether at European or Czech state level - it is necessary to stand up clearly and define itself. Today it's Facebook - tomorrow someone can dictate to you what you are no / you can do at home in the bedroom.