September 3, 2019
Facebook has faced intense criticism from lawmakers and regulators since last spring, when The Observer and The New York Times reported that data from over 50 million Facebook users had been harvested as part of Cambridge Analytica’s effort to influence American voters.
August 20, 2019
Today former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), in fulfillment of an arrangement with Facebook, released an independent Interim Report (and accompanying op-ed) cataloging the primary concerns of conservatives who, as is now well known, regard Facebook as unfairly biased and opposed to conservative viewpoints.
August 9, 2019
Earlier this week it was reported that the Trump administration was drafting an executive order to combat perceived “censorship” of conservatives on online platforms such as Facebook and Google. Without details, the Competitive Enterprise Institute urged caution since the First Amendment does not empower government to police speech but rather restricts government from limiting or compelling speech.
August 7, 2019
There has much bemoaning and hand-wringing by members of Congress on the alleged dangers of social media.
August 6, 2019
The end of the first blog post in this series warned that the real result of a successful lawsuit to block the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile would not be a market with four large wireless competitors, but rather one without Sprint or T-Mobile at all. This is because mergers signal a dynamic marketplace that is highly competitive.
June 27, 2019
Yesterday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touched on some of the most pressing issues facing his company and big tech as a whole. While his continued calls for government regulation of social media companies and other online services are dismaying, many of the principles Zuckerberg laid out represent exactly why such government intervention is not necessary and likely won’t produce better results.
June 25, 2019
An article in today’s Wall Street Journal recapped a recent war-of-words between a European Facebook executive, Nick Clegg, and Apple CEO Tim Cook. At issue is the differing revenue models of the companies. Apple sells devices and subscription-based services. Facebook of course does not charge for the services it provides users and instead relies on advertising revenue.
May 16, 2019
My colleague Wayne Crews has already slammed the White House for a first step towards government regulation of online speech in its “tech bias” complaints portal. It is interesting that the administration has followed the model of the problematic Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in simply collecting complaints as proof of problems with the industry concerned.
May 9, 2019
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, former publisher of The New Republic, argues in a long essay for The New York Times that the company should be broken up and regulated, and indeed that this would be the “American” thing to do.
May 7, 2019
Facebook’s expulsion of several controversial figures from its platform last week is an example of a company managing its own private property to what it believes are the best ends. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg threatens to undermine Facebook’s property rights if governments heed his call for replacing these private judgment calls with national and global government diktats determining what is and is not acceptable speech.