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US: Sen. Josh Hawley slams big tech

 |  May 6, 2019

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) thinks Silicon Valley is bad for economic and societal growth, and he wants Congress to do something about it, he expressed at his speech at the Hoover Institute last week.

Sen. Hawley at the Hoover Institution’s “Big Tech and the Future of the Free & Open Internet”

“There is something deeply troubling, even wrong, about social media companies,” he said at a tech event hosted by the Hoover Institution on May 2. “Is Silicon Valley the best our best minds can offer?”

Hawley described how social media companies’ entire business model is to get you on their platforms and keep you there — in other words, addiction. Hawley said social media is likely a factor in the surge of teen suicides and overall rise of mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

Hawley also accused Big Tech companies of crippling the free market in Silicon Valley. Hawley wants to ensure existing platforms don’t stay entrenched and disadvantage small platforms.

“As a free market guy, I think the steps we need to take are pro-competitive,” he said. “One of the things that concerns me about Silicon Valley is, I’m not sure how competitive it actually is. Let’s be frank here, [Big Tech’s] interest is in their bottom line.”