Hamilton genius Lin-Manuel Miranda and folk-rock hero Jackson Browne both belted out the same tune on Twitter this week — the two musicians praised Sen. Chuck Schumer and the U.S. Senate for passing a “BOTS Act” to help stop cyber scalpers. Working like the speed trading algorithms that Michael Lewis detailed in his brilliant book Flash Boys, internet bots dominate online ticket sales, corrupting the distribution system. The result: shows sell out before anyone can get tickets and the bots resell their plunder at elevated prices.
Both Miranda and Browne are experienced in the political arena. Miranda knows the bot fight isn’t over — his tweet said “House, OVER TO YOU!” (meaning House of Representatives). Browne, who has used his star power to protest nuclear armaments and more, is famous for a lot of songs including “Running On Empty” — which was actually not about Congress. But perhaps Browne’s most loved song is his cover of “Stay”, during which he implores fans to “stay, just a little bit longer.” That is just no fun at all if the fans are robots. Or if the fans are all just the rich people who can afford to pay bot prices. As Browne says, the Senate law “helps fans see the shows they love!”
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) December 1, 2016
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— Jackson Browne (@SongsofJBrowne) December 2, 2016