TECH­NOL­OGY GIANTS NOW VIEWED AS THREATS

Face­book, Google, Ama­zon, Twit­ter and the like have proven to be a more use­ful tool for stok­ing anger, writes

New Straits Times - - Opinion -

back­lash that is still gath­er­ing force.

“For 10 years, the ar­gu­ments in tech were about which chief ex­ec­u­tive was more like Je­sus. Which one was go­ing to run for pres­i­dent. Who did the best job con­vinc­ing the work­force to lean in,” said Scott Gal­loway, a pro­fes­sor at New York Univer­sity’s Stern School of Busi­ness.

“Now sen­ti­ments are shift­ing. The worm has turned.”

News is drip­ping out of Face­book, Twit­ter and now Google about how their ad and pub­lish­ing sys­tems were har­nessed by the Rus­sians.

On Nov 1, the Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee will hold a hear­ing on the mat­ter.

It is un­likely to en­hance the com­pa­nies’ rep­u­ta­tions.

Un­der grow­ing pres­sure, the com­pa­nies are mount­ing a pub­lic re­la­tions blitz.

Sh­eryl Sand­berg, Face­book’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, was in Wash­ing­ton this week, meet­ing with law­mak­ers and mak­ing pub­lic mea cul­pas about how things hap­pened dur­ing the elec­tion “that should not have hap­pened”.

Sun­dar Pichai, Google’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, was in Pitts­burgh on Thurs­day talk­ing about the “large gaps in op­por­tu­nity across the US” and an­nounc­ing a US$1 bil­lion (RM4.2 bil­lion) grant pro­gramme to pro­mote jobs.

Un­der­ly­ing the meet-and­greets is the re­al­ity that the In­ter­net

Four,

NYT PIC

Face­book, Google and oth­ers po­si­tioned them­selves as bet­ter­ing the world. But their sys­tems and tools have also been used to un­der­mine democ­racy.

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