- Google (and its parent company Alphabet) which also owns Android, YouTube, Waze, reCAPTCHA
- Apple which also owns Beats Electronics
- Facebook which also owns WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus
- Amazon which also owns Whole Foods Market
- Microsoft which also owns Hotmail, Skype, LinkedIn, Nokia
At the start of 2020, the market capitalization of these 5 companies represented 5 trillion dollars, that is to say twice the GDP of the 6th largest economy in the world: France. As these companies are essentially digitally oriented (advertising, digital equipment, online sales, software), their capitalization has further leaped in 2020 with the policy conducted on a global scale …
There are other transnationals that challenge the power of GAFAM such as NATU (Netflix, Airbnb, Tesla, Uber) or BATX (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi).
Google filters your thought ; Apple knows where your mother is ; Facebook controls what you can read ; Amazon knows what gifts you will have ; Microsoft formats your children
- Loss of freedoms, starting with the lack of sovereignty over our personal data and the powerlessness over the use that is made of it that can lead to a restriction of real freedoms from digital
- Decline of democracies: centralized and surveillance society, power to influence public opinion, lack of neutrality and transparency
- Overarming in artificial intelligence in a highly sensitive field, potential friend or foe depending on usage and ethics
- Deleterious environmental impacts through the consumption of energy and the consumption of raw materials, as well as their associated pollution
Free software, of course! Their communities offer the equivalents to proprietary software, but as a bonus free of charge, modifiable (if you’re a little into code) and based on the values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. In this sense, free software is a democratic social movement, which does not prevent it from being profitable mainly through associated services such as creation, development, provision and technical support activities.
Since the requisition of the digital platforms of GAFAM and others has not yet taken place, many have taken the lead. Thanks to the Framasoft association which references all the alternatives with a real quality of services within the framework of our daily uses, digital independence is just a click away: De-google-ify Internet
For example, this website runs on WordPress. Likewise, I use Signal to communicate without vampirizing Facebook stuff (Messenger and WhatsApp). And let’s find ourselves among heretics to turn the world over to my alternative networks:
– MeWe : the future of the social network with an economic model that is neither based on the collection of private data nor on advertising.
– Odysee : a video platform for freedom of expression with a channel created as a preventive measure given the unique thinking and unprecedented censorship that hit the media (and therefore the internet) in these totalitarian times.
– Liberapay: a crowdfunding platform (I will discuss the idea in more detail shortly) with high morals and ideals.
Finally, another alternative remains to limit digital life to fully live the experiences offered by reality.