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Thread: Steve King suggests converting Google, Facebook, Twitter into public utilities

  1. #1

    Steve King suggests converting Google, Facebook, Twitter into public utilities

    Amidst questions about how conspiracy theorists' accounts are treated during today's House Judiciary hearing with Facebook, Google and Twitter on social media filtering practices, Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) dropped a bombshell. "What about converting the large behemoth organizations that we're talking about here into public utilities?"
    King's suggestion followed his inquiries about right-wing outlet Gateway Pundit losing reach on social media and how Facebook's algorithm worked. The insinuation was that these companies cannot properly maintain fair platforms for discourse.
    The representative also suggested there may be need for "review" of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that protects interactive computer services from being treated as the publisher of content users post on their platforms. If that rule was changed, social media companies could be held responsible for illegal content, from copyright infringement or child pornography, appearing on their platform. That would potentially cripple the social media industry, requiring extensive pre-vetting of any content they display.
    The share prices of the tech giants did not see significant declines upon the representative's comments, indicating the markets don't necessarily fear that overbearing regulation of this nature is likely.


    Here's the exchange between King and Google's Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations for YouTube Juniper Downs:

    King: "Ms. Downs, I think you have a sense of my concern about where this is going. I'm all for freedom of speech, and free enterprise, and for competition and finding a way that competition itself does its own regulation so government doesn't have to. But if this gets further out of hand, it appears to me that Section 230 needs to be reviewed.
    And one of the discussions that I'm hearing is 'what about converting the large behemoth organizations that we're talking about here into public utilities?' How do you respond to that inquiry?"
    Downs: "As I said previously, we operate in a highly competitive environment, the tech industry is incredibly dynamic, we see new entrants all the time. We see competitors across all of our products at Google, and we believe that the framework that governs our services is an appropriate way to continue to support innovation."


    More at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/house...153057339.html
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  3. #2
    I suppose I should be surprised a Republican brought up the possibility of federalizing something, but I'm not.

    We all know the federal government doesn't want to own those platforms. As private entities they can violate the First Amendment at will. As government entities, they'd be in clear violation of the Constitution.
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  4. #3
    Bad idea.
    “Force the normies into taking sides. At the moment they are just like "meh, I am minding my own business" retreating culturally into their private bubbles and "safe-spaces" since they don't understand what is going on. When the actual "us vs them" starts, they will be forced to fight or they'll die.” - Anonymous Poster

  5. #4
    Lol - if you like the innovation of your public utilities over the last 150 years, you're going to love how innovative a regulated internet site will be!
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  6. #5
    The representative also suggested there may be need for "review" of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that protects interactive computer services from being treated as the publisher of content users post on their platforms. If that rule was changed, social media companies could be held responsible for illegal content, from copyright infringement or child pornography, appearing on their platform. That would potentially cripple the social media industry, requiring extensive pre-vetting of any content they display.
    Ridiculous. But the obvious work around would be to treat posts as private messages. No more public posting, but it would be visible to friends/contacts.
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    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  7. #6
    I don't see where Steven King suggested --as in supported -- the idea of turning them into public utilities. He asked the question as in it was being suggested by Others and asked their opinion. I took it more as a warning rather than something he wanted done.

  8. #7
    You nothing like the examples of the mandated telco monopolies that still exist from breaking up Ma Bell, or the monopolies of cable in most parts of the country, to show just how much cost savings and innovation this would lead to!
    “…let us teach them that all who draw breath are of equal worth, and that those who seek to press heel upon the throat of liberty, will fall to the cry of FREEDOM!!!” – Spartacus, War of the Damned

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