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Last week I suggested the long knives are out for Facebook (FB) from multiple corners. Regulators, politicians, the social media company’s publisher-partners, its own advertiser customers: They are all increasingly fed up with Facebook.
It’s not just Facebook, of course. The same groups are annoyed to a greater or lesser degree with Google (GOOGL). And Twitter (TWTR) has done its fair share to poison the well of civil discourse—the corollary to the glory of free speech. But Facebook is the greater devil of the moment, relative to Google, and Twitter elicits more pity than enmity right now.
Here are a things to read on the state of play to start your week:
* The Wall Street Journal published an illuminating article over the weekend that details how Silicon Valley’s “darling” status has more or less ended in Washington, D.C. It would be tempting to read this as an ideological shift from the Democratic Obama administration to the Republican Trump administration. I think that would be a mistake. Rancor over a concentration of power and a realization that “the Internet industry” no longer needs the protection accorded a fledgling is an increasingly bipartisan emotion.
* Also over the weekend, the conscientious Mike Allen of Axios articulated Facebook’s perspective on all this. Why his take matters: Facebook is fully aware they have a political hot potato on their hands.
* The intelligentsia is all in on going after Big Tech. Exhibit A is the new book by former New Republic Editor Franklin Foerr, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech. Exhibit B is the oft-quoted Jonathan Taplin’s book Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy. Exhibit C is this penetrating opinion piece that recently came to my attention by University of Chicago professors Luisi Zingales and Guy Rolnik that argues for the legislation of the transfer of ownership all user-generated data from the social media companies to the users who created the data.