In 2021 American’s don’t agree on much. However, there is an all but universal nod to the fact that Big Tech has become far too powerful and needs to be broken up. While some Americans are directly feeling Big Tech’s reign in their livelihoods and pocketbooks, others feel it by means of censorship or being banned from social media sites and payment processors.
A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling and released by American Family Voices showed 81% of American’s believe it’s time to do something about the size of Big Tech, as Big Tech is now hurting smaller businesses and consumers in the process as they continue to grow richer and more powerful throughout COVID lockdowns. The report compared Big Tech’s monopolies to that of the “era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.”
Cision PRN reported the October 2020 poll results key findings as:
- 81 percent of voters say they are concerned about consolidation among Big Tech corporations hurting small businesses and consumers
- 78 percent of Republicans either strongly or somewhat agree that government needs to rein in Big Tech, while a total of 89 percent of Democrats agree
- 74 percent of Americans want stronger regulations to hold Big Tech companies responsible for harmful content posted on their platforms, including hate speech and false information about elections
- 74 percent of Americans believe the federal government should have more authority to limit Big Tech corporations’ monopoly power so the government can stop them from buying up competitors
- 74 percent of Americans believe the federal government should break up large technology companies to reduce their power and increase competition and innovation—for example, separating Facebook and Instagram into two companies
- 61 percent of Americans would be more likely to reelect their senator if they voted to rein in the power of Big Tech companies
The full poll can be seen here: https://www.americanfamilyvoices.org/breaking-up-big-tech
American Family Voices Executive Director Lauren Windsor at the time of the report said, “The market dominance of Amazon, Facebook, and Google threatens the vitality of the U.S. economy and the fabric of our society. To date, they haven’t been held accountable for their monopolistic practices and they behave as though they are untouchable. Rep. Cicilline’s report was a big step forward in the fight to break up Big Tech, and this new polling shows that the majority of Americans support it as well as modernization of Section 230. Now, Congress must act.”
And what about these companies violating antitrust laws?
Competition is never taken seriously and rarely promoted, which in turn leaves no room for innovation or for a better service to be offered or product to be produced. The un-checked power of these companies over commerce and culture are building tomorrow’s landscape with little to no worry of being outdone by another up-and-coming product.
As of this month, Google has almost full control over the search engine market with 92.05% market share and the bulk of e-commerce is going through Amazon with more than 60% of consumers checking for their products there before any other site.
Kabrina Chang, clinical associate professor of markets, public policy, and law, told Boston University in 2019, “They have immense power, and they’ve got immense influence in public discourse. There have even been Supreme Court cases that ruled that since social media is so important, it’s unconstitutional to prohibit people from using Facebook. It really is a modern public square.”
Last Fall, the House Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law Subcommittee report found that “Amazon, Facebook, and Google leveraged their dominant positions in their respective spheres to drive out competing companies or by buying them up to consolidate market share. Comparing them to the monopolies of the “era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report—which came after a 16-month, bipartisan investigation—recommended comprehensive policy reforms and remedies to restore free and fair competition.”
Conservative journalist and Republican nominee for Congress in Florida’s 21st District, Laura Loomer filed an anti-Trust lawsuit against Big Tech giants Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple in 2018. Her lawsuit is currently pending review in the Supreme Court of The United States.
Since companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc were born and/or still operate out of the very liberal Silicon Valley, conservatives who use these platforms are unjustly and unfairly villainized for expressing differing values and ideas. Evidence of these companies censoring or banning conservatives from their platforms has been raised time and again over the past few years, yet there’s been far too little done to stop their biased political views from controlling voices that they don’t want elevated on their sites.
Big Tech isn’t going out without a fight though. The Wall Street Journal recently noted “Facebook and Amazon spent more on lobbying in 2020 than any other U.S. corporations, seeking to influence legislation on antitrust and other matters.”