10 votes

Congress made Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google CEOs sweat during antitrust enforcement hearing

6 comments

  1. [6]
    onyxleopard
    (edited )
    Link
    They also had to answer questions or endure rants from absolutely uninformed people. The fact that we have US congressional representatives who don’t understand technology (such as email, or why a...

    It was the first time men like Bezos — "masters of the universe," as Stoller put it — have had to answer questions from informed, powerful people.

    They also had to answer questions or endure rants from absolutely uninformed people. The fact that we have US congressional representatives who don’t understand technology (such as email, or why a company using a mobile device management profile to implement parental controls might not be protecting the privacy of children, to call out a couple things I recall from watching the hearing) is frankly embarrassing.

    The executives didn’t do a stellar job, by any means, and the corporations they represent should definitely be scrutinized, but if the scrutiny is coming from a place of uniformed ignorance, it isn’t going to improve the current situation.

    Edit:

    This whole thing has actually got me really incensed, so I wanted to add my overall reaction to the hearing.

    Overall I found that the questioning coming from congress (no matter the political affiliation) was coming from a place of deference and there were far too many emotional appeals. They were basically making the case: "Hey tech CEOs, will you please admit that you guys are bullies? My constituents would really love to see you admit, on a recorded teleconference, that you’re a bully."

    Would these same representatives use the same tone, or play the same game if they had called in leaders of banks, pharmaceutical companies, energy companies, telecommunications companies? I don’t think so. The majority of the questioning was a game of trying to score political brownie points.

    There was a bunch of moaning about company’s internal policies (or lack of enforcement thereof), esp. toward Zuck and Bezos. This is truly inane. If it’s Congress’ job to provide oversight and ensure proper regulation, why in the fuck are you calling out Facebook’s or Amazon’s internal policies? Pass some goddamn laws that disallow the anticompetitive practices. Don’t sit there and bemoan profit-incentivized corporations’ inability to self-regulate in face of the dilemma of: make more money or treat competitors fairly. If the congressional position of power really stems from the ability to convene a hearing in order to attempt to embarrass CEOs on TV, our country is truly lost. Do your fucking jobs and legislate!

    12 votes
    1. AnthonyB
      Link Parent
      I was able to catch a decent amount of it on the Hasan Piker stream ( It's not exactly tildes quality, but here is a recap of that portion of the stream if anyone is interested I've been out of...

      They also had to answer questions or endure rants from absolutely uninformed people.

      I was able to catch a decent amount of it on the Hasan Piker stream ( It's not exactly tildes quality, but here is a recap of that portion of the stream if anyone is interested I've been out of work for seven months. What is a job? What is work? Please help me). Maybe I missed some of the good questioning that this article mentions because from what I saw, the Republicans were out in fucking lala land trying to accuse these companies of liberal bias while some Democrats ironically pressed them a little bit on anti-trust issues. Florida congressman Greg Steube in particular blew my mind with some of his questioning. I don't know if he is an actual moron or if he is playing it up for his constituency, but that man has no business being in congress. The fact that he is telling stories about googling Gateway Pundit so he can read one of their deliberately misleading articles, or that he doesn't understand why his campaign emails don't go to the same folder as personal emails even when sending them to his family says a lot about the current state of the Republican Party. Same thing with Jim Jordan and his rant about cancel culture, which I truly cant tell if it was performative or if he completely lacks any understanding of how free speech works. All in all, Republicans were focused on conspiracy theories and propping up platforms that have terrible journalistic integrity while unironically maintaining a persecution complex. The whole thing is baffling and infuriating, and it shows how deep the rot is in the Republican party. With that in mind, I don't know how this country will ever recover to pass meaningful legislation for gigantic issues like anti-trust, civil rights, or climate change.

      7 votes
    2. [4]
      krg
      Link Parent
      I do think so. These hearings are dog and pony shows. Media eats it up and you get headlines like the one linked here. I'm not defending multi-billion dollar companies, but these hearings serve...

      Would these same representatives use the same tone, or play the same game if they had called in leaders of banks, pharmaceutical companies, energy companies, telecommunications companies? I don’t think so.

      I do think so. These hearings are dog and pony shows. Media eats it up and you get headlines like the one linked here.

      I'm not defending multi-billion dollar companies, but these hearings serve the same purpose as WWF promos.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        onyxleopard
        Link Parent
        I don’t. I think some Ds would be critical, but the Rs would brown-nose until their time expired.

        I do think so.

        I don’t. I think some Ds would be critical, but the Rs would brown-nose until their time expired.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          p4t44
          Link Parent
          Even if very few are willing to actually do anything meaningful, I think that no member of congress would ever turn down an oppotunity to have a soundbite of themselves appearing to stand up to a...

          Even if very few are willing to actually do anything meaningful, I think that no member of congress would ever turn down an oppotunity to have a soundbite of themselves appearing to stand up to a big corporation broadcast across the nation in an election year.

          3 votes