Political Segregation and Dot Com Bans
Businesses have the right to choose their customers. That’s a position that the left vehemently disagrees with. That’s why it drags elderly florists into court to punish them for not working gay weddings.
The cake and florist prosecutions were always ridiculous because there are no shortage of businesses that are happy to take that trade.
Prosecuting cakemakers, florists and wedding photographers is not a response to an actual need. It’s a crackdown on political dissent.
There’s a huge difference between segregation as a collective policy and indivdual dissent.
But what happens when there’s no alternative to a company? What happens when a company like Google can impose political segregation?
The internet’s public marketplace has been defined by a handful of companies. At the very top of this heap are a few companies whose monopolistic powers are so comprehensive that there is no meaningful alternative because their control is so close to nearly total that there might as well be no other companies.
Google is at the very top of this list. Facebook is there as well. As, increasingly, is Amazon.
Google controls search. Facebook controls social. Amazon dominates retail.
What happens when a company’s control over the marketplace of ideas is so total that it can simply erase views it doesn’t like, for all intents and purposes, from existence?
That’s the question we’re facing and the answers aren’t easy. There are three options.
1. Let them do what they’re doing and hope that the marketplace will sort them out. Even though it’s shown no ability to do so. Especially in the case of Google whose monopolistic control of internet searches faces no serious challenge.
2. Turn them into public utilities. This is a terrible idea that would give the government control of internet content. If you thought the bans were bad before…
3. Break them up. We have a longstanding solution for monopolies. And if we exercise them once or twice, a powerful message will be sent. Break up Google into 3 or 4 companies, and dot coms will learn to behave.