Let the Platforms Burn

Tech bosses know the only thing protecting them from sudden platform collapse syndrome are the laws that have been passed to stave off the inevitable fire.

Governments hold back from passing and enforcing laws that limit the tech giants in the name of nurturing their “efficiency.”

But when states act to prevent new companies — or users, or co-ops, or nonprofits — from making it easier to leave the platforms, they do so in the name of protecting us.

Rather than passing a privacy law that would let them punish Meta, Apple, Google, Oracle, Microsoft and other spying companies, they ban scraping and reverse-engineering because someone might violate the privacy of the users of those platforms.

But a privacy law would control both scrapers and silos, banning tech giants from spying on their users, and banning startups and upstarts from spying on those users, too.

Rather than breaking up ad-tech, banning surveillance ads, and opening up app stores, which would make tech platforms stop stealing money from media companies through ad-fraud, price-gouging and deceptive practices, governments introduce laws requiring tech companies to share (some of) their ill-gotten profits with a few news companies.

This makes the news companies partners with the tech giants, rather than adversaries holding them to account, and makes the news into cheerleaders for massive tech profits, so long as they get their share. Rather than making it easier for the news to declare independence from Big Tech, we are fusing them forever.

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