Silicon Valley used to be a hotbed of libertarian thought, a place where innovation mattered more than government. Today, companies like Twitter and Facebook serve as de facto editors, banning users like Alex Jones for "wrong-think." Google dominates search, but may steer search results. And Amazon serves nefarious clients like the NSA with its cloud infrastructure. And all of them employ plenty of lobbyists to avoid the kind of government anti-trust suit Microsoft faced nearly 20 years ago.
Libertarians oppose regulation, but also oppose censorship and politically correct culling of opinion. Dr. Peter Klein recently addressed these topics and more, in a talk illustrating how the technology sector has drastically changed in recent years—and how tech firms evolved into media companies focused on influence instead of innovation. He argues that social-media companies put on a public facade of being private and free of government influence, but behind the scenes they really lobby for protection against competition.
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