Tech companies write an open letter to alleviate your unfounded fears

Oce Bohra, Copy Editor

Dear product users,

We’ve noticed something. The media has been inundated with conspiracy theories about our need to monopolize the economy, prey upon the tenets of privacy and responsibility to make a dime (or a few trillion). They accuse us of cruelty against employees and miserable working conditions, of being nothing more than cruel corporations, which is a far cry from the centers of benevolence and enlightenment that we are. Governments across the world have antagonized us, threatening us with meaningless regulations. Even you have rallied against us, with lame movements like deleting your Facebook and downloading different browsers.

You can rally against us all you like, but let’s be honest. We know you’re not going to avoid our products. So users, have your screaming fit— we’ll craft up apologies that sound half-sincere in the meantime, but know you’ll come crawling back. It’s not like you have other options; it’s hardly like you’ll start using Bing of all things. But all things considered, you aren’t getting the bottom line: We’re making the world a better place.

They call us — Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and, of course, Facebook — the Big Five. The Frightening Five. Predatory Capitalists. Big Brother.

Now that last one was unfair. We’re absolutely nothing like the predatory and all-knowing government in the novel 1984. For starters, we’re more fun. And we’re not trying to control you—  we’re trying to help.

Look at Microsoft; by giving the NSA direct access to your encrypted Skype and Outlook while sneakily writing, “Skype is committed to respecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal data, traffic data and communications content,” we’re helping catch the bad guys off guard. And don’t worry: If you have nothing to hide, why hide what you write?

And Google? Well, we’re the big fish in Silicon Valley. Are you tired of your Google account not capturing the true you? We embrace your individuality and personality by also taking into account your true browsing and search history, apps you’ve installed and your demographics (age, gender, etc) no matter what device you’re using or whether or not you’ve turned off ad tracking. Because we care; we want to know the real you before we ship your account off to our advertising partners. Don’t think of our actions as unethical tracking; think about them as a series of long, intimate conversations during which we get to know everything, everything about you. Now here’s the real zinger: we care about you enough that we’ve allied with the Pentagon to use our wealth of data and AI platforms to help make their military drones. Yes, you’ve heard it from us, people. We’re the new power duo: the American military and a multi-billion dollar corporation, consolidating our harvested data on just about everything and everyone in order to plan the next generation of weapons and warfare. Google: we don’t only save your data- we save your life.

And Apple. You can’t forget about us. Chances are you’re reading this article on one of our devices—  if it’s a newspaper (*shudder*) or worse (an Android), then shame on you. We’re unfortunately a little more stringent about data (unlike Google’s Android, we don’t let Facebook harvest your call and text data, but that’s nothing we can’t change!), but we show our morality in other meaningful ways. Cruelty against employees? What nonsense! We’re a savior of lives: we put safety nets around all the buildings in our production base to keep employee suicide levels low.

We’ve also started the rise of the smartphone generation. Every time you take your phone out to take a selfie, you can thank us; by using cobalt lithium-ion batteries, we’ve managed to keep phones powerful but small enough to fit into your pocket; better, at the same time, our demand for cobalt has lead thousands of children in Congo to find productive jobs working in mines! That’s a win-win situation that works for everyone- except those pesky humanitarians.

Now Facebook. We’re the messy ones. We’ve been embroiled in far too many controversies and y’all think our CEO looks like a robot (And yes, you guessed it- we used the ‘y’all’ in an attempt to sound more relatable, because we are relatable. Take that, Zuckerberg robot memes). We’re not in the business of buying and selling your data to third parties to boost our revenue- well, we are, but –our “mission” is to create a platform that encourages the spread of ideas and formation of meaningful connections. You can connect with your great-aunt’s dog that lives across the country and we can connect with money the joy in knowing we make people happy. That’s right: so what if a few malignant forces or a thousand have taken advantage of our business model to control political processes around the work? Yes, we’ve hit a few stumbling blocks ( *ehem*), but that was just a rough start to a long and prosperous journey.

Now, we’re the newest to the game, but we’re darn good at it. We, Amazon, thought to ourselves: look at the current state of the market. People were forced to spend hours shopping, jumping around between grocery stores, malls, pharmacies, bookstores, and mom & pop stores, paying ridiculously high prices. So why not consolidate all of those platforms under one website and keep costs down by holding ourselves and our employees to exceptionally high target numbers? All the while, we provide easy methods and advice for employees to stay on track- why should workers in our warehouses waste five minutes of precious time when they can pee in a bottle? We’re doing it to make you happier, pay less and wait less, because you deserve it. You can use the time you saved on worthier pursuits like browsing through the list of our custom-picked items and shopping some more.  

I hope we’ve put all your (unfounded) fears to rest. Remember! We’re the same organic fair-trade coffee obsessed, woke (and we use this unironically), sweatpants-wearing, run of the mill, billionaire-controlled companies you’ve always known and loved. Heck, we even have yoga classes and sleeping pods in our offices- what could be more unassuming than that?

To end this letter, I present you with a series of ads that pinpoint your interest in turtle stickers made in 1945 using a combination of your Amazon purchase history, Facebook comments, Google searches and Apple data.

Happy shopping!

And remember, with every click of your mouse or tap of your finger, you’re helping us make the world a better place.