Techdirt Podcast Episode 273: How The Techlash Happened

from the and-where-it-came-from dept

There was a time not too long ago when tech companies enjoyed broad public support and adulation. Now they face widespread opposition and criticism from almost all corners. The shift from one to the other has long been called the “techlash”, but it’s always been unclear where it really came from and how it happened, and especially what role tech journalism and company communications played. This week, we’re joined by Dr. Nirit Weiss-Blatt, author of the new book The Techlash and Tech Crisis Communication, for a deep dive into the story of the techlash phenomenon and how companies are reacting to the new dynamic.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Comments on “Techdirt Podcast Episode 273: How The Techlash Happened”

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17 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I’d love to know Mike’s thoughts on society working to solve societal problems in the form of Amazon workers fighting to unionize so they can collectively bargain for better benefits and hours, as well as Congress and the President working to get the PRO Act passed to further strengthen that right to unionize. I would like to know how Mike would feel about workers in the tech industry and the journalism industry, as well as independent contractors and gig workers who work for tech companies, gaining more power to demand better pay, hours, and benefits if the PRO Act passed.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

This seems… totally off topic. I may write about the PRO Act at some point, but might not as it’s a bit far afield and there are so many other topics to write about these days. In general I think it has some good parts and some bad parts — and both the people who love it and who hate it are exaggerating.

However… I just want to make it clear that while I do have a degree in Labor Relations I never, ever wrote a thesis on "why unions are bad."

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Enoch Ondorand Belring says:

As usual, the obvious is complete mystery to Techdirt.

"techlash", but it’s always been unclear where it really came from and how it happened

A) ARROGANCE of unprecedented control-freak systems that not only spy full time but are analyzed with AI for acceptable views;

B) such as claiming unlimited right to use in any way and everywhere all content people put up on what appears to be their site

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Enoch Ondorand Belring says:

Re: As usual, the obvious is complete mystery to Techdirt.

C) MONOPOLY POWER vacuuming all advertising revenue. — Oh, I know, in your notions, it’s not a monopoly so long as don’t control 0.01% of market. — This creates an actual NEED for traditional media to oppose them.

D) RIDICULOUS 30-40% PROFIT LEVELS for doing almost nothing — it’d be higher except they spend like drunken sailors and have armies of accountants to obscure, and armies of lawyers if ever have to fight tax courts

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Enoch Ondorand Belring says:

Re: As usual, the obvious is complete mystery to Techdirt.

E) INVASIVE monitoring of all online activity, now offline too with Alexa / Ring, collated with bank records and phone locations: all provided at low cost to law enforcement / intelligence agencies without any warrants — oh, they’ll get one AFTER to make it "legal"

F) BOUGHT POLITICIANS like Wyden / Cox to increase already huge advantage with unprecedented IMMUNITY for what were intended to be mere hosts of Personal Publishing

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

I’d generally tell you to fuck off, you discontinued colostomy bag, but I’m in a mood and you’re gonna get the brunt of it.

ARROGANCE of unprecedented control-freak systems that not only spy full time but are analyzed with AI for acceptable views

Two things.

  1. You ain’t gotta use social media (and I recommend against it).
  2. None of that shit is illegal (though the ethics and morals are questionable at best).

such as claiming unlimited right to use in any way and everywhere all content people put up on what appears to be their site

People can always refuse to use any service with that provision in its terms of service. You always press for copyright maximalism; if you don’t like companies using it to their advantage, don’t hate the player — hate the game.

MONOPOLY POWER vacuuming all advertising revenue.

Show me where Google has a monopoly on ad revenue. Then show me how Twitter, Facebook, and other companies with their own ad networks are somehow part of that Google-owned monopoly.

This creates an actual NEED for traditional media to oppose them.

Do you mean “traditional media” like the ever-shrinking number of local broadcast network owners? Because hey, if you want Sinclair to own more TV stations, keep pressing that point.

RIDICULOUS 30-40% PROFIT LEVELS for doing almost nothing

You’re sooooooooooo close to a breakthrough here vis-á-vis capitalism.

INVASIVE monitoring of all online activity, now offline too with Alexa / Ring, collated with bank records and phone locations: all provided at low cost to law enforcement / intelligence agencies without any warrants — oh, they’ll get one AFTER to make it "legal"

Again: If people didn’t want surveillance equipment like Echo devices and Ring systems in their homes, they could always say “no”. As for the rest: Geez, for someone who always seems to be on the side of the cops, you sure are pissed about the same sort of activities that have been concerning police reform activists for some time now. The SovCit grift not working out for you, Blue?

BOUGHT POLITICIANS like Wyden / Cox to increase already huge advantage with unprecedented IMMUNITY for what were intended to be mere hosts of Personal Publishing

Without 230, one of three things would happen: you would lose access to every privately owned platform you don’t own, your speech would be drowned out by spam and porn and spam porn (those sick fucks…), or your speech would be held back for so long that you’d essentially lose access to that platform anyway. Do you really want to lose access to the one site that lets you essentially whine like a child with no repercussions beyond being told to fuck every last nautical mile of off?

Also: “Under section 230, interactive computer service providers have broad immunity from liability for traditional editorial functions undertaken by publishers—such as decisions whether to publish, withdraw, postpone or alter content created by third parties. Because each of Murphy’s causes of action seek to hold Twitter liable for its editorial decisions to block content she and others created from appearing on its platform, we conclude Murphy’s suit is barred by the broad immunity conferred by the CDA.” (from the ruling in Meghan Murphy v. Twitter, Inc. by the California Court of Appeal for the First District; source, relevant Techdirt link)

practically IMMUNE FROM ANTITRUST because embedded with Deep State

Now you’re being a Q-cult dumbass. Do they accept SovCits into their echo chambers?

You evidently read so little outside of this one tiny site that think you can claim utter ignorance.

Funny thing is, if this site is so “tiny” and insignificant, why do you keep acting like coming here and bitching like the pisswhistle you are is some grand blow against the Axis of Evil, the Illuminati, and the Knights Templar all at once? Christ, dude, you’ve been trolling this site for a decade because someone quoted Barack Obama’s book at you, and you still don’t see how utterly pathetic that sounds?

Take it from someone who knows what the fuck this phrase means: Get a life, you ignorant motherfucker.

Anonymous Coward says:

The big lie....

Really the so called Techlash was pushed for years by media well before any of it actually existed outside of whiny reporters with complaints which were fucking ridiculous and embarassingly blaming them for things that weren’t even remotely their fault. Yet after repeating their bullshit for years it appears people actually believe it at least judging by online comments. Actual chat rooms it seems more likely that people agree that voter suppression, poll tampering, and actual coups on pretext are dangers to democracy not Facebook or even Cambridge Analytica for gods sake.

I feel like I am taking crazy pills and I cannot tell if people are just that goddamned stupid or if there are rampant bots spamming narratives. Especially when they glitch up or ignore in response to any questions about how whatever their catchphrase is would actually work.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Google is named after the technology to laser someone’s brain and look out their eyes (Nazism)"

Well, that’s a new one. Do you have anything to support that, or is this just another silly myth that’s cropped up in the right-wing derposphere to justify irrational political moves again?

(Google is actually a deliberately misspelled version of the word "googol", which is used to describe a number consisting of a 1 followed by 100 zeroes)

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