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Regulate Tech monopolies?
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Post: #1
Regulate Tech monopolies?
http://thefederalist.com/2018/11/28/need...edia-stat/

Author argues for tech regulation:

"Louis Farrakhan remains on Twitter, while Jesse Kelly was supposedly permanently banned—then reinstated suddenly, without explanation, after Congress began to sniff around.

That pretty much tells you all you need to know about the left’s institutional biases, and why we desperately need anti-censorship free speech legislation for social media. Kelly, a Federalist senior contributor and combat veteran, and whose posts were frequently both funny and informative, was banned without warning or explanation. At the time, he was told the ban was permanent.

Yet Farrakhan, with his decades-long record of racist and anti-Semitic incitement on and off social media, is still untouched....


It’s not just individuals on social media. Entire social media platforms, including those specifically created to protect the free speech denied on services like Twitter, are now being taken off the Internet....


What is needed is an end to the bans, which will only punish the right, and a return to free speech on social media. This could be accomplished quite effectively with a modest number of user-controlled, rather than big-tech controlled, content filters.

But that will not happen unless the government, through Congress and the courts, demand the big tech monopolies and oligopolies stop their reign of politically biased censorship, one which sees conservatives attacked with impunity but liberals getting off scot-free or even lauded for harassment. Social media companies got rich with legal protections that proclaimed them only to be dumb platforms, only to turn around and behave like publishers when conservatives started using their platform to share information that they didn’t approve of.

A number of articles on conservative Web sites, almost invariably written by people with little actual experience in Silicon Valley, argue that we cannot have “government regulating the Internet.” But legislation to demand First Amendment protections for speech on social media, where it is threatened by monopolies and oligopolies, is a far different beast than legislation that attempts to stifle First Amendment protections...."
12-04-2018 10:14 AM
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Tom in Lazybrook Online
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Post: #2
RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
A gentle request for the "No spin room". Can we please avoid using extreme outliers, who trade in extreme views and questionable truth telling in here, such as Louis Farrakhan or Laura Loomer. They will just inevitably detract from the policy questions that you want to raise.

----

I think that on the merits of the policy question raised. I think that tech monopolies are no different than media monopolies. The FCC doesn't seem interested in regulating broadcast opinion and concentration. I don't see why tech monopolies should be treated different than media ones.

From a practical perspective, its going to be VERY hard to regulate the internet, especially parts of it that don't involve infrastructure. The reason why Twitter and Facebook etc., are valuable is because they, through their own investment and marketing, have the confidence (rightly or wrongly) of enough people to make them valuable. They have a right to make business decisions about what kind of content is to be allowed on their platforms. No one is making it impossible for another social network group to exist. The problem is that the provocateurs cannot reach many people using an alternate form of social media, because large numbers of people don't want to join those new networks.

So, there are few capacity constraints for social networking sites.

But there are more capacity constraints for broadcast and cable outlets.

Now lets contrast that with local broadcast news. In that industry, there IS limited capacity. In my hometown of Mobile Alabama, for example one company (Sinclair) either owns or controls all but 1 TV station's local news content. And there ARE regulations preventing new entries. You can't just start a TV station, regardless of how much money you raise. I think that's a bigger issue.

And then there's cable, which also has elements of capacity constraints, although not as much as for broadcast companies.

-----

It appears to me that those complaining aren't upset about a non-existent social network monopoly, but rather that they want to force people to watch or view the content against their intentions.

Bottom line...if no one is preventing you from starting your own social network company, I don't see how you can mandate viewpoint non-discrimination without some really extreme unintended consequences.
(This post was last modified: 12-04-2018 11:04 AM by Tom in Lazybrook.)
12-04-2018 11:01 AM
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Lord Stanley Online
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Post: #3
RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
As a right-leaning libertarian I have issues with antitrust laws, but companies as large and seemingly partisan as Twitter, Facebook, and Google have me thinking if a little Roosevelt-style trust-busting might be something to explore.

Though I am not committed to the idea.
12-04-2018 12:56 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
(12-04-2018 12:56 PM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  As a right-leaning libertarian I have issues with antitrust laws, but companies as large and seemingly partisan as Twitter, Facebook, and Google have me thinking if a little Roosevelt-style trust-busting might be something to explore.
Though I am not committed to the idea.

Pretty much where I am.
12-04-2018 01:11 PM
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Wolfman Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
None of those companies are monopolies. They may be more popular but that doesn't constitute a monopoly. They may be big but that doesn't constitute a monopoly. There are alternatives to all of the companies mentioned.

On top of that, the feds are raking them over the coals about foreign intervention, something the feds are supposed to police.
12-04-2018 07:59 PM
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Post: #6
RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
(12-04-2018 07:59 PM)Wolfman Wrote:  None of those companies are monopolies. They may be more popular but that doesn't constitute a monopoly. They may be big but that doesn't constitute a monopoly. There are alternatives to all of the companies mentioned.

On top of that, the feds are raking them over the coals about foreign intervention, something the feds are supposed to police.

Well the article makes the point that there was a startup trying to compete with Twitter and it got dropped by its host and nobody else would pick them up. They were trying to be what twitter and facebook claim to be, open to all. That meant there was some extreme content.

So is there really an opportunity to create competition? And are Google and Facebook limiting entrants into the media market by being a gateway as the internet replaces paper?
12-04-2018 10:13 PM
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Post: #7
RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
(12-04-2018 11:01 AM)Tom in Lazybrook Wrote:  A gentle request for the "No spin room". Can we please avoid using extreme outliers, who trade in extreme views and questionable truth telling in here, such as Louis Farrakhan or Laura Loomer. They will just inevitably detract from the policy questions that you want to raise.

----

The point of the article is that someone like Loomer got banned. Farrakhan didn't. Calling Jews "termites?" So its the power that these organizations have to decide what is and what isn't acceptable and how there is no consistency.

Its kind of what you are suggesting "gently" to limit discussion.

My general philosophy is to eliminate the lie that they are simply carriers and treat them like media companies. Let them be sued for content.

But when competitors can't even get hosts, it raises questions about whether that philosophy is naiive. These people have enormous economic power over others in the industry.
12-04-2018 10:20 PM
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Tom in Lazybrook Online
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Post: #8
RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
(12-04-2018 10:20 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(12-04-2018 11:01 AM)Tom in Lazybrook Wrote:  A gentle request for the "No spin room". Can we please avoid using extreme outliers, who trade in extreme views and questionable truth telling in here, such as Louis Farrakhan or Laura Loomer. They will just inevitably detract from the policy questions that you want to raise.

----

The point of the article is that someone like Loomer got banned. Farrakhan didn't. Calling Jews "termites?" So its the power that these organizations have to decide what is and what isn't acceptable and how there is no consistency.

Its kind of what you are suggesting "gently" to limit discussion.

My general philosophy is to eliminate the lie that they are simply carriers and treat them like media companies. Let them be sued for content.

But when competitors can't even get hosts, it raises questions about whether that philosophy is naiive. These people have enormous economic power over others in the industry.

If you treat them like media companies, there's still no 'equal time'....See Sinclair.

If you're arguing that they are media companies and want to open media companies up to lawsuits based upon the content of people using it......man, oh, man.....you realize that means that most of the right wing sites would have some significant legal liability.

From a practical perspective, what would happen is that the impact of small commentators (especially those like Loomer or Farrakhan - who hold extreme views considered offensive by massive swaths of the public) would be even less as people simply removed 'self-publishing' abilities altogether and would simply serve to concentrate viewpoints to the media insiders, who have access to sites that have the ability to fend off lawsuits.

You know, in my state, the legislature has banned local entities from forming their own internet utility companies. They did so presumably in response to Comcast/AT&T $$$$$ and to keep our cable/internet bills 10 times what Europeans pay for better service, but an unintended consequence of that is that instead of a public utility that would have to take all comers, our internet/cable is stuck in the hands of private companies.
12-05-2018 11:21 AM
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RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
(12-04-2018 01:11 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(12-04-2018 12:56 PM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  As a right-leaning libertarian I have issues with antitrust laws, but companies as large and seemingly partisan as Twitter, Facebook, and Google have me thinking if a little Roosevelt-style trust-busting might be something to explore.
Though I am not committed to the idea.

Pretty much where I am.

Trust-busting is essential to the libertarian position.

The key thought behind libertarianism is that free and open competition is beneficial. But monopolies are the antithesis of free and open competition.

I'll quote Milton Friedman directly: "“In the United States, "free" has been understood to mean that anyone is free to set up an enterprise, which means that existing enterprises are not free to keep out competitors except by selling a better product at the same price or the same product at a lower price.
In the continental tradition, on the other hand, the meaning has generally been that enterprises are free to do what they want, including the fixing of prices, division of markets, and the adoption of other techniques to keep out potential competitors.”

Friedman is adamant that the Anglo-American definition of freedom has superior outcomes.
12-10-2018 10:59 AM
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Post: #10
RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
(12-04-2018 11:01 AM)Tom in Lazybrook Wrote:  The reason why Twitter and Facebook etc., are valuable is because they, through their own investment and marketing, have the confidence (rightly or wrongly) of enough people to make them valuable. They have a right to make business decisions about what kind of content is to be allowed on their platforms.

Two things:

Should they not have told users up front that their political viewpoints were subject to being censored and could lead to being banned, but only if that viewpoint is conservative?

And, how much confidence would have been put into these institutions if they alienated half their potential users by disclosing the first point up front?

What they did was got everyone involved in their service and then started twisting it to lean more and more left after everyone connected with friends, family, and people or organizations that seemed of interest to them. Now, the people are less likely to leave of their own accord because it took years to build up their networks or they have businesses or famous personalities that rely those platforms that were developed before it was discovered the social media outlets were politically biased to the point of taking everything away from you for your beliefs or interests.

Shouldn't it be enough that you can unfollow, block, unfriend, etc etc people and organizations you find distasteful, without having to have the company make sure no one sees anything you wish to say, ever? One of the biggest problems I have with liberals is they are never satisfied just ignoring something they don't care for. They always want to make sure something they don't care for is obliterated, so that no one can make up their minds for themselves. Free speech to them is everyone must hear what they want to say, but no one can hear what they don't wish to hear.
12-17-2018 03:45 PM
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RE: Regulate Tech monopolies?
These entities are engaging in editorial conduct. They should be open to lawsuits for defamation. That would solve most of the issues.
12-22-2018 01:09 PM
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