Nothing worries as much as the mental health of the very young, disturbed by addiction to social networks. Also the polarization and the use of private data for the algorithmic manipulation of minds, especially in electoral campaigns, with the danger it represents for our democracies. Undoubtedly due to the monopolistic nature of big technology, more powerful than many governments, and their ability to adapt to the pressures of authoritarian regimes such as China or Russia.
The unrest has reached the point in Washington of uniting Democratic and Republican senators, especially after hearing the devastating testimony of Frances Haugen about the greed of Facebook, the company she worked for, and her willingness to preserve its huge profits even at the cost of citizens’ health and democracy. There is no news in the strict sense if one takes into account the role played by Mark Zuckerberg’s company in the election of Donald Trump in 2016, with the personal profiles that he provided to Cambridge Analytica to be used in the electoral campaign without authorization from their owners.
Haugen appeared in the Senate the day after the breakdown that interrupted the service of Facebook and its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp, the first, third and fourth social network in number of users, thus leaving almost a third of humanity incommunicado. There are few explanations about the origin of the failure. One of the characteristics of large technology companies is the doubleness of their behavior: they sell transparency but practice opacity, they evade the rules of the game but become secret judges of the decisions they make about the abuses of their users, as happened with the suspension. from Trump’s Twitter account.
If it was a cyber attack, we will not know either. In cyber wars the attacker has no interest in being identified. With Facebook attacked and burned out for five hours, this is a rare moment to find out how the new art of war will work, through battles without bombs or invasions that threaten to obscure, paralyze and render entire societies defenseless. In hyperconnected globalization, power will be given by the switch that can cut off the services and communications of the country to be subdued. It responds to the ideal of war according to Sun Tzu, which is won without fighting, although as a result it cannot be ruled out that there will be riots and victims.
The march towards a hyper-communicated world continues to provide us with the inevitable dark face of this double-faced god Janus who is any technology when no one dominates or drives it. We face the lethal breakdown of a globalization hostile to regulation and incapable of limiting the power of monopolies. Without the rules of the game, we are headed for the dictatorship.