Techlash has been brewing for years. No one should be surprised that “Break up big tech!” is a major talking point for many 2020 presidential hopefuls. But how, exactly, would this be accomplished? And, what would the world look like in the aftermath?
I was checking out my Twitter feed the other day and I came upon a tweet from Richard Dawkins. He is one of my favorite writers and I’ve been following him for years. The tweet was a link to an article, but was it true? Time to find out. But how much time?
In a rare show of bipartisan unity this past Wednesday, Republicans and Democrats on the House Oversight Committee expressed concerns over the rapid spread of facial recognition software used by technology companies. This should make you stop and think very long and hard about what your elected leaders do not understand about the world we live in.
Facebook has been under relentless attack since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in early 2018. Broadcasters and news publishers have declared open season on Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and other senior executives at the company. And while not quite ubiquitous, #deletefacebook pops up every time there’s a story about data privacy. The EU has fined them, the US is trying to figure out how to regulate them, and the notion that free services should be absolutely free (as opposed to checking a box on a terms and conditions page that allows the free service to use your data as payment) is gaining traction. Whether or not Facebook deserves the scrutiny it is under is a great topic for another article. Today, I want to have a look at alternatives. If you don’t like Facebook, what might work for you? Is the time right for the reemergence of focused social networks?
During the recent congressional hearings, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the Senate intelligence committee's vice chairman, said, "The era of the wild west in social media is coming to an end." Congress, he said, will have to take action. "Where we go from here is an open question." More hearings are clearly in the offing, and some kind of regulation is likely to follow. That's the probable future, but what would happen if the government lost its ability to control the tech industry? What if tech fought back? What if our democracy transformed into a technocracy?