U.S. Justice Department to Probe Tech Giants' Business Practices

U.S. Justice Department to Probe Tech Giants' Business Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced yesterday that it is currently reviewing the business practices of “market-leading” online platforms, including search engines and social media companies.

According to an announcement published on the Justice Department website, the review “focuses on practices that create or maintain structural impediments to greater competition and user benefits.”

Market analysts agree that the language seems crafted to specifically target tech giants Google (and parent company Alphabet), Facebook (including Instagram) and Twitter.

“The Department’s review will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online,” the statement reads. “The Department’s Antitrust Division is conferring with and seeking information from the public, including industry participants who have direct insight into competition in online platforms, as well as others.”

Virtually all sectors of the adult industry have expressed concern about how Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter appear to discriminate in overt and covert ways against adult content, individual sex workers and even the most basic expressions of human sexuality.

From Google and Twitter's opaque "shadowbanning" practices to Facebook and Instagram's bizarre obsession with banning most images featuring female nipples, the peculiar practices of these internationally influential megabusinesses have vexed countless users.

Particularly frustrating to the adult community is how these platforms and search engines either ignore criticism and feedback, or else give answers characterized by vague, self-serving language, arbitrary justification and imperious finality.

But whether the U.S. government — which has a spotty (to be generous) record of protecting the rights of adult businesses, content creators and sex workers — is the most qualified entity to rectify the companies’ abuses against adult content remains to be seen.

Big tech companies and politicians (both Republicans and Democrats) take meetings with religiously motivated anti-sex lobbies waging a War on Porn. These deceptively named NGOs attempt to conflate all sex work with human trafficking, and are drumming up a completely made-up “health crisis” supposedly caused by access to adult content online.

Hopefully, the DOJ is being sincere when it claims that the goal of this review is “to assess the competitive conditions in the online marketplace in an objective and fair-minded manner and to ensure Americans have access to free markets in which companies compete on the merits to provide services that users want.”

These users most definitely include people who make adult content and people who enjoy adult content.

For the full U.S. Department of Justice announcement, click here.

For ongoing XBIZ coverage of the War on Porn, click here.

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