The ‘Techlash’ Effect — Draft

ARIN2610 Assignment 2 Group05

Techlash: Criticism against tech companies (Zimmer, 2019)

The “Techlash” Effect

Major technology companies that control the world economy and our social lives face adverse reactions against them, their employees, and their products. This situation is known as the “Techlash” effect. A few years back, people around the globe embraced the power of new technology (Cirrilo et al., 2019). Currently, there is a rising concern over the effects of digital companies due to their impacts on daily life (Firth et al., 2019). People worldwide are increasingly using technology, meaning they have a right to be concerned when observing the negative impacts of devices or corporations meant to make their lives better. There are various valid reasons behind the “techlash effect,” but various interventions can help solve this issue.

Peoples’ main concern is how easy it is to alter information on the internet. Governments around the globe incorporate a systematic use of technology in conducting elections. People, especially politicians, do not trust technology to ensure a free and fair electoral process (Cheeseman et al., 2018). For instance, Obama claimed that Russia interfered in the American election (Sanger, 2016). Furthermore, there are also concerns regarding the safety of the voter’s personal information collected and stored in cloud-based IT systems. Technology may safeguard data, but it also allows for unauthorized access by third parties.

Obama expelled Russian diplomats for interfering in American elections (Euronews, 2016).

Families have expressed strong concerns about hate speech, threatening language, and various abusive materials shared online. Parents fear how the web affects the growth and development of their children (Sela et al., 2020). Children utilize online sources to acquire knowledge and information. Indeed, the internet may have educative materials connected to school work. However, there are also adult sites, and most of these platforms do not have sufficient security measures to keep children out. There are also violent materials like movies or video games which may encourage undesired habits in children. Such contents may adversely affect the child’s psychological growth and influence anti-social behaviors. Parents must be alert and monitor their kid’s online activity, which may be impossible to do always.

Graphical image of the otential negatives effects of internet addiction.

Technology companies, especially social media platforms, encourage addiction which is detrimental to the users. Internet addiction is a popular concept in psychology where an individual spends extended periods online, making him unproductive (Neverkovich, 2018). The effect is worse in students because they waste time online instead of studying or engaging in sports. Also, being glued to a screen surfing the web may cause eye problems. However, tech companies design social media platforms to be addictive. The features on Instagram or Tik Tok encourage the user to engage with the application more, which is profitable for the social media corporation. These firms are more concerned with attracting new users to their platforms without considering how wasting time online is counterproductive for their consumers.

Many individuals say that well-known technology and social media companies, including Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple have too much social, political and economic power. This influence puts them in a position to influence government policy which may be detrimental to social goals. The companies above hire many individuals and provide technology used by a majority of the population (Moore & Tambini, 2018). These aspects grant these technology companies undue influence in public policymaking. This situation is adverse because it enables the companies to push for policies that favor their profit motives even though it might hurt the public. These firms may also share information with the government to gain its favor even without the users’ consent. For example, governments worldwide compelled social media platforms to share information on their users (BusinessToday, 2020). Companies that comply with this demand will likely gain considerable political influence in the government.

New guidelines will allow government to track social media users (Aswathi, 2020).

Governments can improve their methodology for conducting electronic elections to provide more desirable outcomes. Voters need assurance that their data is secure and that the governments and local officers secure the assets involved in elections from data breaching and other crimes. One of the ways to guarantee fair elections is by constantly upgrading the technological systems and using the latest software (Alausa & Akingbade, 2017). Governments can also contact third parties to help monitor the election process and ensure that it is credible. Finally, electoral bodies can consider hiring ethical hackers to test the credibility of their systems. These strategies will help to ensure that electronic elections serve the goal of democracy.

Governments and private organizations should enforce strategies that protect children from unsafe online content. A potential strategy is partnering with relevant corporations to educate children on digital literacy and online safety skills. For example, children can learn on how to report online cyberbullies. Technology companies, mainly social media platforms, can also teach minors safety features like the “private account” or “hide comments” Instagram buttons. This capability allows the user to control who follows him. Policymakers should also outline regulations to govern the content shared on social media platforms (Hartikainen et al., 2016). Parents can also assist by monitoring their children’s online activity. These steps will help to ensure child safety and promote desirable mental health.

Instagram avails new features to help combat cyber bullying (Juhasz, 2019).

Parents can help to address the issue of social media addiction which is most popular among children. One of the strategies is to limit the time that their children use the internet. A suitable approach is to install extremely addictive applications. The guardian can also train his child on time management to ensure that they adhere to a schedule that limits the time used to surf the web. Furthermore, they should consider spending more time with their chidren building a meaningful social connection (Bleakley, 2016). At times, an ignored child may seek comfort on the internet. Finally, guardians should encourage their children to engage in sports activities or improve their talents. Staying active will minimize the time available to waste online and reduce the addiction.


The first step to minimizing the influence of tech companies is engaging the public in decision-making. These companies should seek their users’ consent concerning the information they can share with third parties like the government. Besides, oppressive regimes may use social media content to limit the rights and freedoms of their citizens (Scott, 2016). For example, a government may impose sanctions regarding the information that the opposition can share on social media. Another strategy is to reduce the monopolistic influence of private technology companies by encouraging the development of smaller technological businesses. These companies employ a large number of individuals, which explains why they influence policymaking. Therefore, incentivizing the development of smaller firms will reduce the dominance of tech companies and their influence on the government. Finally, there needs to be a development of monitoring agencies to ensure that technology companies act ethically. These institutions will monitor tech companies to ensure that they act in the interest of social goods.


In summary, technology companies deserve the “techlash effect” but the appropriate strategies can help to address existing concerns. Technology does not guarantee data protection since election results are susceptible to hacks, and information in cloud systems is not secure. There needs to be an improvement in e-democratic process to ensure desirable outcomes.  Furthermore, inappropriate online content may affect the psychological development of children. Therefore, children may benefit from online safety skills education and their parents monitoring their web activity. Also, internet addiction limits the daily productivity of the users while they stay glued to the screen. Parents need to spend more time with their children, teach them time management and ensure that they engage in physical activities. Finally, technology companies have an unfair influence on the government. There is a need to influence the public concerning decision-making that concerns sharing their data. Finally, creating conducive environments for small tech companies may reduce the dominance of existing ones.


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