At the “Masters of the Universe” event in Louisiana on Thursday night, panelists Ann Coulter, Peter Schweizer, and Dr. Robert Epstein said the giants of Silicon Valley occupy an economic, cultural, and perhaps legal position unique in the annals of American business, because it is simply not possible to compete effectively with Facebook, Twitter, or especially Google.
“Isn’t it time for some serious competition for these people, and wouldn’t we have a lot of conservatives, millions of people across the country, flock to these other outlets that would be fair and wouldn’t be biased?” a member of the audience asked, proposing a free-market challenge as preferable to regulatory solutions.
“It’s very expensive to start a TV network. We could use another one,” author and lawyer Ann Coulter pointed out. “But Facebook, Twitter, and Google are different. You cannot compete with them. You can’t.”
“I mean, I wish Gab the best,” she continued, referring to the upstart social media platform that offers a free speech alternative to Twitter. “Twitter is the smallest of them, and perhaps Gab can come in and do it.”
“But Facebook, it’s too late now. Google — well, you can explain why Google, they just have the best search engine,” Coulter continued, indicating fellow panelist Dr. Robert Epstein. “You’re not going to make your own search engine. It is a natural monopoly.”
“You may think if you are on Yahoo or another platform, you are not using Google,” Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer interjected. “That’s not really true.”
“Why do I get stuck explaining all the really scary stuff?” Dr. Epstein sighed comically.
Epstein asked the iPhone users in the audience to identify themselves. “Do you know where Siri gets all of her answers from? Google,” he told them.
“Do you know where Yahoo gets most or all of its search engine answers from?” he continued. “Yahoo’s not really a search engine anymore. They haven’t crawled the Internet for years. They get it from Google.”
“Google’s influence just keeps spreading and spreading without us being aware,” Epstein said. “There’s an illusion of some competition and so on, but actually there’s less and less and less competition. Google’s index is the best. It’s the biggest. How can you compete with that?”
“It’s been estimated that they have at least 45 billion web pages in their index, and that was a couple of years ago. It must be much larger right now,” he observed. “The next-largest index that people could track at the time was Bing. Bing is a Microsoft product. It was 14 billion. So where are you going to get better answers from? Bing sucked. Bing was terrible. The fact is Google really does what they do really, really, really well.”
“But you know, ‘free’ is not freedom,” Epstein cautioned. “When you get something that looks like it’s free, it’s not. Your moms and dads told you that when you were young, right? You get what you pay for. That’s the situation here, is that we have this illusion, we’re getting all this free stuff and it’s awesome, and it’s great, and it works so well that everything is okay. It’s not. The more information you give them, the larger those profiles get, and the more control they have over you. And you don’t know what’s happening with those data.”
Epstein added that another reason competing with the established tech giants is nearly impossible is that they are integrated with numerous other systems, such as corporate email accounts. This also gives companies like Google the opportunity to harvest even more data from partner services and integrated systems.
“When I get emails from editors at Time magazine, the New York Times, the Guardian — I could go on and on and on — I want to see what computers those emails have run through. Guess what? These big news companies all use Google to run their email system. All of these emails are running through Google servers.”
“I’m talking about top journalists, some of the top journalists in the world, who are investigating Google! They’re sharing all of their communications, all of their work products, all of the drafts —they’re sharing it all with Google,” he marveled.
“Google and Facebook’s power is not just in the United States,” Epstein noted. “90 percent of all search around the world is done on Google. Outside of Russia and China, Google and Facebook, they’re it. They’re the most powerful mind-control machine that has ever existed in the history of humankind.”