The global Facebook outage and damning Congressional testimony from a whistleblower, make it clear how urgent it is to pass antitrust reform. A problem at one company should not knock out three of the largest social platforms online. For many, this was more than not being able to see photos on Instagram, but the loss of a connection to family, friends, and employers. Businesses were blocked from connecting with their customers. A company shouldn’t have so much power it can choose to ignore hate speech and misinformation despite widespread outrage.
This isn’t a problem with Facebook alone but each business structure of the tech industry -- search, apps, ads, e-commerce -- is monopolized by one or two dominant companies. Monopolies put economic justice at risk. We’ve watched tech firms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon get bigger and bigger every year. They buy smaller businesses and push others out of the market. Mergers can lead to fewer jobs in our communities. Firms copy our innovative ideas and take away our audiences. It’s also why our hair products change around the time a larger company buys a Black-owned brand.
Monopoly power is why we still see misinformation and voter suppression messages on Facebook and YouTube. Despite warnings from Color Of Change, these companies refuse to protect our communities from hate on their platforms. We saw how quickly online speech turned into an attempted white nationalist coup. Without government reform or competition, we’ll continue to see white nationalist violence organized on their platforms.
Our communities have long dealt with the realities of monopolies and anti-competitive businesses. Because of that, our needs must be addressed by including racial justice equities in antitrust reform. Antitrust laws must go beyond race-neutral enforcement. We need solutions that take into account our experiences.
Tech firms and other monopolies will continue to erode our economic gains and undermine our democracy unless the Biden-Harris administration and Congress make a commitment to robust and dynamic antitrust reform. The recent House antitrust package is the first step to reining in Big Tech’s dominance.
- Leadership in the House of Representatives to bring the antitrust bills to the floor for a vote,
- the Senate to introduce their version of these bills,
- Congress to pass a unified bill, and
- President Biden to sign them into law.
Will you sign our petition demanding Congress pass these bills and President Joe Biden sign them into law?