MP’s blunt warning for social media giants
TECH giants are acting like global nerds who "think they're too big or too cool to worry about public opinion", a senior Labor MP will argue today, while calling on them to fix their reputation damage.
Digital economy spokesman Ed Husic has a blunt warning today for social media platforms and tech giants - the Australian public know technology is inevitable but they will rise up against their unfair and morally questionable behaviour.
In an opinion piece for the Chifly Research Centre, Mr Husic said it was time big tech companies connected with real people, and offered job pathways for kids.
Separately to The Courier-Mail, Mr Husic said tech companies could no longer lock themselves away and only engage when they felt like it.
"There are some big fish in the tech sector that think they're too big or too cool to worry about public opinion,'' he said.
"But the reality is they can't ignore the public's concerns about the way big tech is behaving - especially in the way they're using and abusing the data of ordinary Australians.
"They need to spend more time connecting with regional communities, investing more in Australia and opening up job pathways for young Australians."
In his opinion piece, Mr Husic said Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg pledged he would fix the social platform only to have this month a scandal over users' data being compromised.
"Believing Facebook is the only culprit, or the only tech firm to face such an extraordinary public backlash, overlooks a serious threat confronting the wider sector," he said.
"While in times past we've marvelled at the opportunity opened up by tech, that sentiment has dulled.
"Obviously, change ruffles feathers. It's sometimes the case that someone goes through pain when someone else celebrates gain.
"While deep down the public understands no-one can resist change, they hope that the people affected worst by it are looked after.
"And seeing firms gloat about the money they've made, while a bike riding food deliverer loses his job complaining about his working conditions is not something the public will tolerate for too long.
"Many in the tech sector feel they don't need to engage publicly or politically. They figure that their success will speak for itself and there's no need to sully themselves by interacting.
"But they will engage if they're upset with a decision of government, driven by public furore. Too late."
Mr Husic said governments, too, had to work on policies on the future of work and accused the Turnbull Government of not doing enough.