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  #21  
Old 11.01.2021, 09:43
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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Why would that use blockchain?
For anonymity, security, and so that the network is decentralised and can't be shut down. It basically could remove the almost godlike powers that Big Tech giants have at the moment.
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  #22  
Old 11.01.2021, 10:01
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

Like many successful companies before them, yes they have grown in influence and power - heck they are sending rockets into space when most countries can't do that (eg amazon). However depending on your social economical views this is a problem or just part and parcel of the success.

Nothing lasts forever, just look at Nokia, RIM (Blackberry), Yahoo, MySpace once considered the biggest and most influential. At some point new companies will rise and take over - so the question is more does this process need help from governments - that depends on your views (and votes).
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Old 11.01.2021, 10:32
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

The authorities need to bring in industry experts who truly understand how the business actually works. Existing laws and regulations, particularly ‘abuse of a dominant position’ are sufficient to deal with the issue, but when lawyers and accountants don’t really understand how a dominant position is being abused.

Microsoft vs Netscape is a good example. Regulators viewed lower and lower prices a good thing, in fact a better thing than the improvements in the browsers that had previously driven competition. Once Microsoft’s very deep pockets allowed them to give away their product free, something that Netscape couldn’t do, that ended the war and significant improvements in the products.

But by the time Regulators woke up, the game had changed. Smart phones became much more prevalent and they became the go to device. Even as the EU was requiring MS to change their business practices the business had changed.

In the interim, as new business models developed and became popular Regulators sat on their hands as competitors were allowed to buy each other, or merge - on the implied promise that something that was free was a good thing - ignoring that no-monetary cost doesn’t mean there are no other costs.

As an initial step regulators need to change the default rule that a buyout or takeover is assumed to be OK unless someone complains. The new rule that any acquisition over a certain amount, or a combined market share of more than 20% needs to be investigated. Any concessions agreed or promises made must be legally binding.

Existing giants need to be broken up. Businesses like Facebook and Twitter need to be split into identical pieces with separate shareholders and management. Businesses like Apple need to be split by business, hardware, operating systems, software, etc. Exclusivity agreements to be banned.

That would be a good start ...
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Old 11.01.2021, 10:49
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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The tech is almost there, and as soon as there is a social networking site that uses blockchain, that is decentralized, encrypted and can't be shut down, then many users will make the jump. Social media will just become a toilet cubical wall where anyone and everyone can write what they want without moderation and without fear of being cancelled.
Yet, here we are on forum with 1998-1999 technology
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Old 11.01.2021, 10:51
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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Nothing lasts forever, just look at Nokia, RIM (Blackberry), Yahoo, MySpace once considered the biggest and most influential. At some point new companies will rise and take over - so the question is more does this process need help from governments - that depends on your views (and votes).
Don't be so sure this time. The reason why it's different this time around is that it's absolutely not about product features as such, but because there are huge barriers to entry in these industries. For example, to rival Google, one needs to match their throve of data meticulously collected over many years and used in ways to provide value to you as a user that nobody else can without such data. It's similar with facebook, amazon, microsoft, etc. So it has to be normalized not by hoping that a competitor will emerge, but by government intervention and breaking them down. As an example, the US has done this in the past with the breakup of the famous Bell System
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Old 11.01.2021, 10:53
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

I think the issue is that people consider FB or Google or whoever something like an essential service.

It's not. Especially social media.

There is no need for anyone to use it, and they remain private businesses.
The fact that everyone like to use it just conflates things.

Example:
A restaurant chain is the most beloved chain in the world (for whatever reason - benign or nefarious or mix). If these guys start denying service to people with big ears or small feet, according to their own standards whatever those might be, that doesn't mean they're denying food to the people. You can still eat at home or other restaurants.

Additionally just because it's a busy restaurant and everyone gathers there and talk about stuff in general, if at any point the restaurant owner doesn't like certain discussions, they can ban them outright. If you try to have the discussion they'll ask you to leave.


And that's OK.


Freedom of speech means the government cannot prosecute you for saying anything.
It does not mean that people will like you, or that someone HAS to give you a platform to disseminate your message.

All of the social media has been heavily moderated for graphic content, violence, porn, etc. Nothing is changing, it's just the platforms actually enforcing the rules that they set out for everyone participating.


And please remember that in some cases like Amazon and Parler, the decision came after pressure from the employees saying that they don't want their work to support such platforms, which is completely fair. Google had similar pressure from workers for work on defense contracts for example.
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  #27  
Old 11.01.2021, 11:06
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

Well, here we are talking about two different things, one is the power of control the giants have, the second is how their business operates.


Yes, tech giants made a good use of the volume of the data they have. Recently advertising ID was obsoleted. Why? Because the AI let them better profile and track users even those who try to evade being tracked.


Freedom of online speech as it was two decades ago wasn't a good thing either but it was way better than the current censorship. For example I think that a website like Facebook without a hidden censorship but where everyone can delete offensive/inappropriate material could be an interesting approach. The power to say what's appropriate and what's not should be in control of the society.


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Don't be so sure this time. The reason why it's different this time around is that it's absolutely not about product features as such, but because there are huge barriers to entry in these industries. For example, to rival Google, one needs to match their throve of data meticulously collected over many years and used in ways to provide value to you as a user that nobody else can without such data. It's similar with facebook, amazon, microsoft, etc. So it has to be normalized not by hoping that a competitor will emerge, but by government intervention and breaking them down. As an example, the US has done this in the past with the breakup of the famous Bell System
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  #28  
Old 11.01.2021, 11:37
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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Power is one thing... when will the big tech companies be properly taxed on their income ?
. . .
Interestingly, France has resumed taxation, albeit at a nominal level, of Big Tech, in defiance of threats from the US. The writing is now on the wall but Mr. Trump did give the Big Tech significant short term support by pulling out of the OECD negotiations on Big Tech taxation. He does not appear, incidentally, to have been well rewarded for his generosity here. Anyway, if there isn't a coordinated activity of such taxation, I could imagine there will soon be a free for all.
https://apnews.com/article/france-1c...1d819fdf6225f4
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  #29  
Old 11.01.2021, 11:49
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

There will be a strong backlash against big tech giants ...

Facebook and Twitter largely culpable for all the harm, all the hate, all the deaths in Capitol attack: former Obama advisor

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/faceb...225443250.html

Their stocks are significantly down today in pre session.
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Old 11.01.2021, 11:58
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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I think the issue is that people consider FB or Google or whoever something like an essential service.

It's not. Especially social media.

There is no need for anyone to use it, and they remain private businesses.
The fact that everyone like to use it just conflates things.

Example:
A restaurant chain is the most beloved chain in the world (for whatever reason - benign or nefarious or mix). If these guys start denying service to people with big ears or small feet, according to their own standards whatever those might be, that doesn't mean they're denying food to the people. You can still eat at home or other restaurants.

Additionally just because it's a busy restaurant and everyone gathers there and talk about stuff in general, if at any point the restaurant owner doesn't like certain discussions, they can ban them outright. If you try to have the discussion they'll ask you to leave.


And that's OK.


Freedom of speech means the government cannot prosecute you for saying anything.
It does not mean that people will like you, or that someone HAS to give you a platform to disseminate your message.

All of the social media has been heavily moderated for graphic content, violence, porn, etc. Nothing is changing, it's just the platforms actually enforcing the rules that they set out for everyone participating.


And please remember that in some cases like Amazon and Parler, the decision came after pressure from the employees saying that they don't want their work to support such platforms, which is completely fair. Google had similar pressure from workers for work on defense contracts for example.
But this is only partly true..

Somebody used the analogy of a person buying a cake already.. If a small baker decides not to sell a cake to somebody because they are fat, gay, white, Chinese or ugly .. They are likely to be punished for discrimination or hate speech or at very least they will have a protest outside the shop, maybe even with zip ties.

So even though they didn't deny the persons right to eat cake elsewhere, it's still not allowed. They can't deny on many grounds.

Point being, not everybody can simply decide who they want to provide service to. Easier for the big players.
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  #31  
Old 11.01.2021, 12:00
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

I've just done test search using 4 different search providers with the search phrase: "Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power" (the title of this tread)

duckduckgo.com returned this thread.
Google.com didn't return this article (I scanned several pages of results).
Neither did Bing.com (Microsoft's search engine)
Yandex.com (a Russian search service) did return it.

Of course, this is not representative, there can be many reasons, and, depending on what goes on in the background, this test may not even be repeatable. However, similar tests, more scientifically executed, could give an indication of search results being skewed to promote a particular point of view, product etc. or suppress unwelcome information or sources.

Incidentally, when attempting a search to find old threads on the English Forum, I have generally much better success with duckduckgo.com than Google, possibly due to a different ranking mechanism
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  #32  
Old 11.01.2021, 12:05
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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There will be a strong backlash against big tech giants ...

Facebook and Twitter largely culpable for all the harm, all the hate, all the deaths in Capitol attack: former Obama advisor

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/faceb...225443250.html

Their stocks are significantly down today in pre session.
Scapegoating. Donald Trump and some like minded people are responsible. Big tech would have been damned if it banned him and damned if they didn't. FWIW I think they got it pretty much exactly right. American people deserve to know the thoughts of the president no matter how mad. But when that goes to inciting violence the line has to be drawn.
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  #33  
Old 11.01.2021, 12:28
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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American people deserve to know the thoughts of the president no matter how mad.
The guy can literally snap his fingers and small army of willing reporters is there to record audio and video and then disseminate them around the world.

The issue is that Mr. Trump twitted what he was afraid to say behind the presidential lectern.
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Old 11.01.2021, 12:46
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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The guy can literally snap his fingers and small army of willing reporters is there to record audio and video and then disseminate them around the world.

The issue is that Mr. Trump twitted what he was afraid to say behind the presidential lectern.
I didn't realize Trump kept his mouth shut ever!
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Old 11.01.2021, 13:12
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

Of even more concern than the actions of individual Big Tech organisations is their concerted action. This could happen even if they are broken up. Of course, you expect them to work together for the purposes of lobbying their home governments (say to ban foreign competition, attack foreign tax regimes etc.). However, as illustrated in the case of "Parler", Amazon, Google and Apple worked together to eliminate this source of competition. Considering that Apple and Google (Android) between control a significant majority of the smart phone market, any demonstration that they act together to further their common interests is especially worrying.
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  #36  
Old 11.01.2021, 13:15
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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But this is only partly true..

Somebody used the analogy of a person buying a cake already.. If a small baker decides not to sell a cake to somebody because they are fat, gay, white, Chinese or ugly .. They are likely to be punished for discrimination or hate speech or at very least they will have a protest outside the shop, maybe even with zip ties.

So even though they didn't deny the persons right to eat cake elsewhere, it's still not allowed. They can't deny on many grounds.

Point being, not everybody can simply decide who they want to provide service to. Easier for the big players.
Service can't be denied in shops unless someone is being disruptive or dangerous. See for example, that shops are allowed to kick you out if you don't wear a mask or if you're screaming and kicking chairs around.

Going online and being that guy means you get to get kicked out.

No platform kicked people out without reason or denied them registration beforehand. People got in, starting talking sh1t and got kicked out.

Goes to show the entitlement people feel about internet products and how they should have absolutely unrestricted access no matter what.

Internet access in general is one thing (and should probably be regulated to be protected from ISPs), but specific products and services is another all together.
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Old 11.01.2021, 13:17
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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I didn't realize Trump kept his mouth shut ever!
Then please make this very valid point concerning Mr. Trump elsewhere, for example on this thread: https://www.englishforum.ch/internat...president.html
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  #38  
Old 11.01.2021, 13:21
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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Service can't be denied in shops unless someone is being disruptive or dangerous. See for example, that shops are allowed to kick you out if you don't wear a mask or if you're screaming and kicking chairs around.

Going online and being that guy means you get to get kicked out.

No platform kicked people out without reason or denied them registration beforehand. People got in, starting talking sh1t and got kicked out.

Goes to show the entitlement people feel about internet products and how they should have absolutely unrestricted access no matter what.

Internet access in general is one thing (and should probably be regulated to be protected from ISPs), but specific products and services is another all together.
Big Tech may regard those who question their power as people who "start[ing] talking sh1t" and de-platform them.
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Old 11.01.2021, 13:23
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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Of even more concern than the actions of individual Big Tech organisations is their concerted action. This could happen even if they are broken up. Of course, you expect them to work together for the purposes of lobbying their home governments (say to ban foreign competition, attack foreign tax regimes etc.). However, as illustrated in the case of "Parler", Amazon, Google and Apple worked together to eliminate this source of competition. Considering that Apple and Google (Android) between control a significant majority of the smart phone market, any demonstration that they act together to further their common interests is especially worrying.
Amazon, Google, and Apple have ZERO competition with Parler.

If anything they all got value out of it (monetary at least), as Amazon was literally selling services, and Google/Apple distributed a means to access the service via an app.

Amazon actually loses money when they cut off Parler from AWS, and Google/Apple just said that the app does not conform to their standards. It's not even a paid app, so there is no discussion about fees and cuts and who gets what.

Your argument about competition is completely empty unfortunately.



And if you want to get on Parler, you don't need an app. Your browser can take you to the website, so if they find a place to host their service, you can go to your phone's browser and just visit the website. Google and Apple did not ban access to the service, they just stopped distributing the app which only one of the ways to access it.
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Old 11.01.2021, 13:27
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

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Big Tech may regard those who question their power as people who "start[ing] talking sh1t" and de-platform them.
And that's fine. And if people don't like it, they'll stop using the products.

History is written by the victor. The British saw the colonists as criminals, but today the criminals are patriots of a new country. If they lost, they would still be considered criminals.

If big tech supports the majority of the society, then they'll be fine. If they go against society's aggregate will, they will fail. If society is "hooked" and cannot put their damn phones down for a freaking second so that "big-tech" guides and forms the aggregate will, then whatever bad comes their way is more than deserved.
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