New York could lead a group of 40+ states in suing Facebook next week

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,170   +132
Staff member
The big picture: Facebook is one of the largest and most influential tech companies in the world. In addition to the core Facebook product (which includes Messenger), the company also owns and operates Instagram and WhatsApp as well as VR specialist Oculus.

A group of more than 40 US states are reportedly planning to file a lawsuit against Facebook next week.

Four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that a group of states led by New York are investigating the social media behemoth for potential antitrust violations. Specifics of what the states plan to include in their suit aren’t known.

Facebook declined to comment on the matter when reached by Reuters. A spokesperson for the New York attorney general’s office was also mum on the subject, we’re told.

Should it come to fruition, it would be the second large-scale suit filed against a major tech company this year. Back in October, the Department of Justice accused Google of abusing market power in a lawsuit that has the potential to break up the search giant.

Amazon and Apple have also drawn the attention of lawmakers this year. Back in July, the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook were grilled by the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee regarding various business practices.

Image credit Ink Drop, Ascannio

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,014   +6,783
The biggest difference is that social media companies are being manipulated for all sorts of things, not the least of which is negative influence on elections. The FCC successfully regulated the airways for decades and while not always perfect, they got most of it right. In this case we are talking about money. Fakebook will do anything and everything to make a buck and when their owner/leader goes before Congress and lies about how he will clean it up, then doesn't, he and the company should be held accountable as should all the big IT companies. The original law was written to shield them against liability so their growth and development of the internet would not be stifled but that law is way, way, way out of date and is sorely in need of an update that includes making all social media responsible for the content they allow.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
They already went after Microsoft years ago; however, they decided not to break them up. I thought it was the wrong decision at the time.
And yet the market quickly did what the government did not -- made Microsoft's browser utterly irrelevant. And the market did a far better job that the DOJ possibly could.
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +730
The biggest difference is that social media companies are being manipulated for all sorts of things, not the least of which is negative influence on elections. The FCC successfully regulated the airways for decades and while not always perfect, they got most of it right. In this case we are talking about money. Fakebook will do anything and everything to make a buck and when their owner/leader goes before Congress and lies about how he will clean it up, then doesn't, he and the company should be held accountable as should all the big IT companies. The original law was written to shield them against liability so their growth and development of the internet would not be stifled but that law is way, way, way out of date and is sorely in need of an update that includes making all social media responsible for the content they allow.

I think the old law still has its place for things like web forums not related to a publisher, but anything tied to a publisher or that is already regulating content and fact checking should loose it's protections.
 

No Longer Human

Posts: 48   +64
Let's face it, if we could afford the lawyers, how many of us would sue them as well. I'd mention Google too, but trying to stay on topic here.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,840   +1,068
I think the old law still has its place for things like web forums not related to a publisher, but anything tied to a publisher or that is already regulating content and fact checking should loose it's protections.
Seems like the easy fix then is to draw the line at "feed curation". As soon as you start showing "relevant" content to the viewer (read: paid/addictive content), instead of content by activity and posting date, then you turn into a publisher. You are acting as an editor of the content on your platform by showing people what you think they want to see (instead of by what was posted or bumped most recently), therefore you are a publisher not a platform.
 

sac39507

Posts: 385   +204
Don't just sue them. Eliminate section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as well. This gives them the ability to be bullies without consequences.