Tech billionaires preach ‘democracy’ while censoring it, study shows
An academic study carried out by researchers in the US and Germany has concluded that tech elites are completely isolated from ordinary people. “We find that the 100 richest members of the tech world reveal distinctive attitudes that set them apart both from the general population and from other wealthy elites,” the study noted.
Published: January 23, 2021, 8:56 am
The authors of the study from two German universities and the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies in New York analyzed the language used in some 50 000 tweets and online statements by 100 of the richest tech-elites as listed by Forbes.
The researchers concluded that people such as Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates do not see their wealth as a source of their influence but believe their innate abilities helped them to achieve power.
The elites constantly talk about democracy and philanthropy. “Yet their position in a democratic system is contradictory – as a result of their enormous wealth, they have disproportionate influence over how discretionary income is spent,” the researchers pointed out.
These types regularly use words such as ‘merit’, ‘distinct’, ‘excellent’, ‘value’, ‘virtue’, ‘advantage’, ‘superiority’, ‘worth’, ‘perfect’, ‘important’ and ‘significant’. They never use the actual words related to democracy such as ‘republic’, ‘self-determination’, ‘autonomy’, ‘sovereignty’, ‘republican’, ‘represent’, ‘rallies’ and ‘gathering’.
Curiously, tech billionaires denied the pivotal connection between the US democratic system and money, a belief not shared by ordinary people.
They were also prone to disruption and displayed a strong sense of temporality – i.e. existing within time – compared with the average person. In reality, they were inclined to censor and de-platform anyone with views at odds with their own peculiar self-inflated world view.
‘They [tech giants] have an inconsistent understanding and relationship with democratic politics,’ Hilke Brockmann study author from Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany told MailOnline.
‘They speak with a forked tongue when it comes to providing financial resources and place them under democratic governance in order to make democracy work. Take taxation versus philanthropy as an example – they like to give away something, but they want to decide what for. And they do not like paying taxes so much.”
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