Is Silicon Valley out of touch with the real world and real people? This situation is a probability with some of the actions of technology companies coming under fire – Think Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, how despite the leaking of data it seems that Facebook is not going to do much at all about privacy and protecting user’s data. Seeing as their whole business models is advertising and data, what incentive is there for them to change their income stream?
Silicon Valley and controversy
Despite the controversy and people being up in arms about what happened with Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, other social media and technology companies in Silicon Valley have no reason to change their habits and business models. People will not leave social media, governments will not regulate them, and all they need to do is say “sorry” when they make a mistake.
According to M.G. Siegler, writer of the 500ish Words blog, While I want to believe the Facebook situation will shake everyone awake, I honestly don’t think it will. Maybe a few people. However, by and large, I doubt it will reverse this trend. Moreover, I fear that if these companies are regulated or as they’re increasingly ridiculed in the mainstream, it will only cause many of these people to dig in their heels and double down on the insanity. It may already be systemic at this point.
At the same time, our industry is still filled with a lot of great, empathetic people. But the worst of us are increasingly drowning out the best. Because saying something tone deaf will always reverberate more on our current internet than something thoughtful. And the fact that it’s increasingly people in some position of power saying silly things just exacerbates all of this.”
Stories and sorries
A lot of you would have heard the stories that are coming out of technology companies about bad behaviour going unpunished. Those at the top know they are not accountable to anyone except their shareholders. As the saying goes, if the service is free, then you are the product. What incentive is there for technology companies to change and come back down to earth?
When people think they are changing the world, it is hard to get them to realise their product or service is not that amazing after the promises are not being delivered. Uber made promises of helping the gig economy, but the gig economy is turning into a new form of almost slavery according to some reports.
Can technology and social media companies change to be more people friendly rather than making promises they know they know, and we know, they will not keep?