Big tech, Twitter bans and Bing: U.S. Democrats spar over Silicon Valley on debate stage

  • In Politics
  • 2019-10-16 05:32:28Z
  • By Reuters
Big tech, Twitter bans and Bing: U.S. Democrats spar over Silicon Valley on debate stage
Big tech, Twitter bans and Bing: U.S. Democrats spar over Silicon Valley on debate stage  

By Elizabeth Culliford

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren went after big tech during the Democratic debate on Tuesday but brushed off rival Kamala Harris's challenge to join her in calling for President Donald Trump's suspension from Twitter.

Warren, a U.S. senator who is in a virtual tie with former Vice President Joe Biden in many opinion polls in the Democratic race, argued for her proposal to split up major tech firms such as Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and Inc over antitrust concerns, in what was the most wide-ranging discussion of big tech in the Democratic debates to date.

"I'm not willing to give up and let a handful of monopolists dominate our economy and our democracy. It's time to fight back," Warren said in the debate in Westerville, Ohio.

But she did not engage with the request by Harris, also a U.S. senator, that she join her in calling for Twitter Inc to suspend Trump's account. Harris has argued that Trump uses the platform to intimidate his opponents and threaten violence.

"It is a matter of safety and corporate accountability," Harris pushed, while Warren refused to engage, instead saying she was focused on beating Trump in the November 2020 election.

"I don't just want to push Donald Trump off Twitter. I want to push him out of the White House. That's our job," Warren responded.

Warren, who said on Tuesday she would not accept campaign contributions of more than $200 from executives at large tech companies or big banks, then pivoted to focus on whether candidates were taking money from big tech.

Social media companies, which are under pressure to police their platforms in the run-up to the 2020 election, have most recently been attacked by Democratic candidates, including Warren and Biden, for allowing politicians to run ads with false or misleading claims on their platforms.

This month, leaked audio from an internal Facebook meeting in July disclosed Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg telling staff they would "go to the mat" to defeat Warren's expected effort to break up the company if she is elected president.

The other Democrats on stage did not explicitly endorse Warren's plan to split up the major tech firms but voiced concerns about competition.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, another longtime critic of big tech firms and corporate influence, said the United States needed a president with "the guts to appoint an attorney general who will take on these huge monopolies."

Former U.S Representative Beto O'Rourke said he would be "unafraid to break up big businesses" but that he did not think it was the president's role to designate which companies should be broken up.

In a moment that swiftly generated memes on Twitter, entrepreneur Andrew Yang took a swing at Microsoft Corp's search engine Bing.

"Competition doesn't solve all the problems. It's not like any of us wants to use the fourth-best navigation app," Yang said. "There is a reason why no one is using Bing today. Sorry, Microsoft, it's true," he added.

"Bing just got dunked on, feel free to google it tomorrow," tweeted comedian Aparna Nancherla.

Yang also argued that people should receive a share of the economic value generated from their data.

"How many of you remember getting your data check in the mail?" asked Yang. "It got lost. It went to Facebook, Amazon, Google."

(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Peter Cooney)


More Related News

Trump Said No Tear Gas Used to Clear Protesters for Photo Op. These Canisters Suggest Otherwise.
Trump Said No Tear Gas Used to Clear Protesters for Photo Op. These Canisters Suggest Otherwise.

You really can believe your own eyes.A reporter from the Washington D.C. TV station WUSA 9 shared images on Twitter of tear gas canisters he and a colleague collected from near the White House on Monday-contradicting claims from the White House and U.S. Park Police that authorities did not deploy the weapon against peaceful protesters clear the way for President Donald Trump's photo-op.The photographs show spent CM Spede Heat CS and CM Skat Shell OC short-range rounds, both produced by the firm Defense Technology "as a crowd management tool for the rapid and broad deployment of chemical agent," as described on the company's website. While "OC" stands for oleoresin capsicum, a...

Trump Campaign Looks at Electoral Map and Doesn
Trump Campaign Looks at Electoral Map and Doesn't Like What It Sees

President Donald Trump is facing the bleakest outlook for his reelection bid so far, with his polling numbers plunging in both public and private surveys and his campaign beginning to worry about his standing in states like Ohio and Iowa that he carried by wide margins four years ago.The Trump campaign has recently undertaken a multimillion-dollar advertising effort in those two states as well as in Arizona in hopes of improving his standing while also shaking up his political operation and turning new attention to states like Georgia that were once considered reliably Republican. In private, Trump has expressed concern that his campaign is not battle-ready for the general election, while...

'I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act': Defense Secretary Esper breaks with Trump on use of troops

"The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort," Esper said.

Trump says he went to White House bunker for
Trump says he went to White House bunker for 'inspection,' not because of protests

President Donald Trump denied reports that he was escorted to an underground bunker at White House because of security concerns amid violent protest.

Esper Says He Opposes Using Insurrection Act on Protesters
Esper Says He Opposes Using Insurrection Act on Protesters

Under intense criticism for seeming to give President Trump's violent response to institutional police racism the imprimatur of the military, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he opposes using the active-duty military-even as an infantry battalion arrived outside Washington, D.C.The use of active-duty

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Politics