For many, Silicon Valley has gone as far as it is hoped for with the Democratic presidential candidate, with the high industrial class funding Joe Biden’s campaign, and many tech executives likely take important positions in the next administration. This indicates that the relationship with the State organs has returned to what it was four years ago.
But the writers Vevic, Adua, and Taron believe that things will not be the same thing as they were before, as the mood and context have changed completely, and the traditional, comfortable relationship between the Democratic Party and the big technology companies is about to enter a complicated stage.
In a report published by the US magazine Foreign Policy, the two clergymen say that the monopoly suit filed by the US Federal Trade Commission and public prosecutors in New York and a number of other states against Facebook on the tenth of last December is likely to be a launching for a wide-range campaign against Silicon Valley giants. Regardless of the party that controls the White House.
The major technological companies will face, according to the two figures, hard times during the coming four years for several reasons:
One of the most important pillars – on which Silicon Valley has been based over the past years – is seen by the author as the leader in the innovation of new technologies. Because of these innovations, the public often bears the pernicious rhetoric and attempts to break out of the law, and companies have benefited from this situation for huge profits.
But, as social platforms repeatedly failed to stop harassment, limit privacy violations and spread extremist content, the extent of the damage that technology companies can do and are unwilling to rein in their ambitions has emerged.
Lack of confidence
The giant companies are no longer credible. Before the 2016 US presidential election campaign, the question was raised: Will Mark Zuckerberg be nominated for the presidency?, but the question now is how he has retained his position as CEO of Facebook over the past years?
According to Foreign policy, Facebook’s decade-long dreamer of an open and connected world is now worthless, and Facebook is seen as a starved company to collect data, ensure users’ addiction to its products, and evade accountability. Even within the company, surveys show that only half of the workforce believes that their services have a positive impact on the world.
The two parties agreement
One of the few things Democrats and Republicans agree on these days is that the technology industry is becoming too powerful. Americans generally view a company like Amazon systematically wiping out trade in the main streets, and that Instgram has garnered worrying youth attention.
Although the services of giant companies are still very popular with consumers, fears are mounting regarding the size of power and influence that a few billionaires have in Silicon Valley.
Senator Elizabeth Warren – during her election campaign to get the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidential elections – declared her desire to dismantle the giant technology companies, and it seems that such trend started to take a bigger momentum over time.
4. Repressive practices
Google used to adopt flexible policies toward employees, but it seems ready for the time being to act strictly with anyone it believes may cause harm.
Google has provoked controversy over the past period when it expelled the famous AI ethic researcher Timent Gibiru, who co-authored a paper warning against the dangers of using facial recognition bias, a technique of machine learning that Google uses on a large scale, and this led to her dismissal from her job. This provoked a wave of protests inside the company.
As the media reveal such practices, and the public is aware of the seriousness of what is happening in Silicon Valley, staff responses are expected to mount to counter discrimination, prejudice and other repressive practices.
The left pressures
A large percentage of the liberal executive leaders in Silicon Valley started to head strongly to the left as what happened inside the Democratic Party, and adopt issues such as labor rights, wealth inequality, immigration and justice. Today’s left-wing may not tolerate former President Barack Obama’s lenient policy toward Google and other tech giants that are being asked to take forward positions on the labor force.
Rising tensions during the Trump era have led to the departure of prominent figures, such as investor and business leader Peter Thiel, who said the region was no longer ideologically suited to survival.
For a long time, the advantages of smart phones, advanced software, and continuous networking have made the public view the cost of these services as low.
However, after about a decade of sticking to the devices and screens, the collapse seems to be waning and the digital lifestyle has become less attractive than before, and has replaced – according to the author – fears of privacy loss and the negative effects of continuous network connectivity.
Giant companies, like Amazon, have come to symbolize everything they once stood against, from employee abuse to monopoly and wealth accumulation. In their report, the two author states that these problems have worsened at a much faster pace than expected.
Foreign Policy’s report concludes that rising political figures on the US stage may probably stand in the face of major technology companies, and may provoke more lawsuits and interrogations in the Congress against them.