Molly Wood Profile picture
Jul 29, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read Read on X
Ok, so. It is totally within the realm of antitrust to talk about anticompetitive acquisitions, using reams of data collected with little transparency to crush further competition, and to explore how and whether this harms consumers, in addition to potential competition. 1/
Issues of speech and disinformation *are* related to the size and scope and power of these platforms, but are not specifically related to existing antitrust law. That these things are conflated is largely the result of a *specific effort* by some GOP members. 2/ #BigTechHearing
HOWEVER (leaving aside the completely unproven conservative bias thing). The fact that disinformation is not specifically an antitrust issue, but IS an issue of consumer harm shows why existing antitrust law is not exactly equipped to deal with these companies. 3/
A good-faith untangling of these issues would probably help determine a path forward in terms of regulation and updating antitrust law. But good faith is in short supply, and existing antitrust violations, which are being documented today, may slip by as a result. Sigh.

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More from @mollywood

Nov 16, 2022
🧵Ok, so I've been an investor for a little less than a year. But I've been in the pattern recognition game for my entire life and I've got a prediction. The B2B SaaS bubble, the darling of the VC world, is going to pop badly, and maybe soon.
I was talking to a startup's customer the other day, and he said something that should send a chill up every SaaS investor's spine: "The question isn't whether this works or can improve our efficiency. It's whether we need ANOTHER $50,000 business software thing to sign up for."
The consumer landscape often provides clues to these kinds of trends, and SaaS (subscription as a service) is headed to the same place as streaming fatigue. There are too many things to subscribe to, it's confusing, it's an increasingly huge line item, and it's OPTIONAL.
Read 8 tweets
Apr 14, 2022
A powerful thread.👇We're here because all these platforms let their engagement algorithms run amok to the point where they got SO ugly and game-able in terms of harassment and disinformation and bot-brigading that there was effectively no choice left other than bans.
If they had believed in the HARM done to people who were experiencing harassment and disinformation all the way back to GamerGate and long before, they'd have had less of a problem to start with.
Because they'd have dealt with the bots and maybe not tuned all the algos for MAXIMUM OUTRAGE and wouldn't have been suggesting insurrection groups to nice old grandmas because it's good for "engagement."
Read 5 tweets
Apr 8, 2022
Hmm ok. It's clear to me that we need a large and probably editable database of decarbonization suggestions and resources. What do we think is the best way to do this? Massively descend here?
For a quick start guide, some ideas about what I mean when I say that are, electrify everything! If you can get solar, get it (plus a battery). If not, electrifying is still good because renewable energy is the cheapest electrons on the market. So ...
If you have an internal combustion engine car, go electric when you're getting a new one. Better yet, get an electric bike or start taking transit. Replace your HVAC with an electric heat pump. Replace your gas stove with electric (induction ranges are 🔥).
Read 10 tweets
Mar 29, 2022
Thread, and George Lakoff: "If you’re a conservative and you go to college, what are you going to study? Most likely you’re going to take some business courses, which means you’re going to be taking a marketing course. And marketing professors study my field, cognitive science."
"They study that people think in terms of frames, metaphors, narratives, emotions, images and so on. And so it’s natural to be able to market your ideas if you’re a conservative. But you don’t take those courses if you’re a progressive and you’re interested in politics."
"You know, you don’t take cognitive science or neuroscience or marketing. What you do is you take political science, law, public policy, economic theory, not business, and you learn a different way of thinking."
Read 4 tweets
Jan 10, 2021
The problem with Twitter is that it's basically a time machine. Or maybe it's a wormhole. It's the place where everything is known, and knowable, all at the same time. And then we (I, I mean me here) want the rest of the world to operate at this timescale. 1/
And it gets so frustrating and painful and downright infuriating the watch the IRL world catch up. To watch investigations play out like they're supposed to, and to watch information be slowly, so agonizingly slowly, disseminated out to everyone, and not just the Very Online. 2/
You realize that you exist in a different timeline. You exist in the future where all the details are known, the facts are obvious, every take has already been taken like COME ON WORLD, we talked about this already, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN. You're like Yoyo in Agents of Shield. 3/
Read 8 tweets
Dec 17, 2020
So, not to go all Tom Clancy here. But increasingly it looks like a primary goal of this Russian hack is further disinformation, to erode of trust in each other and institutions. And FEAR. So with this in mind, I feel like maybe we need to be VERY careful how we report on it. 1/
Like, if there's a leak about an EVEN SCARIER DEVELOPMENT, should that leak itself be treated as possible disinformation? I know this is kind of layers on layers here. But the more people fear that the nukes or the Fed have been hacked, the more distrust and fear there'll be. 2/
So like, as we work feverishly to uncover the true depth and breadth of this intrusion, we journalists should ask ourselves if we're not also amplifying the severity in a way that benefits those who want to divide us and make us afraid. I'm spitballing here, it's a fine line. 3/
Read 4 tweets

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