Tech's Innocent Attack On Democracy

...The US and the rest of the world are beginning to ask hard questions about whether tech platforms are weakening democracy, promoting ignorance, and fostering a new wave of authoritarian nationalism. Anyone would have a hard time answering these questions. But the Silicon Valley founder is uniquely ill-prepared. Many founders begin their careers embracing high-minded ideals: freedom of speech, tolerance of difference, equality of opportunity, support for the underdog, respect for the law, and more. They believe, ardently and innocently, that they are doing good in the world, and they see their companies as levers for world-changing improvements. But they spend all their time building products, raising money, and hiring talent, and the ideals usually end up on autopilot.

When such founders find themselves running global empires, they realize that choosing ideals was the easy part. Dealing with all the ways those ideals conflict with one another is what’s hard. And they have no experience with that—unlike, say, people who’ve devoted their lives to education and government, philosophy and religion. Such people are rarely found on the startup roster.

– – Scott Rosenberg, The End of the cult of the founder, Wired magazine

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