The Big Picture

Big Tech Crunch

Last week, lawyers for Facebook, Google and Twitter confronted a virtual inquisition by US senators incensed by the role the tech giants played in Russia’s manipulation of the US presidential election. More such confrontations are likely, as policymakers, in the US and elsewhere, are only starting to come to grips with these companies’ privatization of the public domain.

  • Mohamed El-Erian argues that major tech companies seem blind to their growing systemic importance, which is why they are failing to balance innovation, consumer benefits and protection, and national security.
  • Mark Leonard thinks that the biggest danger posed by Big Tech is its role in hastening a convergence between democratic and autocratic countries that heralds a new kind of dystopia.
  • Similarly, Anya Shiffrin says that press freedom remains highly vulnerable, as governments and vested interests engage in a kind of soft control that resembles regulatory capture.
  • And Mordecai Kurz blames the IT industry's growth pattern for contributing to the widening gap between rich and poor, calling for new taxation schemes and modernization of antitrust legislation.
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