NISO Plus 2021 has ended
NISO Plus 2021 is going to be a global virtual event, happening literally around the world February 22-25, 2021. Building on the wonderful response to NISO Plus 2020, we’re bringing the same quality of content and conversation to this born-digital event, with dozens of amazing speakers and keynotes from across the globe. Scheduled to maximize attendance from as many timezones as possible, there will be things for you to see and do around the clock if you wish...or, pick and choose to make the experience perfect for your interests.

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Monday, February 22 • 11:00am - 11:50am
Keynote: The day of the comet: what trustbusting means for digital manipulation

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NISO Discourse Discussion for this session

Big Tech likes to boast about how good it is at manipulating us and oh,
they are! But the cover manipulation - the psychological tricks they
sell to advertisers and politicians - are thinly supported by the
evidence and rely on self-serving, internal research that is largely
indistinguishable from marketing puffery. On the other hand, there are
plenty of ways that Big Tech provably alters our behavior: Facebook
locks all your friends in its walled garden so you need a Facebook
account to talk to your friends. Apple locks apps in its walled garden
so you can't access apps that Apple doesn't like. Google pays billions
to make it the default search on every platform, so any time you ask a
question, they're the ones giving you an answer.

All of this manipulation doesn't require psychological or technological
tricks - all it needs is monopoly, and for the first time in 40 years,
lawmakers are getting serious about fighting monopolies.

Using anti-monopoly laws to break Big Tech's power may sound like a win:
but if it turns out that Big Tech's claims to psychological manipulation
mastery are true, then won't breaking Big Tech up just create dozens of
little, reckless firms that have access to these devastating
psychological weapons?

In other words: if Big Tech is a comet headed at our planet threatening
all life, then won't breaking it up turn it into a devastating meteor
shower that we can't hope to survive?

avatar for Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow

Science Fiction Author, Activist and Journalist
Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing (boingboing.net), and a contributor to many magazines, websites and newspapers. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier... Read More →

Monday February 22, 2021 11:00am - 11:50am EST
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  • Host Organization NISO