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Pandemic P.R. Campaigns Don’t Fix Any of the Problems With Big Tech Monopolies
Six New Groups Join Coalition – FreedomFromFacebookAndGoogle.com
Washington, DC — After nearly two years of shifting the paradigm on Facebook, we thought it was time to broaden our work, so Freedom From Facebook is expanding to also take on Google. Facebook and Google are two of the world’s most dangerous monopolies. They have seized control of how billions of people communicate online, making more than $200 billion a year from selling advertising. They addict us to their services, promote dangerous content, engage in surveillance, and rent out our attention to anyone willing to pay up.
As America and the world struggle to deal with the coronavirus, these corporate giants are using this pandemic to launch P.R. campaigns to shore up their power. But half measures and splashy headlines don’t fix any of the problems with big tech monopolies. If anything, this crisis has revealed them to be even more dangerous to people and our democracy: the platforms are allowing deadly misinformation to flourish, profiting off of deceptive and opportunistic advertising for critical health supplies, and accelerating the collapse of local news, all while uncertainty around upcoming elections grows.
It has been quite a change for FFF going from a few years ago when these concerns weren’t really on anyone’s radar and Facebook was the darling of Silicon Valley and D.C. to having the DOJ and 47 state attorneys general conducting antitrust investigations of their monopoly.
Besides all of the substance we had some fun too including flying a plane over Facebook’s shareholders meeting and getting a full page ad in the student paper when Sandberg was the commencement speaker at MIT. Facebook was so freaked out about everything they hired opposition researchers to go after us!
“There is no question that Facebook is taking a wrecking ball to our democracy — but Google is also working full time at being evil,” said Sarah Miller, Co-Chair of Freedom From Facebook & Google. “Facebook and Google are using the coronavirus crisis to entrench their power, amplifying and profiting from deadly misinformation and scammers, lording it over small businesses in distress, and decimating the free press by monopolizing advertising markets. No one should buy into their pandemic PR, while the need to break their power should be crystal clear.
Freedom From Facebook and Google has four core demands for policy makers and regulators:
Break up Facebook and Google
Regulate them to keep us safe
Hold them accountable for wrongdoing
Reject their lobbyists and corporate money
More details about how these problems can be fixed are addressed in this new paper from FFF&G member American Economic Liberties Project, “Addressing Facebook and Google’s Harms Through a Regulated Competition Approach.”
Besides expanding the scope of our work FFF&G is also expanding with new members: American Economic Liberties Project, Campaign for Accountability, Daily Kos, Progress America, The Revolving Door Project, and Social Security Works.
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