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The term techlash, first used in the pages of The Economist in 2013, has since enjoyed some success as a result of mounting criticism of Silicon Valley corporations and, more generally, of digital technologies. The celebration of the democratic virtues, emancipatory effects and socio-economic gains associated with internet in the 1990s and 2000s has gradually given way to numerous expressions of anger over the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the Theranos fraud, the predatory management system denounced by female employees of Uber, Amazon’s mobilization to prevent unionization in its warehouses, working conditions and the psychological impact of content moderation, the contracts signed by Big Tech with the Pentagon, the use of technology in the surveillance and repression of protest movements in authoritarian countries, the biases relating to search engine classifications and predictive justice, the weight of social networks in teenage sociability, and awareness of the environmental and social impact of an industry that has long presented itself as immaterial and progressive. By accentuating the domination of large digital corporations, the Covid-19 pandemic is said to have completed the moral shift from the internet utopia of the 1990s to the digital dystopia of the 2010s.
This view, however, overlooks the fact that the digital industry spans several models, from Silicon Valley to the Shengzen tech district, without constituting a linear trajectory…

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Uploaded on on 06/10/2022
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