CNET News Video
Former Senator Al Franken says Facebook has gotten too bigIn his first speech since stepping down from the Senate, Franken blasts Facebook for being too lax with users' information.
Last year Facebook made $9.3 billion in the second quarter, with 98% of that coming from the advertising business. Google made 26 billion, for the same quarter, with 87% of that coming from advertising. [MUSIC] These companies aren't just advertisers, they are the worlds biggest online ad companies. Facebook and Google have a combined 60 to 70% share of the digital advertising market, a strong duopoly. To build and maintain this strong dominant position in the market, Both companies have engaged in a wide range of behaviors, some of which appears pretty routine, but may have long consequences for users, innovation, and our democracy. In the past decade, Facebook has developed a pattern of buying up innovative startups To expand its data collection capabilities and eliminate potential competition. They also ripped off their rivals ideas when acquisitions weren't possible. A few years ago Facebook wanted to buy Snapchat, which was gaining popularity. Snapchat repeatedly turned them down So instead Facebook simply clone Snapchat most recognizable feature by adding a stories function to Instagram which already owned, pretty soon Snapchat users and advertisers jumping ship. The big time tech investors have notice too Soon after Facebook launched its stories function. The Washington Post interviewed a dozen top venture capitalist, who recorded the one of the first questions to ask when hearing pictures from app lunch [UNKNOWN] is how easy it would be for Facebook to copy the idea. A partner in a top US investment, Ferguson said, quote, we don't touch anything that comes too close to Facebook, Google or Amazon, which is to say we don't think our companies should fly too close to the sun. As Facebook and Google. Have gotten bigger and bigger. They've lost all incentive to act in their users' best interests because, well, their users have nowhere else to go. Facebook has acquired its competitors and integrated itself into so many aspects of our lives that the company has made it nearly impossible for users to leave. I'm sure many of you watched the Zuckerberg hearings. The part that stuck out to me was Lindsey Graham, a Republican of South Carolina, Senator Graham, asked Mark Zuckerberg a simple but very smart question. Who is your biggest competitor? And Zuckerberg couldn't really answer. Facebook doesn't have to care about the privacy and security of their users' online information because there's no mass exodus when it violates those values. They have no real Competitors in the eyes of users who don't feel that they can walk away. And that means users have no defence. [SOUND]