BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) -- If you want to be a savvy consumer of policy debates, one thing to keep a sharp eye on is who is responding to a critic by attacking the speaker’s motives instead of addressing the content of their criticism.
This is almost always a sign of weakness and evasion.
And there was a good example of it in a snide letter to the Globe yesterday from a Washington lobbyist for big tech.
This guy didn’t like a recent Globe editorial making the case for an antitrust breakup of the new tech monopolies like Google and Facebook, which have suppressed competition and disrupted the flow of information in disturbing and damaging ways.
So he accuses the Globe of creating a “bogeyman” and dismisses them as sore losers in the race for ad dollars, claiming that “before Google and Facebook, readers in Boston had just a few newspapers that covered local politics, and the Globe enjoyed a stranglehold on its readers,” a flat-out falsehood that pretends the devastating effect their predatory monopolies have had on the once rich array of political coverage by area newspapers is actually good news.
Meanwhile, the Sunday NewYork Times reports some eye-opening research: “A review of hundreds of Facebook’s patent applications reveals that the company has considered tracking almost every aspect of its users’ lives: where you are, who you spend time with, whether you’re in a romantic relationship, which brands and politicians you’re talking about. The company has even attempted to patent a method for predicting when your friends will die.”
Attacking motives before or without even addressing the facts is a sign of a manipulative liar.
And for big tech to pretend we can’t see what they’re up to shows how little regard they have for your intelligence, not to mention your privacy.
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