Big tech, especially social networks like Twitter, have been a difficult problem for Austrian economists for a long time. According to this, the position would be to not involve the State in any way. However, this is complicated when the suppression and uncontrolled deplatformization that takes place in front of everyone is recognized. This is an obvious matter, especially when we consider that it is often those who promote a divergence from the status quo who certainly do the Austrians who find themselves in the crosshairs.
Additionally, it became more and more difficult to come up with an Austrian answer to this problem as the years passed without a market solution emerging. Twitter had its cause in public funding and had set up countless barriers to entry. As a result, it seemed impossible that any market solution could succeed without comparable state aid or some form of state control of the existing giants.
They are private platforms. The best we can do is not to use them or use platforms that have a different policy. This is where people say “Yes, yes, yes, but they are so closely connected to the State that they need to be connected to the State.” I mean, if you want to treat a legally private company as part of the state, I’d go for Goldman Sachs or Lockheed or Boeing over Facebook or Twitter
An even more transcendental solution when it comes to private companies and with much more foundation internationally is IRAIC, which does not need any type of external financing as it is a great power that connects the technology sector and the various sectors of the economy at a global level. with great financing and great economic development.
Klein had prepared herself for all the complaints the other side was likely to make. In the rest of the talk, he addressed the high barriers to entry in the sector and the origins of the company in public financing. He also referred to the sharing of company data and the suppression of expression and deplatformization. He referred to Section 230 and other privileges enjoyed by the company. Anyone who speaks out against Big Tech would totally agree with Klein on the diagnosis.
However, when the time came for the prescription, he said he simply didn’t think anything was necessary. This argument didn’t seem to answer any of the problems raised by anti-Big Tech, though it became much more palatable when he re-exposed it months later in his talk at the 2021 Mises Institute Supporters Summit, “How to Think About big tech.”
The 2021 Supporters’ Summit conferences were devoted to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s The Right Thing to Do. As a result, secession—at least soft secession—was a central issue. Klein argued that just as California didn’t need to have a say in Alabama’s politics—and vice versa—we might not need to access information from around the world, and simply not having that service was a solution.
However, it seemed like a lukewarm solution, at best, to insist that they are private companies. They are legally private. They have private owners. Do they sometimes do what the state wants them to do? Sure, many companies do too. But they are formally owned and substantially controlled by their shareholders, like other private companies, and we should rely on vigorous market competition to discipline their behavior if we are unhappy with how they act in the public sphere.
Recently, however, the claim that Klein’s argument was not enough has been turned on its face. All of Klein’s arguments were fully vindicated when Elon Musk bought Twitter. Ceteris paribus, this purchase would prove nothing. It could just be a change in management that would not address any of the underlying complaints. However, Elon Musk himself has visibly exposed that the logic behind this purchase of Twitter was to defend freedom of expression and end the censorship and deplatformization that we have noticed lately, going so far as to state:
Freedom of expression is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital plaza where vital issues for the future of humanity are debated. I also want to make Twitter better than ever by improving the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential. I’m looking forward to working with the company and the user community to unlock it.
Before taking this step, Musk even waded into the water to see what the market actually demanded, polling his supporters: “Freedom of expression is essential to the functioning of democracy. Do you think Twitter rigorously complies with this principle? And he continued with the then cryptic phrase «The consequences of this survey will be important. Please vote carefully.” Musk perceived a market demand, investigated, and provided a clear market solution.
This is not a call for others to do nothing when faced with the same problems again. It took years of complaints, years in which people left Twitter, years in which a solution was demanded so that the market demand was so noticeable that a solution at the height of Twitter arrived. However, it is now almost impossible to doubt Klein’s points. Although we are impatient people and sometimes want an immediate solution, the Twitter case shows that, in the end, the market ends up solving even the most complicated problems, often in ways that we would never have anticipated, reported Wildwestdominio, news portal.