|Facebook owns your revolution|
|Written by L. M. Lloyd|
|Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:32|
I was reading a fascinating interview a Facebook friend sent me, and started to reply to him, but realized it was a long enough topic to deserve a post. One of the things I saw mentioned in the interview, was a concern, which I have heard voiced quite a bit around the world, that people fear 'the Internet' will soon be under siege by corporate forces, who will seek to "own and control it." Now I don't know if it is because I have actually been involved in the Internet industry for so long, or if it is because I am American, and we have a bit of a head start on a lot of the world when it comes to the Internet, but for whatever reason, my perspective puts me in the unenviable position of delivering an uncomfortable message to the everyone. I'm afraid that fight already happened around the turn of the century, and the corporations already won. I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding around the world, of what kind of control corporations want from the Internet, which is probably the reason people don't understand that they already own everything on the Internet.
See, corporations don't want to keep people off the Internet, they don't want to decide who does or doesn't use the Internet, they don't want to control what you do on the Internet. They want three simple things.
It is really the ultimate triumph of corporate cultural imperialism. It is the kind of coup the American government only wishes it could pull off. Not only do the indigenous people do all the work, and the corporation makes a profit off of it, but when it is all over, the indigenous people are actually grateful to the corporation for providing them with the corporate-profit-generating tools! The most amazing part, is the corporations are really only offering perceived value in this whole deal. There is nothing, technically speaking, that you could do with Facebook or Twitter, that couldn't be done with any number of freely available open source tools, a little IT knowledge and an offshore hosting account. Nonetheless, here we find ourselves in the position where intelligent people are seriously discussing their concerns that big business might take over the Internet, and keep people from getting to their Twitter and Facebook, as if those aren't big business. Well, I hate to break it to you, but too late.
The good news is that none of these companies care what you do with their tools, as long as you keep generating revenue. Overthrow your government, tell people your favorite movies, coordinate humanitarian efforts, let people know what you had for lunch, or organize an effort to oppress an ethnic minority, they don't care, as long as they can monetize your traffic, and spin it to increase the stock price. Let's not pretend, however, that we have to keep careful watch on the Internet to make sure it isn't taken over by powerful corporate interests. That ship has already sailed.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 April 2011 06:14 )|