What If The Media And Politicians Tried To Hold A Techlash... And No One Joined Them

from the oh,-look-at-that dept

There's been plenty of talk lately about the "Techlash" which has become a popular term among the media and politicians. However, what if the general public feels quite differently? Vox, which is not exactly known for carrying water for the tech industry, has released a new poll that shows that the public is overwhelmingly optimistic about technology, and thinks that technology has been a force for good in the world. This applies across the board for Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

Seventy-one percent of likely voters agreed with the tech-optimist statement: “Technology is generally a force for good. Large tech companies have provided innovations like vaccines, electric vehicles, bringing down the cost of batteries that store green energy, vegetarian meat options, and other ways that have improved our quality of life.” Only 19 percent agreed with the tech-pessimist statement: “Technology is generally a force for bad. Large tech companies are bad for workers, inequality, and democracy. The technological innovations they produce are not worth the cost.”

When put into chart form, the results are really, really striking:

Obviously, "technology" covers a lot more than the big internet companies -- and the messaging that Vox tested highlights mostly non-internet innovations. But, still. The fact that the "control" group -- ones who didn't even receive the specific messaging -- felt even stronger about the good technology does in the world than those who were first primed with statements about other kinds of technology is really something.

There are plenty of examples, certainly, of tech gone awry, but it really seems that the general public recognizes all of the good that innovation and technology have done for the world, and feel optimistic about it. Of course, none of that will stop "the narrative" of the techlash, because it's just too useful for many pushing it.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: big tech, polls, surveys, tech optimism, techlash

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. icon
    DannyB (profile), 6 May 2021 @ 6:19am

    Dear Senator

    Dear Senator:

    I was shocked and appalled to discover that sites such at Twitter and Facebook can block certain speech. They may even ban an account for merely exercising free speech. Such as medical misinformation. I therefore urge you to immediately introduce new legislation to prevent sites such as Twitter and Facebook from blocking any speech of any kind whatsoever. In the interest of free speech! Anything that can be stated in UTF-8 should be fair game to be posted for all to enjoy. In the interest of free speech!

    I was also shocked and appalled to discover that sites such as Parler, Frank and Conservapedia are not being allowed to block certain speech. They should be allowed to ban an account for merely exercising free speach. Such as making inconvenient statements of fact, liberal ideas, or taking Our Lord's name in vein. I therefore urge you to immediately introduce new legislation to allow sites such as Parler and Frank to block speech and cancel accounts of people who desecrate they're sacred pages or take our Lord's name in vane. In the goodest interest of free speech!

    I don't usually ask you to introduce two new laws in the same letter. So thank you for your patients and consideration in this matter.


    Your constituent

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.