As the narrative of the tech giants spying on their users continues to gain momentum, the fear of users might just go beyond losing their online privacy.
Facebook, Google, and Amazon are touted, lately, by conspiracy theorists, as giant machines, spying unnecessarily on the activities of man, which may result in something, soon.
The latest is that of Facebook. If your initial worry was just about the loss of online privacy, well that should be the least of your worries.
Recently, Facebook brought down the ads of Elizabeth Warren, an aspiring Presidential candidate under the Democratic Party in the United States. She ran an ad, calling for the breakup of the three tech giants, which reads,
“Three companies have vast powers over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google. We all use them, but in their rise to power, they’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor.”
After the ad was taken down, a message was displayed, “This ad was taken down because it goes against Facebook’s advertising policies.”
The question is what exactly is the Facebook advertising online policy that she breached? Opinions have it that, users of the services of these tech giants consider the risk of allowing them to set a foundation for the future, with their self-serving agenda.
Though Facebook later reinstated the ads with the claim, it wanted to ensure public debate on the matter, but its initial response to Warren’s ads, indicates that, at any cost, large organizations will ensure their survival and they do not take any threat, likely to come down on their neck, even, when the user appears to be on the receiving end of the bargain.
What we see today is an impending fear of the future. Asides the apparent power that these tech giant companies wield, are they not also appearing to dictate the right and wrong ethics, by imposing their values on the larger society? Shouldn’t that be a thing to worry about?
Let us make it clearer. The strong presence of Facebook, as a social media platform, would enable it to create a de facto social contract that will make it equally powerful as any law. This will see that there is a tactical agreement to the terms and conditions of the Facebook app.
It may be bigger than this, beyond the shores of where Facebook originated from, since these rules govern behavior, without considering borders. Facebook, Amazon, and Google, are massive global organizations.
No doubt, these platforms get us connected, but on the flip side, they can impose arbitrary rules and unfriendly procedures that can shut us down.
The thought of Facebook, getting its mode legislated, strikes a fear factor, but the prospects of it having the ability to control what I wish getting exposed to is quite frightening.