The contemporary world is dominated by Big Tech, meaning that major technology corporations have a significant influence on our lives, economy, and politics. As IT becomes the driving force behind global processes, both positive and negative aspects of this dominance emerge. It’s worth taking a closer look at this phenomenon to understand its consequences for our reality.
At first glance, it seems that we benefit from technological advancements, such as messengers, social media, online shopping, or the Internet of Things, which bring us convenience, ease of access, and real-time communication. However, this entire sphere has been dominated by the so-called “big four” – companies that hold a leading position in the technology market. The big four, or in fact, the big pawns, consist of organizations like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple, along with their stakeholders, such as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos. These corporations have gained enormous influence over our lives, especially over our consciousness and identity.
The big four declare their support for democracy, Western values, and ecological goals. However, there are concerns that they not only act as promoters of these values but also attempt to impose their views under the pretext of pluralism. This can lead to the monopolization of the information market and changes in our consciousness, which are directed by these companies.
The presence of Big Tech also impacts global politics. An example is Russia’s interference in American elections through the use of the internet and social media. Russia cleverly utilized the technological oligopoly for trolling and spreading false information, which influenced the election outcome. Furthermore, these companies sometimes block content and accounts of politicians or individuals with differing views, raising concerns and doubts about censorship and freedom of speech.
It is also worth noting that Big Tech avoids paying taxes and moving jobs, which affects the economy and state finances. This is a problem that governments worldwide are trying to address by using antitrust laws and other regulatory measures.
Despite these negative aspects, Big Tech plays an important role in promoting political content and shaping public opinion. However, there is a need to strike a balance between the influence of these corporations and the protection of democracy, pluralism, and freedom of speech.
It is important to remember that without the involvement of Big Tech, there would be no globalization because these companies form the foundation of social networks, online trade, as well as the flow of information and data. However, there is a need for regulation and oversight of these corporations to avoid excessive concentration of power and protect the fundamental principles of democracy and freedom of speech.
In the face of the growing influence of Big Tech on our lives and global politics, it is important that we continue the debate on this topic and work towards the development of appropriate regulations that maintain a balance between innovation and the protection of democracy.
Author Krzysztof Kubicki