Congress Testimony Sees Execs Playing Defense.
That Was The Week, #42
I am using the Telegram App to enable readers to follow That Was The Week in real time. I usually post a sneak peek of the newsletter there on Thursday afternoon Pacific Time. It is also a place you can use to ask me anything.
All you have to do is:
- Install telegram. Telegram is available on all platforms (Web, Mac, Windows, Linux, Android and iOS) here.
- Join the channel for That Was The Week – Click here.
- Feel free to comment, post links you think we should consider for inclusion.
All articles set to appear in the following week’s That Was The Week are posted to the chat daily and in real time. Feel free to comment, post links you think we should consider for inclusion.
Editorial: My Take
If I was to sum up my take this week, it would be – we can’t trust Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai with the future of the Internet. That said, we may have no choice. If I had to choose one, it would be Jack.
When the three tech titans zoomed in to Congress on Wednesday, they were confronted with Democrats who refused to engage in a real conversation to spotlight the politicized and weaponized nature of the hearing, called by and run by Republicans. They were also met by “free speech” Republicans like Ted Cruz, accusing the platforms of “biased” “censorship.”
I felt sorry for Jack Dorsey – the most principled of the three. When his staff intervened in the New York Post story regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop, they cut his legs off at the knees. @Jack believes in allowing all points of view that do not violate Twitter’s policies to be left untouched – a point of view I concur with. But that said, once pulled, it is hard to not succumb to the request to remove more or the request to not pull at all. Cruz was all over the place. Claiming to believe in free expression, but asking Twitter to explain why it had not removed other Tweets from “dictators.” In doing so, he accidentally compared Trump to the dictators – entirely appropriate, really. Dorsey stayed true to his beliefs.
Not so much, Mark Zuckerberg. We can sum up his message as “please regulate me,” and yes, please “change 230”. “I do not want to make censorship decisions but I am happy to comply if you guys do it.” In saying that, he single-handedly gave the Republicans the keys to the Internet. That is a shame and will cost a high price in freedom reversed should Trump win on 3 November, or if Democrats take him up on his offer – which they will.
Sundar, oh poor Sundar. He must have been wondering why he was there at all. Safe to say he did not really influence events either way – possibly his goal.
The aftermath was a sense of wasted time. It is unlikely that the whole thing was anything other than a failed election stunt
If you enjoy ‘That Was The Week’ please consider a paid subscription
This week’s video is here: