Tech CEOs and their underlings have spent the past few years apologizing in Washington. Google paid a fine. Facebook paid a very big fine. Donald Trump is yelling at Silicon Valley. So is Elizabeth Warren.
But will anything else come out of the techlash?
Several investigations are targeting big tech companies, and lawmakers have proposed lots of legislation. But there’s also plenty of inaction, and no clear sign that regular people are upset with Big Tech — or at least, there’s no clear sign they are willing or able to stop using Big Tech’s products.
Which makes we wonder if anything really significant will come out of the techlash that fundamentally changes how tech companies operate.
The editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News thinks the techlash is real, and that politicians and regulators are gearing up for a lengthy battle. And he thinks that the tech giants, as powerful as they are, may be in real trouble: “I’ve almost never seen a situation in which you have an industry this powerful and important with no friends … I think there is a real possibility that these companies get broken up.”