🤷 Fickle Billionaires
Meta ordered to sell Giphy | European governments to ease Elon Musk’s suffering | Kanye West is going to buy Parler?
Hello! On Wednesday night I gave a talk at Nerd Nite London and it was really REALLY fun — but then someone stole my bike :(. I have been through EVERY POSSIBLE EMOTION in a very short space of time so please be nice to me. Thanks.
This week was sort of okay I guess? 🤷. If you’re new here, that’s the middle rating — the gooey centre of indecisiveness. Why this rating?
Unprecedented: Meta forced to sell Giphy, the turds.
Countries in Europe want to pay Elon Musk to continue to provide his Starlink services in Ukraine and the world literally does not make sense
Rich buffoons seem to have a new addiction to buying social media platforms, and do you know what? I support it! (I don’t).
🐙 One of the tendrils has finally be cut
Well… this is a first. An antitrust regulator has finally been effective in (slightly) weakening a Big Tech company: the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has ordered Meta to sell Giphy — and they have to do it, that’s the LAW.
Of course, when it comes to stuff like this, there is often a generic, pasty deluge of rhetoric that pours out of all the main online publications, and this time is no different. The line is that this is good because it increases competition, therefore increasing consumer choice. In my view ‘competition’ is something only capitalists care about, and ‘increasing choice’ in the, uh, gif market just seems like… not the hugest priority.
I think what these stuffy publications routinely forget is that when people go to select a gif, they aren’t thinking ‘oh no, just Giphy??’ — they literally just want to pick the most hilarious gif and then move on. The boring chat about ‘competition’ is irrelevant and distracting: the real story here is that Meta are finally being forced to jettison on of their precious acquisitions.
Giphy may seem small and insignificant, but think about it:
You send gifs on nearly every platform you use
You receive gifs on nearly every platform you use
Every one of those gifs is brought to you via Meta’s servers — this is just another example of Meta wanting to own the internet, basically
So anyway let’s see if this makes a dent (doubt).
🛰️ Starlink’s unpredictable whimsical journey
You may remember last week, when we discovered that Starlink’s emergency service provision in Ukraine was patchy and unreliable, and Elon Musk’s response was to take to Twitter and complain that his attempts to help the war effort were losing him money.
So now, because he’s such a whiny baby, EU countries are considering contributing money to the ISP to keep them up and running. Tbh I don’t blame them; this decision came after Elon basically saying that he was sick and tired of paying for this out of his own pocket, and then changing his mind on Twitter, literally using the words ‘the hell with it’. Honestly, what an utter waste of skin this guy is.
This is the direct result of neo-liberal governments allowing tech companies to thrive in all directions, and grow to inappropriate proportions, with crazed power-hungry ‘personalities’ at the wheel. Ukraine clearly need all the help they can get; they should not be at the mercy of a fickle, indecisive billionaire.
The leaders who are driving the decision to start paying Starlink know that they shouldn’t be in this position either, with the Lithuanian Foreign Minister admitting that Ukraine’s internet access shouldn’t be in the hands of this one guy who might “wake up one day and say, ‘This is no longer what I feel like doing and this is it.’ And the next day, Ukrainians might find themselves without the internet.”
The extremely annoying thing about this observation is that it’s fucking obvious it would come to this. The observation has come from a group of people who potentially have the power to prevent the emergence of giant, monolithic, companies — that quickly become the one and only choice to address urgent global problems. They are now in a position where they have to appease the whims of one stupid entitled man, instead of focusing on the needs of a country being shat on by Russia.
Speaking of the cringey-rich, Kanye West — a man I will never understand in a million years — is going to buy right-wing hate platform, Parler. Why is he doing this?
👆 ONE: because he can.
✌️ TWO: because his accounts on Twitter and Instagram were recently restricted for making anti-Semitic comments. Of course, he could just join Parler and continue to make his reckless, disgusting comments there — but no, he’s got to BUY it.
🤟 THREE: because he is a raging protector of free speech; one of the few guiding lights left in this never ending sea of misinformation we find ourselves in. Thank god for him!
Right after his Instagram account was restricted, he tweeted “You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.” Yes… you idiot. Their ‘agenda’ is their Terms of Service; if you break the rules you get your account restricted — that’s kind of it. It’s almost as if the one thing ‘free speech activists’ don’t understand is free speech itself? Say whatever you want, Kanye… but no one is obligated to enjoy your words, or keep quiet about how much you annoy them. THAT’S free speech.
That’s it for this week, take it sleezy x