Imagine that Facebook users were able to contract with an organization that placed itself between Facebook and the users (or a subset of them). When the users post cat videos on their Facebook page, the data are routed through the “union,” which sends them on to Facebook in normal times. But the union could cut off the data flow, or some portion of it, if Facebook refused to offer fair monetary compensation for the data—simultaneously a strike and boycott by the worker/consumers who use Facebook, causing double injury since Facebook’s advertisers would pay less and Facebook itself would have less access to monetizable data to use for machine learning. Is this a new dawn or dystopia? Is it technologically feasible? How might it work in legal terms? An enterprising labor law professor might want to think about this.
Glen Weyl and I discuss this issue in our book Radical Markets. It has filtered out into the general world, with the Financial Times calling our argument “a savage critique of ‘techno-feudalism’ and an idealistic appeal to share the fruits of our collective intelligence more fairly.”
On a completely different topic, some thoughts about how Congress might block Trump from firing Robert Mueller, here.