I can’t be the only one noticing the TV and social media advertising from the likes of Facebook and Amazon. Both are trying to deflect the barrage of negative stories about them by pushing the human angle. Facebook wheels out workers for fake interviews, TV-style, where a seated interviewer softballs a question allowing the respondent to talk about how they have to make difficult choices every day trying the balance what information to allow and what to censor. The idea is to present the worker as an ethical professional dealing with the moral dilemma of distinguishing real from misinformation. Of course the short ad also allows for a plug that it’s not Facebook that should be making rules, it’s the job of government, pushing the convenient company line that they are not really responsible for the crap that gets through, they just wish someone else would make the rules now.
Amazon meanwhile, fresh from reports of managers playing fast and loose with workers lives, are all over Linked In and local channels telling us how great their pay and benefits are. Apparently you should all be happy to work for $15 an hour, or $31k a year full-time. Round here that basically doubles the appallingly low minimum wage that business-controlled legislators have maintained but it would make for a rather challenging economic situation for most people. What they don’t tell you is that your rights as a worker are very limited. Delivery drivers are essentially sub-contracted via external service providers who have been shown recently to hire-and-fire on a whim, even telling one driver threatened by a local tornado that if they failed to make the delivery that was scheduled, they would effectively be terminated. Doesn’t that just make you all warm and fuzzy to contemplate? Thank you big business.
Yep, big tech will run our world but don’t fear, they will be pushing pro-climate policies while washing their hands of responsibilities that we should demand of them. All the while, expect Facebook to keep mining your data, repressing unpopular research results, and fobbing it all off on the lack of leadership from government (who they will be lobbying all the while). Amazon will continue to take over everything sellable by promising fast delivery and cheaper prices (enabled by scale and cheap labor) while sending their owner on joyrides into space. All played out against a backdrop of advertising and image cleansing on our sweatshop-made screens. Big business 21st century style…oh Karl Marx, did you ever imagine?