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How To Tame the Tech Titans (economist.com) 192

dryriver shares an opinion piece from The Economist: Not long ago, being the boss of a big Western tech firm was a dream job. As the billions rolled in, so did the plaudits: Google, Facebook, Amazon and others were making the world a better place. Today these companies are accused of being BAADD -- big, anti-competitive, addictive and destructive to democracy. Regulators fine them, politicians grill them and one-time backers warn of their power to cause harm. Much of this techlash is misguided. The presumption that big businesses must necessarily be wicked is plain wrong. Apple is to be admired as the world's most valuable listed company for the simple reason that it makes things people want to buy, even while facing fierce competition. Many online services would be worse if their providers were smaller. Evidence for the link between smartphones and unhappiness is weak. Fake news is not only an online phenomenon.

But big tech platforms, particularly Facebook, Google and Amazon, do indeed raise a worry about fair competition. That is partly because they often benefit from legal exemptions. Unlike publishers, Facebook and Google are rarely held responsible for what users do on them; and for years most American buyers on Amazon did not pay sales tax. Nor do the titans simply compete in a market. Increasingly, they are the market itself, providing the infrastructure (or "platforms") for much of the digital economy. Many of their services appear to be free, but users "pay" for them by giving away their data. Powerful though they already are, their huge stockmarket valuations suggest that investors are counting on them to double or even triple in size in the next decade. There is thus a justified fear that the tech titans will use their power to protect and extend their dominance, to the detriment of consumers (see article). The tricky task for policymakers is to restrain them without unduly stifling innovation.

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How To Tame the Tech Titans

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  • by NicknameUnavailable ( 4134147 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:39PM (#55965465)
    There's no reason for a company like Google to even exist (or more recently, a company like Alphabet - the whole concept of umbrella corporations are a prime example of the BAADD acronym used.) If a company is with over 9 figures in a modern-day valuation they should simply be nationalized (and I'm far from a liberal, full-blown Trump supporter with zero regrets thus far, so please keep that in mind because I know that idea goes against the party divide pretty significantly.) This isn't to say the government should exist to fund other nations or wage wars (that we start,) but if a corporation makes it to that level it can only mean that they are gutting consumers, at which point the government can't really do much worse and it's a damned-good deterrent.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't we all wish! Increasing tax rate for companies based on size initially sounds like a great idea (haven't considered the downsides, but behemoth companies end up being a threat to a healthy economy, plus the complications of figuring out when anti-trust laws should kick in).

      The tech giants have greased so many politicians that it is difficult to imagine the federal government taking anti-trust actions if and when it makes sense to do so.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The tech giants have greased so many politicians that it is difficult to imagine the federal government taking anti-trust actions if and when it makes sense to do so.

        According to OpenSecrets, the Technology sector is ranked #4 and #1 Pharmaceuticals/Health lobbying is off the chart:
        https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=i&showYear=a

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 20, 2018 @12:06AM (#55965751)

          ... back in he days:

          TREASON.
          20 years prison. Maximum sentence.
          For both the politician ("representative") and the "lobbyist".

          And the second I have the power to make it so, that will happen. Retroactively for the last 150 years.

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        Another conservative here, who agrees with the GP. I'm all about competition, but not in favor of monopolistic behavior. We won't clean up this mess until my side of the aisle gets it through it's head that companies are not people (you can't send them to jail, and they have undue influence above the people), and that we need to get the big money out of government.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your logic is faulty - you're assuming that the only way a company can get big is by ripping people off which is simply not true. So many companies got big by selling revolutionary products that changed the world.

      • So many companies got big by selling revolutionary products that changed the world.

        Once they're established or the market is saturated what do they do?

        What GP said, that's what.

    • So you are suggesting Starbucks be nationalized? Perhaps they could stick them in all of the postoffices because there isn't one within 1.5 hours of me. Hopefully the service would be better than the DMV.
    • If a company is with over 9 figures in a modern-day valuation they should simply be nationalized

      Wow ... thank you so much. I, as you, am actually happy about the Trump presidency, and am mostly libertarian both fiscally and socially. But I've long struggled to reconcile my position with the question of what to do about corporations accumulating too much power. A large enough corporation can, in some cases, almost become a defacto government, and even failing that they tend to have far too much influence on the market and the public.

      I'm not sure that natuonalizing them is the right answer, but, as o

    • Yes. Thanks for formulating this. That's basically the essence of healthy part of Marxist approach to the problem of rapid evolution of capitalism to imperialism.

      Imperialism already eliminated competition, so socialism (nationalization) won't hurt anybody.

      BTW, besides these two choices there is a niche of "utility" company: regulated much more heavier than the normal company, but not as unmotivated as the government.

      Theoretically, one can imagine in a well-govern country a regulation that can significantly

    • If a company becomes a communications platform, it needs to be regulated to preserve first amendment rights if it gets huge. That's the real deal issue around net neutrality, you can get rid of a lot of the common carrier baggage if you just have that protection.

    • Companies of that size should NOT be nationalized. Doing so would not remove the centralized anti-competitive power that is so tempting to misuse. It should be broken up into many smaller companies.

      In an ecosystem the more biodiversity there is, the more resistant an ecosystem is to disruptive change. This also holds true to economic fields. If you only have three banks managing all of a countrie's finances, failure of one or two will cause dire problems for the entire economy, top to bottom. If there we
    • Absolutely! Corporations that are too big are just as bad as government that is too big. (And fwiw another Trump supporter with no regrets thus far here.)

      That said, with a bit of luck, corporations that are too large will self-implode like the same sized governments. The only problem is such implosions usually don't happen without a lot of damage.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    These giant tech companies do nothing more than show government (and citizenry) how broken the laws actually are. The market will never restrain itself, that's what regulation is for. That regulation needs to be properly balanced and reviewed a bit more often than once a century, or you wind up with newer technologies arising to show how outdated those regulations are.

    That is the problem. Not businesses that take every advantage of the law to keep costs down, prices up, marketshare horded, and profits maxim

  • Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft can easily hop to China or Europe. Throwing stifling regulation at them will do absolutely nothing other than cause fewer jobs here in the US. Instead, government needs to stand behind business so people have jobs and the economy stays well off.

    As of now, this is working well -- the stock market is at record highs, the US is at full employment, where anyone who wants a job can get one, and companies are turning record profits. Hitting them with regulations will mean

    • Europe is already regulating these companies more stridently, China is even more authoritarian. And if those companies leave, why serve their interests? Drop their copyrights and patents, tariff their imports.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft can easily hop to China or Europe. Throwing stifling regulation at them will do absolutely nothing other than cause fewer jobs here in the US.

      This is meant to be ironic right? The EU actually enforces anti-competition laws unlike the US and the Chinese have tons of regulations. Why would any of these companies leave their crony capitalist country?

    • Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft can easily hop to China or Europe. Throwing stifling regulation at them will do absolutely nothing other than cause fewer jobs here in the US. Instead, government needs to stand behind business so people have jobs and the economy stays well off.

      As of now, this is working well -- the stock market is at record highs, the US is at full employment, where anyone who wants a job can get one, and companies are turning record profits. Hitting them with regulations will mean a recession, if not a depression, as they take their toys and go home.

      How exactly is allowing monopolies/oligopolies to crush every other form of competition a good thing, and something that should be supported by government? If you allow entire industries to collapse into half a dozen companies, there will be FAR fewer jobs than there are today. When Amazon bankrupts or buys 10,000 other companies, you think they're going to hire the 10,000 CEOs? Think all of the jobs in the 10,000 accounting or HR departments will be needed? Hell no. Automation will only exacerbate tha

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        I'm mostly in agreement with you, but I will say that working for a large company means that those in accounting and HR and many other groups, are mostly leeching off those actually doing the work...they become the bureaucracy that keeps large companies from being agile.

        • I'm mostly in agreement with you, but I will say that working for a large company means that those in accounting and HR and many other groups, are mostly leeching off those actually doing the work...they become the bureaucracy that keeps large companies from being agile.

          Accounting, HR, IT, every CxO position, even building maintenance. One could argue all of those non-revenue generating departments are "leeching" off all the others who are "actually doing the work", but it's a pointless argument because they are all necessary evils.

          If you want to talk about the true burden to efficiencies, consider what litigation has done against business efficiency over the last 50 years. Litigation and subsequent laws, regulations, policies and procedures are the reason most of those

    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      Easily? In your dreams. A move like that would cost billions, not to mention that they'd no longer have the political clout to get their way in Europe or China.

  • Poor thinking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:55PM (#55965521)

    Apple is to be admired ... for the simple reason that it makes things people want to buy

    So do meth cooks. And like those scofflaws Apple bends a lot of rules and fosters a lot of bad shit in this world. They don't get absolution just because they're cool.

    • Apple is to be admired ... for the simple reason that it makes things people want to buy

      So do meth cooks.

      *high-5*

      (Sorry, I'm out of mod points for today.)

    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      By "bending" rules I assume you mean laws and regulations. Statement of fact: If it's not illegal, then it's legal, and you can expect business to take advantage of it in order to maximize profit, ROI, and thus shareholder value. Some of you will consider that immoral, but companies aren't about morals, you need to fix the laws and regulations you want them to follow. Sure companies will do some good things for marketing/goodwill purposes...it's not because they're nice.

      Not sure what you'd be referring t

  • The Problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @12:06AM (#55965749) Homepage

    The presumption that big businesses must necessarily be wicked is plain wrong.

    This presumption is accurate. Corporations are required by law to make money. Share holders can exact retribution if they don't. People lose their job if they fail to steer their company in a growing profitable manner, regardless of whatever else.

    Once these companies 'go public', they are beholden to the share holders to give a return on their investment. The ever increasing demand for more profits, more growth, well, it's what turns good ideas into evil entities we despise.

    If company's goals were things like do X better for society, discover Y, provide Z service to the best of your ability, things might be better, but that's not how it is. Every company has the same goal: Make more money for their share holders. Period. Every other consideration is secondary.

    Every corporation I've ever seen has done one of two things: Get bigger, or disappear.

    • Making money is not 'wicked'. I worked for a company that did not make money and they wound up firing hundreds of people including a lot of engineers before going out of business. I quit five years before that happened, but the writing was on the wall.
      • Making money is not 'wicked'.

        Theoretically in some alternate reality you'd be correct, but human beings are predatory apes. So that means the side of humanity that is capable of engaging in trade peacefully and the ones that aren't are in conflict with each other. The predatory members of our species are shareholders and people in the miltiary and government at this time in history, that's a fact and reality.

        From war is a racket:

        "I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti an

    • Re:The Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @04:12AM (#55966219)

      That's an oversimplification. They have to live up to their charter/stated aims. Pre-1970s, it was common for the board to consider effect on the towns they live in, etc. Heck, there's no reason that we as society should allow "just make profit" as a valid mission statement.

    • It's not "wicked". It's "unrelated to common good". Unrelated as unit vectors in a million-dimiension space.

      There is "common good" and there is a "private good" or "group good". The fundamental hypothesis of libertarians and brain-dead Aynrandianistas is that somehow magically a combination of "group goods" leads to "common good".

      • It's not "wicked". It's "unrelated to common good". Unrelated as unit vectors in a million-dimiension space.

        There is "common good" and there is a "private good" or "group good". The fundamental hypothesis of libertarians and brain-dead Aynrandianistas is that somehow magically a combination of "group goods" leads to "common good".

        It's an oversimplification to say that common goods and private/group goods are orthogonal. In fact, the group good of shareholders in a corporation is most often best served by the corporation making and selling something that lots of people want at a price that is both acceptable to people and profitable. The fact that lots of people are willing to exchange their hard-earned cash for the good is strong evident that it is a common good.

        Of course, it's also an error to say that common goods and private/gr

    • Re:The Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday January 20, 2018 @10:45AM (#55967167) Homepage Journal

      Corporations are required by law to make money. Share holders can exact retribution if they don't..

      Impressive. Not many people can pack so much factual error into so few words.

      First error is that corporations are required by law to make money. They are not. They are required to fulfill the aims laid out in their corporate charter, IPO statements and other promises to shareholders. There are, in fact, several corporations in existence (mostly "activist" investment funds) whose explicit goals are social or environmental in nature. Their share holders could exact retribution for making money the wrong way, or, if their goals turn out to be incompatible with making money, for making it at all. Google is an interesting case here, because its IPO documents say quite a bit about social responsibility as part of the justification for the distinction between the common and preferred stock issuance that allowed Google's founders to retain voting control (if Page, Brin and Schmidt vote together, they outvote all the rest of the shareholders put together).

      Second error is that shareholders exact retribution if corporations fail to pursue their stated goals. In theory you're actually correct here. In practice, can you find a single example of share holders doing this that wasn't due to simple malfeasance?

      Third is the implicit assumption that focusing on making money always leads to negative decisions. In fact, more often than not it's exactly the opposite because the very best way to make lots of money is to make and sell something people want at a price they want to pay for it. In other words, provide a public good. Where focus on profits often does lead to evil decisions is when companies' products are not doing well in the marketplace, so execs become desperate to squeeze a little more wherever they can. Companies that are awash in money and growing rapidly rarely have any need to do this.

      • Where focus on profits often does lead to evil decisions is when companies' products are not doing well in the marketplace, so execs become desperate to squeeze a little more wherever they can. Companies that are awash in money and growing rapidly rarely have any need to do this.

        Good reply overall. However, I disagree pretty wholeheartedly. I'll explain a little. Sure everything you said is pretty accurate, but in truth, it's just skirting around the actual problem. Companies are definitely required to make money for their shareholders. Why the hell else would shareholders buy shares? For fun? No. They buy them to get a return on their investment. If the company fails to meet this requirement, share holders get upset, make a lot of noise, potentially sell off if their dema

        • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

          I agree with most all of what you said. I'd just like to add that many companies skirt becoming monopolies by branching out into other areas. You also have localized monopolies (think ISPs, who should really be treated as public utilities), who have everyone by the shorthairs. We need to improve our regulation of monopolistic behavior. At some point soon, we need to do something about Amazon, Google, Walmart, ISPs and some others. I want a free market, but when there's no longer competition, there's no

    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      What a lot of people fail to recognize is that every company needs to provide a return on investment (ROI). And if that ROI is too low, investors will find somewhere else to invest, leaving the company strapped, and pushing down the value of the company. Making money isn't evil, but too much (and too little) regulation is. We need to get the money out of government lobbying, and set a reasonable level of corporate taxation...I'd be in favor of a progressive level, similar to individual taxes, and then cu

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Innovation that relies on thievery is not innovation, in fact it is contrary by definition. Big business is indeed not necessarily wicked, but big tech *is*. Most of these companies would collapse if they were required to be ethical, and that is also perfectly telling. The biggest absurdity is the notion that innovation is only possible outside of the realm of ethics and decency. That's not a justification, it is an excuse, and it is reprehensible.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @12:29AM (#55965811)

    Wow, this is a load of horseshit. He's discounting science and calling it "fake news", why? Simple, it doesn't fit the narrative that he's trying to sell you.

    Evidence for the link between smartphones and unhappiness is weak. Fake news is not only an online phenomenon.

    I can tell you for a fact that adults addicted to their smartphones just kinda check out of being parents and only do the most superficial component of parenting. They aren't neglecting their children but they also aren't involved in their lives in any meaningful way. There's a new generation of children being raised by zombie parents because of these damn machines and it's going to lead to an increasingly and strangely fucked up future for society. These devices could be great tools but there is far more profit in making money off of neurohacking people which results in screen zombies.

    It's ultimately up to the individual to decide how they live their lives but there is nobody warning them about the danger smartphones present.

    • Major factor of modern history is elimination of the need for humans.

      Two tribes mercilessly killing each other in competition for extensive resources did not mean that human life value is zero, it meant the opposite: human lives were very very important these days. That's why the opposite side is killing your people: because they are very important to you and killing them is important military objective. Every soldier life matters and it matters a lot.

      Bring back nowadays: humans are not important at all: th

  • Too big (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @12:58AM (#55965855) Journal

    Many online services would be worse if their providers were smaller.

    Bullshit. If there are a larger quantity of providers, they compete harder and customers have more choice. Japan had 7 viable car companies that kicked the ass of our 3 in the 80's.

    The only place I see it being a problem is cross-country coverage. But the co's can make roaming deals with other carriers.

    Oligopolies consistently have the worse customer service in surveys among different products that have fell under oligopolies/monopolies.

    • Japan had 7 viable car companies that kicked the ass of our 3 in the 80's.

      What? Who told you that. Japan had 2 viable car companies that kicked the ass of our 3 in the 80s, Toyota and Honda. Nissan never kicked our asses in sales, although they did kick our asses in price:performance; the 240Z and the 300ZX were both designed to provide Corvette performance at half the cost, and both achieved their goals (and with superior handling, to boot.)

      Subaru is only now gaining any kind of ascension, in the last few years. Sales for them are just going up and up, although to be fair their

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        the 240Z and the 300ZX were both designed to provide Corvette performance at half the cost,

        Funny you should say this, because I purchased a new 85 Vette when I lived in Germany. My landlord's brother owned the Nissan dealership that was literally next to my house, and he gave me grief for not purchasing a Z. Then I took him for a ride down the winding road to the Mosel river..."now I understand" he said. Even the 911 wasn't up to the Vette that year. My fully loaded Vette was about $25k even. Base MSRP of a stripped 300 according to NADA was $17199 and $19699 for the Turbo according to:

        http: [nadaguides.com]

  • not tech (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @02:12AM (#55965997) Homepage Journal

    This is not about tech companies. There is a general problem with the way our system is set up whenever a company (representing the desire to make money) is large and powerful enough to make demands from a government (representing the diverse needs of the people).

    Whenever one desire can subdue all other desires, you have something we call addiction in psychology. And the general agreement is that it's a bad thing, unhealthy for the whole organism.

    View societies as organisms (living systems theory, in case you are into such fields) and many faults of our system become painfully obvious.

    • require the 49% interest in the company be allocated to employees. hand out stock annually to employees, dilute existing shares when 49% pool is exhausted.
    • require all content platforms to be available on all devices. no more games like the amazon / google youtube conflict.
    • related is requiring all content (movies, video, books) to be available on all content platforms at the same price. Content houses need to recognise that the content is the brand, not the production house.
    • all services have an api so th
  • Their users are the ones really in charge and the ones who should force any company to behave properly. Clients shouldn't be hysterical fans, members of cults or suckers blindly believing that (big) companies really care about them. Users shouldn't be understanding with even the slightest problem and actively contribute towards creating a monopoly-free internet/world; they might, for example, try to use as many alternatives as possible or make worldwide legislations restrict their activity.

    Big internet com
    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      Their users are the ones really in charge and the ones who should force any company to behave properly

      Sure, I'd love to foster competition. I feel guilty when I go through Amazon to order stuff, but what hoops do I need to jump through to get the same price/service? I ordered a digital converter for slides yesterday morning, and it was on my doorstep by 8pm.

      • I feel guilty

        I don't think that you should feel in that way either. Big companies have a positive impact on economies and lots of people work for them. The idea is to not get fooled into believing that there aren't other alternatives or that they really care about you (their positive impact is just an unintended side effect which they might even avoid if they could) or that changing your routines is difficult.

        Would you like to help small business, but big companies offer you something notably better? Buy from big compa

  • by davide marney ( 231845 ) <davide.marney@ne ... ia.org minus bsd> on Saturday January 20, 2018 @07:26AM (#55966637) Journal

    The greatest thing about capitalism is that it fully embraces the unfairness of life, and in fact, uses it to produce something worthy.

    There are haves and have-nots. This goes far beyond mere money. Life is completely unfair, top to bottom. But in a capitalist society, it doesn't have to stay that way. A have-not can become rich by mass-providing something that the rich have to all his fellow have-nots.

    Just two generations ago, the ability to quickly research something and gain an insight that might give you a competitive edge was limited to people with access to research libraries and experts. Today we have the Internet. Yes, the Internet is full of sludge, but that's only on its bottom. What runs on top is extraordinarily valuable information. And all that value now rests in the palm of everyone's hand.

    Government funded the research phase of the Internet, and it was a spectacularly good investment. But it's only in hindsight that we can say that, only after capitalism mass-produced it. Can you imagine what an Internet run by the government would look like?! I shudder to even think.

    Embrace the unfairness of life and exploit it. Be creative and courageous. Don't rely on the government -- of all institutions! -- to make life "fair". Life in North Korea and Cuba is what government's idea of "fair" looks like.

    • An internet run by academia probably looks better than the internet we have now.

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        An internet run by academia probably looks better than the internet we have now.

        Maybe in terms of research available, and lack of advertising. But the last thing I want is a bunch of people who don't have real world work experience telling everyone what's best for us.

  • by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @12:34PM (#55967647)

    "Much of this techlash is misguided."

    Lets list some top shelf, recent bad things happening at the big tech giants:
    - Google is suppressing relevant links in your search results that don't agree with their world view and/or whatever country you are searching from. If a conservative organization that controlled 90% of all search was doing this, it would be wall to wall media coverage, but the truth is Google is warping reality, rather than using straight relevancy to your search terms, now they are also deciding what is relevant.

    Google must be regulated as a common carrier to protect the free exchange of ideas (a ubiquitous search engine is the very definition of a common carrier), and only a very narrow list should be censorable, and that list must be defined by the government with federal oversight and transparency and accountability to the people, not some unaccountable corporation. For example, sites inciting actual unjustified violence (in their content, not in some random user generated comment), sites promoting violent jihad, sites promoting harming children, etc.
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articl... [wsws.org]
    https://www.usnews.com/opinion... [usnews.com]
    https://www.reddit.com/r/googl... [reddit.com]

    - Google and Facebook combined control 60% of all advertising revenue on the web, and routinely block content from receiving revenue if they don't agree with it (conservative video blogs on Youtube for example.) No other entity has more than 5% market share of online advertising. http://fortune.com/2017/07/28/... [fortune.com]
    - Google recently fired an employee who was asked for input on their internal hiring policies. When he highlighted a number of reasonable, demonstrable facts that contradict Google's diversity initiatives, one of his upper level managers leaked his memo to the press and he was subsequently fired (they are now facing a massive class action lawsuit, and more and more stories of the fascist intolerant alt left behavior at Google are coming out.) (no citation needed, well documented on slashdot.)
    - Facebook first facilitated Russian (and likely Chinese and others) meddling by allowing false advertising stories to run during the election, then they tried to implement news censors, the vast majority of which were targeted against conservative sites, to the point that there was massive backlash and they got hauled in front of congress to explain WTF they were doing. They utilized blatantly biased censors as well as sites like politifact (which has very little facts beyond the actual name, and is a demonstrated shill for the alt left and not some non-partisan group) and the ADL (also an alt left hit squad group with zero credibility to anyone who has been paying attention).
    https://gizmodo.com/former-fac... [gizmodo.com]
    https://www.washingtontimes.co... [washingtontimes.com]
    Some concrete examples of conservative banning: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/20... [foxnews.com]

    - Twitter has been caught red handed gleefully describing how they shadow ban people for expressing political views with which they disagree, rather than advocating anything objectively wrong. The political bans have been 90% right leaning people. Those on the left who have been banned have been advocating actual violence, and often associated with the terrorist group Antifa.

    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      Twitter was recently caught refusing to block Rosie O'Donnell after being notified of abusive tweets from her. They refuse to follow their own rules when it's someone they agree with.

  • I think the overaching problem with all of this is that these massive organizations are for-profit corporations. A search engine with 90%+ marketshare, a social network with 2 billion people’s connections and growing, a communications platform connecting half the world, would be ok if they were decentralized, federated networks running on public coulds with data protected by their owners and secured with crypo.

    We can benefit from technology without giving ourselves and our data over to corporations.

    • We can benefit from technology without giving ourselves and our data over to corporations.

      Sorry to tell ya, you're living in fantasy land. In a post internet age, most products people buy have some software component and most people are technology illiterate. They are incapable of making rational decisions regarding technology.

      Consider silicon valley and the videogame industry has always wanted to take control of software on their customers computers, during the 90's PC game boom video game companies were trying to deal with growing costs of making PC RPG's so they decided to try to see how s

      • by GrahamJ ( 241784 )

        It’s entirely possible to create something that’s as easy to access and use as Facebook but that isn’t centralized or controlled by a corporation. People are getting increasingly concerned about privacy and they don’t need to be particularly tech savvy to change what apps they’re spending their time in. All they need to do is decide to use an alternative, when a decent one arrives, en masse.

        The internet is a drop in the bucket of human history; there’s a lot more to come

  • by sad_ ( 7868 )

    it's all about power, they have become too big and thus gained too much power.
    they could use if for good or evil, most of the time a bit of both, but we remember the evil things longer.

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