talking point

tech doesn't kill people, people kill people

Based on a slogan commonly used by NRA supporters in the wake of gun violence (“guns don’t kill people, people kill people”), this statement describes how technology companies, like gun manufacturers, tend to deflect responsibility for the end use of their products, no matter how harmful.

The argument is that social media companies didn't create the problems of harassment, bullying, fraud, conspiracy theories, revenge porn, pedophelia, racism, misogyny, violence and genocide that appear on their platforms. There have always been bad people; social media is merely exposing them.

If you read Shakespeare, there’s nothing that’s happening in Silicon Valley that you can’t find in Shakespeare. ... Because humans have always been humans. Or, if you read Sapiens, you get a feel for this, too, going back not just centuries, but eons. -- Keith Rabois, of Khosla Ventures