In an elitist world, where power means knowledge and not the other way around, tech giants are an alternative to the chaos of liberal democracy. The political structures and institutions in place today such as the United Nations, the IMF and even the EU, are undermining the ethics of democracy and its practice. So merely trying to silence our only source of social and technological progression, the Internet, which is fundamental to the way we live, is not progress, is not what we constitute as democracy.
With the resurgence of the, arguably, populist authoritarian style of governance which is can be seen in the world’s ever present evolution, political regimes are evermore defined by the ‘cult of personality’. Democracy has become a facade under which lies a world crippled by the quest for absolute power, status and gratification. The ‘regulation’ of political bias amongst tech giants, as well as of people, in no way suggests that it will serve to make democracy or its participation fairer. Regulation means control, assertion, the ability to filter end results and their outcomes.
But how can we begin to justify the regulation of ‘political bias’ against companies like Google, Microsoft or Apple? These companies have provided platforms for us to build a freer, fairer, egalitarian society so surely we would want them to voice their concerns. Our governments, to their dismay, have continually tried to find solutions by simply just ‘regulating’. If we want a society which enables growth, development and human progress, we have to think further than our own two feet. This is not to say that regulation should be scrapped, but rather moderated. However, even if the young liberals, blinded by their Marxists ideals, oppose the destruction of the transnational corporations, they have yet to question the underlying idiosyncrasies within their governments. Governments, whilst keen to play the victim, more so the older brother, distance us from our end goals.
Moreover, the role of the media is at times ambiguous, but much like tech companies, it has the ability to impact millions, if not billions of people on a day to day basis. Media has an undeniably conscious role to shape, and ‘inform’ listeners, readers and viewers. It’s a tool which has the ability to generate mass public consensus, social norms and etiquette, but is loosely used as a ragdoll to manipulate. It makes you question why we haven’t censored it yet. We are meant to be open to a forum for discussion. As readers, we have a moral duty to question facts that seem indisputable and ensure that the narrative that needs hearing is fought for. Regulation isn’t necessarily a negative, but abiding by what governments or the media say can easily come through as ignorant. By trying to filter how these companies react publicly to public policy failures, institutional weaknesses and lack of transparency with the government, we’re allowing one agenda to rule. The power and influence these tech giants have is beyond comprehension at times, and arguably it can sometimes be justifiable to side with politicians on regulating their influence, as the exposure of Cambridge Analytica has proved. What needs to be understood here, is that companies and businesses are at the root of our economy and livelihood. They’ve set the means of operation and mode of rule, and have continually strived to innovate and change, as business ethics dictates. Without these networks, we could not function today. Limiting the narrative in politics has seen to be ineffective in the past.
Clearly, there can be cooperation without regulation, but it starts with informing yourself, and actively choosing to be informed. Sadly, the perception of what seems to be a neo-classical modern democracy has to be flung out of the window. We need to go back to the drawing board and if that means allowing companies to openly discuss how they feel about political agenda setting and the present modern democracy, we must allow them.