Meta for sure is the most evil large technology company of our times. It is at heart the extension of an extremely immature mediocre hacker. Time and time again proven unreliable or just straight lying to everyone’s face. Even if we accept that it has grown so much that it is now difficult for Facebook to act as bad as it used to, we know it will try. How? It’s the little things every day. The lack of resources in policing content. The experiments are still running on users all the time. The lack of transparency. Heck you can’t even export your data normally, they keep trying to hide deactivation menus or make not accepting cookies harder than they should.
Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want to connect people. He just wants to connect your wallet to his bank account. Plain and simple. Facebook and Instagram are the crack cocaine of our digital world and he is always looking for ways to make them even more lethal to our psychological well being and social cohesion. There is simply no upside to any of Meta’s products. And even if there was some social aspect to them it is submerged in constant changes and lies of the platform. One minute they are promoting facebook pages, get everyone to invest in those, the next they have relegated them and nobody sees them in the newsfeed. Then it was video, the future of everything, go build studios in your companies….oh no, he ended that too without warning. Nobody should take anything Meta says seriously anymore.
Microsoft is of course evil but in a more traditional way. This is old fashioned monopolistic behavior. They build their products in all the ways they can to lock customers in. Not as bad as Meta because after all this is the software that runs a lot of the planet’s infrastructure and day to day business. But they do their best. Complicated pricing structures that get you started and then hold you by the balls. Lobbying to governments with shady deals that turn into long term locks. They open up when they lose, like with mobile phones, just enough to try and keep a finger in every pie. Just so they can weasel their way into your company’s backbone and get you paying a monthly fee for something or other. And somehow that monthly fee grows over time. They always find a way. Microsoft is evil on a state level of lobbying and backroom dealing. But at least they also get stuff done for the planet and occasionally actually improve their products.
Google is much harder to consider evil because of the extremely unique business model. Billions of people around the world have never ever paid Google a cent yet they use Google products all the time. Google Maps, YouTube, Search, Docs, Android and other incredible and unique tools that are completely free. Unlike what conspiracy theorists try to tell you, free means free. In ten seconds you can get a Google account, 15GB for free and do absolutely amazing things on your phone, tablet or computer. Google is what I call a benevolent dictator. Sure, they could destroy the planet at any time. They could ruin all of us. They probably know what will happen a few years in the future better than anyone. But they don’t.
Chat GPT is an excellent illustration of this. The “T” in GPT of course being a Google invention that the company gifted to the world. Google could have released something similar a long time ago. They didn’t. The kind dictator knew it was too soon for humanity to handle it.
Apple shouldn’t even be on this list because it isn’t a tech company. A giant yes, tech no. Apple doesn’t innovate technologically. It is a lifestyle company. More importantly it is a staple of the American economy. Much like the dollar. Apple sells mainly in North America and doesn’t even bother to accommodate the rest of the planet in product design or support. They make products with last year’s tech copied from everyone or from companies it buys out. It makes “good enough” gadgets with the design language it has found works for it. It’s financial success has nothing to do with any groundbreaking technology.
So stop lumping “tech giants” in articles and opinions. They are nothing like each other. Sure there are product categories where they conflict. But it is completely irrelevant. The business models and the way they look at the world is so different that they should hardly ever be in the same sentence. Some of us, the people that really try to think about technology, society and business care about these differences after all, show some respect.