Facebook Facing Pressure from Consumers, Regulators
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- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said Big Data posed “serious implications for healthy competitive marketplaces” and called on antitrust agencies to “place greater emphasis on determining the competitive impact of obtaining even more data through mergers.” Klobuchar said Big Tech companies like Facebook were “powerful internet gatekeepers” that kept small businesses in check.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said Facebook was a “monopoly” that was undermining “the basic premise of democracy.”
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said Facebook was “monopolistic” and “has incredibly destructive effects on free society and democracy.”
- Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said Facebook was “incapable of holding itself accountable” and “valued profits over the health and lives of children and teens.” Blumenthal described Facebook’s behavior as “heinously destructive” and “blatantly deceptive.”
- Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) said he agreed with his Democratic colleague on reining in Facebook with new regulation.
- Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said Facebook looked like a “monopolist that’s so sure its customers have nowhere to go that it displays a reckless disregard for its consumers.” Lee added that “Facebook’s ability to demand data from its users without telling them its value” was a clear sign of “monopoly power.”
- Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said Facebook had “enormous amount of market power, it’s monopoly status, and I think that’s also something Congress needs to get on top of.”
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Facebook was a monopoly: “They're protected from lawsuits, so they figure they got a license to do anything they want to.”
- Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) criticized Facebook in light of a whistleblower leaked internal Facebook records: “The research was there, Facebook's internal research. They knew what they were doing. They knew where the violations were, and they know they are guilty. They know this because their research tells them this.”
- In an editorial published after the whistleblower hearing, the Mercury News wrote that “Facebook Has No One To Blame But Itself For Latest Scandal.”
- In an editorial, The Guardian wrote that “Facebook’s dominance will not last forever. Its power was amassed in an era when the toxicity of its products was hidden from view. Thankfully, that era is drawing to a close.”
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an editorial titled “Facebook Stokes Anger For Profit. Congress Can Demand It Cool Things Down.” In it the editorial board argued Congress should use the threat of changing Section 230 as leverage in regulating Facebook and other companies.
- The Washington Post published an editorial titled “Facebook Can Decide To Be Honest On Its Own — Or Congress Can Force It To Be.”
- In an editorial, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that “evidence abounds” that Facebook should be broken up, and called for new antitrust standards that weighed a firm’s societal influence alongside price impact.
- Tech CEO Mark Weinstein published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “I Changed My Mind—Facebook Is a Monopoly.” Weinstein wrote “Facebook is a monopoly like the world has never seen. It has more power to influence, manipulate and change thoughts, opinions, votes and purchase decisions on a global scale than any nation or government.”
- The Atlantic published an article on Facebook titled “The Largest Autocracy On Earth,” which stated “Facebook is not merely a website, or a platform, or a publisher, or a social network, or an online directory, or a corporation, or a utility. It is all of these things. But Facebook is also, effectively, a hostile foreign power.”
- Matt Stoller, in his Substack newsletter, wrote that “we have to eliminate Facebook’s toxic business model, not regulate it, because regulating something serves to legitimize it. It’s not about stopping the collection of data and manipulation, it’s about stopping the practices that make that collection of data and manipulation profitable in the first place.”