Don’t Be Evil: The Case Against Big Tech – An important book about corporate giants
Book review: Rana Foroohar reports on how Facebook, Amazon and others rule our lives
A billboard with an image of Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren in San Francisco. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty
For all the creepy revelations about US corporate Big Tech, we are so reliant on its “free” services that we ignore its “disruptions”: Amazon laying waste to high streets; Airbnb exacerbating our homeless crisis; Deliveroo cyclists causing traffic fury; or the way it has rendered entire professions redundant and human industries in decline. But the social media giants are less seen now as angels of freedom than often purveyors of murderous hatred across Myanmar, Cameroon, Nigeria and Kenya.
Facebook’s untraceable “dark money” ads still inflame right-wing populism, while its Cambridge Analytica scandal distorted democracy on three continents, for which it paid $5.1bn in fines to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last July. Facebook’s share price immediately spiked. Just the cost of doing business for behemoths that routinely shift vast profits offshore into lax data-regulatory, tax-havenish jurisdictions like our own.