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Tech regulation coming?
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Post: #1
Tech regulation coming?
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2...eview-2017

The big tech companies are coming under increasing fire. Google and Facebook are becoming monopolistic. Should government act and how?

Some articles have discussed treating them as a utility. That seems like a cure worse than the disease. Then the government will tell these powerful intrusive companies what to do.
12-24-2017 10:49 AM
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tanqtonic Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Tech regulation coming?
Being a monopoly is not actionable under the law. Misusing monopoly power is.

That being said, I agree that Google, Facebook, and Twitter hold an enormous amount of 'personal choice' power that seems to be misused at times to present or support a point of view.

Case in point -- Facebook banning alt-right dudes. I am *not* a supporter of white power viewpoints; however, I *am* as close to an absolutist in First Amendment. Problem is that Google, Facebook, and Twitter, being private actors, are not subject to First Amendment restrictions. Being private actors they can do almost anything they want 'censorship'-wise.

The answer is *not* to make them subject to First Amendment, nor is it to punish them for being a natural monopoly. Trust me, pragmatically I think this would be great; until you realize that you would be chucking the rule of law out the window to do it.

As much as I pragmatically would like the government 'to do something', that 'to do something' means stretching the applicable legal standards well past their breaking point for my taste.
12-25-2017 09:05 PM
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Post: #3
RE: Tech regulation coming?
(12-25-2017 09:05 PM)tanqtonic Wrote:  Being a monopoly is not actionable under the law. Misusing monopoly power is.

That being said, I agree that Google, Facebook, and Twitter hold an enormous amount of 'personal choice' power that seems to be misused at times to present or support a point of view.

Case in point -- Facebook banning alt-right dudes. I am *not* a supporter of white power viewpoints; however, I *am* as close to an absolutist in First Amendment. Problem is that Google, Facebook, and Twitter, being private actors, are not subject to First Amendment restrictions. Being private actors they can do almost anything they want 'censorship'-wise.

The answer is *not* to make them subject to First Amendment, nor is it to punish them for being a natural monopoly. Trust me, pragmatically I think this would be great; until you realize that you would be chucking the rule of law out the window to do it.

As much as I pragmatically would like the government 'to do something', that 'to do something' means stretching the applicable legal standards well past their breaking point for my taste.

Agree.

I think we have ample tools under existing anti-trust and other laws to advance properly the public interest.
12-26-2017 08:54 AM
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dfarr Offline
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RE: Tech regulation coming?
(12-24-2017 10:49 AM)bullet Wrote:  https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2...eview-2017

The big tech companies are coming under increasing fire. Google and Facebook are becoming monopolistic. Should government act and how?

Some articles have discussed treating them as a utility. That seems like a cure worse than the disease. Then the government will tell these powerful intrusive companies what to do.

Eh, they’re not a monopoly because there are alternatives that folks could use. Don’t like google? Use bing.

You don’t have to be on Facebook or twitter unless you want to be.

Anyone could make another social media platform. Hell, before Facebook was big MySpace was where everybody was.
12-26-2017 09:02 AM
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RE: Tech regulation coming?
Facebook and Twitter are not "high tech" or particularly difficult or expensive to replicate, at least the platform (security will take much longer). I wouldn't call them monopolies. They don't cost anything to use and it isn't like a utility where there can only be one provider due to public infrastructure. If they fail to meet the public standard, they will be replaced rapidly without any government action. Ask MySpace. They have no obligation to allow anything to go on their site. No matter what your views, there is somewhere on the internutz to share them. As soon as Facebook or Twitter moves to go too far and censor someone like Trump, or a movement like Trump's, people will leave in droves and continue elsewhere.
12-26-2017 10:02 AM
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RE: Tech regulation coming?
anti-trust worked before....not sure why it couldn't be applied again if censorship can be proved....

it's why they're starting to somewhat back-off....

you know they meet with lawyers daily to make certain they dodge appearing before 'that' committee....

right now, they're simply pushing buttons to see what or what not at this point.....

those boys ain't stupid....
12-26-2017 07:18 PM
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Wolfman Offline
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RE: Tech regulation coming?
Ask someone under 20 how much they use Facebook. Most of the U20s I know have it but don't use it on a daily basis. Pre-teens may use it a bit more but who wants to hang out at the place where their parents hang out?
12-26-2017 11:28 PM
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RE: Tech regulation coming?
Censorship is stupid easy to prove.

It's a known fact that Facebook has been reducing the reach of posts from news outlets that don't pay. If you run a small town newspaper and have 1000 facebook followers your newest post may only reach 200 of those followers unless you pay to promote it.

I get about 10% to 15% reach on Facebook to people who follow my site. For $5 I can get about 25% for around $40 bucks I can reach about half of the people who clicked saying they wanted to see my content.

Google skews results as well plus they use a nifty trick. Search google for say Home Depot. The first listing will be a listing for Home Depot that is an ad and Home Depot gets charged if you click it. Scroll below it and there will be the google result which they don't get paid for.

But I wouldn't expect any regulation coming soon. This Congress and president aren't upping regulations.
12-27-2017 12:56 AM
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tanqtonic Offline
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RE: Tech regulation coming?
(12-27-2017 12:56 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  Censorship is stupid easy to prove.

It's a known fact that Facebook has been reducing the reach of posts from news outlets that don't pay. If you run a small town newspaper and have 1000 facebook followers your newest post may only reach 200 of those followers unless you pay to promote it.

I get about 10% to 15% reach on Facebook to people who follow my site. For $5 I can get about 25% for around $40 bucks I can reach about half of the people who clicked saying they wanted to see my content.

Google skews results as well plus they use a nifty trick. Search google for say Home Depot. The first listing will be a listing for Home Depot that is an ad and Home Depot gets charged if you click it. Scroll below it and there will be the google result which they don't get paid for.

But I wouldn't expect any regulation coming soon. This Congress and president aren't upping regulations.

The issue isnt the legal issue of censorship. Google, Facebook, Twitter (and all the rest) are *all* private actors. They can legally 'censor' whatever the blast they want whenever they want with *no* legal repercussions.

To legislate (or use government action such as suing) to stop their practice is more dangerous than the perceived benefit.

Why do you want a version a "equal time rule" or "fairness doctrine" for social media companies? Honestly speaking, if such regulations were put into place I think the social media companies would (justly so) sue the fing pants off the government for a violation of *their* First Amendment rights as private actors.

The *only* justification for such rules and doctrines is that normal broadcast radio and TV use limited resources (spectrum). The license to use that spectrum (a very limited resource, mind you) is that they *don't* put their hands on the scales.

I fail to see *any* justification for government regulation for social media at all. In fact, I would extremely worried if they did.
12-27-2017 03:43 PM
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RE: Tech regulation coming?
(12-26-2017 09:02 AM)dfarr Wrote:  
(12-24-2017 10:49 AM)bullet Wrote:  https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2...eview-2017

The big tech companies are coming under increasing fire. Google and Facebook are becoming monopolistic. Should government act and how?

Some articles have discussed treating them as a utility. That seems like a cure worse than the disease. Then the government will tell these powerful intrusive companies what to do.

Eh, they’re not a monopoly because there are alternatives that folks could use. Don’t like google? Use bing.

You don’t have to be on Facebook or twitter unless you want to be.

Anyone could make another social media platform. Hell, before Facebook was big MySpace was where everybody was.

You don't have to be a literal monopoly to have monopolistic power.
12-27-2017 03:44 PM
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