Dakotah Lilly: Social Media Exploiting Americans for More Profit
TEHRAN (FNA)- Dakotah Lilly, political activist, says US social media networks maximize their financial gain, no matter how the lives of subscribers are affected.
Speaking in an interview with FNA, Dakotah Lilly said, “In economics they speak of ‘externalities’; things that happen unintentionally in the pursuit of greater profits. Some of these externalities experienced with social media are psychological damage done through algorithms and augmented intelligence, promotion of dicey information sources to the public, suppression of free speech, monopolization over the means of communication, and much more.”
Dakotah Lilly is an American political activist and commentator. He is especially interested in Latin American politics and international implementations of Socialism. He is the co-founder of Students and Youth for a New America. His writings have been featured on CounterPunch, teleSUR, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox, and elsewhere.
Below is the full text of the interview:
Q: How powerful are the US social media networks in leading/misleading social movements in America?
A: Facebook and a number of other companies in the United States and worldwide are too big and too powerful. We are seeing a conglomeration of big tech industries very similar to the increasingly reckless behavior of financial institutions in the lead up to the 2008 financial meltdown. While social media sites like Facebook may not hold that much sway in the economy, their grip on the flow of information is worrying to say the least as mainstream media is already a wholly owned subsidiary of a handful of companies.
Q: Microsoft, has been the subject of lawsuits. Google has been hit by European antitrust regulators for major fines. Facebook is notorious for its privacy scandals, and so on. Why are there so many legal challenges against them?
A: The dark side to these companies is the same as the dark side to any sort of large corporation in the United States. We see big business change the rules they do not like through legalized bribery of elected officials and a complete disregard for the few laws that remain in place to prevent some of the worst excesses of capitalism. Tech giants are perhaps one of the more pronounced examples of this as billions of people including tens of millions of children are on these platforms. These companies have the same bottom line as any other company in modern capitalism; they have only one goal and that is to maximize profits. This undoubtedly leads to the rest of us paying the price.
Q: Do you believe the marketing strategies of US social media networks are in line with the social needs of Americans?
A: it is less of a question of marketing and more of a question of the basic business model inherent in a profit maximizing system. In economics they speak of “externalities”; things that happen unintentionally in the pursuit of greater profits. Some of these externalities experienced with social media are psychological damage done through algorithms and augmented intelligence, promotion of dicey information sources to the public, suppression of free speech, monopolization over the means of communication, and much more. In my opinion, this is cruel, inhumane, and should be criminal.