Fast Company

IN THE GRASP OF BIG TECH

FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, AND OTHER MASTERS OF THE SURVEILLANCE ECONOMY HAVE BRED A VIRULENT MUTATION OF CAPITALISM.

Mark Zuckerberg ushered in the new year pledging to address the many woes that now plague his company by “making sure people have control of their information,” and “ensuring our services improve people’s well-being.”

As much as we may want to believe him, Zuckerberg’s sudden turn toward accountability is impossible to take seriously. The problems Zuckerberg cited, including “election interference” and “hate speech and misinformation,” are by-products of the features of social networks, not bugs. How do we explain Facebook’s years of ignoring these developments? Some headlines have blamed the internet. Others criticize Facebook’s management. A powerful November exposé in The New York Times describes Facebook’s executives as having “stumbled,” first ignoring warning signs of meddling during the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election and then trying to conceal

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