Random House of Canada
Published: Mar 4, 2014
The Internet has been hailed as a place where all can be heard and everyone can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In a seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, The People's Platform argues that for all that we "tweet" and "like" and "share," the Internet in fact reflects and amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. What we have seen in the virtual world so far, Astra Taylor says, has been not a revolution but a rearrangement. Although Silicon Valley tycoons have eclipsed Hollywood moguls, a handful of giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook still dominate our lives. And the worst habits of the old media model--the pressure to be quick and sensational, to seek easy celebrity, to appeal to the broadest possible public--have proliferated online, where every click can be measured and where "aggregating" the...