ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Big Tech’s ‘Societies of Control’

Posthumanist Confinement

The idea of tech companies as an important power in the creation of what Gilles Deleuze called “societies of control” is explored, building on which contemporary posthumanism is looked at as human existence represented and replicated as non-human entities. The practice of “digital eugenics” by tech companies, confining their users in mass produced, rigid identities, without their consent is explained. Building on the recent actions taken by Australia to make Google and Facebook accountable, the measures that may be taken by the state and by the citizens to put a curb on the temerarious actions of big tech are analysed.

The recent suspension of Twitter accounts of Antifa groups once again raised the issue of whether Twitter is a platform or an editorialising portal (Eustachewich 2021). People who had cheered on the news of ex-President Donald Trump’s Twitter account suspension are eerily quiet on the recent exploits of Twitter. While Twitter is on a suspension spree, its fellow exploiter Facebook (and WhatsApp) has been on a looting spree. Going back on its own 2014 policy, WhatsApp has been sharing user data with Facebook for close to five years now. Those who joined WhatsApp after August 2016 have no “opt-out” ­option, as far as sharing data with Facebook is concerned (Sircar 2021). Thr­ough these clandestine methods, WhatsApp and Facebook give their users the illusion of choice, while continuing to coerce the users to follow their policies. Capitalising on this illusion of choice, Apple, Google, and Amazon Web Services have deplatformed several apps, one of the most notorious examples being that of Parler (Ziobro 2021).

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Updated On : 20th Mar, 2021
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