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For Immediate Release

Robyn Shapiro,

Fight Corporate Monopolies Releases "Dos And Don'ts" For Lawmakers Interrogating Big Tech CEOs

Advice will help committee members keep the focus on real reform.


Fight Corporate Monopolies warned that Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will attempt to misdirect lawmakers at today's House Energy & Commerce subcommittee hearings and offered four simple tips to keep the focus of the hearing where it belongs: the need to break up Big Tech and ban their surveillance advertising business models.

"The tech CEOs want to talk about their content policies and moderation efforts--because they know their core business models are indefensible and toxic," said Morgan Harper, Senior Advisor at Fight Corporate Monopolies. "If lawmakers are serious about fixing these problems, they must focus on structural power and resist the distractions. Anything less would be a massive failure."

Here are Fight Corporate Monopolies' four key Dos and Don'ts for lawmakers ahead of Thursday's hearing:

DO press executives to explain exactly how they profit from dangerous conspiracy theories like the ones that led to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Called an "Extremely Online Riot" by CNN's Brian Stelter, the event was inspired and organized by what members of the mob found online. False or radicalizing content is not an unfortunate byproduct of the business model. It's core to these corporations' ad-based revenue models. Facebook and Google's YouTube generate a substantial portion of their revenue by selling user data to advertisers - which means any social media obsession becomes a profit hub.

The men testifying before you Thursday made money by selling ads against the content that inspired the attack. Ask them: How much?

DON'T be distracted by Big Tech's focus on content moderation and self-regulatory half-measures. This is about their core business model and its pervasively negative economic and societal impacts. Prepared statements from the three CEOs make their intentions clear: They want to talk about modest regulatory reforms that would allow them to continue operating in largely the same ways they do today. We have seen this misdirection before, after YouTube and Facebook supercharged a conspiracy theory claiming George Floyd's death was faked to reach 1.3 million viewers. Google's Sundar Pichai and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg offered high-minded and emotionally charged responses to the backlash - but neither CEO acknowledged that false and dangerous click-bait content makes their corporations money. Zuckerberg is expected to endorse a liability shield for platforms that have "systems in place" to take down harmful content. This is self-regulation, and a distraction from the real solution

Don't get lured into the moderation-regulations trap. The American people want real change, not fig leaves.

DO demand answers about how the tech monopolies have sabotaged local journalism and undermined community life around the country. Some 1,300 communities have lost local news coverage in the last 15 years. Six in 10 U.S. counties have no daily newspaper. More than 30,000 newsroom employees have been laid off in the last 10 years. This newsroom cataclysm occurred because Google and Facebook monopolized the digital ad market, using their monopolies to decimate the news industry - which has a proven negative impact on turnout in local elections, municipal borrowing costs, and other aspects of community life. And on top of that, Facebook and Google use the power they have amassed via their monopolies to prey on communities across America, extracting hundreds of millions of city and state dollars, undermining public budgets for schools and other services, all in exchange for just a handful of jobs.

Big Tech monopolies are willing to sacrifice a core American institution to get rich. Why should their profits be more important than the quality of life in your constituents' communities?

DON'T let them pretend they have less power than they do. Investors openly acknowledge a "kill zone" of business ideas they will not fund because they are adjacent to Google and Facebook's dominance. Entrepreneurs must pay Facebook, Google and Amazon or become functionally invisible to potential customers. Together, the Big Tech monopolies determine what kinds of businesses and behaviors can happen online. Reducing Google and Facebook's dominance means changing the rules and laws that enable their business model--and, ultimately, breaking them up.

Don't grant the premise that these corporations merely facilitate public discourse and market activity. They control critical communications and commercial infrastructure--and will until Washington takes real, aggressive action.

Fight Corporate Monopolies is a progressive political advocacy institution devoted to breaking up the economic and political concentrations of corporate power.