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How did the internet giants come to dominate our world?
Big tech firms are now some of the richest and most powerful entities on the planet, with user figures bigger than the population of any country and financial power equivalent to major national economies. We’re starting to see the effects of this extreme concentration of power, in the nefarious ways these platforms have been used to manipulate our elections, violate our privacy, and threaten the social fabric of our societies, whilst virtually escaping regulation or accountability – and exerting their vast political and economic influence to keep it that way.
But it hasn’t always been like this: not so long ago, much of Silicon Valley operated on an altruistic, idealistic ethos, aiming to make information free and level the playing field for us all. What happened? How did big tech, born out of scrappy, optimistic innovation, become greedy and cynical? And how can we resist the power of these digital giants? Economic analyst and business commentator Rana Foroohar explores how big tech lost its soul and how we can mitigate the consequences, laying out a framework that nurtures innovation whilst protecting us from the dark sides of digital technology.