Turns Out Most People Still Don't Hate 'Big Internet' As Much As Politicians And The Media Want Them To
from the these-things-make-our-lives-better dept
“The narrative” over the past few years concerning internet companies has clearly shifted. It went from one that generally praised the wonders and power of the internet to one that now blames the internet for everything. The hagiographc coverage of the past clearly went too far, but the current “techlash” seems to have gone way too far in the other direction as well — much of it from people grasping at straws over why things they don’t like have happened in the world. The good folks over at The Verge have done a big consumer survey of people’s general opinions of various big internet companies and it shows that most people still like these internet services, and believe, on the whole, that they make their lives better, not worse. Even the services that get the “worst” grades, still get over a 60% “favorable” rating, while Amazon, Google, YouTube, Netflix, Microsoft, and Apple all come in over 80% positive (with Amazon, Google, and YouTube breaking 90%).
A separate question asked how people view these companies’ impact on society, and again, they are mostly positive — and even in the cases where there is some level of negativity (mainly: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), the positive feelings greatly outweigh the negative:
There are many more fascinating findings and I recommend checking out the full Verge story on this, though I will note a bit of generational shock, as someone who lived through the 90s era of everyone in tech absolutely hating Microsoft and not trusting the company one bit, to Microsoft now being listed as the company that people trust the most with their data. Times sure have changed.
Still, as the general narrative — and a lot of political rhetoric — is focused on how awful these companies are and how “something must be done” about them, it does seem worth noting that most of the public seems to really like these services and feel the world is a better place because of them.
Now, take that information and compare it to just how little people trust companies in the telecom sector, and you might wonder why none of the narrative seems to focus on those companies. Indeed, the only political pressure on those companies seems to be to get them to merge and consolidate faster. Also, I should note that as fond as people are of repeating the silly and misleading line that “if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product,” compare the levels of trust between all of these free internet services (very high) and the telco services you pay for (very low), and perhaps realize that it’s not the “free” or “not free” part that engenders trust.