The main focus in my technology/business corporate and advisory career has always been using the RIGHT technologies – at the RIGHT time – for the RIGHT reasons and unfortunately too many have not followed this simple mantra. The use of technology has seen the increasingly complex and continuously evolving ethical and policy questions as related to the impact of technology on society as a whole as well as individuals.
In just the past few years alone, we have seen the use of social media and media in general degenerate into a vehicle for mass, timed and successful spreading of distorted facts , propaganda and sheer hate. Basically waterboarding via digital methods. Just one example, it is so very sad to see cyber-bullying via social media platforms lead to so many suicides.
In the various forms of news media alone, facts have given way to imparting partisan propaganda. Opinion pieces once were limited mostly to editorials and opinion columns, but at least most readers would recognize that they were indeed opinions. News reporting was basically about reporting known facts with best efforts to assure their veracity. Today, news reporting and investigations have gone hard over to the dark side. Facts have given way to pure ideological propaganda.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and similar, offered great promise as valued platforms and were embraced by billions around the globe. Sadly, far too many Users and perhaps the tech companies themselves have strayed from the positive use cases as was intended. For all the great advantages these platforms provide, they are also being used in unethical, immoral and simply evil ways.
We are currently experiencing a conundrum in the Nation with the political and people in general divide that is threatening the very fabric of our great country. Sadly, so much opinion is being shaped by misinformation that is being spewed out from these platforms. Regardless of one’s personal positions on politics or life issues in general, the so called great divide within the populace has been largely achieved because of the misuse of technology. We are seeing the end of the true concept of free, but honest speech.
The very technologies which started out to serve global mankind in a positive way have indeed lost their way for far too many and it is affecting us all.