Zogby Memo to Interested Parties: Americans supportive of ad-funded tech platforms; believe US regulatory focus should be elsewhere

From: Zogby Analytics

To: Interested Parties

Date: Sept 12, 2018

Subject: Americans supportive of ad-funded tech platforms; believe US regulatory focus should be elsewhere

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From August 6-8, Zogby Analytics conducted an interactive survey of 1,222 adults focused on consumer attitudes toward Internet platforms and government attempts at regulation. The survey, commissioned by NetChoice, has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

Key Findings

Americans believe that Internet platforms enable small businesses to expand their reach and to better target consumers.

  • Over half (58%) of consumers and nearly 3 in 4 (73%) of those aged 18-24 have discovered small businesses they had not previously known using social media.
  • 77% say digital ads are valuable for small businesses and 70% say digital advertising platforms are valuable to the national economy
  • 72% say that apps like Google and Facebook enable them to be in better touch with their community.

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Americans Believe Online Platforms Empower Business Advertising and Community Engagement

Our data shows that Americans see the growth of online platforms has had a positive impact on the economy. Online platforms have not only allowed businesses of every size to reach potential customers nationwide, but also to advertise to them intelligently based so that they can reach the sort of customers more likely to buy their products. For many businesses, this has enabled them to thrive rather than just survive.

Consumers have benefitted too. Greater competition, innovation, and a reduction in the information gap has all been enabled by online platforms. With their help, an ideal purchase is only a click away.

58% of Americans, and 73% of those between 18 and 24 years old, say online platforms helped them discover a small business they had not previously known.

Online platforms haven’t just benefited commerce, either. 72% of Americans said that online platforms have enabled them to be in better touch with their community.

Over three quarters of Americans (77%) believe that the ability to place digital ads on these platforms is valuable to small businesses. This benefit extends to the wider economy too, with 70% of Americans believing that digital advertising is valuable to the national economy.

Evidently, Americans value their access to online platforms and the advertising services they provide. Politicians should avoid passing regulations that risk undermining every the benefits of the internet at every layer of society – from how individuals interact with their local community, to the viability of small businesses, to the wider economy.

Online platforms have become a vibrant and important component of our economy and society.

The Hill - Tech’s road to economic demise is paved with good intentions

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) recently laid out his plan to “solve” modern day tech issues. But despite his good intentions, he has proposed policies that would break down our greatest economic engine – the tech industry.

The 20-page white paper call “Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms” represents noble ideas that would result in knee-capping American innovation, promoting increased market consolidation, and undermining privacy – all while leaving the problems the paper seeks to solve unaddressed.

City Council Making Too Many Wrong Mistakes

As Yogi Berra would say, “It is Deja’ Vu all over again.”

At every turn, the New York City Council sides with the taxi cartels to the detriment of citizens outside of the heart of midtown Manhattan. This week was no different as the City Council voted to place a moratorium on new vehicle licenses for ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Read more on our medium page.

Removing Alex Jones from Social Media Isn't About the First Amendment

Content moderation can be controversial, as demonstrated earlier this week when leading online platforms removed content and accounts posted by Alex Jones and his media property “Infowars.”

Many conservatives contend that the removal of Alex Jones’s content violated his freedom of speech. Ironically, these are often the same people that argue private businesses should be able to operate the way they want.

Private entities, including online platforms, are not bound by the first amendment, which applies only to action by the government. Private actors are bound by corporate policies and market forces…

Read More at the Daily Caller

Don’t Let NY City Stay in Bed with Hotel Conglomerates

Imagine having city inspectors knocking on your door with a warrant to enter your home and fine you $8,000. The crime? Renting out a room as a short-term rental without hotel-level fire alarm and sprinkler systems, elevator access, and a host of other absurdities.

[Read more]

NetChoice Releases Policy Note on Car Rental Handouts

Last week, alongside the publishing of this article on The Drive, NetChoice released a new policy note, examining the large handouts big rental car companies receive.

The note shows that car rental companies receive a national yearly total of over $3 billion in tax breaks.

The note also provides data showing how much rental car companies received in sales tax exemptions in 2016.

Unlike car rental companies, people who use apps like Turo to lease out their cars do not enjoy these tax breaks

Ignoring this multi-billion dollar tax break, car rental companies claim that peer-to-peer car sharing platforms like Turo are the same as car rental companies.  Big car rental companies are using “level playing field” rhetoric to justify calls for stiff regulations onto peer-to-peer car platforms designed to skew in favor of big rental.

Read the full policy note here, and take a look at press coverage on its findings by Reason Magazine and The Drive.

A Taxing Issue for State Legislators

This week, lawmakers from across the country convene in Los Angeles for the National Conference of State Legislatures, where they will hopefully attend to threats to America’s small businesses and consumers from an onslaught of new internet sales tax obligations.

Newly emboldened state tax collectors are aggressively imposing sales tax obligations on businesses with no physical presence within their borders. Online sellers must now absorb the costs of new systems and compliance—including liability for taxes on past purchases where no tax was due at the time of the sale.

Read More at Route Fifty

Maybe Brett Kavanaugh Can Save Conservative Supreme Court Justices From Their Judicial Activism

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s consideration for the bench could pull Supreme Court’s conservatives back from their recent lurch into judicial activism. Nowhere else was this judicial activism by Conservative judges more apparent than in last month’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair.

This decision exposed countless small businesses to tax collectors from 46 states. In doing so, the court struck down a key Supreme Court precedent that required a business to be physically present in a state before it can be forced to collect tax there.

Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t stop there.

Read more at the Daily Caller