Dealing with anti-social-media monopolies

Back in August I wrote a post on It must be made illegal on “social media” to deny service to people who say things that are not illegal to say. Today the Wall Street Journal had an article on What About Social-Media Neutrality?: Facebook’s algorithms have outsize power, both culturally and economically. This is what I wrote then:

Two things should happen. First, these tech providers must be open to being sued for suspending and forcibly closing accounts unless the company can prove in court that what was being said could not be legally said in public. Second, these are now part of modern social infrastructure in the same way as banks and hospitals. They must be compelled by law to accept and maintain on an equal basis anyone who wishes to participate in their services. This is not something the market can or will fix. There can be only one Facebook. It only works if everyone can join. If the proprietors of Facebook don’t want to work within the new rules, then they can sell up to someone else who does.

This is what the the Wall Street Journal said today:

Regardless of whether net neutrality protections continue, regulation of social-media platforms could help even the online playing field and foster innovation, creativity and free speech while guarding against malicious manipulation of content. Without regulation, the internet’s most sprawling content marketplaces will continue to favor deep pockets and endanger free expression.

It’s a big issue and will only get bigger unless something is done.

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