The Prodigal TechBro

Movies like The Social Dilemma are a great and easy to understand ressource for common people on what is happening with social network services.

However there is something I couldn’t quite grasp that made me uneasy while watching it and it seems a lot of privacy activists share the same uneasyness.

Maria Farrell made a great piece called “The Prodigal Techbro". In the article, she points out the hypocrisy in the narrative of people who denounce the very problem they were complicit in making.

Don’t take me wrong, I am absolutly glad people in the industry are calling out and tackling current societal problem. They probably know the tech like nobody else, as “insider”.

However, the same can be said from people who, from the start, worked in the industry while denouncing the bad practices. Those people rarely get a voice in the narrative, for various reason (the biggest behind the redemption arc “I was doing bad stuff but saw the light” sells well in the Western world).

One of the biggest counter argument is “the company changed. I can’t support them anymore.” But in reality, while some change probably happened along the years, privacy violation and hostility at those companies is nothing new and can easily be traced at least 10 years back, if not more.

Still, I welcome their help, I just wish they wouldn’t take all the conversation space.