“we will have even more vivid exchange of information between people, but we will sacrifice freedom”

The Web Began Dying in 2014, Here’s How—André Staltz

Before the year 2014, there were many people using Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Today, there are still many people using services from those three tech giants (respectively, GOOG, FB, AMZN). Not much has changed, and quite literally the user interface and features on those sites has remained mostly untouched. However, the underlying dynamics of power on the Web have drastically changed, and those three companies are at the center of a fundamental transformation of the Web.

What has changed over the last 4 years is market share of traffic on the Web. It looks like nothing has changed, but GOOG and FB now have direct influence over 70%+ of internet traffic.

The Web and the internet have represented freedom: efficient and unsupervised exchange of information between people of all nations. In the Trinet, we will have even more vivid exchange of information between people, but we will sacrifice freedom. Many of us will wake up to the tragedy of this tradeoff only once it is reality.

“Suddenly, it becomes all too clear that Google, Facebook, and Twitter might not actually be particularly good for democracy.”

Betrayed by the giants—LibrarianShipwreck

Of course, in keeping with the thriller example, there’s usually a mix in the audience of those who are genuinely caught off guard by the betrayal and those who saw it coming. Alas, betrayal isn’t something that only happens in thrillers. Rather, real people place their trust in a range of other people, institutions, beliefs, and technologies – and when that moment of betrayal occurs it sends them reeling.

To witness the angry face of the betrayed look no further than the exchanges between members of the congressional intelligence committee and the lawyers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google (Alphabet).

Companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter are more than just businesses – they are the real world manifestations of a powerful ideology. This is a worldview in which Internet connected technology represents the promise of a happier today and a brighter tomorrow.

Suddenly, it becomes all too clear that Google, Facebook, and Twitter might not actually be particularly good for democracy. That they might be more interested in pecuniary values than social ones. And that they might have invested more resources in detecting nipples than in detecting nefarious bots. These companies have grown massively in their short lifespans, they have largely escaped oversight and regulation and it seems that one of the explanations of that is because many of those tasked with regulating them thought these companies were basically “on the right side.” And it not only members of Congress who feel as though their trust has been violated: a user can make peace with Facebook Reactions or a 280 character limit, but what are they to do when that platform has been caught happily disseminating divisive propaganda for a few rubles?