back to article Here we go: Uncle Sam launches antitrust probe into *cough* Facebook, Google *cough* Amazon *splutter* Twitter...

The US Department of Justice has begun a probe into possible anti-trust violations by US tech giants. In an announcement on Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors said they had kicked off an investigation with the aim of "reviewing whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices …

  1. tekHedd

    Too Easy

    His Trumpiness' motivations are, obviously, suspect. But, to be fair, the "tech giants" do present a really easy target, monopoly-wise.

    Having said that: Anyone can see this will be a huge waste of time and money and result in a lot of headlines, shouting, and of course resulting in no change. It's almost like he's just doing things to see how much noise he can create in the media. Almost.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Too Easy

      But Trump will be using monopoly as an excuse to try to force them to unban his alt right buddies, because anytime a conservative is "silenced" it is censorship, anytime a liberal is silenced it is "because they are antifa crazies".

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Too Easy

        "anytime a conservative is "silenced" it is censorship, anytime a liberal is silenced it is "because they are antifa crazies""

        It's censorship whoever you ban, but I'm curious how many "liberals" have been banned from popular sites? Compared to conservatives?

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Too Easy

          It's censorship whoever you ban, but I'm curious how many "liberals" have been banned from popular sites? Compared to conservatives?

          Okay, I'll bite.

          Free speech has limits, because it has consequences. Deal with it.

          For example, hate speech is illegal in many countries. Nobody is going to prevent you, for instance, from screaming "kill all infidels" in the street (free speech), but expect to get arrested (consequences). I believe Karl Popper had some choice words to say on the matter, some decades ago. Those words are still just as true today.

          It is also interesting to note that those trying to spread hate and discord often fall back on the idea of some $deity-given right to free speech as a defense against criticism of their words. You mjight have a right to say it, but guess what? Others also have a right to criticise you for it. Don't go around accusing others of being cry-babies if you can't handle it yourself.

          As for the question of "how many liberals" vs "how many conservatives" being banned for their speech. This one is easy to answer by rephrasing it - how many sensible people have been banned, compared to raving extremists? Because it's not a Left-Right issue. People get banned from social media for saying things that are not acceptable - sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, anitsemitism et al. It's pretty clear which group is more likley to be producing that sort of hate speech, and it's the extremes; the far-right and far-left. Given that the far-left doesn't really exist in any numbers (outside of North Korea in any case), but the far-right is growing, there's your answer - that's where all the arseholes are. By defending the "right" of those groups to spread hate speech, you are essentially saying you agree with it. My response to that would be to politely request that you stop being an arsehole.

          1. Timmy B Silver badge

            Re: Too Easy

            I'll bite back :)

            Free speech not the same as having the ability to shout fire in a crowded theatre. This is well covered ground. Hate speech is not the same. I am allowed to say I dislike x group on y grounds, as is anyone. I am not allowed to incite violence against x group for z reasons. There is a difference between inciting harm and hate speech. If I don't have the ability to offend others by my freedom of speech then I don't have freedom of speech. I know this full well as I like in a country that has both hate speech rules and no codified freedom of speech - the UK.

            There are many many people spreading hate and discord without an imaginary sky friend - antifa being the first example to trip off my mind. Antifa do, of course, have the right to spread hate. But NOT violence. At the point your speech turns to violence you have lost any argument imo.

            You turned form a measurable (liberals v conservatives) objective question to sensible vs raving extremists - a totally subjective measure. How many people with extreme anti capitlaist views are banned? Very very few. There are many antifa groups still on social media? It's all very easy to change the question to one that meets your bias and narrative.

            If you look I have said many times that objectionable speech should be allowed by ANYONE. I don't want censorship for ANYONE. I also don't want people to be violent. It is only by discourse - even if you don't like what I say, or vice versa, that we get better.

            If wanting that makes me an arsehole - so be it.

            1. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: Too Easy

              measurable (liberals v conservatives)

              That's not an absolute measurement, therefore it's value is open to question.

              It's only measurable value is from your relative standing on the spectrum, it's worthless as a shared metric.

            2. sabroni Silver badge

              Re: antifa being the first example to trip off my mind

              Any chance you could show some real world examples of that? How is it even possible for "antifa" to target racists the same way that racists target black people? You know, by looking at them.

              1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

                Re: antifa being the first example to trip off my mind

                They just redefine the symbols of oppression. To be perfectly fair, I think antifa is just another militant gang in the same vein as MS13, Pirus, etc. Their main goal is control and rule their turf which they do through violence and fear. Really, they don't come off as particularly political at all and if you put any political aspect on their behavior then that only elevates them to being a terrorist organization more closely related to the KKK albeit with a different sociopolitical spin.

                1. sabroni Silver badge

                  Re: They just redefine the symbols of oppression.

                  You posted an article about a non-facist being attacked by "antifa", sort of proving my point that you can't target racists with the accuracy that racists target black people.

                  But maybe, maybe there is genuinely a hard core of people that hate facism so much they're prepared to be facist about it and attack people. The best answer to that is to get rid of bigotry, which surely is a much better plan than getting rid of black people.

            3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Too Easy

              Free speech not the same as having the ability to shout fire in a crowded theatre.

              I'm not going to disagree with that, although that specific example it's a pretty tired cliché, so I try to avoid using it, in favour of more contemporary examples.

              I am allowed to say I dislike x group on y grounds, as is anyone. I am not allowed to incite violence against x group for z reasons.

              Again, correct. Worth noting that x is also allowed to criticise your reasoning, y, as are others, if your reasoning is based on unreasonable bias, such as racism. They're also allowed to call you rude names, and mock you for your opinions (even though it's a dick move to do so). For example, I've seen racist right-wing commentators seriously try to justify their views by claiming that black people are inherently less intelligent than white people. It's not just that this sort of argument is repellant, but it is also, more importantly, completely wrong. There is an awful lot of "justification" of vile opinions on the internet that is based on dodgy "facts" such as this, and a lot of it comes from the far right (who often try to present themselves as "reasonable conservatives"). Apologies for the excessive use of quote marks here - it saves the need for invective.

              Now, as to the matter of incitement to violence. I'm not going to say much about that, other than I didn't raise the issue of incitement, which is pretty obviously a bad thing. In this discussion, it is a straw man, because we are talking about the limits of acceptable speech, not something that lies well beyond them.

              What happens on the internet, on social media and on messageboards, and in discussion groups, is that the hosts put in place acceptable use policies. These typically run into several pages of legalese, but the general gist is, "don't be a bigot" - i.e. don't post sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. content. They are often accompanied by rules about not posting adult material such as pornography. People get banned for breaching those rules. If more people who self-identify as conservatives get banned for breaching those rules, there are two posible reasons why: 1) More "conservatives" are breaking the rules, or 2) There is some sort of "loony-left liberal" conspiracy against them. It's also worth noting, in this context, that belief in consipracy theories is more prevalent amongst right-wingers, even moderate conservatives, there are plenty of peer-reviewed studies showing these results, so feel free to look them up rather than take my word for it. Now, I'm not going to suggest for a moment that conspiracies don't happen, but the hallmark of a successful conspiracy is that is is secret and involves a small number of people. Actual evidence for them tends to come to light at some point as well. Based on this, I'm far more inclinded to accept (1) as the explanation than (2).

              There are many many people spreading hate and discord without an imaginary sky friend - antifa being the first example to trip off my mind.

              "antifa" is one of those terms I hear bandied around, like "SJW" that seems to be ill defined. If you are referring to people who are, as the abbreviation suggests, anti-fascist, then that really should cover 99.9% of the human population, because if you're not anti-fascist, then you either don't know what fascism is, or you are pro-fascist. Given that a big old war was fought over fascism in the middle of the last century, I can't imagine that there are many people who are blissfully unaware of fascism.

              Perhaps, however, you are referring to violent left-wing "anti-fascist" protesters? Now, I've never seen any of these, and I've been on several large political marches in my time. One notable instance of this was a recent march in central London that gathered 750,000 ant-brexit protestors. There was a small counter-protest to this, of perhaps 30 people who could be described as "pro-fascist", not "antifa" attacking them though. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary I'm going to assume that either the people you are referring to are a vanishingly small group, or that they are an invented foe of pro-fascist groups dreamt up as a justification for their own vile actions. If you can give examples of the people you are talking about, and demonstrate that they have anything like the numbers and influence of current far-right groups, I'd welcome that information.

              If you look I have said many times that objectionable speech should be allowed by ANYONE. I don't want censorship for ANYONE. I also don't want people to be violent.

              These are laudable goals, but ultimately utopian. The issue with perfect free speech is that implies perfect responsibility for your actions, and in an ideal world, everyone would be responsible, and everyone could have that right to say whetever they liked. However, in reality, people abuse those rights. There is a balance here, however, in that this argument can be used by oppressive governments to silence legitimate dissent. I don't claim to have all the answers, but the logical conclusion is that the limits of free speech should lie somewhere between perfect free speech and censorship. Personally, I think that they should tend more towards the free speech end of the spectrum, but that there should be important limitations (incitement ot violence, racial hatred, etc.). if those limits overreach, there is an issue with the limits, but if you find that the things you want to say often run into those limits, perhaps you have the problem.

              There is one important distinction that I'd like to end with; the legal limits of free speech (such as various incitement laws) and the limits set down by a service provider (such as Twitter) are not the same thing. The owner of any forum is perfectly entitled to say ,"no X speech here" without breaching free speech laws. it is their forum, and thier rules. "X" may be anything in this context - "sexist", "racist", etc. or "football", "train-spotting", etc. If I go to a forum dedicated to, for instance, modelmaking, and the forum has a rule about not posting off-topic, but then I try to start up a thread about favourite flavours of ice-cream, my free speech is not being curtailed if I get kicked out.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Too Easy

                For example, I've seen racist right-wing commentators seriously try to justify their views by claiming that black people are inherently less intelligent than white people.

                Hodson and Busseri (2012) show that low IQ and racism are connected. Stankov (2018)

              2. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Too Easy

                "antifa" is one of those terms I hear bandied around, like "SJW" that seems to be ill defined. If you are referring to people who are, as the abbreviation suggests, anti-fascist, then that really should cover 99.9% of the human population, because if you're not anti-fascist, then you either don't know what fascism is, or you are pro-fascist.

                "Antifa" was the name a group gave itself; what it nominally stands for is irrelevant(does this really need to be said?). The continued invocation of its name is done to recall its actual antics - which could be quite violent. You can argue whether the invocations are correct, but that's what they are.

                What happens on the internet, on social media and on messageboards, and in discussion groups, is that the hosts put in place acceptable use policies. These typically run into several pages of legalese, but the general gist is, "don't be a bigot" - i.e. don't post sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. content.

                The problem is that these policies also tend to be incredibly vague(and tend to include an "other" category that's completely undefined). If the host just doesn't like something, they can almost always find a reason to do so. Thus your post on how Round-up causes cancer gets nuked as harassment(should they deign to give an excuse at all) because a certain ag company has some rather deep pockets.

                My personal position on all this is that Facebook et al are big and important enough that they ought to be held to the same standard as physical privately-owned public spaces. Being digital doesn't make them categorically different.

            4. Palpy

              Re: White suprematicist / racist violence vs antifa

              Get real. The Antifa movement in the USA have not been responsible for a single death. Not one.

              Since the Oklahoma City bombing, racists have carried out 37 attacks and killed 77 people. White supremacists murdered 18 people in 2017 alone.

              Discourse? That is really a face-to-face activity. It's conversation. Twitter is not conversation, it's a soapbox. Facebook does not facilitate conversation, it specifically facilitates private echo-chambers where radicals can reinforce each others' radicalism.

              Here's where the rubber of opinion meets the reality of the road: when you have groups which have proven themselves willing to kill people, then society needs to control, disarm, and break up those groups. Just as society needs to face and disarm any deadly threat. Where do you look? You look where objectionable speech has been proven to lead to violence. Racial supremacists. Religious extremists. Anti-social conspiracy nuts like Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski.

              Of course you preferentially ban racial supremacists, religious extremists, and anti-social conspiracy nuts. They're the ones that have proven violent. Who the hell ever read Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn and then went out to bomb a daycare or shoot up a gay club?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: White suprematicist / racist violence vs antifa

                It's pretty clear Antifa has not read Zinn and if they have they fail to understand.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: It's pretty clear Antifa has not read Zinn

                  It's pretty clear that antifa is a thing made up by the right so they can pretend "there's bad on both sides" when they get caught killing people.

                  I was gonna say caught killing black people but these fuck nuggets will take out anyone who disagrees with them.

            5. Alistair Silver badge
              Windows

              Re: Too Easy

              If you look I have said many times that objectionable speech should be allowed by ANYONE. I don't want censorship for ANYONE. I also don't want people to be violent. It is only by discourse - even if you don't like what I say, or vice versa, that we get better.

              I can certainly let you say it, but if I own the media I sure as hell don't have to leave it on my forum.

            6. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Too Easy

              At the point your speech turns to violence

              .. or you actively are trying to get other people to commit violence. You see, in the real world, words have consequences - either in a direct form ("you have to kill him because he's an xxxx") or indirectly by spreading the message of hate and division.

              The attitude that says "I can say whatever I want to and demand that there be no consequences" is childish and immature. Adults realise that the real world isn't just a black and white set of decisions.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Too Easy

            "Free speech has limits"

            Freedoms will often have limits because at some point one person's freedom to do something conflicts with someone else's freedom.

        2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: Too Easy

          The real censorship problem is not so much right/left but what advertisers will tolerate. There are YouTube history sites that regularly get into trouble for discussing the WWII era because the advertisers do not want their ads on site that mentions or might mention one A. Hitler. It does not matter what the content actually is. The advertisers are more likely to care about their perception to the PC crowd than to the church going crowd. Hence the tendency to muzzle non PC liberals and conservatives.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too Easy

      It might not be a waste of time. Well, at least let's hope so. Uncle Sam does have form (albeit historical, dim-and-distant yesteryear form) in taking on big tech companies. It high they took a decent look.

      And as much as anything else, when you've got the EU muttering about anticompetitive practises and dishing out large fines, one has to ask whether or not they're idiots (well yes, but not necessarily over this narrow issue), or leading on an important issue? Being left behind by the EU? Not good for the seat of capitalism...

      Also I note that this is coming out of the US federal prosecutorial system, rather than a Congressional body. I know there's not necessarily a totally clean separation there, but there's a chance it's a reasonably politics-free move.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Too Easy

        I'm afraid that historically, trust-busting has ALWAYS been driven by politics.

        And it almost always will be.

        What's different this time is that it's being driven by the (US) conservative side of the house. Historically, it has been driven by (US) liberals while (US) conservatives, (for these purposes, classical liberals) have opposed it. Most recently, president Reagan had the investigation against IBM slow-rolled until it became moot.

        The reason is that the monopolies almost have to become too big to fail in order to reach the point that the law takes notice. Breaking up an illegal monopoly, therefore, is likely to have far-reaching effects. These reality of these far-reaching effects implies that it is socially irresponsible to proceed in such a prosecution absent broader considerations. This is the sphere of politics.

        We did not go after AT&T, for instance, despite their 100% control of the market until they started to make moves to vertically integrate into the emerging internet. To be clear, they were abusing their monopoly for decades. (Ie; Lily Tomlin, https://snltranscripts.jt.org/76/76aphonecompany.phtml) The decision not to open an investigation was a political one. When they threatened to vertically integrate in such a way that threatened the emerging internet, however, the feds rode in & broke them up.

        Likewise, the internet bigs have been running monopolies for a number of years. Some of their practices have clearly crossed the legal definition of "in restraint of trade". But pulling the trigger? Unavoidably a political decision.

        Of course, the results of trust-busting in the US have been at best mixed. It is a disturbing exercise to think about exactly how one would break up Alphabet. Or Facebook. I think it could be argued that breaking up is probably entirely the wrong approach.

        And if you want to have a REALLY bad night of it, try reading up on how things have gone when the US HAS engaged in trust busting.

        1. hoola Bronze badge

          Re: Too Easy

          Ah, there is another thought, he needs some more funds so going down this route will open wallets as all the lobbying starts.

    3. naive

      Re: Too Easy

      Several factors make big tech dangerous, market power, enormous lobbying capabilities and the unified effort of the leftist fifth column, that got control of them, to impose censorship on the content they present to the world.

      We the people created these leeching monsters by giving them our time and attention.

      In order to preserve things like free speech, the possibility to get informed about a diversity in views and opinions and a state where everybody pays their fair share, we need to check the seemingly unlimited power of big Tech.

      Now we live in a world where big tech prays socialism in their contents, they them selves live like 18th century nobles. Paying taxes is reserved for the losers with a middle class job, who pay 60%-70% of their gross income. But that is also socialism.. "All are equal, but some are more equal than others".

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Too Easy

      "It's almost like he's just doing things to see how much noise he can create in the media."

      I think he already knows how much noise he can make in the media.

    5. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Too Easy

      One could say he's "reaching across the aisle" since Bernie, Warren, and a slew of other blue team members have called for exactly this type of probe. Sure, they all have their own motive but they'll all cash in on the press and say - something stupid.

    6. devTrail

      Re: Too Easy

      Of course it will be a waste of time. Because the real trumpiness is that a lot of Trump initiatives are designed to fail in order to taint them with the evil bias. Purpose of Trump tariff war with China is to persuade the public that tariffs against China are bad while with the belt and road initiative China builds the infrastructure to export to Europe.

      In this case the aim is obvious:

      1) Neutralise one of main campaign issues raised by Elizabeth Warren

      2) Concentrate the attention on big tech and let people forget about the other monopolist giants. Banking, Energy, Defense, Telecoms all the sectors are tainted.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Too Easy

        Purpose of Trump tariff war with China is to persuade the public that tariffs against China are bad

        This may be why republicans are (mostly) supporting Trump in his tariff war when they have been anti tariff since forever, but it certainly isn't why Trump is doing it. He really believes it is a smart tactic, and that "trade wars are easy to win". As with everything, he's too stupid to realize how stupid he is, so he thinks he's a genius and knows more about trade than anyone else.

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: Too Easy

          "He really believes it is a smart tactic, and that "trade wars are easy to win"."

          He's following orders, which is also why much of the GoP is also in lock step.

          It's a very calculated move. Essentially everything China has put on it's "invest in the future" policy list is having a tariff imposed. This results in less US demand for the Chinese emerging tech goods, hopefully more demand for domestic tech goods.

          The counter tariffs will make more misery for Trump's base. This will potentially increase his support, since having someone to blame is pretty much his emotive appeal.

          " he thinks he's a genius and knows more about trade than anyone else."

          He acts like as soon as he's had something explained to him, he's known about it for years. I'm sure that worked well when he's mansplaining at one of his Epstein soirees, but it's terribly obvious when he's under the spotlight.

          I'm just amazed that BoJo and Trump are the leaders of the free world. Not with a bang, but a whimper and all that.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Too Easy

            You really believe Trump is being managed by someone? He's a loose cannon, the only way to control him is if you control what the people on Fox's morning show and Hannity say. That's who he listens to, one of his few redeeming features is that he doesn't care what the Koch brothers want. They certainly don't want tariffs, so if they were controlling him he'd be talking tough about China and the government would be filing WTO complaints about some of their practices.

  2. Blackjack

    What's the purpose of the googles?

    Does Twitter even have a monopoly?

    Sure, is the most important service that does what it does, but should it die, would we really miss it? Or would we just move to a similar service, just like Myspace was killed by Facebook and Newsgrounds was killed by Youtube?

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: What's the purpose of the googles?

      I agree based on your qualification is the most important service that does what it does and people would miss it. But would anything of value be lost if it disappeared?

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: What's the purpose of the googles?

        Some pension funds and day traders would likely take a hit.

    2. devTrail

      Re: What's the purpose of the googles?

      You and the journalist talk about Twitter and forget about Apple and Google building two big market places and operating them in such a way that they are both referees and competitors.

      You and the journalist talk about Twitter and forget about Facebook buying Whatsapp and a lot of other platforms and merging all the data without the users consent thus multiplying their knowledge and their power over those users.

      You and the journalist talk about Twitter and forget about the too big to fail banks and the huge concentrations in the media and the lack information not controlled by big corporations.

      I could go on citing a lot of examples, but at this point I would like to know whether you are just playing the classic straw man argument.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: What's the purpose of the googles?

      They have a monopoly of Trump's social media attention, so as far as he's concerned they're a monopoly if a "conservative voice" is silenced.

  3. joed

    has MS funded this antitrust probe?

    or Uncle Sam somehow mixed up MS with Twitter. An innocent mistake obviously.

  4. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Alert

    but did promise that "if violations of law are identified, the Department will proceed appropriately to seek redress."

    That translates to.. How dare you rip off people without paying us off first !

    Is this the new catch cry of the Land Formerly Known as The Free?

    No Exploitation Without Taxation !

    1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

      It sounds more like a mob statement to me

      "You want to work on our turf, you give us a cut. Otherwise, something bad might happen to you....."

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      "No Exploitation Without Taxation !"

      You think that companies like Google or Amazon are paying too much in taxes? I'm not sure many people would agree with you (except Bezos et. al.)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        I think the point being made was more along the lines of https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/07/23/google_wispy_payout/ etc

  5. GrumpyKiwi

    It's not about fairness, it's about power

    The point is always about power. The power to lean on people and companies who might offend the rich and connected.

    As a historical point of interest I was reading recently how the Nixon administration leaned on the 'big three' TV channels back before Watergate came to light - nudge nudge, wink wink, nice TV channel, I'd sure hate for it to be regulated a bit more, wouldn't you.

    I don't particularly trust the likes of google, twatter et. Al. to do the right thing. I have even less trust of the government doing so.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to get those campaign 'donations' out fellas

    There is an election looming and 'Mr tiny Hands' needs your money to get re-elected.

    {cue picture of Kitchener saying 'Your Country Needs You' with POTUS replacing Country and Trump's head in place of Kitcheners}

    Those who cough up the most to his campain may well find themselves removed from the investigation.

    That's Politics Folks!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Time to get those campaign 'donations' out fellas

      This approach could backfire if the contributions go to those who could sink him.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: Time to get those campaign 'donations' out fellas

        The Chinese and Iranian navies?

  7. lglethal Silver badge
    Stop

    ""A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people."

    Considering that for the vast majority of Trump's life there was no such thing as social media giants and the "voices of the people" (whatever that may be) were restricted to writing the occasional missive in a newspaper (assuming it got published), I fail to see why he suddenly finds it so critical to a "free society".

    It wouldnt be because he relies on the more rabid out there crazies, who previously were restricted to drunken ranting in their local pub, to carry his vitriol further?

  8. I'm Dugly

    Time for a Twump Tweet Twomorrow

    He'll blame an out-of-control justice department just as Mueller is testifying. The administration is completely focused on gas-lighting the population.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I absolutely support this!

    I think especially Twitter should be fined until it dies, mainly because that's Trump single point of failure in terms of communication.

    I'm merely concerned for Trump's health, of course, without Twitter he may have an easier time on the golden throne at 5am - sometimes you can spot the strain in the tweets..

    I'll leave you with that picture in your head..

    :)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people"

    It's now the other way round... where previously the problem was the occasional nutter sitting next to you on the bus, now it's someone who can't get to sleep twatting random notions at 1am. (I was going to say 'thoughts' but generally there has been no thinking involved)

  11. ZeiXi

    Apolitical

    As long as these tech giants are apolitical, it should be fine. But easier said than done.

    1. devTrail

      Re: Apolitical

      No. This giants are not apolitical.

  12. Ordinary Donkey

    I find myself wondering if Barr's new repeated calls for backdooring everything aren't intended as a negotiating chip in this.

  13. Ima Ballsy
    Mushroom

    Of for Cripes SAKE !!!

    It's not like you have to use Google, Face Book, Twitter, Amazon. There are alternatives.

    WHO the should be investigating is those who hold the reigns of connection or Power (*cough* ATT&T, COMCRASH, CenturyLink, power companies,etc...)

    But NO, I guess those give to much PAC money to ever be on the hot seat.

  14. chivo243 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Hoping for the best

    expecting the white wash... as usual.

  15. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Article: "A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people. That is why I’ve asked my administration to explore every possible regulatory and legislative solution because you have to have free speech."

    The candidates in the Democratic Party now have their funding for the next presidential campaign sorted.

  16. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Trump in particular has criticized the social networks"

    Obviously Twitter have got it in for him. It's the way they let somebody have an account in his name posting all sorts of nonsense, sometimes self-contradictory just to make him look bad.

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