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What to Do About Facebook and Big Tech? (Guest: Tom Struble, R Street Institute)

June 7, 2018

People worry about perceived abuse and political bias at Facebook and other big tech companies, but is this a real concern or a passing panic? R Street’s Tom Struble joins the podcast to cut through the noise.

People worry about perceived abuse and political bias at Facebook and other big technology companies, but is this a real concern or just a passing panic? R Street Institute tech policy manager Tom Struble joins the Heartland Daily Podcast to help cut through the noise.

U.S Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is calling for the Federal Trade Commission to open a new investigation into Google’s market dominance. Rep. Kevin Brady has alleged that big technology companies like Facebook and Twitter are working to silence right-wing speech.

There are many issues wrapped up in the general discussion about Big Tech, including antitrust, privacy, free speech, and intermediary liability, Struble says. Different people are more focused on some issues than others, often towing party lines. Getting government involved in how private companies operate their services is not a winning game for anyone other than the government, and Struble says any regulations or laws that may be crafted should be narrowly tailored to solve actual issues, instead of writing broad rules to make this or that group happy.

Generally, Struble says, people have more power to speak out and more power to get work done than they did in the past, thanks to the innovations of Facebook, Google, and other companies. Indeed, he says, the government could not have done what these private businesses have done for people, and it’s unfair to burden companies with more rules and regulations in the name of solving problems that don’t actually exist.
Author
Jesse Hathaway is the managing editor of Budget & Tax News, a publication of The Heartland Institute.
jhathaway@heartland.org @JesseinOH