Perspective: Social Media, Big Tech have far too much power within society

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Courtesy of PicStitch

The Tech Giants (top), Dorsey, Zuckerberg, and Bezos (bottom).

Just stop and think for a moment about how much power they really have. It’s almost a difficult thing to fathom.

 

Social media companies and mass media at large essentially run the world. Quite literally- they truly do. The term generally used today within society nowadays, especially on news networks and by politicians to refer to social media and its affiliates, is “Big Tech”. 

Big Tech, also sometimes referred to as the “Big Five” or the “Tech Giants”, is a term that refers to- what I consider to be- the five most prominent companies on the face of the earth. These companies are Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Google. Sometimes, Twitter is also included on this list along with the other companies as well, being similar to Facebook as a dominating social media force.

 

The reason these five or six giant corporations are regarded to be so powerful is because of how prevalent and massive they are all around the entire globe. If you own a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop, which approximately 82% of Americans do, you use at least one to two of these companies every single day, if not all five or six of them.

Google may reign supreme, being arguably the most powerful corporation in all of Big Tech, and I personally think the most powerful corporation in the world…

Think about how many times the average American, or the average person anywhere with internet access, uses Google every day. And remember, it is not just a search engine- far from just a search engine.

 

Google now even dominates the educational field and industry, with hundreds of millions of students everywhere required by their schools to use Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Drive all for academic purposes. Many workers and employees of businesses are obligated to use Google services and Google products for their jobs, whether they want to or not. The fact is that at first, this may not seem like any big problem. However, many people- myself included- believe that we as humans rely too much on Google’s services in our daily lives. 

 

Because of the tremendous trust many people, (again myself included), have instilled in Google and Big Tech as a whole, it makes us completely reliant, dependent, and subservient to the Big Tech companies. Whether it may be for school, work, or our entertainment, we are so unbelievably dependent on tech companies to keep their services up, running, and available for us to use. 

 

Relating back to Google as a search engine, billions of people around the world rely on its services for their primary source of obtaining information about things they want to or need to know and learn. What would humanity do without Google, now, in 2021? Seriously, think about that. The world would suddenly become a drastically different place, and society would not know what to do with itself.

 

Now, in terms of Facebook and Twitter, where do we even start? Here is the thing.

  I have now been an extremely frequent, daily Twitter user for roughly 3 years. The younger you are, the more naive you are. 3 years ago, I did not at all think about or consider anything about Twitter or the people who run Twitter. At the time, it didn’t really matter to me at all; I knew very little about business, Big Tech, Silicon Valley, and the politics that go along with it, so I just used Twitter happily and thought nothing of it.

 

Now, a few years later and older, I realize it— and it’s so clear to see, right in front of our eyes. The Big Tech CEOs and presidents running the tech companies decide what we see, what we read, and- ultimately, many times- what we know. 

I believe that this way social media and Big Tech currently operate in our world is almost comparable to an oligarchy— a form of power-structure where a small number of people have a tremendous amount of power. That is precisely what Big Tech is and how it is run.

The CEO and co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, is essentially the supreme leader/president of Twitter and its services. He, along with other powerful people in the company, have the ultimate power and control to decide what content can and cannot be on the platform. This obviously makes sense, as Dorsey and the other co-founders of the company should run the platform since it is in fact their creation.

 

However, what concerns me is the fact that just a small handful of individuals are truly in full control of a platform used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Being under the terms and conditions of Twitter’s policies and following the rules Dorsey and others have made for the platform is the choice we make when we decide to create a Twitter account. What we have to decide when we use the services of Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon is whether or not we want to indirectly support their mega-powerful companies.

 

Lastly to consider is the Tech Giants’ equitability and ethics as corporations. As of the way things are right now, every minute that passes by, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey get richer and richer. While some Uber-rich people such as Bill Gates do an admirable amount of philanthropic and charitable work, Bezos and Zuckerberg do relatively little (relative to their wealth) to help out people in need. 

 

What frustrates me from a moral and ethical perspective is while Bezos sits back with his net worth of nearly 190 BILLION dollars, an amount of money I don’t believe any human could ever need, millions of people around the world can’t get food or clothes. The simple fact that Bezos has a philanthropy score of  “1” (the lowest possible score) on Forbes’ website tells me all I need to know about what his priorities and morals are. Bezos has also been highly criticized for not paying his workers sufficient wages. This illustrates to me that the CEO of Amazon is not an ethical person working to make sure that his company is equitable, and therefore turns me off to ever wanting to use Amazon’s services ever, if I am able to avoid using them.

Will Google’s, Apple’s, or Amazon’s prevalence slow down anytime soon? I feel confident in saying probably not. The companies will continue to profit at an incredible rate, and the billionaires that control them will continue to get richer and more powerful at that.