From a cutting-edge cultural commentator, a bold and brilliant challenge to cherished notions of the Internet as the great leveler of our ageThe Internet has been hailed as an unprecedented democratizing force, a place where everyone can be heard and all 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 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 remain the gatekeepers. And the worst habits of the old media model--the pressure to seek easy celebrity, to be quick and sensational above all--have proliferated online, where "aggregating" the work of others is the surest way to attract eyeballs and ad revenue. When culture is "free," creative work has diminishing value and advertising fuels the system. The new order looks suspiciously like the old one.We can do better, Taylor insists. The online world does offer a unique opportunity, but a democratic culture that supports diverse voices and work of lasting value will not spring up from technology alone. If we want the Internet to truly be a people's platform, we will have to make it so.
"If you've ever had the uncomfortable feeling that we've taken a wrong turn on the way to the future, Astra Taylor's shocking, utterly rational, and elegant book will have you shaking your fist along with her. This is an essential and overdue indictment of our ailing media culture."--Andrew Blum, author of "Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet ""The scariest book I've read in a while is also the most exhilarating: there is no better, stronger picture of our bleak new technological landscape and the peppy delusions and deceptions of its profiteers than "The People's Platform." But knowledge is power, and Taylor gives us a picture so clear it empowers us to find a way forward through the debris. Read it and revolt."--Rebecca Solnit, author of "The Faraway Nearby ""The promise was so utopian, and it really seemed possible! Now we watch as the lauded instrument of 'creative destruction' ends up in the hands of a few giant corporations. What happened? Is there a way out beyond pulling the plug? In response, Astra Taylor has laid out clear arguments, sobering information, and inspiring insights. There have been a lot of books about how the Internet is changing our world, but this is absolutely one of the best. Beautifully written and highly recommended."--David Byrne, author and musician "Internet policy books seem only to come in two colors: bright dream or dark nightmare. Enter "The People's Platform--"it's a rainbow of insight. With nuance and a light touch, Astra Taylor exposes the fallacies in contemporary digital punditry. Unlike her peers, she has her eyes on a truly democratic politics. Which makes this a rare book--one that can radically change the way we see the future of digital social change.""--"Raj Patel, author of "The Value of Nothing" and "Stuffed and Starved ""What happened to the Internet revolution? Why, if everything's so different, does it feel like everything's still the same? Astra Taylor bre
Number Of Pages: 288
Available: 7th April 2015