Headline October 22, 2018/ '' 'SILICON !WOW! SMITTEN' ''


!GLOBAL ELECTIONS! .............

WE ARE beginning to understand that tech companies don't have our best interest at heart. ''Did they ever?''.............

LATE LAST YEAR - one beautiful month of November, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a brief post on Facebook at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, asking his friends for forgiveness-

Not just for personal failures but also for his professional ones, especially ''the way my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together.''

He was heeding the call of the Jewish Day of Atonement to take stock of the year just passed as he pledged that he would ''work to do better.

Such a somber, self-critical statement hasn't been typical for the usually sunny Mr. Zuckerberg, who once exhorted the employees at Facebook to ''move fast and break things.''

In the past, why would Mr. Zuckerberg, or any of his peers, have felt the need to atone for what they did at the office? For making incredibly sites that seamlessly connect billions of people to their friends as well as to a global storehouse of knowledge?

Lately, however, the sins of millions Silicon Valley-ed disruption have become impossible to ignore.

Facebook has endured a drip, drip of revelations concerning Russian operatives who used its platform to influence the 2018 presidential election by stirring up racial anger.

Google had a similar role role in carrying targeted, inflammatory messages during the election, and this summer, it appeared  to play the heavy when an important liberal think tank, New America, cut ties with a prominent scholar who is critical of the power of  digital monopolies.

Some within the organization questioned whether he was dismissed to appease Google and its executive chairman, Erik Schmidt, both long standing donors, though New America's executive president and a Google representative denied a connection.

Meanwhile, Amazon, with its purchase of the Whole Foods supermarket chain and the construction of brick and mortar stores, pursues the breathtakingly lucrative strategy of parlaying a monopoly position online into an offline one, too.

These menacing turns of events have been quiet bewildering to the public, running counter to everything Silicon Valley preached about itself. Google, for example, saying its purpose is ''to organize  the world's information, making it universally accessible and useful,'' a quest that could describe your local library as much as a Fortune 500 company.

Similarly, Facebook aims to ''give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.'' Even Amazon looked outside itself for fulfillment by seeking to become, in the words of its founder, Jeff Bezos, ''the most customer-obsessed company to ever occupy planet Earth.''

Almost from its inception, the World Wide Web produced public anxiety - your computer was joined to a network  that was beyond your ken and could send worms, viruses and trackers your way - but we nonetheless were inclined to give these earnest innovators the benefit of the doubt.

They were on our side in making the web safe and useful, and thus it became easy to interpret each misstep as an unfortunate accident on the path to digital utopia rather than as subterfuge meant to ensure world domination.

Now that Google, Facebook and Amazon have become world dominators, the question of the hour are, can the public be convinced to see Silicon Valley as the wrecking ball that it is?

And do we still have the regulatory tools and social cohesion to restrain the monopolist before thy smash the foundations of our society?

The Honor and Serving of the latest  Global Operational Research on social-media giants and society continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Noam Cohen.

With respectful dedication to the  Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare for the Global  Elections next year and ''register'' on : wssciw.blogspt.com - The World Students Society and Twitter- !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Politics & Power '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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