The tech backlash is real, and it’s accelerating

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., talks with reporters in the Capitol after a meeting of House Democrats. Cicilline is leading an investigation of tech companies Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., talks with reporters in the Capitol after a meeting of House Democrats. Cicilline is leading an investigation of tech companies | Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Is there a backlash toward the technology industry in the culture? I tend to think so, having written about its various twists and turns most weekdays for the past couple years now. But sometimes an obsession with a beat can lead to myopia, and so it can be useful to check in with your assumptions from time to time to see whether they still hold up.

Such an occasion presented itself over the weekend, when the New York Times published an op-ed by Rob Walker with the provocative title “There is no tech backlash.” Walker argues that whatever jaded media types and politicians might be saying about the big tech platforms, consumers remain enamored of them, and the companies’ financial performance has been superb. He writes:

According to its...

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