The Big Tech Activists Turning the Tables on Silicon Valley – Business Insider

The ex-Facebook employee Jane Chung switched to running worker-focused campaigns.

Jane Chung, former Facebook employee now at the Worker Agency

Jane Chung.

Courtesy of Jane Chung

Jane Chung worked at Facebook for two years between 2015 and 2017, primarily on the controversial Free Basics program.

Under the program, users in developing markets were offered limited access to other websites — those offering services such as the news, weather forecasts, and job ads — without having to pay for data. 

The scheme was criticized as a form of “digital colonialism” and, in Chung’s words, was above all a way to “get communities in the Global South addicted to Facebook.” 

“I realized that Facebook was fundamentally uninterested in behaving ethically in its pursuit of world dominance … that its single-minded prioritization of growth was hurting communities and democracies around the world,” she said.

“And nothing I could say or do within the company as a new-graduate hire would be able to change that.”

Since then, Chung has moved to The Worker Agency, a California-based “strategic advocacy” firm that coordinates campaigns against the tech giants on behalf of workers. 

Chung describes her goals as threefold: “I want to make a world where technology companies and the economy at large are seized for public ownership and control, stripped of profit motive, and operated to the benefit — not the exploitation — of working people.”

Facebook has previously defended its Free Basics program in an article published by The Guardian, saying it had helped “people around the world access impactful local services, including health resources, education and business tools, refugee assistance sites, and more.”


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