Do Tech Elites Think They Are Above It All Or Are They Trying To Save The World

Matty-Sways

A study published in PLoS ONE journal found that the tech elite is "a class for itself."

Researchers Hilke Brockmann, Wiebke Drews, and John Torpey, using machine-learning, analyzed Forbes list of the 100 richest people in tech for their use of language and emotions on twitter and concluded that the tech elite had "a distinct social identity" that made them easily identifiable in "the large pool of Twitter users."  At the top of the list was Amazon's Jeff Bezos (net worth increased in 2020 by $72.7 billion). Following closely behind was Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The study examined how the language used by the tech elite differed from the rest of the "American Twitter-using population."

They found that "disruption is consistently at the core of the communications of the tech elite," who favor words including "can," "great," "people," and "new." 

Their language was also much more achievement-oriented, using words that fell into an "achievement" category a total of 19,431 times (twice as much as the general population with 9,439 times). They also tended to draw more links between merit and employment compared with the general population.

The researchers said the tech elite "saw its endeavors in 'entrepreneurial technoscience' as driven by a desire to 'make the world a better place.'"

"As representatives of an economic elite, they do not see or do not want to communicate a connection between these components of social potency," the researchers said.

"The tech elite does not take a critical view of the role they play relative to their abundance of power," said Brockmann in a press release. "They deny their role in setting technical standards and influencing democracy with their financial capital."

The researchers claimed that the tech elites believe their wealth is earned through effort so they don't question their financial position. 

If the research is true and tech elites do not think their accountable for the influence they and their companies have over society and democracy, then where is the accountability to society going to be introduced and who is going to monitor it?

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