I share some of the concerns expressed here: http://humanetech.com/problem/, especially the one about polarization of modern society and the spread of false facts. But I am not sure why this Center believes that Facebook and Google are the root of these problems.
Societies have been polarized far worse than what we see today, to the point of families and neighbors killing each other, over ideology, religion, ethnicity, allegiances, etc. False facts have been around as long as there have been newspapers; in fact, even longer, as the word-of-mouth rumors spread almost as easily.
I can relate to the addiction argument a little more. But if Facebook and Youtube weren’t not around, people would just spend the extra time watching TV or playing games. In my (perhaps naive) opinion, TV is an even more stupefying experience than YT/FB because viewers have even less control over the content and the content is even less democratically created.
The critique of Instagram as creating the “picture perfect” benchmark for life also makes sense. But again, I wonder if it’s that different from watching movies with gorgeous actors and actresses wearing amazing clothes living the lives of adventure and luxury? People always feel excited about that, and with some common sense they can still be productive and happy in their normal life.
So I guess I agree with many points made here, but I am not convinced that the technology industry is any different from the TV, movies, books, politics, billboard and magazine advertising, and other very traditional parts of our society. I would appreciate a clear argument about why we should focus our attention on the tech industry rather than the overall society. And most importantly, I am worried that any reduction in the influence of the tech firms would make things even worse by bringing back the influence of far more centralized, undemocratic, and (in many countries) corrupt types of media of the past century.