Controlling information pollution
One application treats various forms of information (spam, advertising) as a form of pollution or ‘detrimental externality’. In economics an externality is a by-product of a production process that imposes burdens (or supplies benefits), to parties other than the intended consumer of a commodity. For example; air and water pollution are ‗negative‘ externalities which impose burdens on society and the environment.
A market-based approach to controlling externalities was outlined in Ronald Coase’s The Problem of Social Cost . This evolved from an article on the Federal Communications Commission ), in which Coase claimed that radio frequency interference is a negative externality that could be controlled by the creation of property rights.
Coase’s approach to the management of externalities requires the careful specification of property rights and a set of rules for the initial allocation of the rights. Once this has been achieved, a market mechanism can theoretically manage the externality problem. The solution is not necessarily simple in its application to media content