I posted three pictures here. Two of these guys who are armed with the most personal details about each and every one of us such as no Gestapo, KGB or Inquisition in history ever dreamed of possessing!
THE OTHER ONE IS FIGHTING THEM!
George Orwell wrote a nightmare into our language when he imagined a future in which ‘Big Brother’ scrutinises an enslaved society with an all-seeing eye, writes MAX HASTINGS.
Headed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, these men and women are armed with the most personal details about each and every one of us such as no Gestapo, KGB or Inquisition in history ever dreamed of possessing. (Germany’s competition watchdog has just accused Facebook of a ‘limitless’ collection of users’ data.)
And all this information is being extracted every second of every day — not by red hot irons and thumbscrews, but because we are handing it over through our own actions.
It is true social media is making as dramatic an impact on mankind as did the medieval pioneer of the printing press. But we should be in no doubt that Zuckerberg’s prime interest is to make money from us. He displays as much interest in or concern about the pernicious consequences of his actions as does a cruise missile or tidal wave.
Facebook is valued at around £400 billion, making it the fourth most valuable company on the planet. Zuckerberg’s personal wealth is around £60 billion. What makes him and his fellow-social media giants uniquely dangerous, however, is not their money, but their unprecedented, intimate personal knowledge of billions of people.
No human can be entrusted with such data, which we should properly view as a weapon of mass destruction.
There must be regulation of social media, and every government in the world ought to address itself on how best this can be implemented, without, of course, imposing improper restrictions on free speech.
It must be the beginning of wisdom that we understand how wildly excessive and deeply dangerous are the powers of the social media giants, headed by Facebook. They cannot be uninvented, but they must be tamed. Should we fail to do this, these wild beasts will devour our democracies and our individual freedoms.