Combating Big Tech’s Totalitarianism: A Road Map

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Applying and modernizing antitrust law, scrutinizing Big Tech’s ad tech models, instituting executive accountability, punishing fraud and breaches of contract, and creating private rights of action to enforce consumer rights and protections requires a layered approach to securing fair practices and freedom of expression in the digital world. Initiatives outside of Congress and enforcement agencies are of equal significance. This layered approach should include efforts to promote the principles of federalism through state legislative action, to build platforms where freedom of expression is protected, and to expose Big Tech’s abuses within civil society. Absent campaigns on all of these fronts, Big Tech will continue to erode individual liberties, segment the American citizenry, and stunt human flourishing and self-governance.

Key Takeaways

  • The growing symbiosis between Big Tech and government gives these companies undue influence over Americans’ daily lives and undermines their rights.
  • Big Tech has increasingly exercised pervasive control of information and access to the digital space in ways that undermine freedom and a functioning republic.
  • It is time for aggressive reforms to ensure that Big Tech is held accountable, provide scrutiny and oversight, and constrain its ability to reshape society.

Too many gatekeepers of information for the American public—elite media, academia, government institutions, and various organs of the culture—are captured by leftist ideology. As the past year has borne out, Big Tech companies are not afraid to exercise their power in the service of this ideology.1

This report refers to “Big Tech” as a loose compilation of companies that include the “Big Five” tech companies—Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta (Facebook), and Microsoft—along with other tech companies like Twitter, TikTok, Snap, and Netflix whose cultural and political impacts on public debate are significant. The terms “Google” and “Facebook” are used throughout the report to capture the core functions and business of the renamed corporations. Given their positions as global oligopolies, the ability of Big Tech companies to manipulate the flow of information renders their actions transformative. Every American should be concerned about Big Tech’s willingness to shut off direct access to digital information, their demonstrated pattern of information manipulation, and their impact on America’s culture of free speech.

Beyond this, the growing symbiosis between Big Tech and government, the constriction of digital life, the pernicious targeting and exploitation of the next generation, and the expansion of digital surveillance will accelerate the stratification of American society. If current patterns are not disrupted, conservatives will bear the brunt of this tech-enabled classification system implemented hand-in-glove with the government. This report examines the developing landscape and issues a call for conservatives to push back against the trend toward totalitarianism in America that is being ushered in with the help of Big Tech.

By Kara Frederick

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