Democrats in Congress appear ready to investigate Google and Facebook over antitrust issues.
“Unwarranted, concentrated economic power in the hands of a few is dangerous to democracy, especially when digital platforms control content, the era of self regulation is over,” California representative and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in a recent tweet.
At issue is the monopoly both tech giants have on social media as well as e-commerce.
Unwarranted, concentrated economic power in the hands of a few is dangerous to democracy – especially when digital platforms control content. The era of self-regulation is over.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 4, 2019
Apparently, the democrats are convinced that Russian (yes, Russian) interference and manipulation of Facebook gave President Trump the 2016 election. That, and the fact that a doctored video of Pelosi has yet to be taken down, seem to have brought the issue to the fore.
Considering the hue and cry from conservative content producers, this would seem to be a timely topic, except that the democrats aren’t really addressing that issue. They seem to be focusing on the economic impact the tech giants have, not the censorship. With all this interest in the monopolistic practices of Google and Facebook, the topic of censorship of conservative producers and bloggers is barely mentioned. Why?
It can only be a good thing to bring these liberal arbiters of social engineering to heel, right? Maybe.
While politicians like Rhode Island’s Democratic Rep. David N. Cicilline talk about “The growth of monopoly power across our economy” being “one of the most pressing economic and political challenges we face today,” conservative news outlets and content producers are being de-platformed, shadow banned and outright censored at every turn.
Because of that, republicans, who have long been calling for investigations into such practices, are cheering on their democrat colleagues. As pressure is brought to bear on the companies, it can only spell more trouble for Google, Facebook and other tech giants, who have had free reign to use their overwhelming control of mass social media to silence conservative voices.
The issue of social engineering and 1984 “Big Brother” style mind control might, finally, see the light of day in congress, but rest assured — it is not high on the democrats’ list. Any public airing of the empirically observable phenomenon of conservative (or any viewpoint that they don’t agree with) censorship is a good thing.
The direction Google and Facebook are heading is much more akin to George Orwell’s vision than anything we’ve seen before. The ability to control what people see, read and hear is much too powerful an aphrodisiac to be left in the hands of liberal and leftist ideologues. It would be just as dangerous if the opposing political persuasion were to control such a technology.
If there is to be truly free speech, all forms of censorship need to be eliminated. Let the consuming public decide what to see and hear. That is truly free speech.
If Google and Facebook have finally reached their apex because of their economic activity, and their social models are called into question on the national stage, well, ‘any port in a storm’ as the saying goes. It would be a good thing.