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

Apple cuts off Epic from its tools, endangering future Unreal Engine projects on iOS and Mac

Epic Games, locked in a legal battle with Apple and Google over developer payments, now says Apple is threatening to cut the company off from developer accounts and iOS and Mac development tools. This decision, expected to go into effect Aug. 28, might have widespread effects on App Store development.

FCC as Edge Regulator

Law firm Cooley LLP has broken out the ways that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Sec 230 petition, if acted on by the Federal Communications Commission, would impose “sweeping changes.” For one, its requirement that websites disclose their moderation policies would subject edge provider content to the FCC’s authority for the first time.

Online video game Fortnite gets kicked off Apple App Store after sidestepping payment system

Apple kicked the popular Fortnite video game off its App Store after the gaming company released a payment system that sidestepped Apple’s. Fortnite maker Epic Games released a feature that lets users choose how they want to pay for in-app purchases — either through the App Store or Play Store, or from Epic directly, which saves up to 20 percent.  Apple takes a cut of in-app sales — usually 30 percent — in a practice that has faced significant backlash from

Pragmatic, Progressive Capitalism

Reforming the nation’s century-old antitrust regulation is critical to ensuring a fair marketplace, and limiting the harm monopolistic practices can have on American consumers. However, the dire need for updated legislation does not mean Congress should pass legislation that is not carefully thought out for the long-term. This report examines the decades around the turn of the 20th century, when the US adopted the two pillars on which a uniquely American and remarkably successful political economy was built – the Interstate Commerce Act of (ICA) 1887 and the Sherman Act of 1890.

Trump administration asks court to dismiss challenge to social media executive order

The Trump administration has filed a motion asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit against the president’s executive order targeting social media companies, calling it a “profound misunderstanding.” The lawsuit was brought in June by the Center for Democracy and Technology. CDT argued Trump’s social media executive order violates the First Amendment rights of social media companies, will chill future online speech and reduce the ability of Americans to speak freely online.

House Commerce Committee Leaders Urge Facebook Oversight Board to Pressure to Change Harmful Policies

House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) voiced concern that Facebook’s new Oversight Board does not have the power it needs to change Facebook’s harmful policies. In letters to the 20 Board Members, the three Committee leaders encouraged the newly appointed members to exert pressure on Facebook to listen to and act upon their policy recommendations, something that is not currently included in the Board Members’ overall responsibilities.

TikTok Tracked User Data Using Tactic Banned by Google

TikTok skirted a privacy safeguard in Google’s Android operating system to collect unique identifiers from millions of mobile devices, data that allows the app to track users online without allowing them to opt out. The tactic, which experts in mobile-phone security said was concealed through an unusual added layer of encryption, appears to have violated Google policies limiting how apps track people and wasn’t disclosed to TikTok users. TikTok ended the practice in November 2019. The identifiers collected by TikTok, called MAC addresses, are most commonly used for advertising purposes.

Facebook cracks down on political content disguised as local news

Facebook is rolling out a new policy that will prevent U.S.

The First Amendment Is No Reason to Coddle Facebook

With due respect to Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, conservatives interested in reform understand full well the purpose of the First Amendment (“Mike O’Rielly’s Free Speech Fall,” Review & Outlook, Aug. 5). We simply don’t believe that gigantic and massively powerful social-media platforms deserve special statutory protection, as is laid out in Section 230.

Tech's reluctant road to taking on President Trump

The coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests and a looming election have brought long-simmering conflicts between tech platforms and President Donald Trump to a boil, as Facebook, Twitter and other services are starting to take presidential misinformation seriously. The new willingness to challenge the president is coming only as Trump's presidency is weakened by a deadly pandemic and an economic meltdown.