Super App and Democracy
Is the centralization of data anti-democratic?
Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app
Why an everything app is a bad news for liberal democracies and free markets
- Many technology entrepreneurs dream of an "Everything App", a smartphone application that will deliver everything to everyone on the planet.
- Elon Musk has become the latest investor to declare an ambition to build such a super-app wanting to emulate the success of WeChat, a Chinese super-app.
- The Everything app presents massive risks to personal, economic, and political freedom.
- As John Gruber of Daring Fireball says, "It's no coincidence at all that WeChat is the only "everything app" anyone can cite, and it comes from China, an authoritarian regime.
- It doesn't benefit users that WeChat dominates all aspects of digital life . It helps the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party.
- The user is socially locked into a 'private' company for performing any or all socio-economic functions.
- Public policy must act to prevent firms and apps from acquiring socioeconomic dominance in the first place
- Nurture a competitive market.
- Promote open public digital infrastructure with interoperability.
- At a deeper level, Musk's desire to emulate the Chinese model alerts us to the danger of the interests of Big Tech increasingly diverging from those of liberal democracies.
- Preserving our freedom may indeed be their most important corporate social responsibility.