Majority of tech staffers say Big Tech wields too much power in new survey

Posted:
in General Discussion
Workers inside Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and others are starting to express that they believe that tech giants wield too much cultural and economic power.

Credit: WikiMedia Commons
Credit: WikiMedia Commons


Amid increased scrutiny of the technology industry from consumers and various governments, Protocol
carried out a survey of about 1,504 tech company employees. The outlet asked a variety of questions, from issues with China or whether Big Tech should be broken up.

When asked whether Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet have too much power, 77% of respondents answered yes and only 8% disagreed. Protocol asked the same question about the industry as a whole, and found similar results with 78% agreeing or strongly agreeing.

Credit: Protocol
Credit: Protocol


In a related line of questioning, about 40% of respondents said that technology does more harm than good. Just over 40% also said they believed that Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, and Apple should be broken up.

A majority of those surveyed also said they want Section 230 reform, though the answers weren't so black and white. Only 62% of respondents said they knew what Section 230, but three quarters of those people said the law should be reformed.

Credit: Protocol
Credit: Protocol


However, most believe that the core principles of Section 230 protections should remain the same, with 65% agreeing with the statement that "tech companies should not be held liable for the content on their sites and products." A whopping 82% of respondents also realize that Section 230 could have an impact on "more than just big tech companies."

On China, 56% of the tech employees say that U.S. restrictions on Chinese technology firms have gone too far. 60% of those respondents also added that U.S. companies should work more closely with China-based counterparts.

Credit: Protocol
Credit: Protocol


However, 46% said that they agreed with the statement that Huawei should be banned from the U.S., and 58% said that a cold war with China would "cripple U.S. tech companies."

A majority of respondents also want regulation for artificial intelligence, with 73% agreeing that it's time for the government to step in. On a separate note, 44% of those surveyed said that Big Tech should stop working with law enforcement entities. A smaller portion, 34%, disagreed with that answer.

Protocol's survey asked questions of 1,504 employees across the U.S. The publication notes that those staffers ranged from "C-suite level executives to associates." Nearly 40% are from large technology companies with more than 1,000 employees and annual revenues eclipsing $500 million.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,853member
    Whiners can't have their cake and eat it too.

    They hate Jeff Bezos, yet continue buying from Amazon and Whole Foods.

    They hate Zuckerberg/Facebook, yet go right to checking how many likes they have on their posts.

    They hate Apple, yet continue buying their products.

    If people stopped doing business with them, they would close their doors in good time.  But no...  hypocrisy to spread all around.
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 2 of 10
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 314member
    sflocal said:
    Whiners can't have their cake and eat it too.

    They hate Jeff Bezos, yet continue buying from Amazon and Whole Foods.

    They hate Zuckerberg/Facebook, yet go right to checking how many likes they have on their posts.

    They hate Apple, yet continue buying their products.

    If people stopped doing business with them, they would close their doors in good time.  But no...  hypocrisy to spread all around.
    But... in this case it's "a survey of about 1,504 tech company employees", so not the "consumers".
    xyzzy-xxxviclauyycgatorguy
  • Reply 3 of 10
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,061member
    Big tech does wield enormous power to shape and influence culture, politics, and society.  That power is amplified when they act in a coordinated fashion as we have witnessed.  And yet many encourage them to wield even more power with content moderation, something which all of them originally said they did not want.

    Truly, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Are employees of "big tech" suddenly gaining a conscience?

    Unfortunately unless management feels the same way as their employees, or consumers stop doing business with them, "too much power" ( a very nebulous term, by the way) won't get fixed.  That's unfortunately because people like free or cheap stuff. Until we all as a society realize what the real cost of how these services are being delivered by these companies is and decide that it's not what we want,  companies like those aforementioned will continue to thrive.

    Maybe if "government" had not allowed some of these big tech mergers to occur, they wouldn't have to go back and fix the problems they've caused. I think it's way overdue for the GDPR like legislation here in the USA (and take it a step further in that all sharing of PII must be opt out by default).

    Hmmm.. "which of these 'Big Tech' companies is not like the others" = Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon. 

     


    tommikeleOferAlex1N
  • Reply 5 of 10
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 556member
    And in breaking news it is revealed 80% of workers believe their company has too much power no matter what industry they are in.
    mariowincoFileMakerFellerjony0
  • Reply 6 of 10
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,006member
    I think that roughly between 77% to 78% of the respondents do not understand the difference between power and influence

    In truth, the so-called big tech giants have no power over consumers. The tech giants cannot compel consumers to do much of anything because consumers are free to opt out of these services and affiliations entirely. Consumers choose to place themselves under the influence of big tech companies because those companies offer consumers something that they choose to participate in or consume. It's a conscious decision on the part of consumers to yield control of some aspects of their personal lives to these tech giants.

    This isn't a game of word play or semantics. It is a matter of defining the fundamental nature of the relationship between the tech giants and consumers. You can't claim that something is being taken from you based on an imagined "power" relationship when, in fact, you are giving it away of your own volition and your willingness to succumb to external influence, peer pressure, herd mentality, desire to take the easy path, or whatever it is that keeps you from taking control of your own life.
    FileMakerFellerAlex1Njony0
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Big tech has more info about us all in their servers than governments. As of now they decide what to monetize and how (broadly). Amazon can decide what to “own” on every category they decide to participate. Apple whenever enters a market monopolizes profit. Facebook knows more about society as a whole that all governments put together. Long AAPL AMZN & FB, but (without going full throttle into conspiracy theory) do not buy all the marketing messages of Mega Tech. They are also men, with the same incentives that men before them.

    dewme said:
    I think that roughly between 77% to 78% of the respondents do not understand the difference between power and influence

    In truth, the so-called big tech giants have no power over consumers. The tech giants cannot compel consumers to do much of anything because consumers are free to opt out of these services and affiliations entirely. Consumers choose to place themselves under the influence of big tech companies because those companies offer consumers something that they choose to participate in or consume. It's a conscious decision on the part of consumers to yield control of some aspects of their personal lives to these tech giants.

    This isn't a game of word play or semantics. It is a matter of defining the fundamental nature of the relationship between the tech giants and consumers. You can't claim that something is being taken from you based on an imagined "power" relationship when, in fact, you are giving it away of your own volition and your willingness to succumb to external influence, peer pressure, herd mentality, desire to take the easy path, or whatever it is that keeps you from taking control of your own life.

  • Reply 8 of 10
    I don’t understand why they put Apple along side with Facebook and google!

    Apple is largely a hardware company with service on the side. The only influential product is Apple News. I don’t think Apple Music or Apple TV can have much influence on the culture or society. Not to mention there are many other choices available in the same field.  

    For Apple hardware, people can just stop buying it. Or just buy and use it without any influence from Apple. The only influence Apple has is for the hardware industry, cause they tend to copy the looks, function and feel of apple products.

    Apple is not a even media company, unlike ABC, Facebook, News Group. Even Amazon has more influential power than Apple. 
    Alex1Njony0
  • Reply 9 of 10
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,061member
    dewme said:
    I think that roughly between 77% to 78% of the respondents do not understand the difference between power and influence

    In truth, the so-called big tech giants have no power over consumers.  ... 
    Apple pulling the Parler app in concert with Amazon removing server farm service from Parler is the definition of power over companies and consumers.  And all done ostensibly for a noble cause, to protect the people.

    Or was it?  For are you not the least bit curious as to why they didn’t do the same to Facebook, which was the primary host of those who planned the Capitol Hill riots?
    Alex1NJanNLjony0
  • Reply 10 of 10
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,006member
    JWSC said:
    dewme said:
    I think that roughly between 77% to 78% of the respondents do not understand the difference between power and influence

    In truth, the so-called big tech giants have no power over consumers.  ... 
    Apple pulling the Parler app in concert with Amazon removing server farm service from Parler is the definition of power over companies and consumers.  And all done ostensibly for a noble cause, to protect the people.

    Or was it?  For are you not the least bit curious as to why they didn’t do the same to Facebook, which was the primary host of those who planned the Capitol Hill riots?
    I hear what you’re saying. You are correct that Apple booting Parler out of the App Store is a power play against Parler, but only to the same degree that I have the power to kick any guest out of my home for whatever reason I choose. But at the same time, someone I kick out of my house is totally free to go to a neighbors’s house and annoy the crap out of the neighbor. My house is not the only house in town, just like Amazon is not the only hosting service in town and Apple is not the only App Store in town. Parler found a new home and consumers who wish to subscribe to what Parler is selling are free to follow them to their new home. 

    The root of my concern with regard to “breaking up big tech” is that platforms like the App Store, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc., are being viewed as monopolistic because of their success and extremely high levels of consumer adoption and not because the platform owners actively or unfairly blocked competitors from entering the market. Too often the potential competitors gave up and ceded control to the market leader. Facebook could develop its own devices, host its own applications on its own servers, run its own App Store, and compete head to head against Apple and/or Amazon. They chose not to control their own destiny, but to ride on top of someone else’s work. Now they’re less than happy about their dependence on things they decided to give up.

    My take on the consumer side is that Facebook, Parler, Fox News, disgruntled politicians, etc., may have provided a megaphone for spreading lies and inciting violence, but it is the consumers who actively chose to slurp up the misinformation and take up arms and commit violence against their own country and fellow citizens. That was a choice, not people following orders of anyone with power over them. I cannot imagine what they thought was in it for themselves.

    But you are correct in alluding to the fact that Apple, Google, and Amazon attempting to shut down the megaphone, at least temporarily, doesn’t solve the root cause of the problem, and I agree, it wasn’t applied equitably. I guess we have much bigger problems to solve than anything having to do with big tech. 
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