Josh Israel writes at ThinkProgress about a Fox and Friends interview today where Donald Trump’s son accidentally made the case for Net Neutrality:
Eric Trump reportedly said:
“I’d love to see it [the issue of tech giant bias against conservatives] go to the Supreme Court, to tell you the truth,” he said. “They hide under the veil that, ‘well, we’re private companies, we’re private companies.’ But you know what? You’re no longer a private company, when you’re a monopoly. When Facebook has 1.7, 1.8 billion users around the world, you’re beyond a private company. You become a monopoly.”
“A utility,” host Steve Doocy added.
“And then you are governed by free speech,” Trump said in agreement.
The younger Trump’s assertion that companies cease to become private just because they have a lot of users is incorrect and fails to define what a monopoly actually is. However, the idea that large telecommunications giants should be treated as common carriers or public “utilities” is not a new one.
In 2015, under President Barack Obama, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established “net neutrality” protections, which would have ensured an open internet governed by the principle that all traffic be treated equally regardless of its content. In December 2017, on a party line vote, Trump’s handpicked FCC chairman Ajit Pai rammed through a repeal of those net neutrality protections. “We are helping consumers and promoting competition,” Pai claimed at the time.