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In fact, the EO appears to be explicit about being retaliation, since it mentions "platform bias" in its reasoning. "Platform bias" isn't an antitrust concern, and, in fact, the President has no authority to "de-bias" private companies.



I think with current law, the platform bias claim is a stretch --unless these platforms are recategorized and regulated as utilities like a telecoms provider. T-Mobile can't just say, we'll ID all atheists and kick them off the service (or anyone who isn't a Mormon, for example) Currently, it looks like Google could simply say, we'll de-emphasize all Atheist or Mormon topics and it would be permissible.


> Currently, it looks like Google could simply say, we'll de-emphasize all Atheist or Mormon topics and it would be permissible.

Not really. They've de-emphasized topics that promote harassment and violence. "Atheists" or "Mormon" topics rarely, if ever, stoop that low, so I don't think you're comparing the same things here.


Right, I don't think they would, but there is nothing stopping them from doing that other than internal mechanisms [and the market] --it's not fear of running afoul of the law though. That's the point. Telcos on the other hand can't do that without running afoul of regulation.


I see your point. So basically we need legislation (preferred) or regulation (FCC, meh..) to bring companies like Google and Facebook into the late 20th/early 21st century?


Protecting ‘platform bias’ is literally why the first amendment exists. The idea that the press is supposed to be neutral or unbiased is a relatively modern invention.


>"Platform bias" isn't an antitrust concern, and, in fact, the President has no authority to "de-bias" private companies.

This is a very common refrain and I would agree completely with this if we didn't live in a society where Facebook, Twitter and YouTube dominated the our communication channels. I wish that we had a neutral way (like email) to reach a large audience and that it wasn't owned by three or four private companies.


It would seem to be difficult in the extreme to wield antitrust law against Twitter, which is embattled, competes bitterly with Facebook, and holds no monopoly on anything.


Twitter seems to hold somewhat of a monopoly on a certain kind of shouty, instantaneous social interaction.


You have email, phone, and regular mail? What's not neutral about them?


Google is one of these large companies who controls one of the major ways of reaching a wide audience(search). They also control a spam blacklist which controls who you can reach through email, and they've implemented a feature in Android to just blacklist phone numbers as spam in one click when a new number calls you


>they've implemented a feature in Android to just blacklist phone numbers as spam in one click when a new number calls you

Are you saying the feature is that you can block phone numbers? Or is there some central list?


> "Are you saying the feature is that you can block phone numbers? Or is there some central list?"

It can't be a central list due to all the spoofing going on. Almost all spam calls are spoofed these days from what I've seen.


If there's no central list, then I don't see how implementing the ability for users to block numbers is non-neutral. There's no central enforcement or organization, it's just a private thing.


I don't know, but if they start blocking every random number in your area code it will cause a problem.




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