Image from Alex Castro in The Verge.
IN A MAJOR case against Facebook, the US government is defining "harms" in a holistic way. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleges harm occurs if a company buys another company specifically to hinder its ability to compete.
Facebook's dominance in the market has degraded privacy, eroded user experience, increased the number of fake accounts, and facilitated misinformation. Each of these side effects is harmful. The FTC seems to be arguing that all of these harms would not have occurred if Facebook had to compete with the services it now owns. One of those services is Octazen, an exceptionally capable data scraping service that I wrote about 10 years ago.