You had me until "The law creates reality” part. Many of your points are excellent and even John's comment below about regulating device standards are critical. But telling a lawyer it's the law's job to legal the rest of us is just as ineffective (to wit, Roe v Wade). Universal, natural, and human laws will always impact our experience of reality in different ways. Since reality is constructed by the brain, improving society's "soft skills" of discernment and caution, sourcing unbiased references and not relying on a single source for information all go a long way towards protecting ourselves from misinformation, external and internal. Just banning one application out of the hundreds being developed now based on algorithms isn't going to make much difference. Banning TikTok now would be as successful as banning ChatGPT. The cows have already left the barn, now is time to mend the fences.

Expand full comment

If one leaves aside the politics, there are two issues: device security, and the algorithm.

The first, device security, is actually the most important and it is amazing how much commentary leaves it out. No one asks Apple what TokTok(*) can get away with, and what standards they have for keeping us safe.

Second, the algorithm, I think runs up against a problem that is also hidden. That is, to what degree should people, including teens, have freedom of access?

We speak much more often about freedom of speech, but denial of access can cripple a society just as much.

* - or Facebook

Expand full comment