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.
April 12, 2019
At a time when big tech companies are being attacked over bigness, privacy, elections, and the ordering of their news feeds, the Charles Koch Institute has some good news. While we all have plenty of complaints, Americans also have a lot of good things to say about the platforms, websites, and apps that they use every day.
April 3, 2019
The Internet is unique in history not because it lacked “rules” about free expression, but that it expanded that broadcast freedom to all, not just the few. Facebook, Google, and other social media firms do not “censor”—only government can do that.
April 2, 2019
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s motto used to be “Move fast and break things.” Now that his company is under increased political scrutiny—and facing calls for breakup from both right and left—he has changed his tune to “move slowly and establish rules.”
February 7, 2019
The debate at today’s House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing was largely between making blocking, throttling, and fast lanes illegal and going further to also place the Internet under heavy-handed Title II authority.
January 28, 2019
As technology and telecommunications evolve, new challenges inevitably arise for policy makers. New mandates or prohibitions should be avoided in all but the most exceptional circumstances. Ill-conceived rules could stifle the high-tech economy, saddling innovative firms with arbitrary regulations or draconian liability regimes.
January 4, 2019
The end of the 115th Congress meant the end of using the Congressional Review Act to void the Federal Communication Commission’s repeal of Obama-era net neutrality regulation. Sadly, advocates of more government control over the Internet will almost surely try to pass new net neutrality legislation in the new Congress. And just as the old regulations were bad for innovation, news ones legislators may dream up in 2019 will likely be a detriment to consumers if enacted.