“the clearest sign that it is time to worry about Facebook is that Zuckerberg himself seems to have realized that it is time to worry about Facebook”

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice 2.0—Librarian Shipwreck

The case of Facebook and Equifax demonstrate that, as Winner argued, the question of responsibility for minding the machines has generally been left to these technology companies themselves. They say “you can trust us,” and many people do wind up trusting them; perhaps recognizing that they don’t have particularly much choice in the matter. You can trust Facebook, or you can abstain from using it – but opting out personally doesn’t protect you from the social impact of the platform. Similarly, many individuals were shocked to realize that their information was bound up in Equifax, despite their having never made use of that company.

Alas, perhaps the clearest sign that it is time to worry about Facebook is that Zuckerberg himself seems to have realized that it is time to worry about Facebook.

Facebook and Equifax are not technical systems out of control. They are technical systems operating exactly how they were built to function. Albeit, how they were built to function by people who don’t seem to have been particularly concerned with the consequences of what they were building and how they were building it.

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Rigaroga

Rigaroga's Adventures in Geekery and Nerdy Mishegoss.