• Patrick McAndrew

Should The Government Regulate Tech?

There is a new community of individuals discussing the impact that technology is having on society.  The Center of Humane Technology has set up a community where people can come together to discuss concerns and questions when it comes to all things tech.

One of the participants posted an article about how the public wants the government to regulate big tech companies.  This would be something!

Facebook, Google and Twitter testified before Congress in November with regards to their responsibility in swaying the election due to propaganda posted on their sites.  Indeed, the lines have been blurry.  Social media and the Internet is a great way to express freedom of speech, but it has become a tricky slope.  The lines are starting to blur regarding whether things posted are real or fake.

In the age of the Internet, confirmation bias is a very real thing.  People are going to search for what they believe.  Many people do not allow themselves to have an open mind and, as such, their beliefs are very exclusive.  They are unwilling to hear the other side.  With the Internet, those things are labeled as truth, even though the truth may be the complete opposite.  Because of this, many problems have been created; it’s difficult to parse out the facts from the fiction.  And because of the ambiguity, everything on the Internet is a free-for-all.

So should the government step in and do something about it?  It may be too late.  The online world is so vast and seemingly endless that perhaps it’s too big a fish to fry at this point.  All the same, I’m led to believe that the Internet can be shut down very easily (since I believe this, I can likely find information online expressing the same sentiments…BAM.  Confirmation bias).  It’s easy to forget that this online world we have created can disappear, as it once never existed.

Personally, I am torn.  I do think it’s our own responsibility to regulate how and why we use the Internet.  It’s a great tool for learning, but with any learning there is going to be bias.  We get out of this world what we put into it.  If we are searching for evil and awful things to justify our flawed perceptions, we are going to find it.  If we are searching for good, wholesome, caring advice, we are going to find it.  The difficulty in that is that we live in a subjective world.  What one sees as good and wholesome another may find detestable.  So, with that said, can the government really do that much?

Let me know your thoughts below!


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