The next few years are going to be particularly challenging for companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Uber because they are global companies. They not only have to worry about antitrust lawsuits by the US federal government, they also face heavy scrutiny from US states and from foreign governments around the world. For the tech giants, there's a danger that a policy experiment in one jurisdiction could become a precedent that's copied around the world.
The regulation ads are part of an all-out blitz on the part of not just Facebook but also Google and Amazon. They, along with American Edge, a pro-tech lobbying group that Facebook has acknowledged backing, have been pumping ads into the feeds of the DC policy audience. A very visible part of that push has come in the form of newsletter sponsorships.
In a country where online hatred has tipped with chilling frequency into real-world pogroms targeting women and minorities, human rights advocates are warning that India is on the knife-edge of terrible violence, perhaps even the kind of genocidal bloodshed that social media aided and abetted against the Rohingya in Myanmar.
Without a Broader Vision, Big Tech Will Be the Humpty Dumpty That Put Himself Back Together Again. Supporters of structural separation for Big Tech need to learn the lessons of the past. Our forebears got it right initially with telecom but then failed to sustain a consistent vision of competition eventually allowing dozens of companies to consolidate into a mix of regional monopolies or super dominant national companies.
Twitter has already started rolling out Spaces, which replicates the Clubhouse experience. Facebook is working to add live audio features to its existing products and testing a stand-alone audio app, according to three sources at the company who were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly. Spotify is experimenting with live podcasting tools, a source there confirmed, and the entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is launching a live podcast app called Fireside, where speakers can sell tickets for their events.
Not only do they control discourse, surveil citizens, and make money from incentivizing paranoia, hatred, and lies; they also make money by keeping the public addicted to their services.
Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel talks with Adi Robertson and Casey Newton about Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code, the country’s new regulation for news media on the internet.
Casey and Adi explain the deal Google is making with Australia, why Facebook walked away, and what’s at stake for the open web.
E.O. Wilson has said, “The problem with humanity is that we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology.” We need to embrace our paleolithic emotions in all their fixed weaknesses and vulnerabilities. We need to upgrade our institutions to incorporate more wisdom, prudence, and love. And we need to slow down the development of a godlike technology whose powers go beyond our capacity to steer the direction of the ship we are all on.
The pipeline is a way to silo all of that out and say, ‘we just need to get more Black women in tech,’ as opposed to saying, ‘actually, these companies are and have been racist and white supremacist and misogynist, and it’s those institutions and larger societal and global capitalist structures that need to change.
'From a structural perspective, it’s really evident we’re not going to change toxic, discriminatory tech environments without naming the problems,' Whittaker told TechCrunch. 'We have decades of failed DEI PR, decades of people blaming the pipeline and decades of brilliant people like Ifeoma, Aerica and Timnit being harassed and pushed out of these environments. And oftentimes, people aren’t able to speak about their experiences so that the deep toxicity of these environments — the way it’s built into the structural operating procedures of these companies and workplaces — doesn’t get aired.'
The gains are eye-watering. Amazon’s share price is up 62% over the past year, valuing the business at $1.7tn, $650m more than a year ago. Apple stock is up 70% over the same period, an increase which has taken its valuation up by more than $1tn, to $2.3tn.