The Internet Changes the World

Make no mistake – technology use is a global economic and communcation force. Consider that today more than two billion people use Facebook – that’s one-quarter of the world’s population! And, one in every five minutes online is estimated to be spent on Facebook. It’s potentially a juggernaut of massive proportions. With the extensive reach of Facebook and other technology companies such as Google and Apple, it is also a challenge to many countries’ governments control over their own citizen’s information sources and habits.

Whether it is politics, music, business, or education, the reach of global technology companies represents a challenge for businesses and marketers. This is particularly true when technology companies in essence subsidize connectivity in developing nations. Economies of nations rest on profit-driven technology companies based in Silicon Valley.

The Internet has a reputation of being a free-wheeling, anything-goes system that cannot be contained by nations. Or at least, not easily contained even in countries such as China and Vietnam. In the U.S., technology companies are facing new scrutiny by the government when it comes to politics, advertising, hacking, and controlling news. More than 50 counties have passed laws in the last five years to increase control over how their citizens use the Internet. And, in particular, digital privacy is a growing issue throughout European nations and the United States.

Where is the Internet going? And, how should marketing use it?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role that technology companies play in global economies and policies.
  2. Show the New York Times video: https://nyti.ms/2y8o8WC
  3. Discuss recent news about politics, hacking, news, bullying, privacy, and advertising buys.
  4. Divide students into groups. Have each group discuss what their experiences have been online.
  5. Task each team to come up with standards for how companies should use the Internet.
  6. Task each team to come up with five recommendations that could be implemented to improve online use and privacy.

Source: New York Times

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