Tech truths that we must remember | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Tech truths that we must remember

By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood

The world over, hundreds of tech employees are being pink-slipped at an alarming pace.

But none seem to have been as brutally crushed as the workers at Twitter, who are facing a “My way or the Highway” moment with new owner Elon Musk.

But Musk’s Twitter takeover and subsequent HR antics are not just about employee nightmares.

You are looking at the richest man on the planet, with personal wealth estimated at $273 billion - equivalent to the GDP of Portugal or New Zealand, both ranked among the top 50 wealthiest countries in the world.

And he has now become sole owner of a social media platform that is the communications lifeline for thousands of professionals, scientists, media personalities, artists and teachers who use it to send and receive messages  and discuss, argue and amplify their work.

Should Twitter – or any other social media channel – now be transformed into a mere money-making enterprise? Similarly with Amazon.

The home delivery logistics giant has announced the layoff of thousands of employees just at the start of its busiest season – Christmas.

The company was previously in the headlines for strong-arm tactics against potential union organisers.

Can a company that owes its profits to capitalism turn around and bite the hand that serves it? For our Bahraini small enterprises – and large ones too! – there are many lessons to be learnt from the unfolding Big Tech Drama.

Firstly, no matter how strongly you believe in hardware and software engineering, a tech company needs social vision to forge ahead.

Our Be Aware app is a fine example of that.

Secondly, you may swear by robotics and AI as the future of the workplace and yes, they are.

But the power of the community and of people can never be fully replaced.

Technology works for us – not the other way round. Finally, any concentration of absolute power to communicate is tricky to navigate.

We need to hear other voices, other opinions in order to hear ourselves. Are you listening, Mr. Musk?


Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism.