My first thought on reading the headline was to ask the authors what they thought social media companies were doing up to this point? If they were not already self-regulating, then who was regulating them? Exactly. What we have today is the result of self-regulation, not evidence that we need it. The problem is not that "new industries tend to eschew self-regulation when the perceived costs imply a significant reduction in revenues or profits." The problem is that there's no simple way to self-align with social or political values on a global scale. The 'self-regulation' that worked fine (so we were told) when supporting the Arab Spring or the rise of populism in Eastern Europe is toxic when applied to American democracy. It's the size and reach of these companies that creates the need for external regulation, not some internal self-regulatory failure.