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Intro to technology

Is Technology Inherently Neutral?

If we take neutral to mean "not creating any effect," then technology is not neutral. The world has been undeniably changed by the connectivity and knowledge that technology brings.

If we take the word neutral to mean "neither good nor bad," then a debate arises about the morality of technology. One could say that technology is a tool, and it's morality depends on it's wielder.

However, I am of the opinion that a gun, even in the hands of a good person, was designed to harm and is thus morally bad. The same is true of any technology: it's morality depends on the one who created it - and in the case of continuously updated technology such as software, the ones who manage it. One morally ambiguous example of this would be TikTok, the social media app that was recently banned in the U.S. after being under national security review for it's data privacy policies. Another such example would be the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal where data from Facebook users was harvested and used to guide a political campaign.

In short technology has an undeniable impact on the world, but it's morality depends on those who manage it.

Cadwalladr, C., and Graham-Harrison, E. (2018, Mar. 17). Revealed: 50 million facebook profiles harvested for cambridge analytica in major data breach. The Guardian. Retrieved from
Nicas, J., Isaac, M., and Swanson, A. (2020, Sep. 18). Tiktok said to be under national security review. NY Times. Retrieved from
Swanson, A., McCabe, D., and Nicas, J. (2020, Sept. 18). Trump administration to ban tiktok and wechat from u.s. app stores. NY Times. Retrieved from

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