Handing over our lives to the Megacorps

Following Novara’s temporary YouTube suspension, the recent Facebook outage and other discussion of how much of our lives are now in the hands of a few large corporations. Thought it would be good to have a specific thread.

What powers do they have? What responsibilities do/should they be compelled to have? How can we resist?

Go wild.

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Google has a lot of power over my life which scares me a little, because of safety all my movements are tracked, a lot of my health data is on Google fit, my books and music are with Google play/YouTube music, my search history is all on Google, my photos since 2006 are on Google photos, my emails since 2005 are with Gmail, probably more stuff too. My life is heavily entwined with this one company which is pretty weird when I think about it

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Same, we use gmail / gdrive at work, my phone’s been an android for years so all my personal photos etc are there too. They know where i’ve been, predict where I’m going. They even give me directions to local places in relation to a kebab shop I frequent :grimacing:

If I think about it too much it gives me the creeps.

I think on a larger scale I became aware of it being an issue when I was watching Question Time and they promoted carrying on the discussion on Twitter. What is the flagship political discussion show on a national broadcaster doing funnelling traffic and political content onto the servers of a private US company?!

At the time I was sort of more concerned about what if Twitter goes away? It could just turn off. Then all that content would be lost. It’s not a public service, why are we treating it like one?

But since then I’m less concerned with it going down and more concerned with the power it wields, especially in the context of this recent bit of news

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My feelings about spying and spy data notwithstanding this is a fun one

Trying to wean myself off the big ones, have had some success with binning Amazon and Facebook but Google’s a tough one isn’t it? I use their browser, their email service and have an Android phone. Wherever possible I don’t sign in to stuff and have location services turned off but I’m going to have to really change a lot of things if I want to rid myself of them completely.

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Yeah, I remember having similar feelings. Inviting the fox into the henhouse. Or something.

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I recommend using DuckDuckGo as your search engine but it’s like using a thimble to bale out a dam really isn’t it?

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And firefox over chrome.

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I bought this book earlier in the year

Too scared to read it though innit

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Put on a dancing vegetables video for the youngest (nearly 1).

An ad break came up which was the entirety of this ‘song’.

Overview

Lyrics

Listen

Main results

If you lie to the government, they’ll put you in prison
But when they lie to all of us, it’s called being a politician
You think taking guns away will save our kids from the killings
But your pro-choice abortion kills way more children
If America’s so terrible and racist
It probably isn’t safe to encourage immigration, just saying
All the contradictions are embarrassing
You know who hates America the most? Americans
Trigger warnings used to be on TV for seizures
And now they’re everywhere to protect millennials’ feelings
He, she, his, him, hers, them, they
Screw a pronoun, 'cause everyone’s a retard these days
I hear 'em preaching at a protest that hatred’s the problem
But hating straight men, white folks, and Christians is common
Coca Cola telling people they should be less white
They preaching tolerance but if you disagree, they fight
There’s a race war here, elections based on fear
Black lives only matter once every four years
Soldiers died for this country and every one of us benefits
Give welfare to the bums and forget about the veterans
Black folks and white folks divided by the news
But we’re all the same, we are red, white, and blue
Ashamed to be American? Okay, that’s cool
'Cause honestly, we are all ashamed of you too

Y’all are so fake, oh no
The forecast said that there’d be snowflakes, whoa
You can’t make us see it your way, no way
Gasoline and propane, more flames, oh no
No more snowflakes

They set us up to fail, that’s what they built the system for
Put an ammunition shop across the street from a liquor store
Empowering women used to be different than this before
The role models got OnlyFans or dance on a stripper pole
Screw it, I ain’t trippin’, I don’t mean to be mean
But if our children are the future then our future is bleak
They take an Adderall to focus, hit McDonald’s to eat
They’re addicted to phones and they take Xanax to sleep
They blurred the lines dividing communism and democracy
In 2021, we paint the patriots as Nazis
The men playing women’s sports get trophies for winning
Like great, let’s celebrate a man for beating some women
If you’re black, your life matters, you’re supposed to embrace it
If you’re rich or you’re smart then you’re probably Asian
If you’re gay, then you’re brave, all of that I’m okay with
But if you’re white, the stereotype is you are a racist
Blaming capitalism like that’s the reason things are tough
While you tweet from an iPhone and sip on a Starbucks
You’re supporting what you stand against, you don’t think you are but
A Percocet addict don’t donate money to pharma
Damn dog, we’re all afraid to speak the truth
And the more afraid we get, the more we hate the ones who do
You’re ashamed to be American? Okay, that’s cool
'Cause honestly, we are all ashamed of you too

Y’all are so fake, oh no
The forecast said that there’d be snowflakes, whoa
You can’t make us see it your way, no way
Gasoline and propane, more flames, oh no
No more snowflakes

We could all get along but there’s no stopping, ayy
Everybody’s wrong, that’s a real problem, ayy
They don’t wanna hear it, but they still talking, ayy
Soon enough we running outta options, ayy
This ain’t gonna end ‘til it’s in a coffin, ayy
We ain’t gon’ be friends 'til we try to squash it, ayy
I don’t know how we can make amends or we drop it
Snowflakes melt when it’s hot, kid

Y’all are so fake, oh no
The forecast said that there’d be snowflakes, whoa
You can’t make us see it your way, no way
Gasoline and propane, more flames, oh no
No more snowflakes

Fuuuuuckkkkiiinnnggg hell.

Similarly I got this and only managed about 60 pages before drowning in all the academic text


What I should have got was

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Realise nobody asked for my opinion on this but I don’t really rate SC. It is full of interesting stories and descriptions of the processes involved, but doesn’t really add up to the kind of systematic analysis it presents itself as. As a work of political economy it is quite shoddy (which isn’t surprising bc it’s researched and written by a social pyschologist).

Hehe didn’t mean that to sound so bitchy. I love social psychology, just don’t think it can work as a substitute for actual political economy analysis that goes beyond very crude interpretations of Marx.

I couldn’t get far enough in to form an opinion. I’m not used to reading such dense text like that, couldn’t keep focused on it. You’ve made me feel a bit better about that if it’s not all that anyway.

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there are some good videos of her explaining the overall argument that pretty much give the jist

I think a lot of what she is saying is pretty sound but the argument that there’s this new “era” of capitalism and a new type of accumulative drive is quite overblown

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Really interesting and possibly promising work happening in the FTC

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Should I be surprised? Probably not

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