It turns out that the Covid-19 virus, so difficult to understand, is tremendously helpful for gaining clarity on social networks and the platforms that support them.
What has been increasingly whitewashed in the story of California and Washington’s success in battling the coronavirus is the role tech companies played: the first work-from-home orders started around March 1st, and within a week nearly all tech companies had closed their doors; local governments followed another week later.
This action by local governments was, to be clear, before the rest of the country, and without question saved thousands of lives; it should not be forgotten, though, that executives who listened not to the media but primarily to social and non-traditional media were the furthest ahead of the curve. In other words, it increasingly doesn’t matter who or what the media covers, or when: success comes from independent thought and judgment.
This gets at why the biggest news to come out of Apple and Google’s announcement that they won’t allow contact-tracing apps to become mandatory is, well, the lack of it. Specifically, we have a situation where two dominant companies — a clear oligopoly — are creating a means to track civilians, and there is no pushback. Moreover, it is baldly obvious that the only obstacle to this being involuntary is not the government, but rather Apple and Google.
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