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Should Governments Take Action Against Big Tech Monopolies?

by The Participator – 15 Aug 2019

[TALKING POINT]

There is growing alarm at the power of the big technology companies such as Google (includes Youtube), Facebook, and Twitter. These companies have gained near monopolies of the market in their fields, and increasingly they are being accused of political bias. What’s more, the political bias appears to be getting progressively more extreme, more and more people are finding themselves being banned or shadow-banned for increasingly trivial reasons. The power of these companies is so immense that they could even sway elections in one direction or another, in fact a Google executive was recently caught in an undercover sting threatening that the company was intending to do just that. From Project Veritas:

Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020 on Hidden Cam

The above article reveals that even media channels as mainstream and popular as Dave Rubin’s channel and PragerU have been affected:

Insider Says PragerU And Dave Rubin Content Suppressed, Targeted As “Right-Wing”

Perhaps worst of all, the methods being used by these companies to limit the reach of right wing voices are often insidious, for example the practice of shadow banning is employed against a person or organization without them being notified, and so they often don’t even become aware that they are subjected to such a measure for some time, if at all. The potential distortion of public opinion that such measures could produce must be obvious to our readers.

A Google insider interviewed by Project Veritas stated that Google searches are weighted with political bias, and follow the so-called “cultural Marxist” agenda. For example, he drew our attention to the different results you get from Google’s autocomplete function in a specific example. When you type the words “men can” you currently get the autocomplete options (probably not for long but we tried it and got these very results, see also screenshot at the top of the article):

Type the words “women can” into the Google search box on the other hand and you get these results:

MUST SOMETHING BE DONE?

There are increasingly calls for governments to act against these companies, either to break the companies up into smaller companies, or for legislation to be enacted that will make it illegal for these companies to act in politically biased ways.

The EU is apparently mooting just such a move, using anti-trust legislation, albeit with very different motivating concerns. From the Independent:

Google threatened with break up by EU over monopoly fears

Many people have also suggested that the internet should be regulated with what has been described as an “internet bill of rights”. There is confusion however about what exactly would constitute such a bill of rights, so the subject is mired in controversy and confusion. For example, this article appeared in the Washington Times last year:

Introducing the Internet Bill of Rights

Sub-title:

Democrats promise that if they win back the House, they will start regulating Silicon Valley.

President Trump has apparently proposed a very different measure announced in the last few days (please note this article may be biased on the pro-Democrat side):

The Trump administration drafted an executive order to censor the internet

Quote:

… Trump’s plan is for the FCC and The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to draft a new interpretation of Section 230 that cracks down on politically biased moderation.

The issue is further confused with another issue known as “net neutrality” which refers to proposed legislation designed to regulate the underlying infrastructure of the internet. That is a separate subject which we can discuss another time, the subject at hand here is the political bias displayed by the companies that run social media websites and search engines – Google, Facebook and Twitter.

DEBATE POINTS

Could such legislative measures have unintended consequences? Are the companies in any case busily digging their own graves with their “cultural Marxist” agenda, which is likely to alienate large numbers of their users? Are all companies inevitably going to show some degree of bias, is it ever going to be possible to correct this using government legislation?

On the other hand there is no getting away from the fact that these companies now wield immense power, and that they are threatening to interfere with forthcoming elections. Must something be done, or should we leave it to the free market to resolve this issue?

What do you think? Please leave a comment below.

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