Economic Liberties Explains Facebook and Google’s Toxic Business Model and How to Hold the Platforms Accountable 

June 10, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. –  As Facebook and Google allow dangerous conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric to go viral on their platforms, the American Economic Liberties Project today released Ending our Click-Bait Culture: Why Progressives Must Break the Power of Facebook and Google,” a new policy quick take that explains why antitrust enforcement, combined with changing the rules that protect Facebook and Google’s business model, is the only way to sustainably address their range of harms. 

“Asking Facebook or Google to fix their own problems is an exercise in futility,” said Economic Liberties’ Executive Director Sarah Miller. “Facebook and Google make money off of dangerous and socially harmful content. They have no incentive to change. Breaking them up and changing their business model is the only way to mitigate the harm they cause.” 

With protests centered around police brutality and racial injustice gripping the nation, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said he stood with protestors and donated money to organizations supporting racial justice. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg sought to justify to his employees and civil rights leaders why Facebook refused to label Donald Trump’s social media posts as incitements to violence. Neither CEO, however, acknowledged that when users posted false click-bait content designed to spread violent and divisive rhetoric, their corporations made money. 

As Economic Liberties’ new quick take reveals, the platforms’ advertising businesses are central to the harms they cause. Moreover, because Facebook and Google function as advertising monopolies, they are immune to competitive consumer pressure. Reforming them will require policymakers to restructure how they make money.  

Read “Ending our Click-Bait Culture: Why Progressives Must Break the Power of Facebook and Google” here 

 For more information, read Economic Liberties’ recent report “Addressing Facebook and Google’s Harms Through a Regulated Competition Approach” here. 

 Learn more about Economic Liberties here.    


Economic Liberties works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. AELP believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.