Big Tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google are seizing unprecedented power and consolidating profits during the coronavirus crisis while less politically connected small businesses deemed "unessential" are being forcibly shut down.
While benefiting from the government's draconian suppression of their smaller competition, big tech companies in return are mimicking surveillance measures of the heavy-handed efforts China used to track and police citizens.
From The Washington Post:
Tech titans spent much of the last year playing defense, fending off dozens of federal and state antitrust investigations and a public wary of their power.
But the global coronavirus pandemic is prompting a dramatic reversal of fortune for the tech giants. Amazon and Facebook are capitalizing on the fact that they are viewed as essential services for a public in lockdown, while Google and Apple are tracing the course of potential new covid-19 infections.
Here’s the breakdown of Big Tech's Q1 lobbying spend:— CNBC (@CNBC) April 26, 2020
-Facebook: $5.3 million, up 19% from last quarter
-Amazon: $4.3 million, up 3%
-Microsoft: $2.4 million, up 0.2%
-Apple: $2.2 million, up 18%
-Google: $1.8 million, down 34% https://t.co/qXh6Aoy8Gw
Coronavirus will speed the process by which Big Tech and the government infringe on freedom of speech. @TheAtlantic thinks that's a good thing. 'Speech control' will show that we are 'mature' and have proper 'norms' and 'values.'— Byron York (@ByronYork) April 26, 2020
YouTube removing videos that “go against World Health Organization recommendations.” Shows US government outsourcing censorship power to Big Tech CEOs sharing agendas with WHO funders Bill Gates, Big Pharma & PR of China. Free speech for billionaires & tyrants, not for us. pic.twitter.com/P1g6jngeKr— Tim Canova (@Tim_Canova) April 28, 2020
“Anything that goes against W.H.O will be removed from YouTube”— LΞIGH (@LeighStewy) April 21, 2020
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki
Wow...Jack is hiding @SidneyPowell1's tweets. I replied to her tweet but her tweet is hidden; it shows "This Tweet is unavailable" yet, her reply is visible on her timeline in her Tweets & Replies feed. We seriously need a class action suit against these Big Tech platforms. 🤬 https://t.co/ctJEz5KwcV pic.twitter.com/slph4Q0qDa— Lisa Mei Crowley 🐸 (@LisaMei62) April 28, 2020
Big tech is using the crisis to stall antitrust inquiries and privacy compliance, while turbocharging Good Guys PR, as their power expands while the competition crumbles. We desperately need to break these companies up. https://t.co/zjwZEGSCqe— DHH (@dhh) April 27, 2020