Facebook and Google are money-making machines, given the monopoly they hold over internet advertising and content. Two of their critics, speaking at the Collision from Home virtual technology conference on June 24, suggest that the internet giants are manipulating the types of content we see, profiting from our personal data, and attempting to minimize or silence certain voices.
They also say that the two big tech multinationals ought to be broken up and that theyre not providing a service for free, even if it might look that way.
When people pay, they are directly making a choice. But under the current framework or business model of Facebook and Google, no money changes hands. Users dont pay to use their services and these companies also dont pay for the information they obtain from their users, which they then translate into advertising dollars.
“They are manipulating us by breaking the price signals that let us decide whether we want to buy goods and services,” said Matt Stoller, research director at American Economic Liberties Project and author of the book “Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy.”
Dundas and Stoller agree that either people should be paying upfront for using the services and having their data collected, or Facebook and Google should pay users to collect their data.
Stoller added that the tech behemoths business model of advertising should be changed so that they generate revenue based on providing trusted information to audiences and not “intrusively surveil people, manipulate them.”
Controls the News of the World
Facebook and Google wield considerable power via the information they provide to users either in news feeds or search results.
“Mark Zuckerberg is the most powerful editor in the entire world,” Dundas said about Facebooks CEO. “It controls the news of the world. That in itself is a problem.”
Stating that Facebook is a media publishing company, Dundas reminded Collision attendees that users do not own any of the content they post on that platform.
She says, however, that Facebook is not in a position to manage the editorial and ideological decisions its faced with and that the content created by users can be removed or blocked seemingly subjectively by Facebooks moderators.
The Epoch Times recently reported that a former Facebook content moderator says the company allowed death threats against right-wing personalities it blacklists.
Meanwhile, Google has the eye of U.S. Attorney General William Barr given allegations that it was censoring conservative-leaning news outlets.
Stoller accuses the companies of “destroying” local newspapers and niche publishers that have loyRead More – Source