Congress to Big Tech: We’re Investigating You, Wink Wink

Congress to Big Tech: We’re Investigating You, Wink Wink

Congress to Big Tech: We’re Investigating You, Wink Wink

There’s a reason I no longer use Google. There’s a reason I’ve started a new account on Parler, the newest competitor to Twitter. And there’s a reason I’m using Facebook less and less these days. But the reason I’m increasingly shunning Big Tech—particularly social media giants Facebook and Twitter—is not the reason Congress is suddenly interested in them. Their interest is one of market monopolies

The House Judiciary Committee announced Monday that it will hold a series of hearings as part of a bipartisan investigation into whether there is enough competition among U.S. technology companies.”

I can provide you an answer, Congress, at no cost whatsoever: emphatically no. You’re welcome.

While no companies were named, any investigation will inevitably touch on Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple, all of which have come under increased scrutiny in recent years for their dominance in a variety of markets including social networking, online advertising, online search, e-commerce and mobile apps.”

‘A small number of dominant, unregulated platforms have extraordinary power over commerce, communication, and information online,’ the Judiciary Committee noted in a news release that included the names of both Democratic and Republican members. ‘Based on investigative reporting and oversight by international policymakers and enforcers, there are concerns that these platforms have the incentive and ability to harm the competitive process.'”

‘The Antitrust Subcommittee will conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms. This is the first time Congress has undertaken an investigation into this behavior.'”

Do I hear the perfect excuse for the Un-elected Bureaucrat Regulation Train? Why, yes, I think I do. And along with it the Speech Police, headed by the Jerrold Nadlers of the land, who, like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, deem anything they disagree with “hate speech,” and thus will cut your mic without a second thought:

Thus my concern: the reason I’m spending less and less time on social media platforms is discrimination. I experienced it myself a few weeks ago, when I dared make mention of Hillary Clinton’s negligence with regard to Benghazi. Poof! Account suspended. Truth silenced. Which no one in Congress seems even remotely interested in addressing. And this is likely why:

The five biggest technology companies in the U.S. have poured more than half a billion dollars since 2005 into lobbying Congress on issues ranging from privacy to tax laws.”

“From 2005 to 2018, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft spent a collective $582 million trying to influence Capitol Hill, according to a new report from vpnMentor, as some of those companies tried to privately battle growing concerns about their handling of user data.”

And in case you missed it, this oddity occurred over the past weekend:

https://twitter.com/alex_cee1/status/1135697954218504192

I dunno. But the timing sure is interesting.

And then there’s this eye-roller:

We can always rely on the leftist media to protect and defend corporate fascism, and help silence speech in the “digital public square.” Um, no, CNBC. Big Tech is threatening—and actively suppressing (make sure to click through to that article)—freedom, and along with it our constitutional republic, as it suppresses conservative voices in its search results, discriminates against conservatives on its social media platforms, and de-monetizes anyone with whom it disagrees, all while allowing its preferred socialists to spew just about any 280-character vomitous imaginable. (Note that James Woods tweeted this and is banned from Twitter; as of this writing, Peter Henry Fonda still has an active account.)

The truth is: there is next to nothing that Congress has ever spent its time and our money “investigating” that has ever resulted in consequences for the targets of its probes. And I don’t expect that to change here either. The Democrats—and lots of establishment types in the other party—are perfectly happy with Big Tech censoring the speech of their political opposition. Heck, they seemingly gave in-kind donations to Obama’s re-election campaign, as admitted by Obama for America’s media director.

So don’t hold your breath waiting for anyone in Congress to do anything about Big Tech. They know who lines their pockets and which party they overwhelmingly prefer, and that applies even to those who otherwise champion open dialogue, but look the other way when Big Tech floods their home states with job and cash carrots.

Sure, Congress will shake its fists, find a camera where they can profess their dedication to fighting Big Tech monopolies to anyone who’ll listen, and hold public hearings where they’ll appear to be “doing something” on behalf of American citizens, wink wink. But the truth will be that nothing will come of it. BUT…and here’s the (hopefully!) good news: our new-and-improved Attorney General is taking a peek at them, too. And that is where I’m placing my bets that something may finally be done. Because one of these entities is full of do-nothings/say anythings who spend their days trying to get re-elected, and the other is a no-nonsense defender of our republic, and an apolitical applier of equal justice. So if I’m forced to predict which of these two entities will be effective in holding Big Tech’s collective feet to the fire, I’ll take a Barr exam for $2,000. And if I were Big Tech, I might be quietly shaking in my jackboots right about now. And isn’t it about time they did?

 

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Feature Image Credit: Pixabay; free for commercial use; no attribution required; image cropped.

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5 Comments
  • zenman says:

    Perhaps you gals (almost said guys there not that I think you’d care) could lead the way and put links to follow these alternate sites on your website.

    Currently: facebook twitter pinterest instagram youtube vine

    Why not also have Gab, Parler, etc links available as well.

    Only way to get around the big giants is to use alternate paths to get to information. So promote it.

    More then willing to lend a hand if needed…

  • GWB says:

    the newest competitor to Twitter
    I looked at it, and it didn’t seem to be really similar to Twitter. *scratches head*

    the reason I’m spending less and less time on social media platforms is discrimination.
    Yes. And NO. I’m sure you’ve moved your work/time/efforts before from one platform to another because you weren’t satisfied with the first one. You decided AT&T wasn’t as good a deal as it used to be, and you switched to Sprint (HA!). Or from Dish to Comcast. Or from General Mills cereals to Malt-o-Meal.

    The problem isn’t simply their discrimination; you could deal with that. It’s their singular power to remove you from entire (or nearly entire) modes of communication/broadcast. IOW, it’s their monopoly power.

    When they were acting solely as platforms, allowing pretty much anything (within bounds of propriety), they could be allowed to grow* mostly unchecked. But they haven’t been acting merely as platform providers for a long time now. and Congress (the corporate Republicans and the progressive Dems) has been laying down on the job (as has DoJ).
    (* They could be allowed to grow, but they still should not have been. But there’s a longer economic discussion to be had there over growth and acquisition.)

    The problem now is that these companies have – admittedly partly through offering services that people really want, and doing so for “free” – grown to dominate an entire region of cyber-communications. If you want an interconnected, photo/link/gossip-sharing site that all your far-flung relatives/friends/PYWNSTWIRLBFBCTF* use, you sort of HAVE TO use FarceBook. If you want to follow folks sending out little snippets of snark and pics of their lattes and links to ‘news’, then you just about HAVE TO use Twaitter. If you want to post a bunch of videos where people can see them easily and go from someone else’s video to your related video easily, you HAVE TO use youTube. And Google is … just everywhere. None of these platforms will work with other platforms (except Google – they’ll prostitute out to anyone, as long as they get to embed their pixels and track you). If they did, they would quickly lose their monopoly status.
    (* “people who you would never spend time with in real life but FB calls them ‘friends'”)

    This is the real problem: they’ve been allowed to accumulate so much control over portions of the cyber-communications world that they have governmental-level power.

    And, yes, the US gov’t needs to step in and appropriately Break. Them. Up.

    BTW, Glenn Reynolds has a book out about social media and its detrimental effects on people and society.

  • Alan says:

    I don’t mean to sound critical but you should capitalize after a colon.

  • GLS says:

    Yeah wink wink!! sure–these companies will pay off all of congress and congress will continue to harrass them and bring them in to grill them for more money in their pockets. they truly must think we are stupid and blind to their games. they all need jail time for the corruption and crimes they committed against us. make sure we vote them all out and also vote for term limits.

    gls

    • Anchovy says:

      This^^^

      The whole reason congress wants to make noise is to big tech will spend more money on lobbyists and campaign contributions. “Hey, Mr. Congresscritter let us fly you and your family down to the South Pacific islands so you can see how Polynesians use our services and how it improves our lives. Of course we will cover your air fare, hotel, meals and drinks and give you a nice stipend for a 5 min talk after dinner.”

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