We will soon, if we have not already, enter an age where high-tech business interests are more powerful than the government, and what the government says or does will no longer really matter. Now, the news will still cover it, and people will still be engaged in it, and have opinions about it, and will act as though it matters, because that is what we are conditioned to do, and will continue to be. But reality of the situation, whether or not anyone really knows about it or cares, is all of those things are still downstream from the high-tech, algorithm-filtered communications channels that color everything we think and do. What will that look like in practice? Contrary to what we might expect, it will look exactly like China.
The communist government of China currently has a "social credit" system where they keep track of how supportive or problematic a given citizen is to The Party with a sophisticated surveillance system involving facial recognition, surveillance cameras, and learning algorithms. Replace the cameras and facial recognition with user-created profiles where they dump their every momentary thought, and this is exactly how big tech regulates and censors your online behavior, and subconsciously guides your brain with every tap, swipe, and scroll. Based on your social credit score, restrictions are to be enforced upon you (automatically, via the various systems' interlinked algorithmic processes, with no admin action required) such that you may not be able to acquire certain services or products or to go to certain places if your score is too low, that is, if your thoughts and actions stray too far outside what is permitted. This is what social networks are doing now, upscaled to an entire (MASSIVELY GIGANTIC) centralized society.
The saturation of social media and other electronic communications (which are already filtered through learning algorithms designed to make us look and click) will continue to increase. The thing about filtering all of our communications through learning algorithms is that it starts to negatively affect our collective mental health. Feeds driven by algorithmic AI are saturated with content that is designed to make you, personally, as emotional as possible in that moment, because that is what drives engagement (liking, favoriting, reposting, replying, etc).
This, combined with the exponential increase in devices the own manufacturers of which have described as "intimate" like smart watches and other smartphone-connected things, and combined with the Internet of Things, means that in the near future, and probably right now, one hundred percent of our daily lives will be saturated by communications and everyday actions that are tracked, keyword-indexed, fully monetized, and added to the algorithm. Everything you express publically and privately will be used to evaluate, via a sophisticated learning algorithm, your social credit score. That score will then be used to assign you a permissions level, just like a user account in a computer system, but it will be the permissions that you have to conduct your day-to-day business in real life. Thus, the social pressure mounts against you, and you do as you're told just to get on with your life. And before you know it, you love Big Brother.