June 25, 2019

It begins: Ted Cruz grills Google Exec

Based on the Project Veritas undercover report (interestingly, removed by YouTube, which is owned by Google) exposing Google bias, Ted Cruz asks some pointed questions and gets some boiler plate answers from Google:

This will not be the end of this - Google will be broken up no doubt.  And that is as it should be.  But here's my concern; isn't it odd that the week before a Commerce Committee meeting this video comes out, and now we have conservatives demanding Google be broken up or regulated differently (or perhaps more).

Look, I've called for Google to be broken up myself.  They clearly exhibit the bias of all of Silicon Valley as very liberal to the point of censoring any speech with which they do not agree.  They are not vehicles for free speech.  But let's be clear, this is a dangerous road.  This could lead not to, or only to Google's break-up as if it were Standard Oil.  This could lead to Google, or it's component parts, beholden to new, more onerous government regulation.  

Do we really want to trust how to deal with Google to the government?  Even if we have no choice, they could impose things on Google or it's successors that are anti-competitive and America could lose yet another area in which they currently possess a technological advantage.

There will be unintended consequences no matter what happens.  But maybe the weakened American tech advantage is worth the cost, if it means that unelected tech barons are not allowed free rein over the American political landscape.  Additionally allowing monopolies is typically not good for consumers or business, and that is doubly so when the tech giants control the means of communication. But that does not inform how to solve the problem. The point is that there are no simple paths to solving this.  Therefore it behooves us not to rush headlong down the path to solving it.  There are a number of potential pitfalls, many of which we may not yet have even considered.

Google should be broken up, but it should be done with prudence. As for regulation, even more prudence is required.

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