A Majority of Americans Don’t Trust Facebook, One Third Supports Breaking It Up

The annual Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index survey shows that 73 percent of Americans disapprove of Facebook’s policy not to fact-check political ads. More than 50 percent of respondents do not trust Facebook to choose the news in their feeds, but only 37 percent think Facebook should be broken up into smaller companies. 

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Like Microsoft, but With More Glitter: The Cheerleading Monopoly Problem

Cheerleading is a huge part of American culture. It’s also an expensive sport, especially after a company called Varsity Brands bought the National Cheerleader Association in 2004 and built the perfect monopoly, thanks to acquisitions, vertical integration, and lobbying to prevent regulation.   

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How Allowing a Little Bit of Dissent Helps the Chinese Government Control Social Media

A new study on three major social networks in China finds that tolerating small, relatively free platforms helps the Chinese government maintain sufficiently high market-level censorship in an overall low-pressure environment. However, larger platforms censor more content than small competitors.

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Why an Antimonopoly Movement Is the Kind of Populism That Chile Needs

President Piñera’s approval rating has reached a record low, not just for the Chilean democracy, but for all of South America. The rise of new populist forces seems inevitable, but a Bolsonaro-style leader or a Venezuela-type catastrophe are not the only possible outcomes. It is time to use competition to reduce the power of the elite that rules Chile not as a country, but as a “country club.”

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“We Were Naïve,” Says FCC Chair Who Oversaw the Creation of Section 230

In an interview with ProMarket, former FCC chair Reed Hundt spoke about antitrust, Big Tech platforms, the future of the 1996 provision that provided legal protection to social media companies from liability for harmful content, and Facebook. “Mark Zuckerberg, god bless him, who is a smart but really lucky guy, should not be surprised that people want to break up his company.”  

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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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