A whole heap of fuss is being made about Facebook's role in the US election that put Trump in the White House, and the part played by Cambridge Analytica, one of Facebook's clients.
In the wake of the controversy, the more dubious ways Facebook makes its money has come to public attention.
The company had long since gone beyond matching advertisers to consumers (like any newspaper or magazine), to enabling unknown companies, and known governments, to engage in data harvesting. With us ― our likes and desires, our values and politics ― the crop sold to anyone who can pay.
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There's growing disquiet amongst Facebook users, and in the halls of governments, at this aspect of the company's financial plan.
Which means, I suspect, that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg getting grilled in Washington is only the first engagement in what's likely to be a prolonged battle to bring Facebook, and the internet generally, under greater control.
The nature of the regulations, and who does the controlling, will generate much debate, and as usual, strong opinions.
This process will challenge some of the libertarian ideas that have previously pervaded the online world.
A core belief uniting many internet pioneers was that the new technology would usher in a better world, but only if it remained free from laws, institutions, bureaucracies and governments.
All of us would interact as individual "users" in a global community. Information would be free, and power would be defused to the many, not the few. Behaviour would be self-moderating.
It's fair to say this hippy-tech utopia hasn't eventuated.
One mistake ― which I admit to falling into in the earlier days of social media ― is believing a particular technology could be the key to human happiness and well-being.
Yes, the internet is a solution to providing fast flowing information in a global economy, and between an increasingly interconnected global citizenry, but that's about it.
It's now devastatingly clear that the internet isn't the solution to people getting on with each other. Like Google isn't the solution to people being smarter (quite the contrary), and Facebook isn't the solution to healthy relationships with friends and family.
In short, the internet, for all its achievements, isn't the solution to human nature and the complex social world our high-tech brains have created.
We're still stuck with us. And we're still stuck with the world of politics, of different groups and classes in society banging into each other, trying to assert their say in how wealth and resources are controlled and distributed.
Now that the utopian fairy dust around the internet is settling we're faced with more pragmatic responses to it. What laws and controls need to be put in place to protect privacy? What responsibility does Facebook have for maintaining ethical content?
Should the likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon even be allowed to continue as virtual monopolies? And how can individual governments get the tech giants to pay their taxes?
Asking these questions shows a growing political maturity when it comes to the internet.
The wheel was the solution to moving stuff around more easily; it wasn't the solution to how society should be run.
We'd do well to remember that the internet is only a technology, too, and keep our expectations of it a little more in perspective.
■ Vaughan Gunson is a writer and poet interested in social justice and big issues facing the planet.