Power of 'big tech' - photo 1

The power of ‘big tech’ | World


On June 6, the whole world was shocked about the supporters of US President Donald Trump taking over the National Assembly building. Immediately after this shocking event, some social networks such as Twitter, Facebook locked the current White House owner.

Don’t expect “big tech” to self-regulate

The “big tech” should be monitored for democratic rights. We cannot expect “big tech” to self-regulate. For example, governments must require “big tech” to be more transparent about algorithms and operating platforms so that the government and users have a better understanding of how the “big tech” works to have a blaming basis. when necessary.

For example, the European Union (EU) has just proposed a Digital Market Act that promises to better control the responsibility of the “big tech”. In the process of controlling “big tech”, governments need to strike a balance to ensure to prevent negative content such as inciting terrorism, hostile content and misinformation, but at the same time. Obstructing legitimate freedom of speech.

Prof. Anu Bradford

Therefore, Mr. Trump “moved house” to social network Parler, but also because of that, the social network was quickly withdrawn from Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. Not stopping there, Amazon Group also suspended Parler from the Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting platform. The actions of Apple, Google, and Amazon put Mr. Trump very limited in conveying a message to his supporters.

Leaving aside political reasons, the above developments are like a bell that startles many people because the “big tech” are displaying terrible power, enough to overwhelm the incumbent White House owner, although the US President is still has been named the most powerful person in the world for decades.

The power of 'big tech' - photo 2

The capitalization value and some outstanding businesses of the 5 biggest “big tech” of the US

Comprehensive dominance

Answer Thanh Nien, Professor Anu Bradford, who specializes in law and international organizations (Law School, Columbia University, USA) and has many studies on the impact of “big tech” on society, commented: ” The “big tech” have become extremely powerful both economically and politically. They make a huge impact on everyone’s daily lives, as we are increasingly dependent on technology to work and connect with everyone around us.

There should be many rules

Power of 'big tech' - photo 3

Around the influence of “big tech” on people’s lives today, Thanh Nien has just interviewed Dr. Dipayan Ghosh (photo) who is in charge of project on democracy and digital platform of the University. Harvard Kennedy (Harvard University, USA).

How do you think about the impact of “big tech” on human life today?

Leading technology platforms are playing an extremely important role in today’s life. Every day, we have to use applications provided by “big tech” such as Facebook, Google … Not only use the application of “big tech”, but we are also being influenced by the “big tech”. enjoy thinking.

How should governments control “big tech”?

Society is demanding more regulations to regulate the technology industry. Currently, the “big tech” is collecting large amounts of data about users, establishing user behavior, and thereby can manipulate the user’s media experience. Those things are being done by private, exclusive companies. In the future, users will need to have greater control, and that control can only be exercised through government legislation.

But does control lead to the inhibition of free speech?

Of course, any control method related to speech needs to be balanced and fair. There are times when governments and “big tech” need to work together to protect the overall development of society but also to maintain democracy.

In fact, each of the five most powerful “big tech” groups in the United States today, including Alphabet (the corporation that owns Google, YouTube …), Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook all have dozens of branches operating in many fields. sector, creating a global impact after acquisition and development.

For example, for many years, Amazon has not implemented online commerce in Vietnam, but the AWS data storage service is used by many units through online transactions. Similarly, Alphabet with a “giant” ecosystem includes: Google search applications, Google Mail, Google Map, Google Suite (support for office work, storage …) Chrome operating system, Chrome browser, Android operator, YouTube video social network … are reaching users around the world. Facebook also owns the social networks Facebook and Instagram have the leading user base in the world, and also owns both messaging and direct calling services WhatsApp.

Therefore, now, almost anyone using a computer or smartphone has to use at least 1 out of 5 “big tech” applications.

Social manipulation

“As people become more dependent on” big tech “,” big tech “increases the power and damages the privacy of users more, she added. That reduces consumer choice and limits personal autonomy.

In fact, Facebook or Google can now apply technology to collect user data such as: what to do where, what to eat, who to go with, what content to read … Also from this data. , Facebook or Google is proud to create advertising, information right according to customers.

Many observers are questioning whether the “big tech” implicitly activated the microphone, the camera on the mobile device and the user’s computer to collect data. Evidence has been a picture of billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, using stickers to cover the camera of the computer on his desk.

In fact, many questions are raised about user privacy when corporations in the “big tech” group are collecting user data. Thereby, the service provider implements many algorithms and processing models to get more information of the user. From the information obtained, the actual “big tech” is now capable of manipulating and leading public opinion because it is possible to screen and select information purposefully to transmit to target groups.

For example, in the past few years, there have been many revolutions that have changed the political situation of many countries with the first modalities of agitation conducted through social networks. Even so far, there is evidence that in the 2016 US presidential election, the spread of fake news on social media was one of the factors that made Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate. , has lost many votes.

Covid-19: the launch pad for “big tech”

Professor Bradford commented: “The Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated that dependence, when we have to study, work and communicate more through the internet”. This is true since the pandemic broke out in 2020.

During the period when Covid-19 was rampant around the world, many businesses were almost closed, so the “big tech” had to make a profit, earning a big profit. Typically, Amazon has “bold” because many Americans choose to buy online. In the midst of the pandemic, the group employed an additional 175,000 employees, including seasonal workers.

According to MarketWatch, as of July 2020, the total number of Amazon employees has reached 1 million people. Second-quarter profit reached $ 5.2 billion, the highest level since the group’s inception in 1994. Meanwhile, Apple announced that its third quarter revenue in 2020 reached $ 59.7 billion, up 11. % compared with the same period last year. That growth was driven by better-selling iPhones, iPad tablets and Macbook laptops to meet the needs of learning and working remotely.

Also in the second quarter of 2020, Facebook had revenue of $ 18.69 billion, up 11% over the same period in 2019. In the second quarter of 2020, Facebook had about 3.14 billion people using at least one. Some of the big tech’s social networking platforms and messaging applications include Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. So far, except for Facebook, the remaining 4 “big tech” are worth over $ 1,000 billion. In particular, Apple has a value of more than $ 2,000 billion, larger than the GDP of many developed countries.

As the “big tech” reaches the tap more and more widely, governments of many countries are questioning increasing the control of these “big companies”.

Most recently, the European Union has introduced the Digital Markets Act to tighten the responsibility of technology companies with over 45 million users to the community and society.


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