(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Campfire Colorado recently spoke with Congressman Ken Buck about the rise of Big Tech and the way it is undermining our republic.
Representative Buck, the co-chair and founder of the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus, has introduced legislation to ensure antitrust lawsuits filed by states against Big Tech companies aren’t all being heard in the Northern District of California.
“We have a serious problem in this country with a few multi-national corporations controlling the flow of information,” Buck said.
He explained that these companies are more than just monopolies – the industry itself is a monopoly. These companies are responsible for “disseminating information and sort of promoting interaction between people and that is particularly scary.”
“It’s one thing when a railroad or an oil company has a monopoly. It’s another thing when the monopoly is over the information that you get, that you need to make a decision about an election; and that’s exactly what Google and Facebook, Twitter, and to some extent, Amazon and Apple have,” Buck said.
Big Tech companies sometimes promote certain issues and ideas and discriminate against others. “Google … will promote pro-choice, pro-abortion websites and articles and they will discriminate against pro-life websites and articles… They promote gun control efforts, articles, websites; they discriminate against the sale of guns or discussing the positive aspects of gun ownership. (And) not only do they discriminate against certain viewpoints, but they discriminate against certain candidates,” Buck said.
When asked if these big tech companies can still be considered American companies, Buck replied, “They are capitalists. They’re for-profit companies. They have no patriotism. They have no desire. When you see “made in the USA,” you tend to want to buy that, so you’re supporting jobs for Americans. These companies aren’t made in the USA. They’re anything but. They play by a completely different set of rules.”
Buck went on to explain, citing Google’s partnership with the Chinese and Pakistani governments to censor their own citizens.
“These companies are willing to do what it takes. They’re not concerned at all about the societal implications of what they produce,” Buck said.
He said companies in other industries recall cars with faulty brakes or place warnings on their products if they’re potentially dangerous, but with Big Tech, “There is no warning. These companies know a lot of what they do harms United States citizens and they keep doing it. They double down.”
Last September, Facebook underwent extensive scrutiny when a whistleblower revealed that the company was conducting studies on how Facebook was affecting teenage girls. Internal studies confirmed that the platform was having a negative effect, yet Facebook did little to address this until the studies were public information.
“They knew there was a problem, they didn’t warn anybody; they didn’t publicize it; they did a little work inside to try to change the issue, but not much,” Buck said. “Typically, if a company see something wrong, they expose it and try to make it right. These companies don’t expose anything. They just become more insular and try to address the issue, cover it up, and maybe fix it, maybe not.”