Platforms

Our working definition of a digital platform (with a hat tip to Harold Feld of Public Knowledge) is an online service that operates as a two-sided or multi-sided market with at least one side that is “open” to the mass market

Facebook Needs Trump Even More Than Trump Needs Facebook

As the country’s most powerful newsmaker and the person in charge of a government that’s been aggressively pursuing antitrust cases against big tech companies, President Donald Trump does have leverage over Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. So the chief executive officer could be forgiven for flattering President Trump.

Where Trump and Biden Stand on Big Tech

Powerful technology companies are expected to face increased scrutiny no matter who wins the Nov. 3 election, but President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden differ on some of the problems posed by Big Tech and how to solve them. President Trump and his appointees likely would maintain—and possibly accelerate—the broad-scale regulatory scrutiny of technology companies that marked his first term.

President Trump replaces FCC member in bid to push through Twitter/Facebook crackdown

President Donald Trump announced the nomination of Nathan Simington, who is currently a senior advisor in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, to replace Michel O'Rielly on the Federal Communications Commission.

President Trump eyes Nathan Simington, a senior advisor at the NTIA, as next FCC commissioner

The Trump Administration is considering an unconventional pick for the next commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission: Nathan Simington, a senior adviser at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) who has played a significant role in the agency’s social media regulation agenda. The choice is still tentative, but if confirmed, the nomination would represent a significant blow to Republicans who favor a light-touch approach to telecom policy.

Ireland to Order Facebook to Stop Sending User Data to U.S.

Apparently, a European Union privacy regulator has sent Facebook a preliminary order to suspend data transfers to the US about its EU users, an operational and legal challenge for the company that could set a precedent for other tech giants. The preliminary order was sent by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission to Facebook late in Aug, asking for the company’s response. It is the first significant step EU regulators have taken to enforce a July ruling about data transfers from the bloc’s top court.

Senators Wicker, Graham, Blackburn Introduce Bill to Modify Section 230 and Empower Consumers Online

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, (R-MS), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act to modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The legislation would clarify the original intent of the law and increase accountability for content moderation practices.

The Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act would:

Facebook to Limit Political Ads Week Before Election, Label Premature Claims of Victory

Facebook will prohibit new political advertisements in the week before the US presidential election in Nov and seek to flag premature claims of victory by candidates, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

Diversity Groups Unite Against Trump View of Sec. 230 Reform

In a joint filing Sept. 2 to the Federal Communications Commission, six diversity groups said "no" to the question of whether the FCC should accede to the Trump Administration's desire to regulate social media content to prevent what the President has called censorship of conservative speech. The groups said they were not against finding a way to weed out racial and gender discrimination voter suppression and other internet inequities — which they suggest should be Congress' job — but that Sec. 230 should not be unilaterally reinterpreted to suit the President's internet agenda.

'Change the Terms' call on Facebook to ban armed event listings after Kenosha shooting

In the aftermath of the Kenosha (WI) shooting, an activist group called Change the Terms is calling on Facebook to institute new policies around potentially dangerous content, including a blanket ban on “event pages that encourage people to bring weapons to events.” In a letter to Mark Zuckerberg on Sept 3, groups called for a broad enhancement of Facebook’s moderation against extremism, including more automated tools for proactive enforcement and better systems for detecting event pages that promote violence.

Facebook Moves to Limit Election Chaos in November

Facebook moved to clamp down on any confusion about the November 2020 election on its service, rolling out a series of changes to limit voter misinformation and to prevent interference from President Donald Trump and other politicians. The social network, in one of its most sweeping sets of election actions, said it planned to bar any new political ads on its site in the week before Election Day. It said it would also strengthen measures against posts that try to dissuade people from voting.