Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #breakupbigtech

Most recents (24)

Today, COC is launching our #BreakUpBigTech campaign. With all of the recent @Facebook news, it’s urgent #Congress pass #antitrust reform.

An outage at 1 company shouldn't knock out 3 of the largest social platforms. #BigTech monopolies put economic justice at risk. A thread 🧵
Without #antitrust regulation, #tech giants like @Google, @Facebook, @Amazon, & @Apple allow the civil rights of Black people to be violated. Corporations use surveillance networks that span across the #Internet to collect information about you that's sold to advertisers.
Advertisers run targeted ads & online marketplaces. This #data is used to discriminate against Black users, denying us opportunities for employment or home loans.

#BigTech shouldn’t have so much power that they can choose to ignore hate speech & misinfo continue to make profits.
Read 5 tweets
🚨In Brüssel tobt derzeit eine Lobbyschlacht. Mit Rekordausgaben für Lobbyarbeit wollen Google, Amazon, Facebook & Co strengere Regeln für Internetplattformen verhindern. 🧵(1/7)

#PeopleVsBigTech #BreakUpBigTech #DSA #DMA
Der Digitalindustrie steht dabei ein Lobbybudget von 97 Mio. € zur Verfügung, wie unsere neue Studie zur Lobbymacht von Big Tech in Brüssel erstmals zeigt. Zudem verfügen Google & Co über ein besonders intransparentes Lobby-Netzwerk aus Verbänden und Denkfabriken. (2/7)
Im Vergleich der 10 größten Lobbyakteure ist die Digitalbranche derzeit der Sektor mit den höchsten Lobby-Ausgaben in der EU. Damit übertrifft sie sogar die mächtige Auto-, Pharma- oder Finanz-Lobby. (3/7)
Read 7 tweets
Workers, small biz, neighbors, the over-policed, the under-paid, people who breathe pollution...every human who lives in a community + doesn't own a yacht with its own yacht cannot wait for Congress to take bold, comprehensive action against unelected, dangerous corporate power.
Read 14 tweets
Today, Jeff Bezos has decided to head for the exits rather than face the music.

A thread. (1/x)
In response to @JeffBezos stepping down as Amazon CEO for Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon Web Services, the @athenaforall coalition released the following statement from Maurice BP-Weeks @mo87mo87, an Athena leader and the Co-Exec Director of member group @ACREcampaigns. (2/x)
"The company Jeff Bezos started nearly three decades ago is under a cloud of scrutiny, with regulators from both sides of the aisle firing arrows from Washington, D.C. and lawmakers asking hard questions in states across the country." (3/x) #BreakUpAmazon #MonopolyIsNoGame
Read 13 tweets
Today’s #MLK day converges with a lot.

1) Pandemic
2) Movement for Black lives
3) Anti-Democratic coup attempt
4) Unprecedented shuttering of small biz
5) Climate disaster at our door

All on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden, who must respond to all of it.

Many players contributed to this, especially #BigTech. No player has more fingers in all of it than Jeff Bezos

@JoeBiden’s @Transition46 team considering Amazon insiders for positions designed to regulate Amazon is alarming

(2/) see @ddayen @ryangrim…
How does @Amazon contribute to each of these?

Amazon played fast and loose with the lives of its workers through the pandemic.

Even prior to COVID19, its injury rate was 2X industry's.

see #ProtectAmazonWorkers (3/)
Read 11 tweets
(1/4) I work in an Amazon warehouse. My coworkers have been fired for speaking up about unsafe working conditions. COVID's rapid spread has made it unsafe for me to take care of my grandma, who’s been recovering from cancer.

Joe Biden promised to stand up for workers like me.
(2/4) I’m alarmed that Biden’s @transition46 team is thinking about nominating a lawyer for Amazon to enforce laws against monopolies like Amazon. This is not what I voted/donated for. This is literally the fox guarding the henhouse.

(3/4) Amazon’s monopoly power allows it to mistreat workers like us. No corporation should have as much power as Amazon.

The President-Elect’s job is to appoint people who will fight for us, not for the world’s richest man against us. #ProtectAmazonWorkers #NoMalarkey
Read 7 tweets
For nearly two years now, I’ve been calling to #BreakUpBigTech—including Facebook. I’d said before that the purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram should never have been approved and need to be reversed. Today, the FTC and 48 states agreed.…
Facebook is doing pretty well right now. They've acquired potential competitors WhatsApp and Instagram. More than 85% of all social networking traffic goes through sites owned or operated by Facebook. They've got a lot of power—and face little competition or accountability.
And they’ve wielded that power over everything—over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.
Read 5 tweets
So, if you're like most people, the primary way you interact directly with Amazon is buying things via their website. (More people than are customers subsidize them with our shared public dollars, but that's indirect, and also a different thread.) 1/x #MonopolyIsNoGame
So, people tend to think, Amazon is huge! So many people buy things! Selling things (ie, actual objects) must be how they make so much money. But that's not actually how they make *most* of the money. The biggest revenue driver is Amazon Web Services.
Or, as this report puts it, "Profits earned through its cloud services enable Amazon to invest heavily into expanding its cloud operation, as well as to support its other lines of business."
Read 7 tweets
Google uses its size to bully competitors, snuffing them out with mergers & demoting their products. We must hold Google accountable & #BreakUpBigTech. That means allowing @TheJusticeDept’s antitrust investigation to continue without political…
I’ve spent years calling out @TheJusticeDept for refusing to enforce antitrust laws – including against Google. There’s no question that DOJ should’ve done something about Google’s consolidation long ago. The real question is what’s taking them so long.…
The case against Google is clear. We can’t let a desperate and reckless Attorney General undermine @TheJusticeDept’s case. But we also can’t let Big Tech’s army of lawyers, lobbyists, & consultants use Barr as an excuse to wriggle out of the law.
Read 4 tweets
Any solution that comes out of this committee will ultimately fail because the architects of the solution don't understand the nature of a technosocial world and the rapid pace of ICT development. They keep trying to apply an outmoded model to a new situation. #breakupbigtech
Fundamentally, they misunderstand how and why Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple acquire smaller companies: it's not to control the market share or to eliminate competition, it is to enhance the existing capabilities of their platforms. #breakupbigtech
To this end, Facebook's acquisition of Instagram (which they kept bringing up) should be viewed as Facebook buying a new piece of technology to be integrated into its platform, and not as buying out a competitor. This expands the assemblage with minimal effort. #breakupbigtech
Read 8 tweets
"Are the rest of you concerned with the cancel culture mob and what it's up to?" Congressman Jordan: this is a congressional hearing, not a medium article or a reddit discussion forum. What the fuck are you doing? #breakupbigtech
Actually, I know damn well what Jordan is up to. If he can get these tech dudes to decry "cancel culture" and "the groupthink mob" in their testimony, then it provides him with ammunition against their moderation policies that align with "cancel culture." #breakupbigtech
Also, Zuck and Bezos' answers to this question should fucking alarm everyone. #breakupbigtech
Read 3 tweets
These politicians need to reframe the question from acquiring businesses to acquiring technology. As is becoming clear through the very testimony in play here, these folks don't care about the companies: they care about the technology being produced. #breakupbigtech
So, a "digital landgrab" and "market position" must be understood as a capitalist move to acquire new capacities for their existing assemblages, as a move to expand the available affordances of those assemblages, and not as a move for economic dominance. #breakupbigtech
The only companies where a purely economic motive might be actionable MIGHT be Amazon and Apple, but they'd have to also apply the same standards to the X-Box Games Marketplace, to the Playstation Store, to even fucking Steam if they wanted to be consistent. #breakupbigtech
Read 4 tweets
I hoped Congressman Johnson was going to pivot to a broader concern about surveillance and sousveillance in our technosocial context, but again we return to economics. If your research says they're monitoring competitors, what do you think they're doing to you? #breakupbigtech
Like, Zuck is all but admitting the scope of Facebook's data collection and surveillance infrastructure, and all the congressman cares about its its impact on Facebook's market share. This is almost intentionally missing the danger of the tech. #breakingupbigtech
Still further, the Congressman might concern himself with the ways that similar analytics technologies are used to determine health outcomes, maintain financial disparities, and structure educational opportunities. #breakingupbigtech
Read 3 tweets
We learned about that shit in journalism ethics: the standard of shouting "fire" in a theater and thereby causing a public panic can only limitedly applied here. If the Chair was concerned about this, he would be focusing on the folks who generate the articles. #breakupbigtech
That said, Facebook also profits from all kinds of circulation of information. The chair's massive failure to understand how information circulates online is massively problematic in light of his push for a regulatory structure. #breakupbigtech
I'm trying to articulate a response to the Chair's woeful ignorance re: algorithms and how they enable the circulation of misinformation. Does he not understand that Facebook and the like are often behind the curve due to their own tech? #breakupbigtech
Read 4 tweets
I'm just going to point out that thus far none of the congresspersons has cited any of the relevant STS or academic tech literature that would either enhance their point or allow them to press the tech folks much, much harder. #breakupbigtech
Like, we're three plus hours in and not a single citation beyond news media, journalism, and internal documents. I'm not saying this to reinforce the ivory tower: I'm saying this because the STS work done contexualizes tech as part of society. #breakupbigtech
And the work makes clear the kinds of social harms that come from these tech companies irresponsibility and their value structures. That said, very few of these politicians actually CARE about those harms in a broad or nuanced sense beyond "economics." #breakupbigtech
Read 3 tweets
That entire back and forth about the Facebook moderation is literally a response to Facebook's incremental attempts to address critiques that it allows it's platform to be used to maintain institutionalized oppression. #breakupbigtech
Now, I view that back and forth as important because of the ways that it illuminates how these politicians view moderation of hate speech as moderation of conservative speech, which is telling in very serious and important ways. #breakupbigtech
Which is to say that they know what is being said on these sites and in these Facebook groups and are committed to defending it because it is essential to their politics. That they've become concerned should tell you what they mean by "ideological diversity." #breakupbigtech
Read 3 tweets
Me listening to Gaetz: #breakupbigtech
Gaetz remains blissfully unaware of the piles upon piles of literature done by scholars in STS regarding the issues with google's search algorithms where results that maintain the marginalization of minoritized persons is concerned. #breakupbigtech
Basically, all of this only becomes a problem for Gaetz when it "censors" the proliferation of falsehoods by right wing pundits, and not when it maintains structures of marginalization. #breakupbigtech
Read 3 tweets
Like a broken clock, Senessbenner is kind of right about this. How do you spin off parts of Amazon into their own independent organizations? What would it look like for AWS to be independent of the larger Amazon empire? How would it change things? #breakupbigtech
His AT&T analogy is okay, but the kinds of services that these companies provide cannot easily be broken up in the same ways that AT&T and Bell given that the integration of these structures is necessary to the overall functionality of the platform. #breakupbigtech
Given the integration of these arms of the companies, spinning off parts of these enterprises is a losing battle and you'd likely end up right here. So Sennessbenner is right but wrong: we need to adjust our laws to respond to the changing technosocial context. #breakupbigtech
Read 4 tweets
What these folks are framing as avaricious behavior on behalf of Facebook vis a vis its aquisition of smaller tech applications and companies should be better framed in light of technological convergence. #breakupbigtech
That is, if you have a company that relies on improving and developing the technological assemblage that maintains a feature of our technosocial capitalist world, it is in their interest to acquire new and developing technologies for improving its base assemblage. #breakupbigtech
"we have a word for that: it's monopoly," which doesn't make sense from the perspective of a technological assemblage. Now, this isn't to say that it's not problematic: it is because the assemblage is how we transact with our technosocial environment. #breakupbigtech
Read 4 tweets
"If you're going to follow up, can I expect a response in the next two weeks?" What the fuck kind of question is that? Even for Google, to run down a specific issue like that, it'll probably take more than two weeks. #breakupbigtech
Is this man seriously using his time to ask questions about gmail's spam filters? Are we really hearing Pichai explain to a SITTING CONGRESSMAN the function of e-mail spam filters and gmail functionality? Waste of time. #breakupbigtech
Gentlepersons of congress, gmail's filters are massively problematic: e-mails from conference organizing committees that I serve on are frequently routed to spam. This is not an abnormal phenomena. #breakupbigtech
Read 3 tweets
“People would be terrified to know” that this is going on. True. The fourth amendment does NOT prevent this kind of warrant. We need to outlaw them immediately. Right @FoxCahn?! 😁
Read 3 tweets
This constant reference to China and its surveillance state and the use of technology to engage in authoritarian policies is hilarious in light of the fact that we operate under a similar surveillance state in America, at the behest of our government. #breakupbigtech
AGAIN, they seem to be concerned that Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple are doing all the things they WISH they could do in government. #breakupbigtech
Finally, it should really not be lost on anyone that this line of questioning was focused on Pichai whose racialization makes it easy to position Pichai and Google, by extension, as foreign and disloyal. #breakupbigtech
Read 3 tweets
Of course there's a conflict of interest: the nature of capitalism (which this panel has a hand in perpetuating) means that there's always going to be a "conflict of interest" when we frame it in economic terms. They all created this context. #BreakUpBigTech
LMAO, "proliferating threat." The congressman seems pissed that the language of imperialism is being deployed in a sphere where he and his ilk are not involved with predictable results. Again "multipronged attack." This is really about power. #BreakUpBigTech
Someone remind the congressman that the US uses similar threats to extract economic and material resources from nations around the world. Someone remind the congressman that the US uses its surveillance infrastructure to deal with "potential threats." #BreakUpBigTech
Read 4 tweets

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