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August 18, 2021 48 min

While partisan fighting and gridlock has come to characterize most Western governments, one issue has united liberals and conservatives against a common foe: the rise of Big Tech. Anti-trust experts warn that Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft have become too powerful, too fast. They control our data, our discourse, and our politics. Their unmatched power is a threat to innovation and market competition. For the sake of democracy and dynamism, their days of unlimited expansion, privacy violations, and corporate acquisitions must come to an end. It is past time to regulate these internet giants. The CEOs of these tech companies, however, are fighting back. Zuckerberg, Bezos, Pichai, et al argue that they have become an easy scapegoat for the pitfalls of a digital revolution no one could have expected. Far from achieving a monopoly over the industry, these companies face stiff competition from big players in the space and emerging disruptors. Furthermore, the negative associations with these companies has overshadowed the very real benefits they have brought to the public; Google, Facebook, Youtube and Amazon have provided revolutionary and life-changing opportunities around the globe. These digital giants have transformed the world into a more inter-connected, transparent, and democratic space for all of its users, uplifting entire communities with just the push of a few buttons. We must embrace, not fear, the rise of big tech and its dominance in society.

Arguing for the motion is Robby Soave, senior editor at Reason and the author of Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn't Fear Facebook and the Future

Arguing against the motion is Taylor Owen, Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Democracy at McGill University and the host of The Big Tech podcast

QUOTES:

ROBBY SOAVE

“I don't fear the dominance of Big Tech in society. However, I do fear the dominance of government in society, particularly any effort it might undertake to fix some of big tech’s reported problems”

TAYLOR OWEN

“We have a set of social harms and economic harms that aren't being self-regulated because of market concentration. We have a failed market that's leading to social and economic harms.”

Sources: Yahoo Finance, NBC, CNBC, FOX Business

The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.  

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The Munk Debates podcast is produced by Antica, Canada’s largest private audio production company - https://www.anticaproductions.com/

 

Executive Producer: Stuart Coxe, CEO Antica Productions

Senior Producer: Ricki Gurwitz

Editor: Kieran Lynch

Associate Producer: Abhi Raheja

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