Technology’s role in our day-to-day lives has increased drastically over the last couple decades, as has the prominence of large tech companies. Never has the central role of technology been more apparent than during coronavirus lockdowns, during which the vast majority of Americans’ socializing, communication and entertainment has taken place online.
But at the same time, negative opinions about large tech companies have grown in the last few years. Though Americans generally support the companies themselves, more than half of Americans are concerned about tech concentration and support breaking up tech companies “that control too much of the economy.” Unfortunately, most of these proposed solutions are more dangerous than the alleged problems.
Attacks on tech companies in the United States have come from both sides of the aisle. Republican Senator Josh Hawley, in response to claims of anti-conservative content moderation policies, has threatened to revoke Section 230, which protects social media platforms from civil suits on the basis of content posted on their sites.
Repeal of Section 230 would greatly threaten freedom of speech, however, and not necessarily in favor of conservatives. Without Section 230, for example, Twitter could be sued by a politician or public