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Let’s talk

Is there business ethics in Clubhouse?

Demetrios Brinkmann, host of the «Are you a Robot?«, a podcast on tech and ethics, has invited me on their show and involved me in a stimulating debate with challenging questions on almost everything I work on. Among other things we discussed the «ethics» of Clubhouse. Demetrios asked me: is the fact that Clubhouse is currently only available for iPhone users a problem? Is it potentially discriminating? I say:

If you say everyone must have access to Clubhouse you kind of imply that you're missing out on a lot if you don't have access (...). By framing it as something where you should have access to a you make it bigger than it is. It would be great if we could stay cool about it and say: "okay we don't really agree with the decision to only provide it on iphones but actually you're not missing out on much"

And I continue:

If you make inclusion for anyone with a cell phone a key requirement you frame it as a as a right to access and if you frame it as a right you get into political discussions like "is this a basic need that needs to be fulfilled?". It's difficult to prescribe companies to make everything possible to give everyone access if it's not in their business model.

Watch the full video here. It ends with the question whether I am a robot. Spoiler alert: yes, I am!

Robin Hood (the Sherwood Forest version) would be disappointed by his Silicon Valley-Wallstreet namesake. (Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash)

Robinhood: democratized finance on shaky ground

More than 900 years after the heroic figure Robin Hood set out to steal from the rich and give to the poor, two American entrepreneurs borrowed his name to establish a fintech company that claims to “democratize finance for all”. But the new Robinhood’s claim of ‘democracy’ is on shaky ground. Just as the company can make financial markets accessible to everyone, it can also deny access within a split second. This is what happened when they shut down Gamestop trading on January 28, 2021. Thousands of investors were presented with a fait accompli.

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