Monday, February 01, 2021

Could enforcing anti-trust law fix big-tech (instead of changing Section 230)?


Outside Facebook, Menlo Park, 2018

Katharine Trendacosta has a brief but useful op-ed to open the new month, “It’s not 230 you hate, it’s Oligopolies. 

My take is that Facebook and YouTube could deal with the loss of 230 by turning into either ephemerals (Facebook becomes a glorified snapchat) or mini-Netlfix.

YouTube would continue to accept content from previously non-established people, but it would vet them carefully, especially for social creditworthiness.  Hopefully it wouldn’t get fooled by critical theory.

YouTube had hinted this back in 2018 in response to the EU Copyright Directive, which Susan realized was an attack on the idea of lettering amateurs lowball established media companies and drive people out of work.

The usual criticisms of removing 203 is that small companies could not get started.  Well not if they allowed users to add content. So the natural answer is to strengthen anti-trust laws or litigation, which has already started against Facebook.

Yet, for all intents and purposes, Mark Zuckerberg, Susan Wojcicki and Jack Dorsey became unelected co-presidents of the United States from January 7 until Biden took the oath on January 20.  And we have Tim Pool to keep them in check.

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