Thursday, November 21, 2019

Google and Facebook Are a Threat to Human Rights

Amnesty International has published a lengthy report criticizing Google and Facebook saying that their business model is a "threat to human rights." (PDF)

Facebook is the world’s dominant social media company. If you combine users of its social platform, its messenger services, WhatsApp and Messenger, and applications such as Instagram, a third of humans on Earth use a Facebook-owned service every day. Facebook sets terms for much of human connection in the digital age.

A second company, Google, occupies an even larger share of the online world. Search engines are a crucial source of information; Google accounts for around ninety percent of global search engine use. Its browser, Chrome, is the world’s dominant web browser. Its video platform, YouTube, is the world’s second largest search engine as well as the world’s largest video platform. Google’s mobile operating system, Android, underpins the vast majority of the world’s smartphones.