The panic over Big Tech
October 27, 2021
On October 3, 2021, Frances Haugen—the so-called Facebook whistleblower—appeared on 60 Minutes to detail her time with the social media giant, as well as the content of the thousands of internal documents that reveal, according to her, the "conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook.” Two days later, she was testifying before Congress, who had hauled Big Tech CEOs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and others before them at least a half-dozen times in recent years.
The conventional wisdom is that Big Tech and social media platforms like Facebook are a threat: to our way of life, to our democracy, and even to our happiness and our well-being.
But is this threat real or just moral panic?
Today, Acton senior research fellow Michael Matheson Miller talks with Robby Soave, a senior editor at Reason and author of the new book Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Facebook and the Future. In the book, and in this interview, Soave examines the recent kneejerk calls to regulate Big Tech from both sides of the aisle. He argues that we should balance our concerns about Big Tech with the consequences of altering the ecosystem that allowed tech to get big in the first place, cautioning us to at least ask the question, “Are we sure we really want to do this?”