The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age

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Author: Taylor, Astra

Edition: F First Edition

Number Of Pages: 288

Release Date: 15-04-2014

Details: Product Description From a cutting-edge cultural commentator, a bold and brilliant challenge to cherished notions of the Internet as the great leveler of our age The 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 on the web, 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. From Booklist The Internet, many thought, was going to usher in a new era of information sharing; of open, unfettered communication; of new arts and new media. But, instead, Taylor argues in this persuasive book, the Internet has given us more of the same. Instead of leveling the playing field, giving everyone equal opportunities to succeed creatively and economically, the Internet carried over the traditional problems: corporate monopolies at the controls, unfair economic practices, and a disproportionate focus on popularity and mass appeal. The author isn’t saying we should rebuild the Internet from scratch but, instead, that we should strive to create a more democratic Web in which users are treated like citizens, not consumers or unpaid workers. We need, in other words, a new financial model. Newspapers, he points out, are being hurt by the enormous amount of online content, and most of that content is generated by people who aren’t paid for their work. How, Taylor asks, is that fair? A smart, well-reasoned approach to a highly topical subject. --David Pitt Review “Taylor's critique hits hard... The People's Platform should be taken as a challenge by the new media that have long claimed to be improving on the old order.” -Tim Wu, The New York Times Book Review “Essential... In this idealistic-yet rigorous and clear-eyed-argument, Taylor takes on crucial contradictions... She is the Marshall McLuhan or the Neil Postman of our new digital economy, the lonely voice raising urgent questions we need to answer together, or else surrender our choices to Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon.... If The People's Platform doesn't spark the conversation about the kind of democracy and culture we deserve, then we'll deserve the one we get.” -NY1 News’ The Book Reader “Taylor's smart and nuanced overview of the new media landscape is the best I've recently read and an excellent summary of the mess we're in…. After reading Taylor's brisk and lucid survey, there's no denying that in online media, the market is falling short.” -The Boston Globe “Taylor makes a thorough case that the technological advances we've been told constitute progress-that anyone can start a blog, that we can easily keep up with our friends (and frenemies) on Facebook, that Twitter can foment democratic revolution - are actually masking and, in some cases, exacerbating social ills that have lon

EAN: 9780805093568

Languages: English

Binding: Hardcover

Item Condition: New