Technology is a funny thing. It can be used for good or it can be used for bad depending on how we decide to use it. You may be wondering, okay Dr. A, where are you going with this one?
Let me get straight to the point ladies and gentleman. Even though smartphone technology can make us psychologically sick due to overuse, at the same time, it can also be used as a great anti-corruption tool to be used to bring justice to the masses.
Let me write something that I thought would have never happened in my lifetime. For the first time in the history of Brazil, corruption is being fought by millions of people because of the availability of the smartphone and social media, especially YouTube. The corrupt in Brazil could have never imagined that technology would evolve to such high levels, that their evil schemes would one day be made available to millions across the world. Ladies and gentleman, technology is cleaning up a country that is the epitome of corruption! That’s extraordinary.
Have you heard of the Operation Car Wash? Or shall I say, “The biggest corruption scandal ever” in the history of the world? The “system,” as it is often referred to, was a massive system of money laundering involving 232 people, over 10 billion dollars in bribes, 16 companies, and made Watergate sound like kindergarten. So far, 160 people have been arrested and 179 people indicted. It literally broke the state oil company Petrobras.
The success of Operation Car Wash is evidence of technology being used to clean up the corruption. The “system” was discovered by very clever federal police officers due to irregular practices tracked down by technology algorithms. Audio technology has played a role in this investigation. Former President Luis da Silva went to prison because technology exposed his evil plans on YouTube. We may hurt our eyes when constantly looking at YouTube videos at home but in the new age of information, these videos can be catalysts for big changes.
The federal judges, as part of the guilty sentencing for the criminals, used YouTube as a means of public record keeping. The judges mandated that the documents, evidence and interrogations be presented to the public through YouTube videos. Sometimes, technology can be used for good.
Let me tell you something. People down there are sick of being oppressed and technology is their means of communicating their feelings and thoughts. It isn’t unusual today for workers, honest families, Christians and many other oppressed groups to express themselves through video technology.
Technology has, without question, given power to the oppressed in Brazil and that’s good. It has also given the regular person the ability to discern whether media conglomerates are controlling the people or are reporting on what is the truth. In the media world, we know that good journalism exposes both sides of an issue. The availability of smartphone technology did precisely that down in Brazil, organically, which some have called this a living miracle.
What has happened and is still currently happening in Brazil is unfolding via YouTube videos. This is unprecedented and has opened the eyes for the poor. The poor finally know why they are so destitute. Who knew technology could swoop in like a superhero?
I still believe that technology has more bad than good under traditional circumstances. But hey, you kind of knew that. However, technology when used in moderation and with good intention can revolutionize any system. The Brazilian corrupt got caught and paid the price for their evil schemes. Can we refine our broken systems with available technology? Likely, I say.