Facebook next on the list to face DOJ probe – report

Facebook is being touted as the latest Silicon Valley resident to face an antitrust investigation from the Department of Justice.

Alongside the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the House of Representative Judiciary Committee and a coalition of Attorney Generals, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be aiming to keep Facebook lawyers on their toes. From the regulatory and litigious perspective, the social media giant is having a bit of a miserable time.

Although details of the investigation are relatively thin right now, Reuters is suggesting the official announcement could be in the near future. The DOJ has already suggesting it will be launched various investigations into online platforms, though it has not been the most open with which companies it intends to focus on.

This investigation will specifically focus on competition, though it should hardly come as a surprise Facebook is facing scrutiny considering the 2020 Election campaigns are closing in fast.

While it was never definitively proved if any of the US politicians were using the platform nefariously, there have been numerous research projects and documentaries which demonstrate the power of big data and the specific reach of Facebook. Combine these two elements with a shoddy system for identifying and removing fake news, and the social media platform is a potent weapon in the battle for attention.

Facebook is likely to be the focal point of many elements of the campaigns over the next 12 months, which can perhaps explain why it is coming under so much regulatory scrutiny. This is an incredibly powerful and influential company; should it be allowed to remain in such a prominent position, especially when it has not shown itself to be the most responsible?

Although it is an aspect which has never been officially raised, some must also be asking themselves whether the residents of Silicon Valley are now more influential than the politicians of Washington DC. We suspect they are, and this will not be a position many in the capital will want to see continue.

This investigation, assuming the rumours are true of course, will focus on competition however it is a single pixel of the bigger picture. Ultimately it looks like the US Government is trying to put the shackles on Big Tech. The companies have powered the economy for years, but now they are having fundamental impact on politics and society, the line has seemingly been crossed.

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