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Break up the robber baron tech companies
http://steelerfury.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10371
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Author:  R S [ Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

Shocking isn't it? who would have thought a massive company with a free platform would be doing something to make a profit.

Author:  jebrick [ Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

It is shocking because people have final noticed. Not that they really care. The next insta-snap-chat-book photo with a cute kitten or big breasted model will distract.

Author:  Kodiak [ Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

R S wrote:
Shocking isn't it? who would have thought a massive company with a free platform would be doing something to make a profit.


I just laugh. The whole "corporate greed" thing is largely based on the fact many people think they are getting gouged (because they don't understand economics or the definition of "gouged") at, basically, any price for the service. But they LOVE Google and Facebook because they get a lot for "free".

I do think Google and Facebook, and probably Amazon, should be broken up. Now I'm a free markets guy, but that theory is based on assumptions that don't always exist in pure form in the real world (such as limited barriers to entry, fully informed & rational consumers, etc). On the other hand. Facebook trounced a couple other social media before it and may not be entirely secure on its perch. Google crushed most the other search engines, and while far and away the most popular there are still a lot of options. Apple is doing very well, obviously (after Jobs came back to rescue it), but Google & Android is still eating their lunch.

When you see Google, Facebook and Amazon leveraging their platform into other verticals, that's when we need to take notice. My biggest concern is their ability to essentially make the news, picking winners & losers based on what they deem is real or fake. Very liberal organizations that can have a profound impact on elections if left unchecked.

Author:  Kodiak [ Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

jebrick wrote:
It is shocking because people have final noticed. Not that they really care. The next insta-snap-chat-book photo with a cute kitten or big breasted model will distract.


But it's probably a good thing to get ads targeted to you that are very relevant and of interest.

People are just alarmed to discover that same technology can (and has) been used to influence and shape what you know and believe. But truthfully that's only an issue if one chooses to be lazy and ignorant and cocoon themselves inside a bubble.

Of course, the above assumes Google search isn't driven by an agenda....if, for example, they were to filter any result from the "lukewarm" climate change crowd then we'd all be furiously peddling our bicycles a lot more. Although, technically, that wouldn't prevent one from reading the papers that did result and seeing the science for what it actually is. But most people don't have the training/background to do that.

Author:  Dan Smith--BYU [ Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

I agree with Kodiak. A breakup is better than regulation. Any regulation that Zuck is suggesting will benefit him and hurt competitors and he has paid off a number of reps with contributions. It's the same as Dodd-Frank...it benefitted the investment banks after they caused the crisis. Would have been better to break them up. Too big to fail is too big to exist.

Author:  Kodiak [ Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

Dan Smith--BYU wrote:
Any regulation that Zuck is suggesting will benefit him and hurt competitors and he has paid off a number of reps with contributions.


And it was a very self-serving admission. "Regulate me, and it will only hurt my competition....[don't regulate me and it will only help my bottom line because I can have no competition]"

Years ago in grad school we studied Amazon. The takeaway was that market is essentially only big enough for one player, meaning economy of scale/size is such a huge advantage that no one else would be able to compete. I don't think the argument is terribly different for Google and Facebook.

Or you can look at the PC industry - essentially just MS and Apple OS, with a little linux for the rebels. I don't think that's been much of a problem. But the difference with Google, Facebook and Twitter is the very real danger that they can censor views they disagree with. That is their right as private companies....but now maybe this is a place to [legitimately] talk about public utilities and an open internet.

Author:  Dan Smith--BYU [ Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

I agree. If Ma Bell and Standard Oil could be broken up so can these tech behemoths. Regulation is what they actually want.

Author:  Kodiak [ Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

Dan Smith--BYU wrote:
I agree. If Ma Bell and Standard Oil could be broken up so can these tech behemoths. Regulation is what they actually want.


I bet Google knows people better than they know themselves. Just think about all the services you're using. The average person who takes no steps to privacy - Google probably has an almost 24/7 picture of that person's life and people around them.

Even if you don't sign in to Chrome and give Google basically your entire web history (including postings on Steelerfury!), if you're not using a VPN they probably already know your IP from a variety of other sources and thus can still piece together your entire web history.

Author:  jebrick [ Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

Kodiak wrote:
Dan Smith--BYU wrote:
Any regulation that Zuck is suggesting will benefit him and hurt competitors and he has paid off a number of reps with contributions.


And it was a very self-serving admission. "Regulate me, and it will only hurt my competition....[don't regulate me and it will only help my bottom line because I can have no competition]"

Years ago in grad school we studied Amazon. The takeaway was that market is essentially only big enough for one player, meaning economy of scale/size is such a huge advantage that no one else would be able to compete. I don't think the argument is terribly different for Google and Facebook.

Or you can look at the PC industry - essentially just MS and Apple OS, with a little linux for the rebels. I don't think that's been much of a problem. But the difference with Google, Facebook and Twitter is the very real danger that they can censor views they disagree with. That is their right as private companies....but now maybe this is a place to [legitimately] talk about public utilities and an open internet.


I would disagree in the point that Google and Facebook are selling information ( like Equafax and TransAmerica) and eye space (advertisements). All of them use you to get your clicks to sell your information to other retailers. They are like television that can look and listen into your house.

Author:  SteelPro [ Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Break up the robber baron tech companies

How exactly would you break up facebook? I can see how that could be done with Google and Amazon. They have multiple business lines/products. Although honestly, some of these big tech companies have actually brought competition to other industries that previously looked very much like monopolies and duopolies.

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