How to Change Section 230 and Make Digital Platforms More Accountable

If elected, former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden promised to “revoke immediately” the 1996 provision that gave tech companies like Facebook protection from civil liability for harmful or misleading content published on their platforms. The Stigler Center Committee on Digital Platforms has a proposal to fix the problem.   

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Should We Let Facebook Decide the Next President of the United States?

Facebook admitted that only a binding regulation on political ads could prevent private corporations from influencing the outcome of US presidential elections. Without such regulation, digital platforms can favor a candidate by altering (or maintaining) their policies on digital advertising. Trump’s campaign was much more effective than Clinton’s in using micro-targeting to shape voters’ preferences in 2016, a new study shows. Facebook decided to confirm the same policies for the 2020 election.  

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The Rise of the Opioids: How Purdue Invented New Markets for OxyContin

Purdue’s strategy was to market its opioids directly to patients via brochures, videos, advertisements, and the internet. It also provided information to doctors and consumers through an apparently independent entity called “Partners Against Pain,” but ultimately controlled by the company itself. 

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“You Can Put the Monopoly Tiger in a Cage but You Cannot Transform a Tiger Into a Vegan”

In an extensive interview with the Swiss news website TheMarket.ch, Luigi Zingales discusses ways to deal with Big Tech and the impact of the antitrust debate on the 2020 presidential election and on consumer welfare. “The digital economy is substantially different from a traditional textbook economy.”

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It Is Time to Break Up the Disney Empire

Disney is not a corporation that pushes the bounds of artistic and technological possibility but a corporation that pushes the bounds of legal possibility under a radical pro-consolidation framework that has existed since the 1990s. Its new streaming service Disney Plus proves that the company is willing to lose money in order to generate market power that Disney can later use, often against consumers.  

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OxyContin’s Academic Marketing: The Studies That Fueled the Opioid Crisis

Purdue Pharmaceuticals used to cite three major studies to argue that in prescribing OxyContin, addiction-risk was not significant. The most influential of those studies did not even mention OxyContin, because it was completed twenty-five years before OxyContin was sold. After more than a decade, the company had to admit that “data are not available to establish the true incidence of addiction.”

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