Ben Carson, the secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, recently sued Facebook for failing to show certain housing ads to all 218 million Americans who use Facebook. Rather than just prosecuting the advertisers who placed the ads, Carson wants to hold Facebook liable for discrimination in how these advertisers directed their ads to be shown.
Discrimination in housing is against the law. But why would HUD prosecute platforms — rather than the landlords and realtors who discriminated when placing their ads? That’s a legally tenuous tactic that just distracts from that actual problems of discrimination. If upheld, HUD’s prosecution of Facebook would let the actual discriminators off the hook, while penalizing an innovative American company and its users.
In his statement at the ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting 2019, Commissioner Chopra said, “A company engaged in or benefiting from behavioral advertising is not acting necessarily as a passive conduit…we need to consider whether they have lost Section 230 immunity.”
In one word, no. Commissioner Chopra is wrong in his reading of Section 230of the Communications Decency Act.
In this blog, we’ll show that nothing in the law itself, or the way it’s being interpreted, would suggest that promoted content is not protected by Section 230.
Consumers and Small Businesses would lose from Sen. Warren’s proposal to break-up Amazon, Facebook, and Google
Senator Warren’s new draconian attack on tech threatens to throttle innovation, kneecap user experience, increase prices for goods, and threaten America’s leadership in tech.
It seems that in Sen. Warren’s eyes, all large businesses are bad businesses — but the middle class whom she tries to fight for greatly benefit from the very businesses she wants to rip apart — such as Google and Facebook.
It’s become unfortunately common for anti-business advocates to demand that government break up successful American businesses. The demands have no basis in traditional antitrust law, and so many in Washington are calling the movement “hipster-antitrust.” Instead of focusing on general consumer welfare, the movement seeks to include notions of income inequality, unemployment and wage growth under the antitrust umbrella.