The era when tech giants could amass vast power without responsibility is thankfully drawing to a close
In its early days, the internet was described as an information superhighway. The metaphor has fallen out of use, but it captures an important truth. Highways have rules – speed limits; no drunk driving – because a free-for-all would be deadly.
The damage caused by reckless or malicious use of an information network is not as visible to passing traffic as a road accident, but there is no doubting the problem. A US Senate committee this week heard the testimony of Frances Haugen, a former employee of Facebook now turned whistleblower, on what she sees as the company’s negligent practices. Users of Facebook’s family of products number around 2.8 billion, so it matters to the whole world if they are hazardous.