Nearly 8 in 10 tech employees think Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook have too much power

To take the pulse of where tech employees across the country stand on key issues facing the industry, Protocol has introduced the outlet’s first “Tech Employee Survey” of 1,504 employees nationwide, from C-suite level executives to associates, mostly from large tech companies (almost 40% of respondents work at companies with annual revenue over $500 million and more than 1,000 employees). Nearly 1 in 8 of the tech employees surveyed agreed that the tech industry is too powerful.


Emily Birnbaum and Issie Lapowsky for Protocol:

A whopping 78% of the tech employees we surveyed agreed that the tech industry is too powerful, with just 11% disagreeing. The same goes for Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Apple. Over 77% of respondents said those companies have too much power, and just over 8% disagreed.

Not only did the majority say that the industry is too powerful, but around 40% also said that tech does more harm than good. Only about 45% of tech employees disagreed, signaling that even within the industry, tech workers worry about the negative impact technology is having on the world.

And yet, remedies are in short supply… Just over 40% think that Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Apple should be broken up. Despite their concerns about tech’s power and negative influence, tech employees don’t see antitrust enforcement as the solution.

Even people within the tech industry agree it’s high time to reform Section 230, the law underpinning the modern internet — that is, if they know what it is. Only 62% of respondents said they know what Section 230 is (the rest said they either don’t know or are neutral). But of that 62%, nearly three quarters — 71% — said they agree the law needs to be reformed.

MacDailyNews Take: 80% on any issue is overwhelming and likely signals notable changes lie ahead.

[Attribution: 9to5Mac. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. “Even people within the tech industry agree it’s high time to reform Section 230, the law underpinning the modern internet — that is, if they know what it is. Only 62% of respondents said they know what Section 230 is (the rest said they either don’t know or are neutral). But of that 62%, nearly three quarters — 71% — said they agree the law needs to be reformed.”

    This is HUGE! Yes, reform Section 230 for the abuses they wrought daily! Only Apple suck up apologists like TXUseless argue against it. It is the right thing to do, the 1990s law is OUTDATED! Let’s move ahead…

    1. Ok, GeoB, what specific “reforms” do you want to Section 230 that will not simply substitute monolithic government control of social media for the current admittedly undesirable sqystem of far-too-few competing private companies?

      Repealing the entire Communications Decency Act along with Secion 230 of it would allow the companies to choose between being neutral “platforms” that act as common carriers and being “publishers” that can curate and edit content. Right wing extremists could say whatever they liked on a “platform” without fear of deletion, but so could child pornographers and jihadi recruiters. Is that what you want?

      Repealing 230 while leaving the rest of the Act in place would remove the “platform” option and force every website and server farm into the position of being a “publisher” with unlimited liability, since they would still be forced to delete communications prohibited by the Act. A company like AWS hosts millions (if not billions) of individual documents. Anyone offended by any one of those documents could demand its removal. If Amazon refuses, it gets sued. If it agrees, it gets sued. That would pretty quickly drive them out of the hosting business. Smaller “publishers” like MDN would crater much faster unless they banned third-party content, but providing links to such content is what MDN does.

      I assume you want to amend Section 230 to provide platforms with limited liability for having limited discretion. How do you imagine doing that without falling into one of the two traps outlined above… if not both traps? Who is to decide when a private company abuses its discretion if not a government official? How does allowing the government to control the flow of information not violate the First Amendment? I look forward to seeing your detailed proposal.

      1. No detailed proposal, I don’t answer to you a lying Leftist or dwell on false volumes of tedious scenarios. Not now, not ever.

        But I will say, repeal an outdated 1990s law that gives special protections to internet companies above all other businesses. Only governments are barely above the law, NOT tech companies.

        Spare us your fear mongering hyperbole and accept Big Tech needs to abide by the same rules as every other business. Period!

        Nuff said…

        1. You want to repeal laws that treat internet companies differently just because they are different. You want to make them liable for avoiding defamatory or otherwise actionable content on billions of articles written by other people, just like newspapers, which have liability for only the articles that they individually choose to include. You additionally want to make them, but not newspapers, liable for all their decisions not to accept particular outside content.

          Your notion of fairness reminds me of Anatole France’s observation, “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.”

          1. “You want to repeal laws that treat internet companies differently”

            Unequivocally and absolutely!!!

            Internet companies should not be sacred cows and protected from legal liabilities. Particularly in this day and age when Big Tech wields way to much power censoring conservatives and controlling information from leftist sources where most young people get their information.

            Obviously, you have a problem with a fair and balanced level playing field because it goes against your leftist politics.

            No one, can accuse you of being a fair minded person that RESPECTS ALL VIEWPOINTS…

  2. Has technology really done more harm than good?

    If this is true, would people really rather go back to a time where their only sources of information were 3 Tv Networks, AM Radio, and a local newspaper? Would we really rather give up the global network of networks providing almost all the knowledge of human kind at the tips of our fingers 24x7x360? Are we ready to dump our hand held supercomputers capable of letting us communicate instantly with people down the street or on the other side of the planet?

    Perhaps some of us, like children who aren’t ready to have a device like the iPhone yet, shouldn’t have access to powerful technology, but to suggest that all the miracles I’ve seen in my lifetime have done more harm than good is beyond unfair.

    Have tech companies abused their power? Yeah, you betcha. Still, I am not ready to see them overly regulated. No more than I like them regulating me.

    1. I’m ready to see them destroyed completely. No one can make the case that Silicon Valley Tech of the last 20 years has improved Western Civilization at all, it has set it ablaze. 24/7 pornography, constant advertising, surveillance worse than anything the Gestapo and KGB combined could dream of, thought control, behavior control, demonization of Christians and patriots, to hell with them. Life before the iPhone and Google was infinitely better and more normal.

  3. They used to say that stupid was caused by the lack of ability to get information. The internet and libturds proved that untrue.

    This country was the best in everything when we had only 3 TV channels, AM radio and newspapers. Now this country is on its last breaths. Coincidence?

  4. This survey is statistically absurd. Only 1504 respondents, from unnamed type companies other than “tech” and what is the definition of “power”. Power over what, in what way?

    Maybe publishing has too much power because you can easily create a crap statistically flawed survey designed to create a headline as opposed to really finding out something.

    And how does Apple get lumped in with these privacy stealing business model companies?

    How does Apple have too much power? Making you feel bad because you cheaped-out on a Samsung POS. Or for calling out these privacy stealing business models of Facebook and Google?

  5. Apple may not be reaching into the same places of the other co’s mentioned, but it’s hard for me to believe Apple’s increase of control isn’t seen?

    Apple wants to deliver content to you that you never asked for. Listen to a podcast, for example, and you will never have to make another p-cast selection…Apple will do it for you.

    Go to iTunes (remember that thing) and the same is true. After time the format switches from library to Store. Say nothing of the strange experience of “resume” playing of “that” and Apple decides you want to listen to “this.” Sometimes it’s completely unrelated…podcast to music in my library.

    And “no…I don’t want to subscribe to Apple Music”, Apple. And “no, thank you” to more iCloud storage. Can ya just leave me alone…I can decide what piece I want to play and I’ll decide if/when I’ll upgrade. The list gets longer.

    Steve would say he cared little about Wall St. Tim heeds greatly to their “requirements.”
    Stock price is up…yes, but the story is not nearly as interesting and the experience is declining.

  6. As a bipolar transsexual artist, if you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you could ever imagine. But you need to strike me down first.

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