The head of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Tuesday that he is willing to break up Big Tech and undo companies’ past mergers if the agency finds that such companies are squelching competition.
“FTC Chairman Joe Simons, who is leading a broad review of the technology sector, said in an interview Tuesday that breaking up a company is challenging, but could be the right remedy to rein in dominant companies and restore competition,” according to Bloomberg.
Facebook, which owns Instagram and is one of the most valuable Silicon Valley tech giants, is subject to the probe. Bloomberg said that part of the FTC probe is looking at whether Facebook purchased startups in order to avoid competition. Aside from acquiring Instagram, Facebook also bought popular international messaging application WhatsApp in 2012.
“If you have to, you do it,” Simons reportedly said. “It’s not ideal because it’s very messy. But if you have to you have to.”
Big Tech companies, including Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, Google and its subsidiary YouTube, and Twitter have come under scrutiny, not only for their alleged anti-competitive practices, but also for their anti-conservative bias. As the tech giants have become the public forum, they have increasingly banned conservatives from public discourse by labeling ordinary conservative views as “hateful,” and deeming them to be against their vague “terms of service.”
Our own Laura Loomer was banned from Twitter last November, where she had amassed more than 260,000 followers. She was nuked from the site after calling Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) “anti-Jewish,” which is hardly a controversial opinion. The State Department last week re-defined anti-Semitism in response to Omar’s virulent hatred for Israel. Loomer is suing Twitter and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) over the ban.
She is also suing Facebook for $3 billion in damages after she was banned from Facebook and Instagram in May. The social networking giant banned Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, and Paul Joseph Watson within minutes of each other, labeling them “dangerous individuals.”
Jones has been banned from the all social networks, including YouTube, and Yiannopoulos, along with Loomer, have been banned by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and PayPal.
This site reported last week that President Donald J. Trump is drafting an executive order to help curb social media bias ahead of the 2020 election.
“The White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies, according to a White House official and two other people familiar with the matter — a month after President Donald Trump pledged to explore ‘all regulatory and legislative solutions’ on the issue,” according to a POLITICO report.
It is imperative that Trump work to combat social media censorship in the run-up to his re-election bid. Many of the influencers who helped him get elected in the first place are no longer allowed on social media.
“If the internet is going to be presented as this egalitarian platform and most of Twitter is liberal cesspools of venom, then at least the president wants some fairness in the system,” a White House official reportedly said. “But look, we also think that social media plays a vital role. They have a vital role and an increasing responsibility to the culture that has helped make them so profitable and so prominent.”
Peter D'Abrosca is a freelance investigative reporter, author, and conservative political commentator.