A really interesting Vanity Fair piece exploring the assumption amongst American law makers and financiers that outrage against big tech will be limited because there is no constituency liable to be organised against it. In the absence of a collective agency pushing for political action to be taken, diffuse outrage is unlikely to lead to political action and will eventually dissipate.
Facebook is in a world of hurt, or so it would seem, after The New York Times published a splashy, five-byline exposé last week that documented the social-media giant’s ponderous, self-serving response to Russian infiltration of its platform. Ditto Amazon, the e-commerce juggernaut that recently cajoled New York City into coughing up billions of dollars in tax breaks to host a new office building, provoking sustained liberal outrage. Netflix is facing new rulesgoverning its film and television libraries in Europe. Google, we are told, has its own problems, from selling A.I. to improve drone strikes to the news it reportedly paid out a top executive $90 million despite the fact that he allegedly coerced a colleague into sex. If you only got your news on Twitter, you might imagine the gold rush is over for the so-called FAANGs—as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google are known—and that the era of Big Government regulation is about to begin.