Here’s the ugly truth: Facebook and Google are profit-maximizing quasi-monopolies who will do anything to protect their monopolies.
Of the many remarkable trend changes of the past year, few are more striking than the fawning embrace of Facebook et al. by Big Media turning to an enraged sense of betrayal. Facebook and Google–by their own self-definitions, shining beacons of liberalism and goodness (we’re not evil, we’re fantabulous!)– were viewed by the famously liberal Big Media as allies in the fight against Trump, illiberalism, populism, deglobalization, etc.
Now, to their horror, Big Media has discovered that not only did their Big Tech sweethearts betray their affection and trust, they’re just another bunch of predatory profit-maximizing monopolies who will stab anyone and everyone in the back who gets in their way to higher profits and more power.
It would be sad if it wasn’t so pathetic. Poor Big Media, so anxious to be hip and with it, so anxious to impress social media while trying to exploit its reach to prop up their own dying business model. Big Media, so easily seduced by Big Tech: we’re liberal, too, and together we’ll lead the world out of darkness into light, blah blah blah.
Then Big Media discovered its virtue-signaling liberal sweetheart, Big Tech, is just as threatened by liberals as by conservatives, and it turns its firepower on liberals with the same savage abandon as it does on independent and conservative media.
The bitter rage of the previously besotted and now betrayed suitor is evident in these recent articles in The Atlantic, New York Times and Washington Post, all bastions of virtue-signaling self-righteous defense of the state-cartel Empire, a.k.a. liberalism.
When the Tech Mythology Collapses (The Atlantic)
It’s time to start regulating Facebook (Washington Post)
The high dudgeon of WaPo is especially amusing to those us blacklisted by the faux-liberal Washington Post’s witch-hunting promotion of a bogus list of “Russian propaganda” sites in 2016. As I noted recently, some observers suspect Facebook is using this same baseless, fact-free libelous list in its shadow banning of independent journalists and commentators.
That Facebook would stick a knife in neoliberal globalist George Soros (gasp!) to mask its calumny might have been an eye-opener for the enamored liberals who foolishly believed the facile PR of Facebook, Google et al. Nobody’s more offended that the chump who falls for the obvious scam, a scam that any streetwise person would have spotted a mile away.
Big Media so desperately wanted a partner in its faux-liberal virtue-signaling that it overlooked the abundant evidence that Facebook and Google are only interested in reaping billions of dollars in ever greater concentrations of wealth and power. These are corporations, after all, and just like the corporations that own Big Media, maximizing profits is their sole raison d’etre, self-congratulatory preening claims of public service wonderfulness aside.
Here’s the ugly truth: Facebook and Google are profit-maximizing quasi-monopolies who will do anything to protect their monopolies. Just like all the other monopolies that had to be busted up to protect the public from their predatory power.
I just received this email from the Wall STreet Journal: the Big media war on Facebook just opened a new front, and it looks like a take-no-prisoners conflict now:
With Facebook Under Siege, Zuckerberg Adopts More Aggressive Style
Mark Zuckerberg gathered roughly 50 of his top lieutenants earlier this year and told them that Facebook was at war and he planned to lead the company accordingly.
Mr. Zuckerberg’s new approach is causing unprecedented turmoil atop Facebook, driving several key executives from the company, according to people familiar with the matter.
I’ve written a lot about these issues: here’s a selection of recent essays:
Are Facebook and Google the New Colonial Powers? September 18, 2017
The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized November 17, 2017
Addictions: Social Media & Mobile Phones Fall From Grace November 24, 2017
Should Facebook, Google and Twitter Be Public Utilities? March 5, 2018
Is Profit-Maximizing Data-Mining Undermining Democracy? March 19, 2018