March 27, 2021
Our tendency to believe Social Media platforms’ claims of effectiveness is blinding us to what they are actually delivering
Is online advertising about to crash, just like the property market did in 2008? | John Naughton
Here’s a disturbing thought for those of us who are critics of the tech industry: are we unduly credulous about the capabilities of the technology as extolled by the companies and their paid evangelists? Did clever exploitation of social media really lead to the election of Trump and the Brexit vote in 2016, for example?
At one level, the answer to that has to be “no”. Social media obviously played some role in those political earthquakes, but anyone who attributes seismic shocks on that scale just to tech companies hasn’t been paying attention to what’s been happening to Democratic countries since the 1970s. Nor have they been reading the political science literature. Nevertheless, the drumbeat of angst about what networked technology and surveillance capitalism are doing to society continues to reverberate.
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