Brussels Sprouts Regulations Which Cook Facebook’s Plan for Messenger Chatbots.

Used to deciding what truth is, Zuck and the rest of his reality-distorting social media friends have not so magnanimously decided to comply with EU law. For a committed techno-libertarian like Markie Z accepting that any regulation does indeed have legitimacy is a major climbdown. After years of power grabbing and a 999% successful campaign to completely destroy the free internet, Facebook is finally playing nice avec the EU. 



Maybe FB’s new “Don’t be completely Evil” policy has something to do with a new across-the-aisle-style President-elect, a new hatred of monopolies on both sides of said aisle, and bi-partisan support for repeal of Section 230, both of which would be a serious reality check for the reality distorters of Palo Alto. 



The latest incarnation of Facebook’s attempt to cooperate with the rest of humanity rather than regarding it as one big ant farm is in the world of chatbots. The New limitations impact the use of chatbots on Facebook Messenger if any of that content should end up being seen in the EU. There are a ton of new rules, mostly very technical, but one thing is for sure, they put a major crimp in Facebook’s plan to monetize the crap out of Messenger and WhatsApp.


There are even some small startups offering to migrate your Messenger bots to a webchat easily, so you can integrate with outfits that aren’t hit by the new rules. Hopefully, the rather complex adjustments required to comply with the newly rolled-out EU regulations will start a migration away from Messenger etc. This would be Karma indeed, as it was Facebook’s over-hype which launched hundreds of thousands of crap, unloved and usually unseen bots which made a ton of very big brands look terrible. 


I have long felt that Webchat was the way to go with chatbots, for a few reasons. Firstly, I’m less than enthusiastic about the sucking up of all our data for marketing (or other purposes) by the likes of Facebook and company, and secondly Conversational AI can be much better than the limitations on it that Facebook’s Messenger system enforced, and that was before this latest climbdown. Thirdly, web chats can go everywhere, and not just on a single walled-garden not known for its goodness.


The good news is that there are a few platforms out there that actually deliver easy-to-build, creative, naturalistic automated conversations that can truly engage uses. Compared to these, Facebook Messenger is a knuckle-dragger, and that’s before Brussels sprouted some wicked rules to knock the stuffing out of it. 

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