Big tech has one goal, to consolidate its own dominance. It will continue to do so regardless of the growing damage to the United States and our journalism.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the tech revolution we're all living through right now is how low key its presence feels, in comparison to how transformative it has actually been (and is being) to what we see and how we live.
The first iPod was introduced in 2001 and it had a wheel you had to turn yourself. It's 2019 now and your whole life is on one.
From plane tickets to bank accounts to front door keys to news reports, your iPhone probably knows more about you (including all your movements) than your spouse.
So it's time that we all have a good talk about Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Twitter, et al.
Given the growing threat to our privacy, it's amazing that we all clicked Agree on so many iPhone apps and services before we really considered exactly what we were surrendering: the last opportunity to have a private life, perhaps ever again.
To paraphrase Andy Warhol, in the future everyone will dream of being anonymous for 15 minutes.
For now, everywhere we go on the internet, we are pursued by cookies and algorithms that not only target our interests and then hand them back to us, they now amplify the voices that we welcome and obscure the ones we don't. They create bubbles of personal prejudice. More and more we are living inside our own shadows.
We were told the internet would be a revolutionary tool of personal freedom, but in fact it has devastated our domestic news media, allowing deep pocketed billionaires to take advantage of the changes in journalism to swoop in and buy and sell news outlets with impunity, firing talented staff, elevating their own profiles and dispensing with the writers that created those profiles in the first place.
What has become clear is that criticisms of Facebook, Google and other investors in media outlets all come down to the same thing: profit seeking and good journalism can't coexist peacefully. One eventually overpowers the other.
That kind of discrimination has had a knock on effect. What it means is that big tech has cleared all the gateposts and left our newsrooms empty and our democracy unguarded.It's also the best opening for oligarchs in a century.
A healthy democracy requires high-quality journalism but big tech has made high quality journalism increasingly unsustainable.
Do you see where all this is going? Without a wide range of independent outlets and the revenue to sustain them, our democracy will continue to crumble. Too many of us have been willing to shrug and simply accept the cliche that “journalism is dying.” Journalism will only die if we don't fight for it - and if journalism really dies, our democracy will too.
In their blinkered pursuit of more profit, the CEO's and investors who head up these buy and sell media portfolios have been busy bolstering their bank balances, their bottom lines and their egos.
There is no point owning an empty newsroom. There will be no point owning a gilded mansion in a failed state.
The poof of the growing danger is all around us. Facebook was hacked in September and we still have no idea who hacked them and what information was actually taken.
Big tech has one goal, to consolidate its own dominance. It will continue to do so regardless of the growing damage to our nation and our journalism.
So the time has come to discuss their monopoly power and decide if we really want to live in a world that we soon won't recognize?