Big Tech Might Be TOPPLED After This Latest Event
(RightWing.org) – From 2004 to 2012, search engines and social media companies grew into massive empires on the backs of users and businesses who saw great potential for the platforms. Online searches opened doors of opportunity for consumers unlike any before. In 2009, CNBC dove into Google in a documentary titled “Inside the Mind of Google” and showed the potential to positively transform businesses anywhere in the world. From 2010 to 2012, Twitter and Facebook dominated the news for their groundbreaking platforms that allowed people to reconnect and share their lives digitally.
By 2020, Big Tech started to unravel. Its artificial intelligence algorithms and ability to track people online and offline unsettled users and governments. To further complicate matters, political censorship took hold in 2019, which provoked even more distrust. On Wednesday, May 4, Newsweek took a deep dive into the details of top tech companies Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple. The article asked a compelling question: could the end of Big Tech be near?
Negative Views Building Against Big Tech
Over the last several years, social media users and owners of smartphones started noticing a trend. If they talked about a business, product, or service, they began seeing ads for them on their devices. Later, Facebook and Google admitted their artificial intelligence was listening to conversations. The technology was moving beyond tracking people’s movements online through cookies on a computer or device. Big Tech argued it was a service to better share relevant ads with people, yet most users felt deeply concerned.
Newsweek cited an October 2021 Public Affairs Council and Morning Consult poll to conclude Americans were tired of the snooping. For the first time ever, the public ranked the tech sector as one of the most untrustworthy business sectors. In reality, Big Tech makes its platforms available to the public for free, making users the product. They use your information to sell ads to companies, and the windfalls are the largest in the history of the world.
If that’s not enough, Facebook is struggling to balance many issues. First, the misinformation and disinformation issue has led to the censorship of Conservatives regarding politics, elections, and COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, there is a tension to allowing speech that can become physically dangerous. These types of posts garner the most engagement and, as a result, Facebook rewards the posts that garner massive views, likes, comments, and shares.
The Government May Step in to Regulate Big Tech
Two pieces of legislation are sitting in Congress. In the House, members are debating the Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act along with the Protecting Americans from Dangerous Algorithms Act. Both would strip the companies of Section 230 protections that shield the massive companies from liability for people posting on their platforms.
A bipartisan group of House members introduced the Filter Bubble Transparency Act, with support from numerous senators. It would force social media companies to end their algorithms that promote content or offer another version of the website that doesn’t use algorithms at all.
Numerous other legislative proposals are floating around in Congress and the states as well. Still, even without legislation, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are going after the companies for antitrust violations. Plus, non-governmental entities are also targeting the massive companies over their business practices. Newsweek noted that Meta, Facebook’s parent company, agreed to settle for $90 million in a class-action suit for using cookies to track people’s online behavior.
There are now calls to break up the massive companies. It’s unknown if there is willpower in Congress to do it. Yet, what is happening is that the big five companies are moving more into each other’s turf. Apple recently blocked Facebook’s tracking abilities on their products. Each is building its own product lines in virtual reality.
Newsweek opined whether or not we’ll miss this era of Big Tech and surmised its time might be coming to an end thanks to new ideas, technologies, and innovations. Perhaps, the news outlet argued, one day soon, Americans may enjoy freedom from less invasive companies.
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