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Regulating Meta vs fining Meta?

The idea is for our government to prudently regulate businesses that can impact the public's well-being, not to fine them after they wreak havoc.

For example, the FDA approved opioids for long-term chronic pain with zero test data. In fact the FDA Senior Administrator who made that call was on the payroll of Purdue Pharma (Sackler Family) to the tune of $600,000/yr 6 months later. Had the FDA done its job there would be no Opioid epidemic.

Fining Meta is a joke and won't fix the problem, Meta and other social media platforms need to be regulated, monitored and stopped from putting dangerous exploitive content out that targets children. Meta made $14 billion in net income last year. They don't give a crap about some pesty fine.

NYC’s lunatic lawsuit against social media could drive millions of tax dollars away

By Steve Cuozzo, NY Post

Published Feb. 22, 2024

In the realm of dangerously misplaced urban priorities, nothing compares with the lawsuit the Adams administration filed last week against five social-media sites — Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok — claiming they cost the city $100 million to treat mental-health issues supposedly caused by young people’s “addictions” to their content.

The city blames the platforms for such youth-afflicting maladies as depression and suicidal “ideation.”

But if there’s a death wish in all this, it is the city’s.

All the sites but Snapchat are owned by companies with vast Manhattan real-estate holdings that pay enormous property taxes and other real-estate-related taxes that keep the metropolis’ services — everything from the NYPD to obscure art-review panels — afloat.

Mayor Adams’ campaign to punish the companies for their alleged evil influence on kids is chutzpah run amok.

It’s an effort to change the subject from the real bad influences the city inflicts on our youths — such as schools that don’t teach and rotten public housing that breeds an underclass of high-school-age carjackers and murderers.

Not, of course, that the “social” site owners don’t have plenty to answer for.

Every political lie they post, every destructive “dating tip,” every sickening image that borders on child porn is reason to rein them in.

But a New York City suit to shake them down for cash won’t do it.

Only legislation or regulation out of Washington can bring them to heel.

But the tech giants might well reconsider their commitment to the Big Apple over lawsuits that, however ineffectual and misguided, will cost them fortunes to defend.

If you think companies don’t care when City Hall deliberately targets them, recall that Philip Morris USA moved from Park Avenue to Richmond, Va., soon after the Michael Bloomberg administration enacted tough citywide anti-smoking regulations.

Both the company and the city naturally denied the law had anything to do with the decision to leave.

And of course the sky is green, too.

Manhattan’s office buildings prop up the city’s entire economy.

The real-estate-related taxes they pay are the golden goose to the city treasury, for which they generate more dough than Wall Street.

Today’s office market is vexed enough by vacancies at a record-high 20% and depressed sale prices.

The last thing we can afford is to risk chasing out companies that feed the municipal piggy bank and provide tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.

But reps for City Hall were conspicuously absent.

Could you blame them for not showing their faces after the city demanded Alphabet pay unspecified monetary damages and “equitable relief” for prevention education and mental-health treatment?

Ironically, the Commercial Observer reported, the St. John’s building is “meant to reflect the company’s commitment to New York City, with Big Apple-themed touches like a hollow ‘Google’ sculpture in the main hall where the letters are filled” with “red ‘I Love NY’ mugs, little Statues of Liberty and mini yellow taxis.”

Thanks, Eric Adams!

Consider, as well, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta.

The company has around 2 million square feet in Manhattan.

It leases more than 750,000 square feet in the Farley Building, where the rent it pays helps make possible landlord Vornado’s billion-dollar upgrades to Moynihan Train Hall and Penn Station.

Meta also anchors 50 Hudson Yards, where its lease for more than 1 million square feet makes it the tower’s largest user.

And although China-owned TikTok faces entirely appropriate scrutiny and political pressure over its questionable content, it’s worth recalling it helped stabilize “ghost town” Times Square when it took more than 200,000 square feet at 151 West 42nd Street in the dark days of 2020.

Of course, TikTok can go elsewhere if it chooses.

So can Meta and Alphabet.

Should it happen, the city can blame itself for blaming them for a youth crisis that’s entirely of its own making.

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