This is a fairly naked power grab. Big Tech allowed people to oppose us in the recent election. Therefore we’re going to have power over Big Tech:
Big tech played a central role in the dangerous attack on the US Capitol and all of the events which led to it. Biden’s antitrust appointees will be the ones who decide if there are any consequences to be paid.
Joan Donovan is the research director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
Amed Khan was a member of the Biden-Harris campaign national finance committee
No, really, that is the message there. We want power so give it to us now!
Big tech was allowed to spread misinformation unchecked. Will Biden hold them accountable?
Misinformation being what we don’t like of course.
Such power grabs always are filled with non sequiturs:
But the spread of deadly misinformation on a global scale was enabled by the absence of antitrust enforcement by the federal government to rein in out-of-control monopolies such as Facebook and Google. And there is a real risk social media giants could sidestep accountability once again.
Folks saying stuff that isn’t true – let us just run with the idea of untruths for the sake of argument – isn’t a function of monopoly in the slightest. People have said untruths when the only information network was via human voice and spread by Shanks’ Pony. Today people can – and do – spread untruths via email lists, which are not monopolies in any sense of any word.
Further, imagine that there were no central, widely read, sites. That there was some plethora of much smaller sites. This would lead to more untruths being uttered and spread or fewer?
If you say fewer than you’ve seen Reddit then, have you? Observed what happens in sub-reddits? Or if you’re of an older generation, recall what Usnet was like?
What, that is, is the connection between monopolistic services and untruths? The answer being nothing other than that the claim can be made in order to increase power. And people lying to us to increase their own power can and should be given that Anglo Saxon Wave.
Eventually, these platforms became immune to forces of competition in the marketplace – they became information monopolies with runaway scale. Absent any accountability from watchdogs or the marketplace, fringe conspiracy theories enjoyed unchecked propagation.
They’re not even being shy about their end goal. They want to be able to control what is said. They’re also not being clever about it. Even idiots should be able to realise that monopoly is easier to control than a vibrant free market…….