Everyone knows the major story behind the influence of the Big Tech firms in the United States and their involvement in National politics
. We have already written about how these firms received a green light from Congressman Adam Schiff, initially to alter public debate about the origins of the covid-19 virus, which led them to presidential politics and more. What has never been explained was the background of Big Tech firms, the invention of the Web, where they came from and what we can expect in the future under the present circumstances.
Briefly, the Web was created in the 90s with the goal that everyone who wanted a voice could have one. All you had to do was to access the global marketplace of ideas by going online and setting up a website which when created belonged to that person. If this person owned his own server, no one could de-platform him. That was intended because the Web, at the time of invention, was competing with other types of online services that were not so free and open. You should remember that the Web, as we now know it today is a network of websites accessed through browsers. Sir Timothy Berners-Lee invented the technology that is the basis of the websites and browsers that created the Web.
There were other online services which predated Berners-Lee's invention such as CompuServe and Prodigy. The access points were different than with web browsers and these privately owned networks were open to the public. CompuServe and Prodigy owned all the information on them and could remove anyone that they wanted to for any reason without an explanation.
The web however was different. No one owned it, and no one owned the information on it, nor could anyone be removed under any circumstances. That all changed when the Web became controlled by a youthful group of entrepreneurs working out of their parents garage.
Back then, there were a few people that used online services. But today, everybody has a computer and multiple devices and there is a lot of content that is flowing through the system. Americans are so used to these devices that it is hard to remember when we got along just fine without them. In the case of cell phones alone, most mobile telephone services firms required you to connect to an operator who would connect you to the person you wanted to talk to, but then everybody heard the conversation. Now however, things have completely changed which is the advancement of technology, with a price.
These days Big Tech does not mean solely control over online information. Now we get news and information about stock trades and a whole variety of financial services plus email and the like. Again, this comes with the price of loss of privacy because all these devices track our every move, everyone we talked to, every purchase we make, where we make these purchases and a whole range of issues that most people would like to keep private. The Big Tech firms sell this information and we are the losers in our personal privacy.
We know that the issue about Hunter Biden resulted in the eventual banning of Pres. Trump and the coordinated takedown of the social media site Parlor. It is perfectly clear that the objective is political in nature to support Democrats and the candidates for that party that seek office around the country. Big Tech has now become the most powerful election influencing machine in the United States, even more powerful than the news media itself. When we wrote our article about Congressman Schiff, we did not mention then but do so now that it is clear that these Social Media firms are working in concert with the Democratic Party and doing the dirty work so that the Democrats can keep their hands clean.
The other issue is that social media can influence people's thinking about who to vote for and why and they can utilize their enormous power to destroy a candidate that has a political view that they do not agree with. This control of voting behavior is detrimental to our election system.
They know what we think, what we do, who we associate with, what our religious preferences are and they use that to sell that information to product manufacturers. They know when you are searching for a particular product, then mysteriously an advertisement appears in front of you for that product. These are the same manipulations that they use to influence political opinions.
So why are the Social Media giants doing this when they know that their users do not agree with these tactics. The answer is very clear, these companies have made a calculated decision that working with, and helping the winning political party is in their best interest. Questions such as who is going to get government contracts, what tax breaks are going to be provided and how their industry is going to be regulated are all incentives that are needed for this alliance to be successful.
By obtaining the data from our online activities, it gives these firms a tremendous competitive advantage.
Of course, all of these invasions of our privacy can result in Chinese Communist Party style values which challenge the narratives that are being developed from that information. There is a computer science firm called Network Analysis, which is dedicated to identifying groups of people with shared interest, who read and talk about similar things, who have similar habits and who follow similar people on social media. These systems are growing bigger and bigger, and more sophisticated every day.
There is talk about how to control Big Tech's power. Congress can remove the ability of these firms to use filters which are switched on by default. However, if Congress can legislate that these filters be turned off under penalty of losing their section 230 immunity, we might see a change in how our data is collected and sold and how political manipulation occurs. But it is clear that if the Democrats stay in power, this will never happen. Big Tech spends a lot of money on politicians so there is no guarantee that Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency will make these changes either.
These social media platforms, like other social advancements of the past, have benefits to the public good and detriments as well. How this will eventually be resolved is anybody's guess. But if the Democrats have their way, it appears that they are quite comfortable with a takeover of the United States by the Chinese Communist Party then these issues may become moot.