Saturday, November 8, 2014

The sharing economy's monopolist manipulators

From this article on the netarchical strategy showing how the monopoly mindset appropriates the sharing economy. In Rifkin's latest book he talks about how the monopolistic manipulators have appropriated the sharing economy, Facebook being a prime example. Just so we consciously acknowledge it, by us participating in Facebook we are complicit in willingly feeding this monopoly, likely in contradiction to our deeper values because it's 'convenient.' The following supports Rifkin's observations:

"Facebook is the textbook example. Although it was never distinguished by smart design or ease of use, Facebook moved aggressively to capture a monopolistic share of the social media market. Then came the ads, the interference, the invasions of privacy, manipulation of users’ news feeds for the corporation’s own purposes – not to mention invasions of privacy and the sale of personal data to third parties.

"Facebook builds nothing, manufactures nothing, creates nothing. Instead it encourages its users to do the creating, then “charges” them in invisible ways – by redirecting their time and attention to produce profits for itself. YouTube, like Facebook, never generated its own content. It built its monopoly position by offering free access to the creative work of others. Once firmly established on its monopolistic throne, it began forcing viewers to watch advertisements before viewing videos.

"That’s the model: First lure them in and establish your monopoly, then monetize.
YouTube is now owned by Google, which also commands a monopoly share of its market. Unlike some of its less-gifted peers, Google is a genuinely inventive and talented company. But, like its peers, it has relied heavily on government-funded technology (the Internet, computers, smartphones) and government-funded research to capture its monopoly share. It has used its monopoly to redirect users’ attention, and to exert frightening levels of control over users’ experience of the world."

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