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I have trouble understanding why we should break up Facebook but not google. Is it because we think google is less evil than Facebook?



> I have trouble understanding why we should break up Facebook but not google. Is it because we think google is less evil than Facebook?

The article does not argue against breaking up Google, in fact it says:

> Finally, an aggressive case against Facebook would persuade other behemoths like Google and Amazon to think twice about stifling competition in their own sectors, out of fear that they could be next.

It's basically saying Google's next if it doesn't mend its ways.


> It's basically saying Google's next

I don't think that answers GP's question though,

why is facebook first?

Why is facebook the chosen one. Surely it wasn't chosen using random number generator.


> why is facebook first?

Because the article's written by a Facebook co-founder and the framing here is therefore through that lens? I think any of the others could have (and have been previously) chosen as the one to focus on.

On a more philosophical point, Facebook is very "personal". The core money-making business acts of Google and Amazon are focused around intent to do something, whereas Facebook's entire raison d'etre is to monopolise the whole gamut of your daily interaction.

That's not to say the others aren't either, but it's so explicit to who Facebook is, they're an easier one to focus on first.


> why is facebook first?

> Why is facebook the chosen one. Surely it wasn't chosen using random number generator.

It's it obvious? It's been far more transparently shameless.

> I don't think that answers GP's question though,

It does. The op was asking a why/why not question. He didn't even mention the concept of sequence.


I was musing philosophically. I know why Facebook is first and google isn’t on the chopping block. It’s because people don’t have the same relationship with google. No one is accusing google of colluding with foreign powers to sabotage democracy. It’s funny, right? If google had the best ad targeting during 2016, they would be on the crucifix right now just like Facebook, but they didn’t (maybe you can argue google ads aren’t as useful or as visceral as fb ads, but I think it’s complicated). You might argue that google wouldn’t work with the Russians, but that’s not obvious to me that Facebook did that intentionally either.

There but for fortune.


Both should be broken up. They are both equally dangerous. It's just that Facebook's standards have been degrading faster and so it's been more noticeable.


Whatsapp and Instagram as independent companies could compete head to head with Facebook in similar domains, so breaking it up would increase competition.

It's not as clear that stripping away YouTube or Android etc from Google would have the same sort of effect. It's hard to see how Bing or DuckDuckGo would benefit against Google Search, although it might allow some other businesses to more effectively compete against YouTube or Android.


It's not any less evil and needs to be broken up just as quickly, but focusing on one giant and not trying to simultaneously fight both is probably a better idea. At the very least this sets precedent for splitting up the other.


In a way, it is less evil.

It has not been caught selling user data the same way FB has. It does not have the same reach / social control, since it's never managed to create a social network with enough traction.

Still, some control is needed, but I think we should all agree that Facebook should be top priority?


I think I agree with you, but I also feel like a few missteps out of alignment with that narrative and google would be up for anti-trust conversation just like Facebook. I’m mostly musing about how your relationship with regulators has a lot to do with how you treat them and the public. When people perceive you as good, you can get away with monetizing people’s data. When people perceive you as bad, you’re the monster selling data to the Russians.

It’s a matter of perspective (and sometimes reality). Let’s not pretend that the Russians couldn’t have bought google ads, it’s simply that Facebook’s audience targeting is way, way better than google’s because their surveillance economy is richer.

It’s complicated. Is Facebook simply too good at targeting?

This is part of why I’m working on mobilecoin. Can you imagine Facebook ad targeting if they also have all of your payment information?


Facebook won't have much of an impact on the 2020 election imo.

Users are already Leaving.

I don't see why we can't let FAANG grow big and fail like every other company.


You are crazy if you think Facebook won't have much of an impact on the 2020 election... It's the ad targeting platform of choice for people who want to target specific demographics. Why wouldn't Facebook have a deep impact on the 2020 election?

Do you really think a company of Facebook's scale will be able to detect and somehow neutralize all of the political ads that are introduced into their targeting systems even if they wanted to, which they don't because it's antithetical to their revenue narrative.


As mentioned, their users are leaving


Google hasn’t committed the same evils Facebook has. They’ve been smarter about handling personal data in the west, and their platforms haven’t been used to attack democracy.

In Asia their platforms haven’t been used to help countries commit genocide.

I mean, you could make the case for breaking up google for monopoly reasons, but google has mostly just done business the way amazon or Microsoft has. And unlike Facebook, google has been branching out of the advertising business for a while with their cloud services, hardware and paid software.

If I want a privacy secure add-free gmail, I can actually get that by throwing money after google.


Is that really true about Asia considering that google was secretly working on a conformist search engine for Asia? Again, I think this is complicated.


I think google is guilty of a lot of things in Asia, but it’s not like windows in China is like windows in Denmark either.

I haven’t heard about google products being used to organise genocides though, but Facebook has.




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