Techlash behind the Internet

In the age of web2.0, tech giants are facing hostility from across the industry. Hence the term Techlash to describe this phenomenon. Techlash was first coined in The Economist in 2018. What it means in the Oxford English Dictionary:  a strong negative feeling among a group of people in reaction to modern technology and the behaviour of big technology companies. That means consumers and governments are no longer blindly trusting Big Tech, and the underlying issues are the focus of our discussion. Underlying the growing power of these companies is the fact that there are monopolies and unfair competition, as well as big data computing and control over what users use(Labrinidis & Jagadish,2012). The solution to this problem requires the joint efforts of the government, civil society organizations and technology companies.


Of Australia’s current population of 25 million, 11.2 million Access Instagram, 17.3 million visits Facebook, 17.6 million watches YouTube, and almost 19.2 million use Google searches each month(ACCC,2019). Most of the large companies with the highest profits are science and technology companies, which occupy a lot of resources and possess huge energy. It is difficult to take strong measures against them in terms of supervision, which is also the reason for their techlash.

These technology giants represented by Facebook, Apple and Google also have problems for their development with such rapid development and expansion, among which industry monopoly and unfair competition are the most obvious negative behaviours. Take Google, an Internet company founded in 1998, the year I was born, for example. By 2020, its total assets have reached 319.616 billion DOLLARS. It takes 23 years for a company to grow to this size that only the Internet industry can do. A company’s development to this extent is not only due to its strength, but also related to some of its competitive means(ACCC,2019). These tech giants often use the following tactics to unfairly compete:

1: Squeeze out small companies

These tech giants have grown so big, they have so much money, so many users and so much control over their products. This makes it easier for them to lower the dimension of smaller companies, which is extremely effective and fast. For example, the WeChat app, which is widely used in China. It relies on its huge user base to partner with other platforms, which have to use their accounts to log in and use them as plug-ins for promotion. As a result, Tencent, the company behind WeChat, often promotes its products while blocking out competitors’ content. For example, it is easy for us to open their own company’s website links in Wechat, but it is difficult to open the website links of other applications. Tencent, now the largest game company and game platform in China, has seldom developed good games by itself. Instead, it uses its large scale and sophisticated studio to copy and license excellent games from other companies. Many small game companies were not immune to Tencent’s crackdown or outright acquisition when they were just emerging. Unfair competition It is in these exclusions that the tech giants have won a landslide victory.

2: Use a strong position in the market to make rules

When a lot of companies get a certain size and are at the top of their game, they start making rules. And abuse their convenience and power in the industry to conduct monopolistic behaviour. To ensure that they can occupy the majority of the market share and absolute dominance, these Internet giant companies will use various methods to create a monopoly of Internet resources and make rules favourable to them. This will cause some problems, their widespread use shows that they have their advantages, but also bear some risks, such as data loss, server failure and so on. They receive hundreds of millions of user clicks a day, and every wrong second has serious consequences. In addition, when there are few similar products in the market, users cannot make their own choices and can only passively use the same product, which will also lead to the loss of competition and lack of innovation.


Big data:

Another obvious problem for tech giants is controlling people with algorithms. Now big data computing is a very important strategic weapon for all kinds of applications and platforms. Big data algorithms are characterized by globalization, fast and massive computing. This point for the user’s accurate delivery and calculation is the traditional media business model can not be compared. Big data is the most effective weapon digital platforms have for users. Why weapons?  First, let’s take a look at the two functions of big data. One is to collect user information, and the other is to push the content that users are interested in or the platform wants users to know (Labrinidis & Jagadish, 2012). Users live under algorithms and are controlled by algorithms without realizing it, which is a powerful way for tech companies to control people.

Solutions and possible problems:


Technology companies themselves

Now that we know that tech giants have such problems how do we solve them? First, we should look at the tech companies themselves and let them regulate themselves. For enterprises, external review and supervision, whether from the government or the society, are not efficient solutions. Self-policing is faster and more thorough, but not every group can do it. For their interests, many groups do not consider the public value to generate profits for corporate growth and global expansion, so it is difficult for them to have strong supervision and execution.

Civil society organisations:

Civil society organizations are closer to consumers and users and are more actively involved in monitoring technology companies. Emphasizing citizen oversight and reporting unfair or irregular behaviour by technology companies can increase people’s awareness of self-protection. People can use social media to drive public opinion so that their voices can be seen by the government to regulate companies, and so that companies can correct themselves. Citizen support for government regulation can also help reduce the negative value of big tech companies. While civil society organizations can provide more substantive guidance and can point directly to the weaknesses of technology companies, but the actual implementation of the concrete measures needs the government to the technology company’s policy implementation and the technology company to the government supervision correction to realize(Nielsen& Cornia & Kalogeropoulos,2016). Ultimately, it will take laws and penalties, or regulation of the rules of industrial organization, to make a difference. So the ability of the public to solve the problem is limited.


The most effective is government regulation of the Internet. Now the government has the ACCC and ACMA regulatory organizations, the government has a strong executive ability and a good supervision system. Take China’s Didi Technology Company for example. On June 30, 2021, Didi Travel went public in the United States with the stock name of Didi. This was originally a big victory for Didi, but it was followed by a huge turning point. On July 2, the China network security audit office issued a network security review about” Didi travel “to start the office network security review announcement, which points out that to cope with network security review, risk prevention,” Didi travel “to stop the new user registration during the review and from the application, including apple’s app store in the mall all the shelves, This indicates that DIDI Travel, the company’s largest product, has been subject to strong government supervision and rectification measures. All these reflect that the government is powerful and effective in network supervision(Nielsen& Cornia & Kalogeropoulos,2016). But many say the government’s rule-making, oversight and enforcement processes take too long, and regulatory action is slow(ACCC,2019). Moreover, each network company is familiar with the government laws and regulations, and often has the problem of skirting the boundary following the laws and regulations, and the network supervision cannot be effectively implemented. Different countries have different Internet supervision systems, which makes Internet supervision more complicated. Many illegal websites in China have their servers set up abroad, which also makes it difficult to supervise.

There is still a lot of room for improvement in the Internet and world science and technology. In this process, companies must strengthen self-regulation, the public to actively supervise and report, and the government to implement efficient and rapid policy restrictions and rectify the network environment. These are effective ways to solve techlash. The cyber-world is a land of freedom but not without rules.




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Alexandrox,L., Jagadish,H,V.(2012). Challenges and oppourtunities with big data. Retrieved from


ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry- final report(2019). Retrieved from


Nielsen,R. K., Cornia, A., & Kalogeropoulos, A. (2016). Challenges and opportunities for news media and journalism in an increasing digital, mobile, and social media environment. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Retrieved from

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