It’s Time for Tech Giants Know their Responsibilities for Social Justice

The debate over the responsibilities of tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon etc. has been sparked over the last few years. At the beginning of the 21st century, people were excited about these companies’ technical breakthroughs in Information Technology, especially social media and E-commerce. However, today, more and more people realize the risks and threats caused by these tech giants. As a result, stricter laws and regulations are raised by many governments of the world to promote transparency in data management and users’ private information and so on. For example, on June 24, a House committee of the US approached far-reaching legislation to curb the market dominance of Google, Facebook and Amazon. On December 15, 2020, the EU also unveiled new rules for online business, requiring platforms such as Facebook and Amazon to police content and banning them from using their own databases to unfairly collect users’ private information or overtake other competitors. All these new and stricter rules are necessary and meaningful because it’s time for these tech giants to know their responsibilities for social justice.

For technological companies like Facebook and Amazon, their responsibilities for social justice are focused on protecting users’ private information, protecting transparent and fair competition within a market, and promoting freedom of speech and preventing problematic actions such as misinformation. However, these tech giants, ironically, not only failed to take these responsibilities but, what’s worse, may help with some vicious behaviors. For example, in the 2020 Presidential Election, over 180 million election-related posts flooded into Facebook per day, while the company failed to flag election misinformation in time. For people who cannot tell misinformation from facts or truths, their election behaviors can be distorted or controlled by specific political groups. For Google, by 2021, over 97 percent of the company’s revenues came from Google Ads advertising. Otherwise speaking, the company is driven by capitalism and profits to demonstrate information to audiences, and such behaviors reinforce digital capitalism, making new players of a market are less likely to compete with big capitalist giants.

All in all, the 2020s will be a turning point for online business. In the next few years, there is no doubt that more and more strict laws, regulations and rules will be proposed and enacted in the different market of the globe. At that time, tech giants will know how to effectively take their responsibilities for social justice.

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thoughts and reflections on digital-first marketing from NYUSPS Integrated Marketing Grad Students

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Hao Wang

Hao Wang

NYU Integrated Marketing Student

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