Technology at its purest form should be beneficial to humanity. It should make our lives easier. It shouldn't be used for evil implications. I don't want to go on a whole philosophical rant here, but some things seem needed.
A while ago, Netflix have released a film called "Cuties" that puts underage girls, essentially younger than preteens in highly suggestive positions. The film received 3 out of 10 stars from over 25k ratings on IMDB, and wasn't widely well liked. However, Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 87%, and Meta Critic a 67%. Meta Critic's users, however, gave it a 9% or 0.9, while Rotten Tomatoes' was at a 15%.
The movie has been rated as MA. It mentions highly suggestive sexual themes, and numerous warnings for sex and nudity. This makes one think that Netflix in itself may have run an adult film. I don't want to get into details on what this film has and the dangers of this, as I think the answer is obvious and I want to keep this Hackernoon article PG.
Netflix even apologized given that the original artwork for the film was extremely inappropriate. Given the backlash, instead of removing the film from their platform and taking it as a loss, Netflix seems to still have the film on their platform. The film is now even being called by some "mainstream critics" as a potential Oscar nominee. Hulu, which is one of Netflix's main competitors, also have been known to make other types of films with suggestive themes for a younger intended audience. The same applies to HBO Max.
To stay out of politics for this article, I suggest you look at some of the recent film releases and perhaps you would understand what I mean. Regardless, it makes no sense that big tech companies are either alienating half their audiences or releasing films that ultimately cross fairly all ethical boundaries. Business-wise it makes no sense, and it is still immoral. There are reasons why I think Roku which is a device not streaming service is now hugely competitive to Netflix. Also, services like Plex TV, Pure Flix, and CuriosityStream are now experiencing surges in users.
Outside of streaming companies, other players in big tech made similar mistakes. Let us look at social networks for example. Twitter and Facebook have been getting grilled by both sides of the political spectrum. Regardless of where you stand, 2019 and 2020 have been the years of alternative social networks. Networks like Minds, Ello, Gab, Parler, Peepeth, Locals, etc. have been growing in popularity. Minds.com, Gab and Parler are among the biggest.
I myself have been working on social network alternatives since 2012. Most of them have currently been defunct or on hold for much bigger things. I also been interested in blockchain and cryptocurrency since 2011. This is important in regards to the next things I will say.
One of the biggest reasons I worked on my decentralized-internet SDK or started Lonero, was my belief that decentralized and grid computing over centralized entities can evidently be used for the greater good.
Privacy and intellectual diversity are very important things, and free speech champions intellectual diversity. Instead of silencing, we need to greatly debunk and rely on the fact that generally people should be intellectually capable of thinking for themselves.
When big players in social media have the ability to control what should be seen and unseen, and they carry a certain monopoly on things, this may give them special abilities to do stuff with your data that were otherwise not thought of before. Also, the rise of many of these platforms can have some consequences that were not intended for in the beginning.
Personally, I have talked about some of these problems numerous times before on Hackernoon. This includes for companies like Google as well. Generally, I think Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey aren't to be looked at as bad people. However, they should at the very least look at what they done, sit back and think if this is really what they wanted for the world.
I'm writing this article on November 19th. I don't know when it will be published. It is Jack Dorsey's birthday. He is pro-bitcoin (so he claims) and runs a charity fund. I'm an anarcho-capitalist. Political beliefs aside, I'm not saying forcefully shut everything down. I'm saying is this really what was intended when Twitter was created? I think the guy behind Square who acquired Weebly, has some ideas that can be useful and some not so much. I do think though Jack can strive for better.
Also, didn't Mark Zuckerberg recently just speak at Georgetown University in regards to free speech? Isn't he the same guy claiming to make the world more connected?
The question now relies on what are the solutions to all this? Facebook and Twitter are private companies. However, Facebook has its own political PAC, and was involved in the now infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal. The government needs to push for deregulation instead of more regulations so things like this doesn't happen again. Also, if you are looking for a neutral social network perhaps considering an alternative.
As for Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, I do have somewhat of a belief that they may start trying to take an action on improving their platforms. That belief is slim and partially due to the fact that what has happened does have some negative offsets on their business. Regardless, I hope they strive for better and it is really up to them. While I personally have a negative outlook on the whole situation, and even a bit towards them, I also consider the fact that perhaps this wasn't their original intention. What has been brought however, was brought upon themselves.
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