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3 best ways to avoid future global escalation of Facebook-Australia face-off over the industrial dominance of information technology superpowers like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and others: Creation of online competition; Regulation of pricing power and control and Enforcement of open-web principles and standards
Information Technology Dominance of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and others
Facebook, Google, Apple, and some other information technology superpower monopolists have by no little means enjoyed growing influence in circles.
According to Forbes, The Facebook app was downloaded a mouth-watering 540 million times in 2020, the second-highest behind its owned WhatsApp which was downloaded and installed 600 million times by users on their computer devices. The number will keep increasing over the years, no doubt, ‘all things being equal’
Some have shifted the domineering focus from social media to Artificial Intelligence (AI) – the expected technology drive for future generations. Online discussions through chats, information-sharing, news, articles, and products-and-services adverts, among others, are popular among the social-media teeming population.
Was blocking of Australian news content on Facebook a lasting solution?
Will Australian legislation pass the bill that will compel information technology superpowers Facebook Inc of Facebook and Alphabet Inc of Google to pay publishers for news content this week? That’s yet to be seen as it appears likely they won’t change the planned content laws despite the Facebook block.
The new content laws, if made, would make Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook pay news organizations for the content provided on their platforms.
Facebook’s sudden move to a wedge of Australian news sharing is worrisome and has daunting global implications.
Whether the legislation gets amended in an interesting move from Facebook to find a common ground in resolving the face-off or not might guarantee a long-standing solution.
3 solution pathways to breaking the monopolistic dominance of information technology superpowers
There are 3 solution pathways are connected to breaking the monopolistic dominance of Facebook, Google, and some others in the information technology service-providing industries:
1. Creation and promotion of healthy online competition
The online supremacy of technology giants like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple has wreaked havoc on healthy competition, suppressed innovation, and weakened entrepreneurship.
How can we create online competition to avoid the monopolistic dominance of technology giants? The factor that aids big social media dominance is poverty.
The governments should promote many individuals and smaller firms in their countries to enjoy exclusive rights to the provision of goods and services. They should also limit the extent of protection of intellectual creative rights, discourage merging and acquisition of business entities, rather supporting them to strive better, and grant access to more scarce and capital resources to new business ventures and entrepreneurs to encourage and grow healthy competition.
All hands must be on deck to break the network effects through the creation of new different products offering similar benefits and funding it for wide usage and likely decentralization of power in the network
Creation and promotion of online competition would drive commitment for creativity and produce motivated and thinking, and proactive entrepreneurs whose work and contributions to information technology will not only be better valued but better rewarded.
2. Regulation of product and services offering and pricing power and control
Breaking network effects of social media technology giants is through encouraging ‘Content specialization and limitation’. By this, a technology company is allowed to provide a particular product and service, and another competing firm providing another related or complementary product and service both operating within the same service industry, leaving the consumers with no choice but to patronize all different products.
Tech giants are gradually assuming more powerful positions in other products- and-services delivering industries like banking, finance, advertising, retail, and other markets, forcing smaller businesses to rely on their platforms to reach their customers. This position can be put to avoid other growing industries strive for survival in our ever technology–changing world.
3. Enforcing open-web principles and standards
Open web advocates like Wikimedia Foundation, World Wide Web Foundation, Mozilla Foundation can champion the enforcement of open-web principles and standards and limit the dominance of Facebook, Google, and Apple in the world of tech services. World leaders may have to come together have a treaty and form a strong alliance to ensure compliance to a newly agreed international web policy that will promote open-web standards and principles
Global leaders are watching with keen interest as the drama continues to unfold and whatever the outcome.
Facebook indeed and unsurprisingly put a stop to the Australian government’s intended actions precisely because it feared other countries like India, China, Canada, France UK, and even the US would follow Australia’s lead.
Prior to this face-off, the governments of advanced countries are contending with the issue of how to regulate the world’s largest information technology giants, which have recently grown into trillion-dollar behemoths that provide platforms for what billions of people access, view, share, discuss and consume on a daily basis which has become a source of ‘addiction’ for millions, so to say.
The related issue of how to fairly compensate news providers is a thorny challenge given an online community accustomed to free content, but the drive to redress the monopoly-like power of these social media platforms appears to have gained a major boost.
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