Last week the US House Judiciary Committee took time out from their busy schedule of impeaching Donald Trump to actually do something useful. They held a field hearing about the power of online platforms and spoke to witnesses specifically about Facebook, Google and Amazon. This was the title of the hearing:
Date: Friday, January 17, 2020 – 10:00am Location: 01/17/2020 10:00 AM MST Tags: Antitrust
If you want to watch the whole thing, you can here (link). Fox had a good write up. All of the witnesses told compelling stories of how difficult it is to innovate in a market dominated by companies that have grown so huge. Throughout I heard a clear tension between business people who clearly want government to get out of the way and let them innovate, but a recognition that Google, Facebook and Amazon (in particular) have grown unnaturally large and are now a threat to innovation.
I pulled out the following clip by the CTO of software service provider Basecamp, David Heinemeier Hansson. He has decided not to use Facebook for advertising and he explains how that is so difficult to do. It is entirely analogous to a news site or prominent individual who choses not to be active on Facebook or is banned from it for whatever reason.
He’s arguing, and I completely agree with him, Facebook and Google managed to collect and gather a trove of personal information in an early gold rush. Most people had no idea they were handing over something this valuable in aggregate because individually they thought it a fair exchange for shiny beads and services. Amazon is also sitting on a similar power.
I no longer have access to Facebook and I absolutely know that for the kind of blog posts I write, I would receive something like 70% of my traffic from there if I merely had a Facebook mirror of my blog posts. Whether you’re buying adverts using their astonishingly intrusive targeting data, or just trying to have your thoughts heard, Facebook is the giant you can’t ignore. That’s one of the reasons why their ban on crypto advertising had such a devastating effect.
America doesn’t really have the same anti-trust regulations we’re using in Australia for our suit. Which is a pity, they don’t seem to know what to do. Toward the end of the hearing the politicians ask the panel what they suggest: the short version is they really don’t know what to do about it!
They have banned the Koran from Amazon. But not just any Koran: they’ve banned the edition of the complete text of the Koran co-authored by best selling writer, Tommy Robinson along with Peter McLoughlin. Peter McLoughlin’s other book “Easy Meat” is the ONLY scholarly review of the entire subject of Muslim rape gangs raping and enslaving non-Muslim young girls in the UK for the last four decades.
I just recevied this email from Tommy Robinson’s co-author of Mohammed’s Koran, their joint book which contains the entire unedited text of the Koran and 100 page introduction. Mohammed’s Koran is purely re-ordered in chronological order. You can find my review of it at New English Review.
Peter McLoughlin writes:
Amazon have banned Mohammed’s Koran and deleted it from their database (which means even second hand copies cannot be sold). This is the twenty-first century equivalent of the Nazis taking out the books from university libraries and burning them.
Can you think of another scholarly book on Islam that has been banned by Amazon? Mein Kampf is for sale on Amazon. As are books like the terrorist manual called The Anarchist Cookbook.
My recent research shows that the content of Mohammed’s Koran is being taught in universities across the West i.e. they are teaching the chronological order of the Koran and what this means re abrogation. However the academics are using a 1953 book which is being reprinted every two years. Clearly they know this subject is important (or else an obscure scholarly book from 1953 would not be reprinted every two years).
Having spent far too many years doing research in universities I know how they desperately scrabble around for subjects on which to write books and articles. So I know that if this was any other subject than one which truthfully explains the pervasive and perennial problem of Islamic terrorism, then there would be half a dozen books published on it over a couple of decades. But I suspect no academic dares to write an updated account of this subject for fear either a) Muslims will kill them or b) the general public might get wind of the importance of the topic.
Amazon refuse to re-instate the book and refuse to explain why it has been banned.
So they have banned the No.1 best-selling exegesis of the Koran. I can’t get my head round it. Every few weeks for the past 18 months they had emailed me asking to put it into special sales programmes, as it was selling so well. For 18 months they sought to profit even more from the sales. This is a book where verified Amazon customers left over 1000 five star reviews of the book over the last 18 months.
As dark as my vision is, I thought we were ten to twenty years away from dissenting books from being banned.
I suppose I should take some pride in having written a book with 600 footnotes that is worth banning. I feel like I am in the company of William Tyndall. One of the things that motivated me to write that book was I thought that virtually every other book on Islam pulled its punches.