Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Complaint to FTC on the Patreon cases gets to the heart of anti-competitive behavior to butress political power

I wanted to share Lior Leser’s website (“YouTuberLaw”) and particularly his formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission regarding anti-competitive behavior by payment processors with regard to speakers who use patronage sites, specifically Patreon and Subscribestar.  Lior gives a concise description of why the action by PayPal and Stripes seems motivated not by normal legitimate business interests but by political protectionism from the Left. 

Some of the sessions have suggested that payment processors and large platforms need to be treated as utilities or public accommodations with respect to political vides as well as the traditional discrimination classes. 

On the other hand, the far Left has insisted that gratuitous speech from those with money is intrinsically part of political power and affects socialization and solidarity and community resilience. This tracks back to the long debate that has followed campaign finance reform back in 2002 and that Citizens United does not completely resolve. 
Tonight the possibility that trust money could be misappropriated for political purposes was mentioned, and that could be another sleeping dog. There are ways this can happen for channels that ask people for money (the patronage model) and it might even raise questions about Facebook's prompting people to do fundraising contests for "their non-profits". 

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