Facebook Just Played the Government

Ryan Tate · 11/29/11 03:10PM

With two former members of the Federal Trade Commission on payroll, perhaps it's not surprising that Facebook just got let off the hook for mass violations of federal privacy rules. It's pretty depressing, though.

Why Your Government Lets Facebook Walk All Over You

Ryan Tate · 11/10/11 07:26PM

Facebook is reportedly about to get a slap on the wrist from the federal government for its huge privacy scandal of 2009 and 2010, in which it forced into public view people's once private lists of friends and interests, then made people bend over backward to re-privatize their information. Why isn't the Federal Trade Commission as outraged as privacy groups or the many, many furious Facebook users? Good question!

Hating Facebook Unites Democrats and Republicans

Ryan Tate · 09/29/11 07:52PM

It turns out you can unite liberal and conservative members of Congress. Just bring up Facebook! The co-chairs of the Congressional Privacy Caucus — a Republican from Texas and a Dem from Massachusetts — have teamed up to write a letter pushing the FTC to investigate the social network.

Google Is on Trial for Being Evil

Ryan Tate · 09/21/11 01:21PM

The Senate is about to debate whether Google is evil. The search giant's competitors, including Yelp, have come out swinging, and they seem to have a good case.

Google Under Investigation for Being Evil

Ryan Tate · 06/23/11 12:38PM

Google is about to be officially investigated for being evil. The Federal Trade Commission thinks its search engine may have violated antitrust law, and that Google may be a bully to the core. Review some potential supporting evidence below.

The Feds Are Now Tag-Teaming Apple

Ryan Tate · 05/04/10 11:20AM

It's now clear the government is eyeballing Apple's control-freak policy on how iPad and iPhone apps are written, with two more reports of Feds looking into anti-competitive practices. Does Steve Jobs have the stomach for this fight?

Feds Shame Clothier For Cheap Blog Bribes

Ryan Tate · 04/28/10 05:56PM

The Federal Trade Commission said it investigated Ann Taylor for trying to influence bloggers with gifts. The FTC took no action, its announcement publicized questions about blogger payola. Namely: Since when does a big-name retailer offer such crappy bribes?

Bow Before the Comcast-NBC Universal Megalith

Adrian Chen · 12/04/09 01:09AM

Actually save it for when the deal actually goes through. But that time has moved closer now that Comcast announced a $30 billion deal to take over NBC Universal from GE. The next big question: Are regulators going to flip?

Blogger Disclosure Tuesday a Small Storm of Sad

Ryan Tate · 12/01/09 08:07PM

FTC regulations on blogger payola and freebies went into effect today, and bloggers have gotten busy disclosing their "material connections" to the people and companies they write about. Most of what's been disclosed is small-time, slapdash or downright stress inducing.

Rumor: Conde Layoffs in Chicago Today

Hamilton Nolan · 10/08/09 01:22PM

In your thrashed Thursday media column: More Conde layoff rumors, Martha Stewart's evil company gets sued, media hair racism persists, and Choire Sicha declaims on the current technomedia foofaraw.