The Internet has ceased to be a neutral place and has become the private preserve of the world’s richest men. Jeff Bezos dominates the storage of in the Network through Amazon Web Service; Mark Zuckerberg has a monopoly on social media and from the metaverse; and the last to join the party has been Elon Musk with the purchase of Twitterwhich is de facto the most powerful means of communication and public opinion tool on Earth.
During the tenure of the founder of Twitter, jack dorsey, he was criticized as an ineffective leader, partly because of his libertarian leanings and partly because he ran another company, Square, now called Block. So it may come as a surprise that a chorus of voices now insists that Muskwhich apparently shares a similar policy but owns and runs even more companies (eg SpaceX, Boring Company, Tesla, NeuraLink)will save Twitter.
Elon Musk’s main argument for buying Twitter has been that he thinks defend freedom of expression. However, in the past, Musk has tried to destroy a Tesla whistleblower for raising the alarm about waste and fraud leading to unsafe products, personally canceled Tesla’s request from a blogger after he wrote about a poorly run launch event, he fired employees for denouncing racist harassment Y tried to bribe the teenager who created an account tracking Musk’s private jet flights. If we were to judge Musk’s commitment to free speech based on his actions, we must conclude that he couldn’t care less. You care about promoting your interests.
Musk’s purchase is the latest confirmation that the Internet, right now, is the playground of billionaires. The richest man in the world will soon own Twitter. ANDhe second richest man (Jeff Bezos) owns the Washington Post and with his shares in Amazon controls Amazon Web Services. The third richest man (Bernard Arnault) owns the French publishing group Lagardère, which owns a number of major media outlets in Europe. Two of the 10 richest men (Larry Page and Sergey Brin) own Google. Mark Zuckerberg, one of the 20 richest men in the world, owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Amazon Web Service, or AWS, is the arm of the company that sells cloud computing services both to the outside world and to Amazon itself. You can buy storage space to store a large database, bandwidth to host a website, or processing power to run complex software remotely. It allows businesses and individuals to avoid the hassle of buying and run your own hardware, while allowing them to pay only for what they actually use.
We all know WhatsApp or Twitter. But not everyone knows that practically all major Internet platforms rely on Amazon Web Services (AWS), from Netflix to Spotify through Apple itself.
In 2017, AWS was responsible for a tenth of the company’s revenuebut your “operating income,” the amount of money you leave in the coffers of Amazon once expenses are accounted for, dwarfs any other sector, with revenue of $861 million compared to the $255 million Amazon generates from North American sales and the $541 million it lost internationally. A loss that even lthey led to close their portal in Chinaone of the first great failures known to Bezos.
Why is this section of Amazon so lucrative? Because basically, it’s pure technology. They are servers and programs developed and maintained by a group of engineers. There is no need to negotiate with suppliers, or pay a warehouse to store the products, or pay waiters or carriers or any of the elements that make up the classic sales chain for Amazon products. That is, there are almost no humans in it: automation to death.
Of course, AWS works like a charm. That is why all the content of platforms like Netflix (responsible for a third of Internet traffic in the United States) or Spotify. or so big communication groups such as Condé Nast (Vogue, GQ, WIRED, Glamour…) have all their web pages on Amazon servers. Even Amazon’s direct rivals, such as Apple, use its services: it is estimated that the company directed by Tim Cook pays monthly $30 million to Amazon for its AWS services.
Whether you are a company or a user, it is most likely that every time you enter the Internet you are stepping on the property of some of the richest men on the planet. And there seems to be no way this is going to change. Neither short nor long term.
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The Internet belongs to the billionaires: Bezos, Musk and Zuckerberg own almost the entire Network