Last week we watched with amazement as the Twitter account of the so-called “most powerful man in the world” was removed. With a single stroke they expelled the president of the United States. This of course generated the rejection of his millions of followers and voters. Twitter is a private company, and as such has the right to kick out any customer or product. However, various aspects of this discussion should concern the world, especially those of us who defend individual and economic freedom.
Power corrupts. We are seeing how not only Twitter, but also the other big tech companies “Big Tech”, Google, Amazon and Facebook are accumulating too much power. Their dominant position in a market where it is very difficult to compete, means that today in a single click they determine what the debates in the world should be, who can participate in them.
On this occasion, they do so with the apparent intention of removing the main opponent of President-elect Joe Biden from the debate at least on social media. Although I do not like Trump, and he seems dangerous to democracy in his speech and ways, Biden is not a « sweet tooth », he is a traditional politician, who may like « crony » and clientelist capitalism, which in English is known as crony capitalism.
These companies, who do not like the free market very much, are likely looking to ingratiate themselves with it for favors in the future. What kind of favors? Don’t be too upset for your constant violations of US antitrust laws.
This way of doing business is what has led capitalism to the greatest crisis of legitimacy in its history. But this is not a market economy, these practices are more similar to those of the commercialism of the 16th century.
We have already said that any company or entrepreneur can remove the client from their business that they please and establish their own internal regulations. The problem is when it is not enough for him to expel him as a customer, but he seeks that that person cannot buy that product or service anywhere else.
This happened the weekend after Twitter’s controversial decision. The angry Trump followers decided to leave this social network and open an account on a new platform, unknown to many until now: Parler. They quickly received millions of new users, who took the opportunity to vent through this medium.
It had not been 24 hours, when the Big Tech, acting as a patronage oligopoly, decided to completely eliminate this new application. First, Google and Apple, through their application stores, blocked the download, then Amazon, through its servers, took away the « hosting » from this new social network. By Sunday night, Parler was gone. President Trump never had an account on this platform, only his followers.
They made the objective clear, and up front, they will use their excessive power to determine the debate in the United States. Kim Jong-un would be proud.