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Peggy Noonan: Let's Ditch This 'Imperious Twerp'

'Journal' columnist goes after Mark Zuckerberg and big tech
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2019 10:52 AM CDT
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the EU Parliament in Brussels in May during a series of meetings over data protection standards.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, FILE)
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(Newser) – It's a safe bet that Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan won't be receiving any more invitations to a private gathering with Mark Zuckerberg. In her latest op-ed, Noonan refers to Zuckerberg as an "imperious twerp" who summons people as if he were a prince. More to the point, she writes that the time has come for Congress to end his Facebook monopoly and to break up big tech in general. Noonan isn't optimistic this will happen, given the vast lobbying armies now being assembled in Silicon Valley. Plus, Congress "has been too stupid to move in the past and is too stupid to move competently now." But she adds that even an incompetent move would be a necessary start. "Break them up," she urges. "Break them in two, in three; regulate them. Declare them to be what they've so successfully become: once a pleasure, now a utility."

In the piece, Noonan recounts how she received in invitation from Facebook in 2016 to attend an off-the-record meeting with Zuckerberg so he could respond to charges of political bias at his company. She declined, and now writes that conservatives who attended got played. Then she received another invite last summer, also rejected. "I suggested that though it was an honor to be asked to cross a continent for the privilege of giving him my time, thought, and advice, I would not," she writes. "I added that I was sorry to say he strikes me in his public, and now semiprivate, presentations as an imperious twerp." Then she hit "send," and she encourages congressional leaders being wooed by big-money lobbyists to do the same. Click to read her full column. (A new Zuckerberg problem involves his security chief.)

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