In an op-ed published Monday at USA Today, University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Harland Reynolds said President Trump should follow in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt and break up big tech monopolies like Google and Facebook.
“Big monopolies aren’t just an economic threat: They’re a political threat. Because they’re largely free of market constraints, they don’t have to put all their energy into making a better product for less money. Instead, they put a lot of their energy into political manipulation to protect their monopoly,” he wrote.
“Today,” he explained, “things look a lot like Teddy Roosevelt’s era. A few monopolies occupy much of the tech world: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — FANG, as they’re often abbreviated. They gobble up potential competitors, as Facebook did with WhatsApp and Instagram.”
And, he added later, “these new tech monsters have a one-two punch that Standard Oil lacked: Not only do they control immense wealth and important industries, but their fields of operation — which give them enormous control over communications, including communications about politics — also give them direct political power that in many ways exceeds that of previous monopolies.”
Rush Limbaugh agreed, saying that if Trump doesn’t get a handle on these monopolies, “…we don’t have a prayer because they have monopolized social media, and, in the process of monopolizing it and mass media, they are excluding anything and everybody conservative.”
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Translation: Trump had better get big social media under control now, or he can kiss 2020 goodbye.
Limbaugh had much more to say on the subject:
RUSH: Now Glenn Reynolds and his USA Today column today. Donald Trump must bust up Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. There’s now an acronym for this, FANG. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. They have become monopolies. But more importantly, they have become monopolies of information. The old Drive-By Media, old mainstream media had a monopoly on the news, and it was a profound monopoly, three networks and all the newspapers.
This is far more dense. The tentacles of this monopoly are woven much more deeply into the grain of our culture and society. And they are every bit as partisan as anything ever has been. They are exclusionary. Anything to the right of Karl Marx is obliterated, is not permitted. It is simply eliminated from Facebook, Google, search results, you name it, and the impact that it is having on our culture is deleterious.
And because they are monopolies, not just financial monopolies, although that’s true, too, Glenn Reynolds here, law professor, University of Tennessee, is suggesting that Trump, if he’s gonna get reelected in 2020, had better start doing a Teddy Roosevelt here and bust ’em up. We’ll explore this after a break.
Facebook, do you remember or are you aware that Friday, last week, the New York Times ran a hit piece on Facebook like nobody’s ever seen. And do you know what the primary offense Facebook committed? They didn’t stop the Russians from meddling. Folks, there wasn’t any. This is the extent to which this hoax has permeated our society.
As we and others noted, Facebook, the social media giant once dubbed “Iron Fistbook” by political cartoonist A.F. Branco, has deliberately shut down traffic to conservative sites by as much as 80 percent or more while helping liberal outlets like CNN.
Limbaugh also said that Chuck Schumer’s daughter — who just got married over the weekend, now works at Facebook, making a six-figure salary. Facebook, Limbaugh said, “donated 50 grand to Chuck Schumer’s campaign” and that’s just one example.
“They’re all part of an online monopoly that controls the flow of information, that controls the flow of opinion, that is openly restrictive to Republican and conservative ideas,” he said, adding:
It is punitive toward those ideas. It basically is eliminating them, and there’s nothing anybody can do. Conservatives can appeal, conservatives can ask, conservatives can request, and they are laughed at — and then they’re told that they’re imagining things. “There isn’t any bias! There’s no such thing as bias, there’s no such thing as media bias, and there’s no such thing as Facebook or Google bias. You’re just paranoid.” Yet do a Google search on any subject that involves conservatism and see where they send, see what they’re saying about you.
Facebook’s news digest is a daily contemptible hit piece on conservatism featuring lies and misrepresentations, and they are… They have no competition. They’re buying up the competition. Facebook buys up WhatsApp. Facebook buys up Instagram. They control virtually every aspect of it. Mr. Reynolds’ point here is that in a monopolistic circumstance like this, we are way beyond the concept of fairness and unfairness here. The idea of a free press is being stood on its head here.
There isn’t a free press. These on itself are monopolizing against a free press and eliminating the opinions and thinking and thoughts of well over half the people of this country. They are financially bankrolling Democrat after Democrat after Democrat after leftist cause after leftist cause, from wacko environmentalism to transgenderism to any number of left-wing issues. They are, at the same time, denying such participation to any opposing point of view while being destructive at the same time.
As we and many others noted at the time, Facebook disabled over 800 pages and accounts days before the midterm elections. The purge continues, even to this day.
There is an effort to get states to pass something called the Stop Social Media Censorship Act and, I was told late Monday, one Texas state representative has said he will sponsor the measure which would levy a significant fine against large social media sites for censoring political and religious speech.
But much more needs to be done, and there is very little time to do it. Worse yet, House Democrats are highly unlikely to take any steps to protect free speech online.
Limbaugh says Reynolds is right: “They should be busted up.”
And, he noted, it needs to be done for the good of all Americans, not just conservatives.
“There isn’t anything approaching fairness in the social media universe. Busting them up as monopolies is not to facilitate conservatism. It is to help American consumers by providing competition and so forth, which they, these companies are all shutting out by buying them up,” he concluded.
- Daily Beast op-ed: Trump must SMASH Facebook, tech oligarchs to make Internet great again
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