The tech industry’s 10-year plan to sweep the problems of harassment, abuse, and misinformation under the rug was only a prelude to the industry’s soon-to-be cozy relationship with the incoming administration: Paypal creator and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel being the obvious bridge between the two circles. Elon Musk and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick recently accepted roles on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum. Facebook’s Vice President of Public Policy was seen returning to Trump Tower days after PEOTUS summoned the industry’s oligarchs to a secretive tech summit there. Meanwhile, Breitbart executive chair Steve Bannon left his post to join Trump’s cabinet. While in media, Milo Yiannopolis, who we mentioned earlier, was Bannon’s star blogger. Alex Jones, creator of InfoWars, is counted among the few people Trump has said something positive about, a bizarre endorsement that took place while he was a guest on Jones’ radio show.
The tech industry’s efficacy at moderating what it’s built is on par with Trump’s own strides at “draining the swamp.” Whatever differences of class divide the majority of Americans pales in comparison to the chasm that exists between them and these industry titans—users and voters on both sides have been played and we’re busy fighting over scraps.
With any luck, 2017 will be the year Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook are forced to reckon with what thoughtless acquisition and gutless non-intervention have fostered within their products, and more importantly, for the real, terrified, and often endangered humans using them.
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