Silicon Valley and the state gird for war

THE BILL, proposed in America’s Senate, reads like a coding manual for software developers. “Infinite scroll”, which makes social-media apps display more content as users swipe up, would be prohibited, as would automatic playlists for videos. Social networks would need to show how much time users spend on them and set a default limit of 30 minutes a day.

Parents of teenagers mustn’t get their hopes up: the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act is unlikely to become law. But the fact that it exists—and was put forward by a Republican senator, Josh Hawley of Missouri—shows how quickly the tide has turned in Washington against big technology firms. After decades of letting them do more or less as they please, the state is ready to strike back. Voters are on board: one recent survey found that two Americans in three support breaking the companies up.

Big Tech is worried. Its bosses, once infrequent visitors to the Beltway, have become a regular fixture. Last month Mark Zuckerberg spent a week there, meeting President Donald Trump and lawmakers. On October 1st a recording surfaced of Facebook’s boss describing the plans of Elizabeth Warren, a left-wing Democratic presidential hopeful, to break up his firm and others as an “existential” threat. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has recruited as its top...

via Business Feeds

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