Zuckerberg’s Cartel

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wants government regulation over the social media industry. You may disregard Zuckerberg’s stated virtuous aims, such as keeping the online community safe. His justifications are phony rationales, really lies.

Zuckerberg’s actual aim is to form a social media cartel. When large and mature industries and companies like Facebook seek government regulation, it’s because they are facing increasing competition. To prevent entry of competitors and maintain their market shares, they ask the government for rules that effectively stifle competition and fix in place the existing companies within a government sanctioned cartel. Zuckerberg would like nothing better than having government regulations that put the likes of Gab out of business.

Any call for “standardization” or a standard product is anti-competitive because it aims at everyone in a cartel producing the same product. Potential new entrants find it more difficult to enter by producing new but related products with innovations. They have to follow the existing rules, which in Facebook’s case would toss out certain kinds of speech and speech-makers.

Zuckerberg wants standardized rules:

“Internet companies should be accountable for enforcing standards on harmful content. It’s impossible to remove all harmful content from the Internet, but when people use dozens of different sharing services — all with their own policies and processes — we need a more standardized approach.”

Zuckerberg doesn’t want “dozens of different sharing services”. He calls for a “standardized approach”. This is an open call for a cartel in which Facebook will remain the dominant firm. He’s open about this anti-competitive goal:

“One idea is for third-party bodies to set standards governing the distribution of harmful content and to measure companies against those standards. Regulation could set baselines for what’s prohibited and require companies to build systems for keeping harmful content to a bare minimum.”

If companies are “required” to create “Systems for keeping harmful content to a bare minimum”, they face a barrier to entry. Facebook already has such systems and will influence any “third-party” body to erect even stronger barriers in the name of preventing hate speech, conspiracy theories, and what have you. Zuckerberg’s proposal, in addition to forming a cartel that benefits Facebook, also amounts to a call for government censorship in the name of community safety.

Last August when Facebook and other media giants began to censor various voices, I took the position that government regulation was NOT called for and that competition would solve this in due time. Competition is working, and that’s why Facebook now wants regulation. The result of such regulation will be even greater censorship. That’s what I predicted 8 months ago:

“If the common carrier notion should be attempted, the government will be in the position of determining what speech is allowable and what is not! The situation will be analogous to the horrors inflicted by the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, although much, much worse because they involve broad swathes of communications that are now being carried on at very low costs. The giants will rapidly capture any new regulatory body and proceed to implement regulations that destroy newcomers on any number of fanciful grounds that play well in the liberal media.”

This is what Zuckerberg’s true agenda is. Not only that but he wants the regulation to be global. He writes

“I also believe a common global framework — rather than regulation that varies significantly by country and state — will ensure that the Internet does not get fractured, entrepreneurs can build products that serve everyone, and everyone gets the same protections.”

Such bald-faced lies! His proposals assure that entrepreneurs cannot build products that serve everyone, and that NOT everyone has the same protections. Certainly free speech protections will be destroyed. The Internet should be “fractured”. It should provide a variety of social media. Zuckerberg wants uniformity and an end to competitive innovations and differentiated products.


1:33 pm on April 2, 2019