A tiny non-profit organization is going after big tech’s big three: Facebook, Amazon, and Google saying their aggressive market dominance is controlling minds and wallets, and threatening democracy itself.
The Open Markets Institute is a group of US renegade journalists, researchers, lawyers, and advocates working together to “expose and reverse the stranglehold that corporate monopolies have on our country.” Many of the team previously worked at Open Markets Program, which was part of a heavily funded Google think tank, New America. When former journalist Barry C. Lynn, posted a statement praising a 2.4 EUR billion fine imposed on Google by the EU’s antitrust regulator, Google communicated their disapproval. Not long after, the Open Markets Program was ousted from New America.
Mr. Lynn started The Open Markets Institute so that the team could continue their work. “The goal then, as it is now, is to protect the US economy and democracy from corporate monopolies that undermine opportunity, competition, choice, and – as we have now personally experienced – freedom of expression. We believe our democracy hangs in the balance and it will take citizens, working together, to save it,” the group declares.
Google controls nearly 90 percent of search advertising, Facebook almost 80 percent of mobile traffic and Amazon takes about 70 percent of all e-book sales and 30 percent of all US e-commerce. Open Markets warns that kind of monopoly is destroying intelligence and humanity. At a recent conference held in Washington. The group said:
· The dominance of Facebook as a news source is intellectually incapacitating people with fake news and demagoguery.
· People respond to positive reinforcement on Facebook like they do the opioid fentanyl.
· The big three are killing competitors and other industries by shutting down or buying up fledgling competitors.
· Amazon’s ruthless price-slashing and non-stop expansion is raising alarms about unfair competition.
· US anti-monopoly regulators seem toothless in combating this, and this needs to stop.
It paints a bleak picture, but real change can come from users being more aware. Everyone can take a stand at a personal level. You can choose not to shop at Amazon. The site can still be used for searching, but the item can be directly bought from the sellers store. If you don’t want to delete your Facebook account, limit use and privacy settings, Don’t have the app on your phone and fully log out—close your profile picture that appears on the homepage after logging out—to stop them following you around the internet. For a detailed and sobering insight into how Facebook harvests your data, read this. Don’t use Facebook for news, and educate yourself on the Google family of products to protect yourself against their omnipresence.
The main thing the major tech companies want, and the source of all their power, is your data. By protecting your data you can take some of that power off them and back into your own hands. get2Clouds from NOS Microsystems can help you do this. The application, which is free for personal use, is a secure cloud transfer and messenger service where every action is encrypted.