I went a few weeks ago Facebook turns off the lights. Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram weren’t available for six hours. Could not send millions of text messages. Instagram head Adam Mosseri wrote that it felt like a “snow day” — snow-free. But what offered the East and West Coast elites a welcome change of constant noise and availability was an existential problem for others. in a Kenya Shops were sitting on their merchandise. In Brazil, relatives can no longer reach their relatives in hospitals. and in Afghanistan Politically persecuted people can no longer communicate.
The turmoil once again demonstrated how dependent the world is on the tech giant’s technical infrastructure. More than three billion people around the world use Facebook’s services. And now Facebook also wants to monopolize the Metaverse, a parallel digital world inhabited by avatars.
For some time now, there has been debate in the US about whether Facebook and Google should be treated as a “public good”. The platforms, the argument goes, are now too large and powerful to be smashed, but to be nationalized. Facebook and Google are systematically linked, and are part of a critical infrastructure, similar to a post office or an energy supplier. The demands come from very different directions – from US Republican Senators reach to left magazines. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has also spoken out in favor of such a solution.
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From railroad bridge to software giant
New impetus in the debate comes from the lawsuit filed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost: He wants to compel the US state to use Google search on the Internet public good to cure.
Yost argues by historical analogy: In the 1860s, at the height of the Gilded Age, railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt took control of a railroad bridge, the Hudson River Bridge, that was central to freight traffic to New York. He then closed the bridge to his rivals and cut off supplies to the rest of the country. To avoid such monopolistic situations, the US Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890. Google has a similar monopoly today.
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