Is the tech industry beginning to get a bad rep

…like say the pharmaceutical industry?

Perhaps stemming from reports of Facebook carrying out psychological studies on its users without their consent, or listening to user’s conversations before serving ads, or how computers and internet pipelines are tapped/under mass surveillance, or even just because of the huge amounts of money made by companies (and individuals) in the space. Is all this leading to distrust and conspiracy theories about things like 5G and ‘Plandemic’? Or is there some other reason, and tech is just the next thing that happens to be the target - since there are plenty of conspiracies against music and film and all sorts of other things too.

Do we have a problem in our industry and is it only going to get worse?

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Considering that computing and the tech industry arose out of the military-industrial-congressional complex, I think it’s fair to say that the tech industry has always been suspect in the eyes of many people outside the trade. The rise of adtech and surveillance capitalism has only made things worse, because now it directly and adversely affects most ordinary people. Too many of us are too willing to just build what we’re told to build without giving any thought to how the tools we make might be weaponized.

This is why we need a strong trade union, so that when one of us says, “I think this is unethical, so I won’t build it,” we aren’t standing alone.


I am 100% with you but here in Eastern Europe the powers that be can and do find plenty of ways to discredit trade unions as well.

It’s really despairing. Unless we get some very powerful entity that can’t be raided by the cops with a BS excuse then I seriously see no way out.


As @asgartech said, tech industry has had bad reputation for a long time and that’s not news by any measure. In my country the only good thing about it in the eyes of many is the pay check.

And in many places people still kind of refuse to accept that technology is part of our lives and do their damnest to pretend that it isn’t. And a lot of younger people simply never think about it and kind of just take stuff like 4G internet and smartphones for granted (and on an instinctive level to them this is like magic and not technology, I’d bet).

And indeed, the surveillance capitalism trend – which has been around forever but only in the last 2-3 years some people drew attention to it – makes stuff even worse. I can see the Luddite philosophy making a comeback in the next decades and former tech workers from this age becoming personae non-grata in future dystopian societies.

There can be made a lot of interesting sociology studies about why people love to pretend technology doesn’t exist or they don’t want to adapt to it. It’s one of my favourite table discussion topics in fact. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I’ve been thinking about this; union-busting is the American Way, too.


Even techies can use magical/occult metaphors when dealing with this stuff. Have you ever seen code with comments marking it as “black magic” or “heavy wizardry”? I have.

But I’ve also been known to occasionally describe particularly nasty code-bases as “Lovecraftian”; to understand them too deeply is to risk psychosis.


Big tech is definitely losing its shine. Liking any of FAANG without some serious asterisks starts being a sign of naivete. I distrust anything where the cash flow isn’t crystal clear.

From my perspective this is standard capitalism. There is no humanity. No moral or ethical limitations beyond the letter of the law (and that will be pushed continuously). You’ve never really been able to trust large companies. But now large companies have a much wider access to individuals. And they’ve been able to do a lot of things with impunity.

Our industry definitely feels more icky to me now than ever before.


Sounds like you would like the social network I want to do Lars :see_no_evil:

…wonder if I’ll ever get around to it :man_facepalming:

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Is it like Facebook, but for cars?


Haha no… Lars is @lawik’s name :laughing:

Or are you saying you’d love to see one for cars? I do have a type of site that I have been thinking about doing that could be extended to cars actually, haha!

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Was more of a joke based on the fact that there are a lot of people who tend to be like

I have this great idea for a social network, it’s like Facebook but for X!

Can you build it on a weekend? I pay you in half eaten bananas!



Ah yeah I’ve had someone say that more than once - tho they usually say they’ll split 50/50 :laughing:

I wonder if we should start a ‘What does your perfect SN look like’ thread…

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