The making of a Big Tech reckoning

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Some on Capitol Hill are exploring the idea that companies like Facebook and Google have designed products with the intention of getting and keeping consumers addicted to the feeling of getting likes, comments, shares, and hearts. Last month a staffer in Sen. Mark Warner's office organized a briefing featuring Tristan Harris, the former Google Design Ethicist who argues that tech companies unethically manipulated their users, and academic Zeynep Tufekci, who is a prominent critic of Silicon Valley.

Why it matters: Policymakers no longer assume that Silicon Valley is acting in the best interests of their users, or society at large. But the real reckoning would come if that skepticism spreads to their hundreds of millions of users.