Since the new Coronavirus started to spread from China, governments around the world in the name of public health started to perform lockdowns, enforcing people to wear masks and generally took actions that according to democratic constitutions are illegal and against the principles of freedom.
This “New Normal” that the Coronavirus has brought enhances the power of governments to create new laws that are supposed to help with the pandemic but most of the times are laws that help governments get a stronger grip on power.
Apart from government authoritarianism the pandemic has also helped enhance the power of big technology firms.
“The pandemic has sped up a trend in people using the internet for shopping, work, learning and entertainment, according to analysts.
Google is a centerpiece of online activity, with offerings such as its search engine, ad marketplace, and YouTube video platform.
Google is among internet giants in the crosshairs of regulators and critics concerned about whether it unfairly wields its power to dominate markets and fend off competition.”, france24.com reported.
Pewresearch.org highlighted in their article that “Notable shares of these respondents foresee significant change that will:
- worsen economic inequality as those who are highly connected and the tech-savvy pull further ahead of those who have less access to digital tools and less training or aptitude for exploiting them and as technological change eliminates some jobs;
- enhance the power of big technology firms as they exploit their market advantages and mechanisms such as artificial intelligence (AI) in ways that seem likely to further erode the privacy and autonomy of their users;
- multiply the spread of misinformation as authoritarians and polarized populations wage warring information campaigns with their foes. Many respondents said their deepest worry is over the seemingly unstoppable manipulation of public perception, emotion and action via online disinformation – lies and hate speech deliberately weaponized in order to propagate destructive biases and fears. They worry about significant damage to social stability and cohesion and the reduced likelihood of rational deliberation and evidence-based policymaking.”