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2018-04-12 11:19 by Karl Denninger
in Consumer , 151 references
[Comments enabled]  

It's pretty simple, really, and pretty disgusting too.

First, the Senate is by far the more-intelligent group of people.  This is simply due to what you have to accomplish, generally, to get into the Senate.  McCain is the exception (along with a few others) but most Senators are both highly intelligent and well-accomplished.  Yet they asked exactly zero questions among them related to the actual issue with Facebook and other tech companies -- the collection and mining of personal information where it is impossible for the consumer to consent.

The House had two people who went after that -- one being Rep Debbie Dingell and a second being Rep Kathy Castor.  Both Democrats, both hard-left on other issues and both dead right on where the problem is.  Ms. Castor didn't quite get to the root of it (she clearly didn't quite understand the underlying issue), but Debbie Dingell did.  Either of them could have and so could have all those who followed them taken Zuckerpig, bent him over the table and gang*****d him on national TV for what is a clear violation of everyone's expectations and forced him to admit under questioning that his public posturing about "privacy" and such is a bald lie.

So close but so far for the two of them -- and the rest lobbed softballs or even worse, accolades at Zuckerpig.

When it comes to the Senate, however, I must conclude that they intentionally refused to go after Zuckerpig and his firm's rank abuse of individual rights, with the largest issue being tracking of people not on Facebook but rather all over the Internet.

Then there was Cruz (and a handful of other Republicans) who went after Zuckerpig on the ridiculous bias displayed by Facebook (and other web properties -- Twatter anyone?) when it comes to banning or restricting some viewpoints but not others.  Zuckerpig tried to make this all about terrorism (e.g. ISIS propaganda) but he refused to define so-called "hate speech".

The problem is that nobody tries to ban non-objectionable speech - in their mind of whatever constitutes "objectionable."  The question becomes this: While private property owners can constrain speech if there is sufficient market power and lack of reasonable alternatives then you've crossed the boundary into being a public square -- especially if you try to argue that's what your entire purpose is.  Facesucker has done exactly that and Zuckerpig made the claim several times in testimony that the firm exists "to connect people"; well?  Has the firm, along with Google (e.g. Youtube), Twitter and others, reached the saturation and dominance point at which they must be treated as a public square for purposes of free speech?  Good question -- and one that likely needs legislative activity to resolve.

Finally, Zuckerpig, when challenged, couldn't cite any competitors.  If that's not the definition of monopoly..... what is?

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