Washington

Federal lawmakers blast Big Tech while simultaneously promoting their books on their platforms


Lawmakers that questioned the business practices of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube during a Senate hearing on Tuesday simultaneously used those same platforms to promote the legislators’ new books. 

Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, ripped Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for creating an “addiction economy” built on an “attention treadmill” during the Senate hearing. 

Five minutes before Tuesday’s hearing was scheduled to begin, Mr. Hawley shared on Twitter an Amazon link for people to purchase his forthcoming book railing against large technology companies.

During the hearing, Mr. Hawley noted that the companies’ business model was to get users to spend more time online to collect more information and sell them more products. He said he thought it was time for Congress to take action against the tech companies as a result.

It’s time that this Congress did something about it to show who’s really in charge,” said Mr. Hawley. “It’s not them, it should be the people, it should be us.”

After the hearing, Mr. Hawley uploaded a video of himself on YouTube chastising Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for people to watch. Mr. Hawley tweeted that his book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech,” is slated for publication in one week. 

During the hearing, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, tweeted a link to buy her new book “Antitrust.” Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat who chaired the hearing, also plugged Ms. Klobuchar’s book during the hearing when allotting her more time to question the tech companies. 

“The chairman welcomes additional questions from the celebrated author of an outstanding book on antitrust,” said Mr. Coons to Ms. Klobuchar. 

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