Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Google, Amazon and Facebook

Jan 7, 2018
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https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/08/p...arren-is-calling-for-the-breakup-of-big-tech/

The influential Massachusetts senator and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has been a longtime critic of the consolidation of economic power by Amazon, Google and Facebook. Now she’s making their break-upa key component of her presidential platform.

Warren has just released her plan for breaking up big tech, in what seems like a watershed moment for a Democratic nominee. Since Al Gore famously (infamously?) “invented the internet,” Democratic candidates have turned away from serious regulation of technology companies, preferring instead to receive their campaign contributions.

Eric Schmidt and Google donors were hugely important to the Obama campaign, and big tech companies were among his biggest supporters.

Now, Warren has said (on Medium no less) that the massive market power that Google, Facebook and Amazon wield is a threat and will be treated accordingly.

“Twenty-five years ago, Facebook, Google, and Amazon didn’t exist,” writes Warren. “Now they are among the most valuable and well-known companies in the world. It’s a great story — but also one that highlights why the government must break up monopolies and promote competitive markets.”

The parallel she uses to make her case is the breakup of Microsoft, which she weirdly calls “the tech giant of its time” (Microsoft is still a tech giant), and holds as perhaps the last example when government went toe to toe with the technology industry.

“The government’s antitrust case against Microsoft helped clear a path for Internet companies like Google and Facebook to emerge,” Warren writes.
But now the companies that flourished in the wake of the Microsoft case have, themselves, become too powerful, she argues.

“They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation,” writes Warren.
The key components of the Warren plan include passing legislation that would designate companies with annual global revenue above $25 billion that provide marketplace, exchange or third-party connectivity as “platform utilities” and prohibit those companies from owning participants on their platforms.

It’s a dragnet that now encompasses Alphabet and Amazon (but I don’t think it touches Facebook?). The new law would also be required to meet a standard of fair and non-discriminatory use with their users, and platforms would be restricted from sharing user data with third parties.

For companies with revenues below $25 billion, they’d be required to adhere to the fair use standard.
Warren would give state attorneys general and private parties the right to sue a platform for conduct that violates those requirements and the government could fine a company 5 percent of their annual revenue for violating the terms of the new legislation.

 
Mar 12, 2014
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Google and Facebook's monopoly on the flow of information concern me a great deal because of how easily swayed people are. They can shape a narrative by blocking / promoting content so much that I think regulation is something to consider to ensure they are not eroding the principles of the first amendment by corporate control of the flow of information. But enough about that, I'm really posting because I find it fascinating to watch the left eat the left. I've always expected tech to turn red eventually because socialism does not allow for corporate control of speech unless the corporation is government owned, and just last month the left chased Amazon away from NY. Now this.

Sure looks like the honeymoon is almost over to me. Seriously, how much longer will analytical data driven people support the party that wants to tax them to hell, block them from opening shop, and now in a bid to out left each other, start demanding to break them up? If there were a pool for the dates when WaPo starts hiring real conservatives, my money is on anytime now. Can't have the pet paper you own trying to shut down your bread and butter, right?
 
Likes: Kadayi
Aug 12, 2008
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I thought for sure the discussion of trust busting and eventual regulation was going to come from the Republicans, however this is good.

The left can bite the hand that feeds.

*Letthemfight.gif*
 

diablos991

Can’t stump the diablos
Jun 15, 2013
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This is something I can agree with.
Need to regulate these mega companies because they have almost as much influence on our lives as the government itself does.
 
Likes: TheGreatYosh
Jan 13, 2018
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I thought for sure the discussion of trust busting and eventual regulation was going to come from the Republicans, however this is good.
She is very strong on these kinds of issues. More than being left or right, she's an effective critic of bureacracy and can write intelligent laws and reforms.

Even if she's not the person at the very top, she's good to have in a cabinet position in my opinion.

Good Luck, Liz



Have fun tangling with that army of lawyers.
She took on Wall Street. She knows what she's doing when she makes suggestions like this. They aren't idle statements. This is why she is famous, and why she has the political career she has now.
 
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May 10, 2009
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I'm of two minds an individual should be allowed to be as successful as his talents and luck allow for without the government, that I don't trust, stepping in because it knows better but I also don't trust these large corporations and their designs on society. I'd have to know more specifics.
 
Aug 12, 2008
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I am under no illusion that Sen. Warren's position on this is not because of trammeling the First Amendment. But, I will watch the fallout with popcorn at the ready.
 
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Trey

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I dunno about breaking them up or regulating their reach. But they definitely have to get hit with that tax wand though.
 
Feb 19, 2014
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I'm not a paranoid person, but it only takes me about .3 seconds of really considering the scope of information Google has access to before I start wondering what they can't accomplish with it.
 
Likes: CatLady

Rentahamster

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Jun 26, 2007
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My point is that it's not smart to set yourself against corps that have the power to influence elections.
A valid point on it's own, yes, but consider this: If they actually do bias their platforms against her, she can complain to the media about it, and bam, she's elevated her presence in the news cycle. Even if they don't, she can pretend they do, and it'll still have the same effect.
 
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A valid point on it's own, yes, but consider this: If they actually do bias their platforms against her, she can complain to the media about it, and bam, she's elevated her presence in the news cycle. Even if they don't, she can pretend they do, and it'll still have the same effect.
She would have to be able to detect bias first, let alone prove it.
 

Rentahamster

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She would have to be able to detect bias first, let alone prove it.
Sure. But even if the case is flimsy, I don't think that would matter much for certain members of the clickbait hungry media.

Cue, "Is Google/Facebook/Amazon biasing their platforms against Elizabeth Warren due to her positions????" Op-ed piece.

5 paragraphs in: "I dunno, but we should start a conversation about it".
 
Mar 3, 2014
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Sure. But even if the case is flimsy, I don't think that would matter much for certain members of the clickbait hungry media.

Cue, "Is Google/Facebook/Amazon biasing their platforms against Elizabeth Warren due to her positions????" Op-ed piece.

5 paragraphs in: "I dunno, but we should start a conversation about it".
If Google/Facebook/Amazon were against her, I doubt the MSM would have any interest in fighting that fight.
 
Apr 15, 2018
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This is a desperate attempt to make some noise for herself, as she is being lapped in coverage by Sanders, Kamala and soon Biden. Much like Tulsi Gabbard going on Fox News, this is Warren trying toexpand her base outside the democratic blue base by trying to poach independent and more conservative people who see tech as a threat to them

Silicon Valley is a huge part of the Democratic party machine. She, and the DNC are not going to seriously risk pissing them off. Especially when, for the most part these corporations are popular among the grassroots left.
 
Likes: matt404au
Mar 3, 2014
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Nothing to see here, lefties. If you don't like it, go start your own Facebook.


Facebook Removes Elizabeth Warren Ads, Then Restores Them After Outcry

In a curious sequence of events Monday that has gained the attention of some folks online, Facebook temporarily pulled some ads placed by Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) on Friday calling for the breakup of tech giants, including Facebook, which has acquired Instagram and WhatsApp.

After scrutiny, particularly by Politico, Facebook restored the Warren ads Monday and issued a statement saying the ads violated their advertising policies and they were only restoring them for the sake of encouraging "robust debate."

"Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google," read Warren's temporarily pulled campaign ads. "We all use them. But in their rise to power, they’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor."

The ads promoted the progressive senator's new plan announced in a Team Warren blog post Friday which declares: "It's time to breakup Amazon, Google, and Facebook." In an example of "Using Mergers to Limit Competition," Warren writes, "Facebook has purchased potential competitors Instagram and WhatsApp." She also specifically calls out Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

Weak antitrust enforcement has led to a dramatic reduction in competition and innovation in the tech sector. Venture capitalists are now hesitant to fund new startups to compete with these big tech companies because it’s so easy for the big companies to either snap up growing competitors or drive them out of business. The number of tech startups has slumped, there are fewer high-growth young firms typical of the tech industry, and first financing rounds for tech startups have declined 22% since 2012.

With fewer competitors entering the market, the big tech companies do not have to compete as aggressively in key areas like protecting our privacy. And some of these companies have grown so powerful that they can bully cities and states into showering them with massive taxpayer handouts in exchange for doing business, and can act — in the words of Mark Zuckerberg — “more like a government than a traditional company.”

But, Politico notes, the ads were soon scrubbed and replaced with a message: "This ad was taken down because it goes against Facebook's advertising policies."

After Politico reported the "takedown" on Monday, Facebook quickly reversed course, restoring the ads. A spokesperson told the outlet the only reason the ads were removed is because they violated the platform's policies by using their corporate logo.



"We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo," the spokesperson told Politico. "In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads.”

Politico notes that over a dozen other ads by Warren about her "big tech breakup" proposal weren't pulled.

Facebook "Brand Usage in Ads" policy states: "Don’t use the Facebook corporate logo in an ad. The logo is reserved for corporate use." Here's the full policy statement:

Ads linking to Facebook or Instagram content (including Pages, groups, events or sites that use Facebook Login) may make limited reference to “Facebook” or “Instagram” in ad text for the purpose of clarifying the destination of the ad.​
Ads should not represent the Facebook brand in a way that makes it the most distinctive or prominent feature of the creative.​
Facebook brand assets should not be modified in any way, such as by changing the design or color, or for the purpose of special effects or animation.​
Examples

  • Do always display the word “Facebook” in the same font size and style as the text surrounding it
  • Do always capitalize the word “Facebook”, except when it’s part of a web address
  • Don’t pluralize the Facebook trademark, abbreviate it as “FB” or use it as a verb
  • Don’t use the “f” or Facebook logos in place of the word “Facebook” in ad copy
  • Don’t use the Facebook corporate logo in an ad. The logo is reserved for corporate use
 
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Dec 3, 2013
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It's funny how she actually wants to pursue this, or at least make it a talking point on her platform since they delisted some of her shit and there had to be an outcry to restore it.

They only care when it affects them, shocker!

Not saying I disagree with her fully, but the virtues behind it only happened because it finally impacted her.
 
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Cybrwzrd

Anime waifu panty shots are basically the same thing as paintings of the french baroque masters, if you think about it.
Sep 29, 2014
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Pretty much every major service/retail (as in non manufacturing) company in existence needs some sort of trust busting at this point, and any company that is just too large by market cap is likely a threat to capitalism (Apple, google, amazon, etc) as an economic system for any country. Mercantileism didn’t work, other than to make certain people very wealthy. The modern neo-mercantileism is just as destructive
 
Likes: cryptoadam
Jun 13, 2014
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#37
Google and Facebook's monopoly on the flow of information concern me a great deal because of how easily swayed people are. They can shape a narrative by blocking / promoting content so much that I think regulation is something to consider to ensure they are not eroding the principles of the first amendment by corporate control of the flow of information. But enough about that, I'm really posting because I find it fascinating to watch the left eat the left. I've always expected tech to turn red eventually because socialism does not allow for corporate control of speech unless the corporation is government owned, and just last month the left chased Amazon away from NY. Now this.

Sure looks like the honeymoon is almost over to me. Seriously, how much longer will analytical data driven people support the party that wants to tax them to hell, block them from opening shop, and now in a bid to out left each other, start demanding to break them up? If there were a pool for the dates when WaPo starts hiring real conservatives, my money is on anytime now. Can't have the pet paper you own trying to shut down your bread and butter, right?

Tech won't turn red. They'll just find another corporatist candidate to prop up while silencing Pocahontas or running stories about her eating a salad with a comb one time. The only reason anyone is talking about identity politics is to distract the electorate from the radical transformation being attempted by these companies, and they have spent A LOT of money to make sure of it.
 

Cybrwzrd

Anime waifu panty shots are basically the same thing as paintings of the french baroque masters, if you think about it.
Sep 29, 2014
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#38
I'm of two minds an individual should be allowed to be as successful as his talents and luck allow for without the government, that I don't trust, stepping in because it knows better but I also don't trust these large corporations and their designs on society. I'd have to know more specifics.
Individuals should be allowed to be as successful as they can be from their own talents, but corporations are not individuals and therefore need regulation to prevent them from exploiting individuals and preventing them from being as successful as they can be by their own talents.

The ultra wealthy in this world did not get so by the sweat of their brow so to speak; but through market manipulation and mooching labor and productivity gains from other individuals under the umbrella of collectivistic corporate structures.

That sounds a lot less draconian than 'breaking them up'.
There is nothing draconian about breaking up large corporations, and there was a day when progressives supported regulations and trust busting of companies that became too powerful, influential and harmful to society at large. What happened?
 
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Likes: finowns
Apr 15, 2018
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There is nothing draconian about breaking up large corporations, and there was a day when progressives supported regulations and trust busting of companies that became too powerful, influential and harmful to society at large. What happened?
Progressives became the head of many if these buisnesses
 

Cybrwzrd

Anime waifu panty shots are basically the same thing as paintings of the french baroque masters, if you think about it.
Sep 29, 2014
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#41
Progressives became the head of many if these buisnesses
Different kind of progressive. Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive...

The lunatics that call themselves progressives are in name only.
 
Jun 26, 2007
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#42
My point is that it's not smart to set yourself against corps that have the power to influence elections.
A valid point on it's own, yes, but consider this: If they actually do bias their platforms against her, she can complain to the media about it, and bam, she's elevated her presence in the news cycle. Even if they don't, she can pretend they do, and it'll still have the same effect.
Nothing to see here, lefties. If you don't like it, go start your own Facebook.


Facebook Removes Elizabeth Warren Ads, Then Restores Them After Outcry
Told ya.
 
Jan 5, 2012
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there are a few problematic themes here.

The first is the US generally frowns on ex post facto laws. You would be forcing a company/person to 'undo' work that had a high cost, for an additional high cost, for questionable results. If an acquisition had been blocked before it occurred, that would be reasonable. Saying an acquisition needs to be reversed opens up some really nasty legal precedent that the US could use to essentially force corporations to undo whatever decision made under one administration that the *next* administration didn't agree with. It makes it *really* hard to do business when the regulations you're operating under not only change on a whim, but you are forced to retroactively comply with those changes.

Secondly, breaking up big businesses doesn't work super well. There are lots of anticompetitive industries around right now, but they're largely in industries with very large lobbying groups. Previous attempts to break up large companies usually end with those companies reforming one way or another (AT&T is a great example).

The real thing that breakups *do* do, is during the chaos of the breakup they open opportunities for competition. This is something that regulation is actually *very good* at doing without breakups. You can subsidize competitors. You can increase the costs of acquisitions, allowing competitors to get more runway before they're acquired. You can increase penalties for anticompetitive business practices. When regulations like those are around, innovation actually increases.

The themes I see from what Warren is saying are more along the lines of "we will use laws to retroactively punish companies for making decisions we don't like" instead of "we will pass laws to foster innovation and competition." One of those ideas typically advances an industry, the other, at least in my opinion, does the exact opposite.