Say No To Regulation But Yes to Competition

I happened to run across this news article which calls for the government to step in and break up Facebook because Zuckerberg is not accountable and far too big and far too powerful.

According to CNBC estimates, Zuckerberg and a small group of insiders are estimated to control almost 70% of all voting shares on Facebook. Zuckerberg himself, personally controls nearly 60%. According to the CNBC news article:
” Facebook Co-founder Hughes joins a growing chorus of privacy advocates and politicians from the right and the left, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a presidential candidate, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who have called for federal antitrust action against Facebook.”

Senator Warren wants Internet Platforms to be designated as a utility subject to more lawsuits and fines if they violate privacy laws. Hughes has also mentioned that what is considered “hateful and violent speech” should be determined by the courts and not corporate executives on their own. If hateful and violent speech crosses the line into true threats that are not protected by the first amendment, then I agree. However, if Facebook wants to use its own standard on what it considers “hateful and violent speech”. I am just as reluctant to infringe upon the freedoms of a corporation as I am an individual. However, I draw the line at Facebook try to enforce its definition of “hateful and violent speech” outside of its platform if it is trying to drive competitors or potential competitors out of business. If Facebook is using its weight to bully/control other internet startup platforms, then by all means Congress has the right to step in and take action.

This reminds me of the Twitter/Gab controversy with Twitter being perceived as punishing accounts with right wing viewpoints. Gab came into being over Twitter being heavy handed when it comes to suspensions and as such Gab has a reputation for being an alt-right haven for accounts that have been kicked off of Twitter.

However, this doesn’t bother me as a Gab user because Gab explicitly states in its terms of service that is a haven to protect free speech regardless of what political stripe it is. Simply put, left-wingers are just as welcome on Gab despite its founder Andrew Torba being a right-wing conservative. Let Facebook continue doing what it does as long as the playing field is open to all.

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