IS GOOGLE, AMAZON, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER GOOD FOR AMERICA?

IS GOOGLE, AMAZON, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER GOOD FOR AMERICA?

 

Jeffrey Hammerbacher was an early employee of Facebook who left after two years even as the company was growing exponentially.  What he said at that time was, “The best minds of our generation are thinking about how to make people click on ads.  And that sucks.”

That is even more true now.  Just a few companies employee many of the greatest minds in the world.  And their sole job is to make you click on ads or buy their products and services.

These companies are all driven by the same fundamental business model: to micro-target individuals with ads.  Platforms that survey their users then use “engagement tactic algorithms” to keep people on their sites as long as possible.

It is very clear that this system lends itself to “Authoritarian, manipulative, and discriminatory practices.”  This allows even individuals or companies with small budgets to find audiences that are homophobic, anti-Semitic, and promote hate speech.

People are encouraged to buy things that have limited, superficial uses, short time frames of benefit.  They read ads that hide who is behind them or even if the facts are correct or the conclusions reasonable.

The majority of those using targeted ads are known to be people with “out-of-the-mainstream views”, views that encourage violent behavior against marginalized groups.

A perfect example is Filipino strongman, Rodrigo Duterte who received guidance from Facebook on how to viciously hound and harass his opponents.

There are ways for people to hide their identities and data, but ad revenues keep the platforms too well fed to pursuer innovative payment methods.

Conspicuous Consumption is a philosophy first proposed by Thorstein Veblen in the 1899.  “The spending of money on and acquiring luxury goods and services for public display as a means of attaining social status”.  Modern companies have refined and perfected that methodology where today, many people are on a treadmill of working for the companies that sell or offer such services rather than working to gain independence from those companies and that system.

Genius such as dominates Silicon Valley could move individuals and the nation forward rather than train rats.

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