Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Urgent Case for Legislation against Facebook and Google



The following article appeared in the American Thinker on January 30th


Having been one of the early targets of social media censorship on Facebook, YouTube et al, I have advocated for anti-trust action against these bullying behemoths. It is good to see establishment outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and National Review coming to the same conclusion, or at least asking the same questions.

Just this week, Facebook launched its latest of many attacks on my news site, the Geller Report. It labeled my site as "spam" and removed every Geller Report post -- thousands upon thousands of them, going back years – from Facebook. It also blocked any Facebook member from sharing links to the Geller Report. The ramping up of the shutting-down of sites like mine is neither random nor personal. The timing is telling. The left is gearing up for the 2018 midterm elections, and they mean to shut down whatever outlet or voice that helped elect President Trump, the greatest upset in left-wing history.

In fighting this shutdown, we had to go back to the drawing board in our lawsuit against these social media giants. The basis of our suit was challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment, which provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.

Facebook and Google take in roughly half of all Internet ad revenue. According to the Wall Street Journal:

In the U.S., Alphabet Inc.’s Google drives 89% of internet search; 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook Inc. product; and Amazon.com Inc. now accounts for 75% of electronic book sales. Those firms that aren’t monopolists are duopolists: Google and Facebook absorbed 63% of online ad spending last year; Google and Apple Inc. provide 99% of mobile phone operating systems; while Apple and Microsoft Corp. supply 95% of desktop operating systems.

Both companies routinely censor and spy on their customers, “massaging everything from the daily news to what we should buy.” In the last century, the telephone was our “computer,” and Ma Bell was how we communicated. That said, would the American people (or the government) have tolerated AT&T spying on our phone calls and then pulling our communication privileges if we expressed dissenting opinions? That is exactly what we are suffering today.

Ma Bell was broken up by the government, albeit for different reasons. But it can and should be done.


(Article continues HERE)

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