Facebook, Federal Trade Commission, Sarah Miller discussed on Thom Hartmann
To be with you. New New York Times information new report, including several key takeaways such as Facebook knew about Russian airfares for a year prior to telling anybody, including their own board. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg going out and telling everybody was ridiculous to suggest that Facebook could have electoral impact he later retracted that after going quiet for a while. They didn't suspend pro-trump accounts because of fear of backlash and the discovery that they launched Facebook and lodged a lobbying camping campaign, including deploying a public relations firm to push negative stories about its political critics and the cast blame on other companies such as Google joining us right now, the co chair of freedom from Facebook is Sarah Miller. Sarah miller. Thank you so much for joining us. How you doing? Good. Thanks for having freedom from Facebook. Why do we need freedom from Facebook? Well, we think that Facebook is one of the world's Smith dangerous monopolies because it. Ability to control information flows between people what we say what we talked about. And we thought at kind of rising. A group of organizations who all were very concerned about a sex power. And we came together to form the coalition you call on Federal Trade Commission to break up, Facebook and Instagram and messenger and puts privacy rules and. Other standards that would create competition. So Facebook could be held accountable by users. Were you surprised by the New York Times report, or is your reaction? Well, this is what happens when you have monopolised in the social media world. So it wasn't surprising to you. It takes a lot it really when it comes to what Facebook is capable of. But to do it. I'm just seeing the level of disingenuousness, and how that was a strategic decision at the very top. I think west shocking shocked a lot of people. So. No, I think it's really testament to the reporter to has been digging into the story. Six months. Tax does in China Light on kind of the jury tricks and tactics that they well pursue to avoid any sort of accountability. What are the most Morton takeaways for you? I offered a few by way of introduction to you. But what we're elements that you want to make sure people understand about the reporting on Facebook's recent activities. I think the highest level that we want people to understand is that we cannot at this point. Facebook to fix it. It's clear that it never intended to do that. And that means we have to act our leader, our leaders in congress and our leaders at the federal agencies have. Yeah. And the responsibility to fix this problem. They could do it if they wanted to tomorrow, and the problem is that Facebook as you've seen has deployed armies of lobbyists, try near credit you're operating in the public interest and done everything they can at their disposal to try to avoid any sort of regulatory action here. So we need to focus on our democratically elected meters me to focus on a Federal Trade Commission, and and and demand that they hold this company to account affluent runaway when we train and damaging democracy and democracy around the world stop. But Sarah, they said they're going gonna be much better now, and they ran beautiful ads telling us how we were just going to be talking about birthdays and happy things from now on getting connected to our friends even beautiful. I saw the ad Sarah. Yeah. I thought they were certainly Oliver Washington DC and Oliver our TV, so they really tried hard with a PR campaign. But it looks like, you know, they're going to have to have to fire up another one, so regulating, you think there needs to be a new sort of branch of regulation around social media. You think it's more about antitrust regulation for monopolists that could impact not only Facebook. But also other growing monopolies in this economic era if you had a magic wand of with rough realism constraints, what would it wand into being right? So what we're calling for is not does not take a magic wand. Actually, we are calling on the Federal Trade Commission who has the authority to break up this company to impose privacy standards and rain, and it's kind of wild wet at Alcott approach to privacy, and to impose interoperability standards, which would allow new companies to compete that were say. Better on respecting user's privacy. So the Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating Facebook for allergies privacy violations. We are asking it to make sure that the finding correctly reflect the reality. And then as a consequence of that think that financial penalties when you're dealing with the monopoly of this type well be completely insufficient to changing behavior of the company needs to be broken up. There needs to be accountability users need to have an ability to create at accountability. And right now there really is no eight and Instagram which is. And the change. We're talking to Sarah Miller about Facebook about the recent reports and about what ought to be done or not to be done about growing social media monopolies Facebook in specific let's talk about breaking up for a moment. We got just a minute or two the. The friend of mine, I'm trying to remember I might have to go during the break and look back to the order around the Microsoft, litigation buddy mind from law school. In fact, was the law clerk to the federal judge who oversaw the the maximum gas. I paid some attention to it. Then. But I remember in or you know, from history books, the the breakup of Ma bell AT and T and the Baby Bells. So I understand that when you say break-up Facebook, what would that mean does it mean like tearing apart their functions? So that they stuff they the ideas they had taken from Instagram and from others that each whatever different function. And there would be no social media has to have all this stuff together. What does breaking up a Facebook? Look like, I think as the easiest for step, you reversed the acquisitions of what's happening Instagram, which are widely being recognized now as a mistake, and I think this does happen locations for other companies like Google who should not have been allowed by double click and kind of role the advertising network, so the very birth deafen not hard like they're very hard things to do in the world front policy perspective. Separating off those companies. So they can compete is not a hard thing to do. The second thing often out of her thing to do is required. These companies to be interoperable so you can have competition. Interstate Facebook has been incredibly successful at gaining network dominance, which is going to keep any other competitor out of the case. In addition to kind of buying everyone might possibly have any sort of champ. Those Hugh things together we feel like could happen. Like, I said tomorrow, if I don't take commission decided it wanted to do that and would have massive implications for treating accountability within the market that would be more permanent and laughing and very difficult to to evade from a regulatory standpoint. So they say something and then ask a question the thing. I would say is for people who think like, oh, well is this sort of a fringe thing is this sort of weird this focus on Facebook. What I would say is not only did Miller just make the case that there's real stuff that could be done. But also if you think about the progressive era hundred years ago, the thing the thing that that political revolution was. In fact, going after large monopolies that was the thing that could militate energy among a super majority of American voters that could put Theodore Roosevelt in the position to be a trust BUSTER that could then be get the political energy that that gather young people together. So when it was time for FDR to be president. They could continue with that line of thinking with a set of voters you could put some of it into law that this stuff is real stuff, historically, important stuff. And the current digital monopolies are citing friends of mine in the industry are more powerful now than industrial but Applebee's one hundred years ago. So that's my so feel free to push back on a pilot anything. I just said the the question I would ask is it. Because of what I just said, it seems in part because what I just said, it seems vastly unlikely this president this FTC would do anything about what you're asking for this really something you're trying to make sure the democratic candidates for president take on in their own primary campaigns coming up soon or. Am I wrong? And may is there may be some chance that the that the Trump FTC does something about it. Okay. Thank broadly speaking, I agree entirely with what you said as far as the historical context. Speaking to kind of the political climate today that federal take commission is an independent agency. They have five new commissioners. There is nothing holding them back from taking action in a way that I've described except for very old outdated ideology and a culture of doing nothing. So, you know, previously. What probably very good for what it did we should change that. And maybe a little bit of kind of political pressure might open their eyes to doing something to protect democracy from Facebook. I think you're right on the broader question of, you know, how do we really kind of attack the level of concentrated power that we're seeing in the economy today? It's not something that's going to happen overnight, and is not something that should be politicized. Very important point. We are.