1,410 research outputs found

    Two Narratives of Platform Capitalism

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    Mainstream economists tend to pride themselves on the discipline\u27s resem­blance to science. But growing concerns about the reproducibility of economic research are undermining that source of legitimacy. These concerns have fueled renewed interest in another aspect of economic thought: its narrative nature. When presenting or framing their work, neoliberal economists tend to tell sto­ries about supply and demand, unintended consequences, and transaction costs in order to justify certain policy positions. These stories often make sense, and warn policymakers against simplistic solutionism

    Trusting (and Verifying) Online Intermediaries\u27 Policing

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    All is not well in the land of online self-regulation. However competently internet intermediaries police their sites, nagging questions will remain about their fairness and objectivity in doing so. Is Comcast blocking BitTorrent to stop infringement, to manage traffic, or to decrease access to content that competes with its own for viewers? How much digital due process does Google need to give a site it accuses of harboring malware? If Facebook censors a video of war carnage, is that a token of respect for the wounded or one more reflexive effort of a major company to ingratiate itself with the Washington establishment? Questions like these will persist, and erode the legitimacy of intermediary self-policing, as long as key operations of leading companies are shrouded in secrecy. Administrators must develop an institutional competence for continually monitoring rapidly-changing business practices. A trusted advisory council charged with assisting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could help courts and agencies adjudicate controversies concerning intermediary practices. An Internet Intermediary Regulatory Council (IIRC) would spur the development of expertise necessary to understand whether companies’ controversial decisions are socially responsible or purely self-interested. Monitoring is a prerequisite for assuring a level playing field online

    Book Review: Automating the Professions: Utopian Pipe Dream or Dystopian Nightmare?

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    Platform Neutrality: Enhancing Freedom of Expression in Spheres of Private Power

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    AbstractTroubling patterns of suppressed speech have emerged on the corporate internet. A large platform may marginalize (or entirely block) potential connections between audiences and speakers. Consumer protection concerns arise, for platforms may be marketing themselves as open, comprehensive, and unbiased, when they are in fact closed, partial, and self-serving. Responding to protests, the accused platform either asserts a right to craft the information environment it desires, or abjures responsibility, claiming to merely reflect the desires and preferences of its user base. Such responses betray an opportunistic commercialism at odds with the platforms’ touted social missions. Large platforms should be developing (and holding themselves to) more ambitious standards for promoting expression online, rather than warring against privacy, competition, and consumer protection laws. These regulations enable a more vibrant public sphere. They also defuse the twin specters of monopolization and total surveillance, which are grave threats to freedom of expression.</jats:p

    A Rule of Persons, Not Machines: The Limits of Legal Automation

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    When Antitrust Becomes Pro-Trust: The Digital Deformation of U.S. Competition Policy

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    Capital\u27s Offense: Law\u27s Entrenchment of Inequality

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    Reviewing Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard University Press, 2014) Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a rare scholarly achievement. It weaves together description and prescription, facts and values, economics, politics, and history, with an assured and graceful touch. So clear is Piketty’s reasoning, and so compelling the enormous data apparatus he brings to bear, that few can doubt he has fundamentally altered our appreciation of the scope, duration, and intensity of inequality. This review explains Piketty’s analysis and its relevance to law and social theory, drawing lessons for the re-emerging field of political economy. The university enables interdisciplinary work, and political economy is an ideally hybrid discursive space for this process of mutual inspiration and correction. Lawyers are particularly well-suited to the task of studying political economy, because we are the ones drafting, interpreting, and applying the rules governing the interface between state actors and firms. Integrating the long-divided fields of politics and economics, a renewal of modern political economy could unravel problems inadequately addressed by narrower specializations. Piketty’s work shows how inquiries in both law and political economy will be enriched by their interaction

    Democratizing Higher Education: Defending and Extending Income-Based Repayment Programs

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