The Antitrust Case Against Facebook: a turning point in the debate over Big Tech and monopoly

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I’m glad this idea is getting more traction - that price gouging isn’t the only bad a monopoly can do. Now if only we had some agency… like a , I dunno, a federal trade commission or something.


Disclaimer: I didn’t read the article (not even the short version)

What’s Facebook a monopoly of? I had an account for ages, now I don’t. I had a MySpace account, now I don’t. I had account on dozens of social media sites, some from before that’s what they were called. Blogger, LiveJournal,, Flickr, Instagram, and a bunch I can’t even remember the names of. I vaguely recall that the biggest problem to this sector wasn’t a predatory player, but the fact that it was really hard to find a business model that worked. Facebook cracked it, but only in a way that made it all a bit pointless.

I’m still on Twitch and Snapchat. I’ve recently set up an account on Bigo that I haven’t done anything with. There’s some competitors for you. Over in China there’s YY, which I believe makes Facebook look like a child playing in a puddle.

Then there’s group chats. They’re the new social media, they just aren’t as visible. Sure, some are on Messenger or WhatsApp, so Facebook still has their fingers in those pies, but they’re also on Telegram or WeChat, or any number of other messaging services.

I don’t doubt that Facebook’s been preditory and monopolistic at a level that, if not illegal now, would have been illegal before a lot of regulation was torn down. And I know there’s a lot of money involved, but they’re building their empire on a house of cards. Yes, the market needs regulation to be healthy, but Facebook, specifically, not only feels like a problem that will solve itself soon-ish, but also feels like less of a monopoly than, say, Adobe Photoshop.

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Between Facebook and Instagram, Facebook has over 3 billion users. Even assuming that, I dunno, 70% of Instagram users also have Facebook profiles that’s still well over a quarter of the WORLD’S POPULATION. More like half when take it as “the population that Facebook is legally allowed to touch” since China with it’s 1b+ is off limits. There are only about 24 million Whatsapp users at the moment, so that’s just statistical noise for us.

For years there’s been stuff locked behind having a Facebook account like Tinder, and I’ve seen things like free album downloads that require you to like the album on Facebook as “payment.” People have been rightfully abandoning it, but really how many pages can you go to on the web that don’t have a like button somewhere? Or to rephrase: how many pages on the web don’t have a facebook tracker, since that’s the real purpose of the like buttons? Businesses live and die on what Facebook promotes these days. Granted, same with Youtube (well, people do. I don’t think Disney gives too many shits if their Youtube arm goes belly up,) and Twitter, but those should be broken up too.

Really, the way that pretty much all of these services work is to attempt to create monopolies on the people you care about, Facebook is just scummiest about it. “Do you really want to quit? What about all those friends who you only really talk to through here? We promise we’re gathering data on you anyway so really unless you’re european and file a GDPR request it won’t matter, so why not stick around?” …well maybe not that last bit.


There’s something very appealing about Mark Zuckerberg’s face and hearing the first hit is free though.

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Correction: some people who leave Facebook do NOT join Instagram because they know it’s owned by Facebook. They also don’t join any other products owned by Facebook. And if Facebook were to somehow buy Twitter, they’d quit that platform, too (though it already has its own issues, but at least so far I haven’t heard they’re stealing my data and selling it to propaganda spewing foreign adversaries, or have been hacked). Because these strange people know they can text, call, or send letters to folks they care about without having a big corporation surveil their activities while feeding them propaganda and bullshit.

Quit Facebook. Do it. It’s not going to ruin your life and your engagement with your family members will become what it was always meant to be (in my case, as little as possible because I’m a massive introvert who loves my privacy).

For me it’s about harm. Corporations exist because we the people allow them to. When these businesses cause harm to the people, they should be altered by the people in to a structure which prevents further harm


The GOP doesn’t exist to promote the free market – enable competition.
It’s goal is to protect established interests because it’s all about political contributions, which is something established interests and businesses can do far better than competitors, obviously.
The pols may use fealty to the free market as a selling point but nah, they’re opposed to it.
One of the tells is that breaking up Facebook should be a no-brainer but isn’t.

Facebook’s sole credible competitor is Snapchat: a company whose main value pitch is its privacy enhancements.

Isn’t Snapchat… also owned by Facebook? I recall reading about it, but maybe the acquisition didn’t go through or something.

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