I wrote just one post last week and it centered around the dangers posed to society by U.S. tech giants. I specifically called out Facebook, pointing out how company executives are currently groveling to politicians in order to prevent legislation that might deem it a monopoly and curtail its power.
I explained how U.S. politicians prefer to use the power and reach of tech giants for their own ends rather than take them down a notch. Politicians aren’t at all concerned about the outsized influence of centralized tech behemoths engineering society using secret algorithms, they just want to be in control of how this power is abused.
Meanwhile, today’s biggest news is the uniform move by three U.S. tech giants to de-platform Alex Jones and his Infowars website. The main companies involved are Apple, Facebook and Google (via YouTube), as reported in The Guardian:
All but one of the major content platforms have banned the American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as the companies raced to act in the wake of Apple’s decision to remove five podcasts by Jones and his Infowars website.
Facebook unpublished four pages run by Jones for “repeated violations of community standards”, the company said on Monday. YouTube terminated Jones’s account over him repeatedly appearing in videos despite being subject to a 90-day ban from the website, and Spotify removed the entirety of one of Jones’s podcasts for “hate content”…
Facebook’s and YouTube’s enforcement action against Jones came hours after Apple removed Jones from its podcast directory. The timing of Facebook’s announcement was unusual, with the company confirming the ban at 3am local time.
Put aside what you think of Alex Jones for a moment. If they can do this to him and not fear the repercussions, they can do it to anybody. This is about power, and these platforms together account for a massive share of content distribution in the U.S. Ultimately, this is just a particularly muscular and in your face example of what’s known as Silicon Valley’s cultural imperialism.
I know a lot of people think the answer is to get Congress to do something, as if those monumentally corrupt donor puppets have any interest in helping the public.
I get it, you want Congress to call Facebook a monopoly and break it up.— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) August 6, 2018
Unfortunately,here are two hard truths:
1) Politicians would rather use Facebook as a weapon than reduce its power.
2) Politicians don't work for you.
I've been saying this for a while. The momentum isn't with the critics who would actually diminish the big tech companies' power. The momentum is with people who see the corps' concentrated influence as a tool to be used. https://t.co/FgczA4kYDj— Jesse Walker (@notjessewalker) August 6, 2018
I’d also like to point out that Facebook’s stock was up over 4% today, completely shrugging off any potential backlash from users. Executives assume its users are all addled junkies unwilling to give up convenience and their addiction no matter what the company does. Are they right?
Speaking of which, on the same day the move against Jones was announced we learn Facebook is in talks with mega banks to get your financial information.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Facebook Inc.wants your financial data.
The social media giant has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users.
Facebook increasingly wants to be a platform where people buy and sell goods and services, besides connecting with friends. The company over the past year asked JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and U.S. Bancorp to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger, said people familiar with the matter.
Facebook executives don’t actually care about anything besides their profits and power, so the only way you can take any individual action against the company is to delete your account. I haven’t engaged with Facebook since 2012, so permanently deleting it wasn’t a personal sacrifice, but I did it anyway earlier today.
Stop bitching and take action.— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) August 6, 2018
Here's how to delete Facebook, not deactivate, but DELETE (they make it hard).https://t.co/KfgGrfVOKQ
Don’t wait for other people to change things for you, stop whining and take some individual responsibility. If you agree that Facebook’s primarily a nefarious narcissism-factory wasteland masquerading as a platform just delete it... before it deletes you.
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