Class and Exploitation on the Internet.


                                          Christian Fuchs

                     ...
Fuchs, Christian. 2008. Internet and Society: Social Theory
 in the Information Age. New York: Routledge.




Fuchs, Chris...
CONTENTS

1. Introduction

2. The web and social theory

3. Participatory web as ideology

4. Class and the web

5. Conclu...
1. Introduction

Critical studies of the Internet:

Jodi Dean: “The more opinions or comments that are out there,
the less...
1. Introduction

Trebor Scholz: “Like with any bubble, the suggestion of sudden
newness is aimed at potential investors. [...
1. Introduction

=double free labour, but also: class and surplus value in
Marxist theory!

My contribution to the critica...
2. The web and social theory

Information as threefold process of:

Cognition
For Emile Durkheim, a “social fact is every ...
2. The web and social theory

* web 1.0 is a computer-based networked system of human
cognition,
* web 2.0 a computer-base...
2. The web and social theory

Figure 1: A model of social software and its three subtypes
2. The web and social theory
1998                                           2008
Rank   Website         Unique
           ...
3. Participatory web as ideology

Henry Jenkins argues that increasingly “the Web has become a
site of consumer participat...
3. Participatory web as ideology

Tapscott and Williams argue that “the new web” has resulted in
“a new economic democracy...
3. Participatory web as ideology

Participatory democracy theory

A participatory economy requires a “change in the terms ...
3. Participatory web as ideology
 Rank   Website         Ownership         Country   Year of Domain   Economic      Unique...
3. Participatory web as ideology

13 of 50 websites can be classified as web 2.0/3.0 platforms
(=26.0%). These 13 platform...
3. Participatory web as ideology

Google owns three of the 11 web platforms listed in table 2. 18
human and corporate lega...
3. Participatory web as ideology

10 of the 13 web 2.0/3.0 sites hold a de-facto ownership right of
user data. 11 of the 1...
3. Participatory web as ideology

For Georg Lukács, ideology “by-passes the essence of the
evolution of society and fails ...
3. Participatory web as ideology

Based on participatory democracy theory, we can argue that
scholars who argue that the c...
4. Class and the web

Marx’s analysis of capitalism: The expanded reproduction process
of capital, capital accumulation
4. Class and the web

A
4. Class and the web

Karl Marx highlights exploitation as the fundamental aspect of class
by saying that “the driving mot...
4. Class and the web

Erik Olin Wright (1997):

Exploitation of labour
Exploitation based on skills
Exploitation based on ...
4. Class and the web

Rosa Luxemburg (1913: 363) argued that capital accumulation
feeds on the exploitation of milieus tha...
4. Class and the web

The multitude or proletariat is formed by “all those who labour
and produce under the rule of capita...
4. Class and the web




 Over-exploitation means that goods are produced in a way that
 the “individual value of these ar...
4. Class and the web

Knowledge is “universal labour” that is “brought about partly by
the cooperation of men now living, ...
4. Class and the web

Produsage in a capitalist society can be interpreted as the
outsourcing of productive labour from wa...
4. Class and the web

The Internet users who google data, upload or watch videos on
YouTube, upload or browse personal ima...
4. Class and the web

The category of the produser commodity does not signify a
democratization of the media towards a par...
4. Class and the web

Advertisements on the Internet are frequently personalized;
this is made possible by surveilling, st...
4. Class and the web
Figure: The growth of Internet advertising profits in the USA (source: IAB Internet
Advertising Reven...
5. Conclusion

The dialectic of technology and society

The contemporary Internet and the contemporary world wide web
are ...
5. Conclusion


      Technological/Media determinism:

                Cause                                Effect
      ...
5. Conclusion

The Internet is a dialectical space that contains both positive and
negative potentials, potentials for dom...
5. Conclusion

But the dialectic of the Internet is an asymmetric dialectic.

Visibility is a central resource on the Inte...
5. Conclusion
Rank   Video                        Number of hits   Originator          Corporation,

1      Evolution of D...
5. Conclusion


 Rank Blog               Operator                Character            Alexa Traffic Rank (3
              ...
5. Conclusion

The blogosphere is dominated by start-up companies that aim at
capital accumulation.

9 of the top 10 blogs...
5. Conclusion

Indymedia is only ranked number 4147 in the list of the most
accessed websites, whereas BBC Online is ranke...
5. Conclusion




Figure: Major perceived opportunities of social networking sites
1: Maintaining existing contacts, frien...
5. Conclusion




Figure: Major perceived risks of social networking sites
1: Data abuse or data forwarding or lack of dat...
5. Conclusion

Antangonism between surveillance and communication on
SNS:

55.7% of the respondents say that political, ec...
5. Conclusion

Kojin Karatani

Internet produsage: reflects “the transcritical moment where
workers and consumers intersec...
The Hegelian Dialectical Triad of Multitude,
        Capital, and Communism               commonwealth =
                 ...
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Class and Exploitation on the Internet

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Christian Fuchs. "Class and Exploitation on the Internet. Theoretical Foundations and the Example of Social Networking Sites". Presentation at the Conference "The Internet as Playground and Factory", New York, New School, November 13, 2009.

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  • Then the Marxist theory of Christian Fuschs and exploitation could match requests for birth dates and the sex of the person joining this page.

    Also Christian Fuschs could be amenable to the idea of the Human Rights Charter as a document syupplying the right to the International vote.

    Like many people on this site who made slide shows which though 3 years ago back Christian up. Hope no one alters message to make appear ad hominem attack
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Class and Exploitation on the Internet

  1. 1. Class and Exploitation on the Internet. Christian Fuchs Associate Professor Unified Theory of Information Research Group University of Salzburg Sigmund Haffner Gasse 18 A-5020 Salzburg Austria christian.fuchs@sbg.ac.at http://fuchs.uti.at http://www.uti.at
  2. 2. Fuchs, Christian. 2008. Internet and Society: Social Theory in the Information Age. New York: Routledge. Fuchs, Christian (2010, Forthcoming) Foundations of Critical Media And Information Studies. A Marxist Approach. New York: Routledge.
  3. 3. CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. The web and social theory 3. Participatory web as ideology 4. Class and the web 5. Conclusion
  4. 4. 1. Introduction Critical studies of the Internet: Jodi Dean: “The more opinions or comments that are out there, the less of an impact any one given one might make” (Dean 2005, 58). “Communicative capitalism is rooted in communication without communicability” (Dean 2005, 281). Mark Andrejecvic speaks of “the interactive capability of new media to exploit the work of being watched” (Andrejevic 2002: 239). McKenzie Wark: “The producing classes – farmers, workers, hackers – struggle against the expropriating classes – pastoralists, capitalists, vectoralists – but these successive ruling classes struggle also amongst themselves“ (Wark 2004: §31).
  5. 5. 1. Introduction Trebor Scholz: “Like with any bubble, the suggestion of sudden newness is aimed at potential investors. [...] The Web 2.0 hype drew broad media attention and financial resources to businesses that manage to profit from networked social production, amateur participation online, fan cultures, social networking, podcasting, and collective intelligence” (Scholz 2008). Mark Andrejevic (2009): Critical Media Studies 2.0, Exploitation 2.0. “Related to the development of techniques for making sense out of the glut is the need to develop an updated critique of exploitation. The Marxist conception was useful and productive in that it highlighted the logic of the unfree ‘free’ choice“ (Andrejevic 2009, 48f).
  6. 6. 1. Introduction =double free labour, but also: class and surplus value in Marxist theory! My contribution to the critical study of the Internet is the suggestion to explicitly reactualize and “reload” Marxian theory. The task is to create not just a critical theory of the Internet, but a Marxist theory of the Internet. The Marxian circuit of capital (Capital Vol. 1 & 2) that is also a circuit of exploitation needs to be related to Internet produsage.
  7. 7. 2. The web and social theory Information as threefold process of: Cognition For Emile Durkheim, a “social fact is every way of acting, fixed or not, capable of exercising on the individual an external constraint” (Durkheim 1982, 59). Communication Max Weber had a different notion of sociality as social action: “Not every kind of action, even of overt action, is ’social’ in the sense of the present discussion. Overt action is not social if it is oriented solely to the behavior of inanimate objects” (Weber 1968, 22). Co-operation For Ferdinand Tönnies, the most important form of sociality is the community, which he understands as “consciousness of belonging together and the affirmation of the condition of mutual dependence” (Tönnies 1988: 69). For Karl Marx, co-operation is a fundamental mode of human social activity: “By social we understand the co-operation of several individuals, no matter under what conditions, in what manner and to what end” (Marx and Engels 1846/1970, 50).
  8. 8. 2. The web and social theory * web 1.0 is a computer-based networked system of human cognition, * web 2.0 a computer-based networked system of human communication, * web 3.0 a computer-based networked system of human co- operation
  9. 9. 2. The web and social theory Figure 1: A model of social software and its three subtypes
  10. 10. 2. The web and social theory 1998 2008 Rank Website Unique users in 1000s Primary functions Rank Website Unique users in 1000s (February Primary Functions Sociality (1) - cogn: 1 Aol.com (December 1-31, 1998) 28 255 cogn, 1 yahoo.com 2008) 125 000 cogn, 1998: 20 2 yahoo.com 26 843 comm cogn, 2 google.com 123 000 comm. cogn, 2008: 20 comm comm. 3 geocities.co 18 977 cogn 3 aol.com 56 000 cogn, m comm. 4 msn.com 18 707 cogn, 4 youtube.com 54 000 cogn, 5 netscape.co 17 548 comm cogn, 5 microsoft.com 51 000 comm. Cogn Sociality (2) - comm: 1998: 9 m comm 6 excite.com 14 386 cogn, 6 msn.com 48 000 cogn, comm comm. 7 8 lycos.com microsoft.co 13 152 13 010 cogn, comm cogn 7 8 eBay.com myspace.com 48 000 46 000 Cogn cogn, 2008: 10 m comm, co- op 9 bluemountai 12 315 cogn, 9 wikipedia.org 44 000 cogn, narts.com comm comm, co- op Sociality (3) 10 infoseek.com 11 959 cogn, 10 mapquest.com 43 000 Cogn 11 altavista.com 11 217 comm cogn 11 live.com 41 000 Cogn - co-op: 1998: 0 2008: 4 12 tripod.com 10 924 cogn 12 amazon.com 41 000 Cogn 13 xoom.com 10 419 cogn 13 about.com 38 000 Cogn 14 angelfire.co 9 732 cogn 14 verizon.com 34 000 Cogn m 15 hotmail.com 9 661 cogn, 15 adobe.com 30 000 Cogn comm 16 17 Amazon.com real.com 9 134 7 572 cogn cogn 16 17 bizrate.com facebook.com 29 000 28 000 Cogn cogn, comm, There is at the same 18 zdnet.com 5 902 cogn 18 go.com 28 000 coop Cogn time continuity and 19 hotbot.com 5 612 cogn 19 answers.com 27 000 cogn, comm, coop discontinuity in the development of the 20 infospace.co 5 566 cogn 20 wordpress.com 27 000 cogn, m comm 260 891 961 000 Table 1: Information functions of the top 20 websites in the United States (sources: Comcast Press Release January 20, 1999, Quantcast Web Usage Statistics March 16, 2008) world wide web.
  11. 11. 3. Participatory web as ideology Henry Jenkins argues that increasingly “the Web has become a site of consumer participation” (Jenkins 2008: 137) and sees blogging as “potentially increasing cultural diversity and lowering barriers in cultural participation”, “expanding the range of perspectives”, as “grassroots intermediaries” that ensure “that everyone has a chance to be heard” (Jenkins 2006: 180f). Axel Bruns says that “open participation” (Bruns 2008: 24, 240) is a key principle of produsage. Clay Shirky (2008: 107) says that on web 2.0 there is a “linking of symmetrical participation and amateur production”.
  12. 12. 3. Participatory web as ideology Tapscott and Williams argue that “the new web” has resulted in “a new economic democracy […] in which we all have a lead role” (Tapscott and Williams 2007: 15). Yochai Benkler (2006) says that due to the emergence of commons-based peer production on the Internet, “we can say that culture is becoming more democratic: self-reflective and participatory“ (Benkler 2006: 15). Is the web participatory? Answering this question requires an understanding of the notion of participation.
  13. 13. 3. Participatory web as ideology Participatory democracy theory A participatory economy requires a “change in the terms of access to capital in the direction of more nearly equal access” (Macpherson 1973: 71) and “a change to more nearly equal access to the means of labour” (Macpherson 1973: 73). “Genuine democracy, and genuine liberty, both require the absence of extractive powers” (Macpherson 1973: 121). A participatory economy furthermore involves “the democratising of industrial authority structures” (Pateman 1970: 43).
  14. 14. 3. Participatory web as ideology Rank Website Ownership Country Year of Domain Economic Unique Users Creation Orientation per Month 4 Facebook Facebook Inc. USA 2004 Profit, 91 million advertising 6 YouTube Google Inc. USA 2005 Profit, 72 million advertising 8 Wikipedia Wikimedia USA 2001 Non-profit, 67 million Foundation non- advertising 9 MySpace MySpace Inc. USA 2003 Profit, 63 million (News advertising Corporation) 14 Blogspot Google Inc. USA 2000 Profit, 49 million advertising 19 Answers Answers USA 1996 Profit, 39 million Corporation advertising 22 Wordpress Automattic Inc. USA 2000 Profit, 28 million advertising 23 Photobucket Photobucket.com USA 2003 Profit, 28 million LLC advertising 26 Twitter Twitter Inc. USA 2006 Profit, no 27 million advertising 31 Flickr Yahoo! Inc. USA 2003 Profit, 21 million advertising 32 Blogger Google Inc. USA 1999 Profit, 20 million advertising 44 eHow Demand Media USA 1998 Profit, 14 million Inc. advertising 49 eZineArticles SparkNet USA 1999 Profit, 13 million Corporation advertising 532 million Table 2: Web 2.0/3.0 platforms that are among the top 50 websites in the USA (data source: quantcast.com, US site ranking, August 13, 2009)
  15. 15. 3. Participatory web as ideology 13 of 50 websites can be classified as web 2.0/3.0 platforms (=26.0%). These 13 platforms account for 532 million out of a total of 1916 million monthly usages of the 50 top websites in the US (=27.7%). Web 2.0/3.0 platforms have become more important, but they do not dominate the web. 12 of 13 of the web 2.0/3.0 platforms that are among the top 50 US websites are profit-oriented, 11 of them are advertising-based. In my empirical sample, 92.3% of the most frequently used web 2.0/3.0 platforms in the US and 87.4% of monthly unique web 2.0/3.0 usages in the USA are corporate-based, which shows that the vast majority of popular web 2.0/3.0 platforms are mainly interested in generating monetary profits and that the corporate web 2.0/3.0 is much more popular than the non-corporate web 2.0/3.0.
  16. 16. 3. Participatory web as ideology Google owns three of the 11 web platforms listed in table 2. 18 human and corporate legal persons own 98.8% of Google’s common stock, Google’s 20 000 employees, the 520 million global Google users, the 303 million users of YouTube, and the 142 million users of Blogspot/Blogger are non-owners of Google (Google SEC Filing Proxy Statements 2008). Rank Website Ownership of data Advertising 4 Facebook License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 6 YouTube License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 8 Wikipedia Creative commons No advertising 9 MySpace License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 14 Blogspot License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 19 Answers License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 22 Wordpress License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 23 Photobucket License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 26 Twitter No license to use uploaded content No advertising 31 Flickr License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 32 Blogger License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 44 eHow License to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements 49 eZineArticles No license to use uploaded content Targeted advertisements Table 3: Ownership rights and advertising rights of the 13 most-used web 2.0/3.0 platforms in the USA (data source: terms of use and privacy policies)
  17. 17. 3. Participatory web as ideology 10 of the 13 web 2.0/3.0 sites hold a de-facto ownership right of user data. 11 of the 13 platforms have the right to store, analyze, and sell the content and usage data to advertising clients that are enabled to provide targeted, personalized advertisements. Most web 2.0/3.0 companies own the data of the users, whereas the users do not own a share of the corporations. This is an asymmetric economic power relation.
  18. 18. 3. Participatory web as ideology For Georg Lukács, ideology “by-passes the essence of the evolution of society and fails to pinpoint it and express it adequately” (Lukács 1971: 50). Slavoj Žižek (1994: 305) argues that “’ideological’ is a social reality whose very existence implies the non-knowledge of its participants as to its essence“. An ideology is a claim about a certain status of reality that does not correspond to actual reality. It deceives human subjects in order to forestall societal change. It is false consciousness (Lukács 1971, 83).
  19. 19. 3. Participatory web as ideology Based on participatory democracy theory, we can argue that scholars who argue that the contemporary web or the Internet is participatory advance an ideology that celebrates capitalism and does not see how capitalist interests predominantly shape the Internet. Given these empirical results, it seems feasible to theorize the contemporary “web 2.0” not as a participatory system, but by employing more negative, critical terms such as class, exploitation, and surplus value.
  20. 20. 4. Class and the web Marx’s analysis of capitalism: The expanded reproduction process of capital, capital accumulation
  21. 21. 4. Class and the web A
  22. 22. 4. Class and the web Karl Marx highlights exploitation as the fundamental aspect of class by saying that “the driving motive and determining purpose of capitalist production” is “the greatest possible exploitation of labour- power by the capitalist” (Marx 1867: 449). “The theory of surplus value is in consequence immediately the theory of exploitation” (Negri 1991: 74) Marx says that the proletariat is “a machine for the production of surplus-value”, capitalists are “a machine for the transformation of this surplus-value into surplus capital” (Marx 1867: 742). Surplus value “is in substance the materialization of unpaid labour- time. The secret of the self-valorization of capital resolves itself into the fact that it has at its disposal a definite quantity of the unpaid labour of other people” (Marx 1867: 672). Surplus value “costs the worker labour but the capitalist nothing”, but “none the less becomes the legitimate property of the capitalist” (Marx 1867: 672).
  23. 23. 4. Class and the web Erik Olin Wright (1997): Exploitation of labour Exploitation based on skills Exploitation based on authority Bourdieu (1986): economic capital cultural capital Political capital
  24. 24. 4. Class and the web Rosa Luxemburg (1913: 363) argued that capital accumulation feeds on the exploitation of milieus that are drawn into the capitalist system. This idea was used for explaining the existence of colonies of imperialism by Luxemburg and was applied by Marxist Feminism in order to argue that unpaid reproductive labour can be considered as an inner colony and milieu of primitive accumulation of capitalism. (Bennholdt-Thomsen, Mies & Werlhof 1992, Mies 1996, Werlhof 1991). Antonio Negri uses the term “social worker” for arguing that there is a broadening of the proletariat that is “now extended throughout the entire span of production and reproduction” (Negri 1982: 209).
  25. 25. 4. Class and the web The multitude or proletariat is formed by “all those who labour and produce under the rule of capital” (Hardt & Negri 2004: 106), “all those whose labour is directly or indirectly exploited by and subjected to capitalist norms of production and reproduction” (Hardt & Negri 2000: 52). The proletariat is objectively united by the fact that it consists of all those individuals and groups that are exploited capital, live and produce directly and indirectly for capital that expropriates and appropriates resources (commodities, labour power, the commons, knowledge, nature, public infrastructures and services) that are produced and reproduced by the proletariat in common.
  26. 26. 4. Class and the web Over-exploitation means that goods are produced in a way that the “individual value of these articles is now below their social value” (Marx 1867: 434).
  27. 27. 4. Class and the web Knowledge is “universal labour” that is “brought about partly by the cooperation of men now living, but partly also by building on earlier work” (Marx 1894: 199). “Communal labour, however, simply involves the direct cooperation of individuals” (Marx 1894: 199). profit rate p = s / (c + v) = surplus value / (constant capital + variable capital) Exploitation of labour by Internet firms: p = s / (c + v1 + v2), s … surplus value, c … constant capital, v1 … wages paid to fixed employees, v2 … wages paid to users v2 => 0, v1 => v2 (v2 substitutes v1) outsourcing of labour
  28. 28. 4. Class and the web Produsage in a capitalist society can be interpreted as the outsourcing of productive labour from wage labour to users who work completely for free and help maximizing the rate of exploitation (e = s / v, = surplus value / variable capital) so that profits can be raised and new media capital can be accumulated. e = s /v: v=>0 => exploitation=>infinity Dallas Smythe (1981/2006) suggests that in the case of media advertisement models, the audience is sold as a commodity to advertisers (audience commodity): “Because audience power is produced, sold, purchased and consumed, it commands a price and is a commodity. (….) You audience members contribute your unpaid work time and in exchange you receive the program material and the explicit advertisements” (Smythe 1981/2006: 233, 238).
  29. 29. 4. Class and the web The Internet users who google data, upload or watch videos on YouTube, upload or browse personal images on Flickr, or accumulate friends with whom they exchange content or communicate online via social networking platforms like MySpace or Facebook, constitute an audience commodity that is sold to advertisers. The difference between the audience commodity on traditional mass media and on the Internet is that in the latter case the users are also content producers; there is user-generated content, the users engage in permanent creative activity, communication, community building, and content-production. Internet produser/produsage commodity: Due to the permanent activity of the recipients and their status as produsers, we can say that in the case of the Internet the audience commodity is a produser commodity.
  30. 30. 4. Class and the web The category of the produser commodity does not signify a democratization of the media towards a participatory or democratic system, but the total commodification of human creativity.
  31. 31. 4. Class and the web Advertisements on the Internet are frequently personalized; this is made possible by surveilling, storing, and assessing user activities with the help of computers and databases. This is another difference from TV and radio, which provide less individualized content and advertisements due to their more centralized structure. In 2008, Internet advertising was the third-largest advertising market in the USA and the UK.
  32. 32. 4. Class and the web Figure: The growth of Internet advertising profits in the USA (source: IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report 2008) Figure: The growth of Internet advertising profits in the UK (source: Ofcom Communications Market Report 2009)
  33. 33. 5. Conclusion The dialectic of technology and society The contemporary Internet and the contemporary world wide web are predominantly corporate spaces of capital accumulation through exploitation. “Critical theory argues that technology is not a thing in the ordinary sense of the term, but an ‘ambivalent’ process of development suspended between different possibilities” (Feenberg 2002: 15). Critical studies as alternative to technological/media determinism
  34. 34. 5. Conclusion Technological/Media determinism: Cause Effect + = Techno-optimism MEDIA / TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY -- = Techno-pessimism Dialectic of technology/media: Cause Effect MEDIA / TECHNOLOGY ... SOCIETY Effect Cause MEDIA / TECHNOLOGY ... SOCIETY
  35. 35. 5. Conclusion The Internet is a dialectical space that contains both positive and negative potentials, potentials for dominative competition and for co-operation that contradict each other (for a detailed discussion of this hypothesis see Fuchs 2008). The Internet acts as critical medium that enables information, co- ordination, communication, and co-operation of protest movements (Fuchs 2008), it has a potential to act as a critical alternative medium for progressive social movements, as examples such as Indymedia show (Fuchs 2010, Sandoval and Fuchs 2009). The Internet is both a social medium and a space of accumulation.
  36. 36. 5. Conclusion But the dialectic of the Internet is an asymmetric dialectic. Visibility is a central resource on the Internet. Dominant actors such as corporations, political parties, or governments control a vast amount of resources (money, influence, reputation, power, etc) which allows them to gain and accumulate visibility on the Internet. Although everyone can produce and diffuse information in principle easily with the help of the Internet because it is a global decentralized many-to-many and one-to-many communication system, not all information is visible to the same degree.
  37. 37. 5. Conclusion Rank Video Number of hits Originator Corporation, 1 Evolution of Dance 128 350 731 Judson Laipply owner Private, non- 11 of the 15 most 2 Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend 127 518 607 RCA Records corporate Sony Music viewed YouTube Entertainment 3 Charlie bit my finger – 127 370 584 Harry and Charlie Private, non- videos of all time are again! corporate 4 Miley Cirus – 7 Things 102 979 855 Hollywood Walt Disney provided by large Records Company 5 Rihanna – Don’t Stop the 101 501 290 Universal Music Vivendi media corporations Music Group 6 Chris Brown – With You 99 195 687 Jive Records Sony Music Entertainment such as Sony Music 7 Pands - Disculpa los Malos Pensamientos 98 309 779 Movic Records Movic Records Entertainment, 8 (Evangelion) Lo qué tú Quieras Oír 98 204 841 Guilermo Zapata Non-corporate, Vivendi, Walt creative commons Disney Company, 9 Jeff Dunham – Achmed the Dead Terrorist 97 015 666 Comedy Central Viacom ITV plc, Movic 10 Hahaha 93 906 757 Spacelord72 Private, non- corporate Records. 11 Leona Lewis – Bleeding 91 243 811 Syco Music Sony Music Love Entertainment 12 Lady Gaga – Just Dance 80 633 974 Interscope- Vivendi Geffen-A&M The “Internet 13 Britney Spears - 78 448 761 Jive Sony Music 14 Womanizer Timbaland – Apologize 78 400 330 Interscope- Entertainment Vivendi attention economy“ 15 Susan Boyle – Singer – 77 121 404 Geffen-A&M ITV ITV plc is dominated by Britains Got Talent 2009 Table: Most viewed videos on YouTube of all time, October 17th, 2009, 21:00 CET large corporations.
  38. 38. 5. Conclusion Rank Blog Operator Character Alexa Traffic Rank (3 month average of visits by global Internet users) 1 Huffington Huffington Post Inc. Corporate #274 0.3192% Post 2 Gizmodo Gawker Media Corporate #760 0.1434% 3 TechCrunch TechCrunch Corporate #495 0.2117% 4 Engadget AOL Time Warner Corporate #562 0.1829% 5 Boing Boing Happy Mutants LLC Corporate #2301 0.058% 6 Mashable! Mashable Corporate #517 0.2142% 7 Think Center for American Non-corporate, #9259 0.0166% Progress Progress Action politcal think tank Fund 8 The Daily RTST Inc. Corporate #4390 0.0277% Beast 8 The Corner on National Review, Corporate #5740 0.0211% National Inc. Review 10 Hot Air Hot Air LLC Corporate #5039 0.0217% Table: Blogs with the largest attention and influence, data source: Technorati Authority, October 17, 2009
  39. 39. 5. Conclusion The blogosphere is dominated by start-up companies that aim at capital accumulation. 9 of the top 10 blogs are corporate blogs. The only non-corporate top 10 blog is a political think tank funded by individuals who are politically close to the Democrats. The blogosphere is dominated by a power elite, capital and political actors. None of these blogs reaches as much attention on the Internet as the large information platforms operated by large corporations: Yahoo: 25.699%, MSN: 11.768%, AOL: 2.253%, BBC: 1.594%, CNN: 1.404% (alexa.com, percentage of global Internet users who visit web platforms, 3 month average).
  40. 40. 5. Conclusion Indymedia is only ranked number 4147 in the list of the most accessed websites, whereas BBC Online is ranked number 44, CNN Online number 52, the New York Times Online number 115, Spiegel Online number 152, Bildzeitung Online number 246, and Fox News Online number 250 (data source: alexa.com, top 1 000 000 000 sites, August 2, 2009). = stratified capitalist online attention economy Internet-supported protest is possible and necessary, but today remains rather marginalized. The question if resistance to online surveillance is possible, depends on how conscious users are about potential threats. Survey: N=674 students who use social networking sites
  41. 41. 5. Conclusion Figure: Major perceived opportunities of social networking sites 1: Maintaining existing contacts, friendships, family relations, e t c 2: Establishing new contacts with unknown people or with people whom one hardly knows and can easier contact o n l i n e 3: Finding and renewing old contacts 4: Communication in interest groups and hobby groups 5: Communication and contacts in general (no further specification) 6: International and global character of communication and contacts 7: Sharing and accessing photos, music, v i d e o s 8: Entertainment, fun, spare time, amusem e n t 9: Source of information and new s 10: Browsing other profiles, "spying" on others 11: Free communication that saves money 12: Reminder of birthdays 13: Business communication, finding jobs, self-presentation for potential employers 14: Being hip and trendy 15: Mobility, access from anyw h e r e 16: Self-presentation to others (for non-business reasons ) 17: Flirting, sex, love
  42. 42. 5. Conclusion Figure: Major perceived risks of social networking sites 1: Data abuse or data forwarding or lack of data protection that lead to surveillance by state, companies, or individuals 2: Private affairs become public and result in a lack of privacy and privacy control 3: Personal profile data (images, etc) are accessed by employer or potential employers and result in job-related disadvantages (such as losing a job or not getting h i r e d ) 4: Receiving advertising or spam 5: Lack or loss of personal contacts, superficial communication and contacts, impoverishment of social relat i o n s 6: Stalking, harassment, becoming a crime victi m 7: Commercial selling of personal data 8: Data and identity theft 9: I see no disadvanta g e s 10: It is a waste of time 11: Virus, hacking and defacing of profiles, data integri t y 12: Internet addiction, increase of stress and health damages 13: Unrealistic, exaggerated self-presentation, competition for best self-presentati o n 14: Disadvantages at university because professors can access profile s 15: Costs for usage can be introduced (or exist in the case of some platforms) 16: Friends can get a negative impression of m e
  43. 43. 5. Conclusion Antangonism between surveillance and communication on SNS: 55.7% of the respondents say that political, economic, or personal surveillance is a main threat of social networking sites. 59.1% consider maintaining existing contacts as the main advantage. As our study has shown, many young people seem to be aware of the surveillance risks of web 2.0. They possess a critical potential that could be transformed into protest and social movement action if it is adequately triggered and organized.
  44. 44. 5. Conclusion Kojin Karatani Internet produsage: reflects “the transcritical moment where workers and consumers intersect” (Karatani 2005: 21). For political strategies this brings up the actuality of an associationist movement that is “a transnational association of consumers/workers” (Karatani 2005: 295) that engages in “the class struggle against capitalism” of “workers qua consumers or consumers qua workers” (Karatani 2005: 294).
  45. 45. The Hegelian Dialectical Triad of Multitude, Capital, and Communism commonwealth = communism Marx: produces surplus knowledge = part of value, the commons = “AUFHEBUNG“ (SUBLATION) “a world of common wealth, focusing on and commons “universal labour” expanding our capacities for collective (knowledge, language, that is “brought about production and self-government“ (Hardt and affects, communication, partly by the Negri 2009, Commonwealth: xiii), comunism education, care, technology, cooperation of men “centralized state control“, “proper meaning“ of digital knowledge, user- now living, but partly communism=“what the private is to capitalism, generated Internet content, also by building on what the public is to [state] socialism, the Internet-mediated earlier work” (Marx common is to communism“ (Hardt and Negri communication, etc) 1894: 199). 2009: 273) => FOR A COMMUNIST INTERNET IN A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION COMMUNIST SOCIETY capital exploits surplus value and the commons V = c + v + s the multitude resists against capitalM-C..P..C‘-M‘ = actuality: necessary for capitalism MULTITUDE = potentiality CAPITAL, “EMPIRE“

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