In the movie Amistad, Theodore Joadson is a defense lawyer representing illegally purchased slaves who are accused of mutiny and murder after causing an uprising on the ship that was bringing them from Africa to Cuba. Public opinion was against the kidnapped slaves, so Joadson asks an elderly John Quincy Adams for help. Adams asks Joadson, “What’s their story?” Joadson starts telling Adams that the group of men is from West Africa, when Adams interrupts, saying, “No … what is their story? You know what they are, but what you don’t know—and from what I can tell, haven’t bothered in the least to discover—is who they are.”
There are those who think when the government regulates business, it stifles productivity. Others think regulations protect us all from unscrupulous companies that would sell horse meat labeled as prime rib. The internet—home to Lonelygirl15, Craigslist, internet dating, and fake news—has never lent itself to regulation. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), however, has recently taken notice of this lawless landscape and is trying to bring at least a semblance of accountability to one area of the internet.