Be skeptical of AG Weiser’s big government proposal – Greeley Tribune

Free market minds are seriously considering the regulation of modern God-like tech giants – the Facebooks, Twitters, and Google of the world.

Historically, freedom-conscious thinkers had a common refrain when asked if government should have power over something like Facebook: “If you don’t like it, build your own.

But 245 years after our nation was founded, something like Mark Zuckerburg’s intercontinental social network is not at all the same business as the 19th century shoemaker our founding fathers crafted the constitution to protect. Rather, social media barons are a hybrid of the late 19th century American monopoly and a technocratic public square akin to Big Brother.

Americans are addicted to the dopamine surge when they glance at their black mirror devices (“phones”). Facebook, Google and Twitter are not only, indeed, the totality of the public square. They also hold an operational monopoly on influential individuals, namely impressionable young people who lack the self-awareness to healthy digest spoon-fed messages.

A viewing of Netflix’s “The Social Dilemma” is all you need. The documentary describes the terrifying ramifications. Our psyche is not yet evolutionarily adjusted to understand what this new technology triggers in our synapses. Imagine trying to explain Facebook to the nation’s founders, circa 1776. The very idea would be an almost heavenly communication concept that they would struggle to wrap their priceless intellect with.

So, now lawmakers like Colorado Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser are opposing government regulation of tech giants. Like many, they point to mental health issues caused by psychics, especially among teenage girls. As The Gazette reported, Weiser and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro made three recommendations in a letter last week.

The first, to develop a “comprehensive and unbiased understanding of how the algorithms of the social media giants work,” seems like a useful idea to help people. As long as this proposed initiative is not picked up by political actors – a big “if”, of course – this is something reasonable citizens can support.

The recommendation to create a regulatory body with the power to “take appropriate measures to protect consumer privacy, protect competition in the online world and address risks to children and our democratic institutions” is above all a good one. idea. Given the wild nature of how these tech giants sneakily sell people’s private information to the highest advertising bidder, protecting consumer privacy goes beyond what the government could do, even with market solutions. free existing ones like VPNs.

Safeguarding competition is essential. But given the anti-free speech and anti-competitive intimidation left-wing voices have put on tech companies, people should be skeptical. Amazon Work Spaces’ blacklisting this year of Jeff Bezos of something that was the closest thing to competition from entrenched tech giants, the Talking platform from conservative commentator Dan Bongino, was a chilling example of the way vocal bossy types shame big tech for doing their dirty work.

Addressing the risk to children is commendable. But the government should not play a role in choosing sides in the country’s cultural war. Big left-wing companies in tune with the waking worldview, like Disney, are doing enough.

Weiser’s recommendation to “address the risk to democratic institutions” is where we become even more skeptical. And the final recommendation, to develop a regulatory framework to mitigate social media risks “similar to the oversight regime in place for political television advertising,” also seems questionable.

He is starting to lose us because the whole “risk to democratic institutions” gimmick was the explanation for the recent unfounded waste of taxpayer money and time. These spurious accounts, like the Russiagate, have exposed a fraction of the abuses claimed by Democrats while exposing the government’s plans to maintain power.

If it looks like a Trojan horse, smells like a Trojan horse, and quacks like a Trojan horse, maybe we should be wondering if it is a Trojan horse. We can do without the leftists in Washington who manipulate the big tech companies they are already comfortable with.

This is all the more true as, without government control, these tech giants censor the right at a higher rate than the left. Freelance journalist Tim Pool pushed this uncomfortable reality in the face of Twitter mainstay Jack Dorsey on Joe Rogan’s podcast in March 2019. Selective censorship has worsened since then.

It’s one thing if the government is to protect children, share the dirt on manipulative algorithmic technology, and trust our Orwellian oligopoly. It is quite another if they want to seize the strings of the puppet of the postmodern public square to further suppress speeches that go against the Democratic narrative.

We suspect Weiser’s intentions are good, but no one should trust his party leaders who don’t give a damn about free speech and vigorous competition. Hopefully Weiser’s vision doesn’t inspire a monolithic federal censorship agency.

– The Gazette Editorial Board, October 19

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