John Harris

Journalist & Author

Take it from the insiders: Silicon Valley is eating your soul | John Harris

Former Google and Facebook executives are sounding the alarm about the pervasive power of tech. Will we listen?

One source of angst came close to being 2017’s signature subject: how the internet and the tiny handful of companies that dominate it are affecting both individual minds and the present and future of the planet. The old idea of the online world as a burgeoning utopia looks to have peaked around the time of the Arab spring, and is in retreat.

If you want a sense of how much has changed, picture the president of the US tweeting his latest provocation in the small hours, and consider an array of words and phrases now freighted with meaning: Russia, bots, troll farms, online abuse, fake news, dark money.

Related: When Facebook asks if social media is bad for us, it’s time to listen | Nigel Kendall

Former Facebook president Sean Parker warned that it ‘literally changes your relationship with society, with each other’

Related: How a half-educated tech elite delivered us into evil | John Naughton

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