Trust, Privilege & Power
Early Facebook investor Roger NcNamee noticed in early 2016 that people were using the platform to spread misinformation and violate civil rights. He expressed his concerns to founder Mark Zuckerberg and top executive Sheryl Sandberg, but both reportedly weren’t interested in further examining the issues.
In this powerful DLD20 talk, Roger McNamee urged the audience take action and direct tech and innovation down a good path again. At the end of the speech, he received a standing ovation.
During his talk, he touched on ideas from the book The Age of Surveillance Capitalis by Shoshana Zuboff and outlined the misalignment between the value systems of engineers, who optimized efficiency above everything else, and Western democracies, which are “inherently inefficient”. To counter this, he suggested banning algorithmic amplification so that white supremacists and terrorists can no longer amplify their hate messages with such speed.
“Between micro targeting, which is based on private data, and algorithmic amplification, these platforms have transformed the world we live from an optimistic, open welcoming community into a place that's polarized and people can no longer can even talk to each other”, McNamee argued.
Roger McNamee is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, which documents his journey from mentor to Mark Zuckerberg to critic of Facebook. In the context of his activism, he has been featured in several award-winning documentaries. McNamee began his career in 1982 at T. Rowe Price Associates. In 2004, along with U2’s Bono and others, he co-founded Elevation Partners, an investment partnership focused on the intersection of media and technology.