Getting Serious

The Economist, Dec 10, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Economist looks at the Facebook phenomenon. "It is a typical example of the colonisation of a new frontier," writes the author. "A few intrepid explorers stake out some new, unexplored territory. Before long the first settlers move in and start to look for ways to make a quick buck." And the Economist offers its usual advocacy of the free-market approach: "One way to deal with unwanted activity, in virtual worlds as in the real one, is to decriminalise and regulate it, rather than trying to outlaw it altogether." It's an odd advocacy, especially following a paragraph in which it is noted that "in May two players were banned from Second Life for depicting sexual activity between an adult and a child." The article is also noteworthy for having apparently copied a photo taken (and posted on Flickr) by Art Fosset. "Don't those people at The Economist understand CC BY-SA ??" he asks in an email post.
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