AOC Uses Facebook Outage To Make the (Unrelated) Case for Antitrust
“Say you couldn’t communicate with loved ones because WhatsApp was down,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) said last night on Instagram Reels. “Maybe your career or small business took a hit because Instagram was down.”
Both WhatsApp and Instagram “were successful, independent apps until Facebook identified them as a competitive threat and decided to purchase them due to monopolistic anticompetitive behavior,” she continued later. “Maybe we should be asking ourselves why one company is trying to monopolize the internet, communications platforms, and digital commerce and maybe we should break them up.” She moved closer to the camera for the final three words, lingering on each for emphasis.
In another Instagram caption last night, the congresswoman mused that “maybe one billionaire with a penchant for destroying democracies shouldn’t be allowed to own so much of the internet and maybe that’s why antitrust laws exist that officials who do not take lobbyist money from said billionaire-owned interests should enforce.” But Facebook’s purported monopoly power is unrelated to Monday’s outage, which was due to “configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers,” according to the company.
For politicians who are chomping at the bit to regulate Facebook, the outage is yet another opportunity to make their case. But this case is rooted more in moral panic and genera
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