The Dark Side of Industrial Chemicals and Algorithmic Price Manipulation

Feranmi Olaseinde

Feranmi Olaseinde

Oct 19, 20233 min read

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The Dark Side of Industrial Chemicals and Algorithmic Price Manipulation

Introduction:

In today's interconnected world, where technology and commerce intersect, certain practices have emerged that raise concerns about ethics and consumer welfare. This article explores two distinct but interconnected topics: the dangers of toxic chemicals used in industrial processes and the dubious use of algorithms to manipulate prices. While these issues may seem unrelated, they both shed light on the darker side of modern industries and the need for greater transparency and accountability.

Toxic Chemicals: Diethylene Glycol (DEG) and Ethylene Glycol (EG)

Diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG) are highly toxic chemicals used extensively in various industrial applications. These substances, while useful for specific purposes, pose significant risks to human health and the environment. The Gambia, for example, has been in the news recently due to the discovery of these toxic chemicals within its borders. The presence of DEG and EG underscores the urgent need for stricter regulations and responsible handling of hazardous substances across the globe.

Algorithmic Price Manipulation: Amazon's Secret Weapon

In a shocking revelation, it has come to light that Amazon, the e-commerce giant, allegedly employed a secret algorithm named Nessie to artificially inflate prices and monitor the behavior of competing retailers. This algorithm would raise Amazon's prices and observe if other retailers, such as Target, followed suit. If the competitors maintained lower prices, the algorithm would automatically revert Amazon's prices to normal. This manipulative tactic raises concerns about fair competition, consumer welfare, and the potential abuse of algorithmic power.

Connecting the Dots: Unethical Practices and the Need for Accountability

While the dangers of toxic chemicals and algorithmic price manipulation may seem unrelated, they both highlight a common theme: the lack of transparency and accountability in modern industries. The unregulated use of toxic chemicals poses severe risks to public health, while the manipulation of prices through algorithms undermines fair competition and consumer trust. These practices call for stricter regulations, ethical considerations, and proactive measures from both businesses and governing bodies.

Insights and Unique Ideas:

1. The interplay between industrial practices and technology showcases the need for a holistic approach to address emerging challenges. It is crucial for industries to adopt sustainable practices that minimize the use of toxic chemicals and prioritize the health and well-being of consumers and the environment.

2. The rise of algorithmic decision-making raises questions about the ethics and accountability of artificial intelligence. While algorithms can bring numerous benefits, their potential for manipulation calls for thorough scrutiny and regulation to ensure they serve the greater good.

3. Consumer awareness and education play a vital role in combating unethical practices. By staying informed about the products they purchase and the practices behind them, consumers can make more conscious choices and demand greater accountability from businesses.

Actionable Advice:

1. Advocate for stronger regulations and responsible handling of toxic chemicals in industrial processes. Support initiatives that promote safer alternatives and encourage transparency in supply chains.

2. Stay informed about the business practices of e-commerce platforms and the algorithms they employ. Support companies that prioritize fair competition and consumer welfare. Consider purchasing from local or independent retailers to diversify options and reduce reliance on a single dominant player.

3. Educate yourself and others about the potential risks associated with toxic chemicals and algorithmic manipulation. Encourage discussions and awareness campaigns to foster a more informed and empowered consumer base.

Conclusion:

The discovery of toxic chemicals in The Gambia and the revelations about algorithmic price manipulation by Amazon highlight significant challenges in today's industrial landscape. The need for stricter regulations, ethical considerations, and consumer empowerment is evident. By advocating for responsible practices, staying informed, and supporting businesses that prioritize transparency and fair competition, we can collectively work towards a more sustainable and accountable future.

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