Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

4

TheNewKing wrote

Indeed. It shows a few troubling things. Increased reliance on centralised services allow for more (social) control. Black box algorithms determine what is shown at the top. Not just the content in an article can be coloured, but also the selection of articles shown can highlight certain issues while not highlighting others. This is easier on big centralised services that are controlled by a few, like Reddit, Facebook, Youtube and Google for example.

More big services are being owned by fewer companies. This has been happening for a long time not just in tech, but everywhere. A few multinationals hold the deeds of many things. A single company will hold majority shares on not just companies in their own branch, like cars, but will in addition will own news media, food and advertising companies. We can see this happening in the tech world too where Google (or Alphabet) does not just own its search engine and ad network, but also youtube, other advertising companies (DoubleClick) and energy (Google Energy). Large conglomerates are acquiring more and more and the aim is to make a profit, obviously.

A worrying grasp on the lives of a lot of people produced by capitalism. Decentralised services would likely not fall into this trap. Not just because there is no profit motive, but also because there is hardly any ownership.

2

Naokotani wrote

Another worrying aspect of this is related to net neutrality. As fewer and fewer companies begin to dominate the internet, it will become much easier to convince people to accept things like interent pacakges that are valid for only certain sites. Since they generally only view those sites anyway, it might be difficult for the average user to see what they are losing.

Of course, this is a cycle. Once people begin to accept internet packages, over time they will simply be unaware of the previously neutral nature of the internet, and these companies will further their grip on information.