This book explores the fundamental contradiction at the heart of the digital environment: technology offers all manner of promises, yet habitually fails to deliver. This failure often arises from numerous problems: the proficiency of the technology or end-user, policy failure at various levels, or a combination of these. Solutions such as better technology and more effective end-user education are often put into place to solve these failures.
Mike Healy argues that such approaches are inherently faulty drawing upon qualitative research informed by Marx’s theory of alienation. Using Marx’s theory, he considers participants in three distinct settings: the workplace of information and communications technology (ICT) professionals; university scholars researching the ethical and societal implications of our digital environment; and a group of pensioners living in South London, UK, undertaking ICT training. By delving beneath the surface of how digital technologies are created, researched and experienced, this study illustrates the contradictory nature of our digital lives, as they directly arise from the needs of capitalism.
The book also places Marx’s theory in contrast to the mainstream approaches derived from Seaman and Blauner. In researching and comprehending ICT, this book reaffirms the superior explanatory power of Marx’s theory of alienation.Book Details
‘The Internet is broken and Paolo Bory knows how we got here. In a powerful book based on original research, Bory carefully documents the myths, imaginaries, and ideologies that shaped the material and cultural history of the Internet. As important as this book is to understand our shattered digital world, it is essential for those who would fix it.’ — Vincent Mosco, author of The Smart City in a Digital World
The Internet Myth retraces and challenges the myth laying at the foundations of the network ideologies – the idea that networks, by themselves, are the main agents of social, economic, political and cultural change. By comparing and integrating different sources related to network histories, this book emphasizes how a dominant narrative has extensively contributed to the construction of the Internet myth while other visions of the networked society have been erased from the collective imaginary. The book decodes, analyzes and challenges the foundations of the network ideologies looking at how networks have been imagined, designed and promoted during the crucial phase of the 1990s.
Three case studies are scrutinized so as to reveal the complexity of network imaginaries in this decade: the birth of the Web and the mythopoesis of its inventor; and the histories of two Italian networking projects, the infrastructural plan Socrate and the civic network Iperbole, the first to give free Internet access to citizens.
The Internet Myth thereby provides a compelling and hidden sociohistorical narrative in order to challenge one of the most powerful myths of our time.Book Details
Google and Facebook currently control close to two-thirds of global advertising revenue. While dominating the online advertising market, these two companies have thus far avoided paying adequate taxes.
This CAMRI policy brief presents a new policy innovation, the online advertising tax. Considering the key role of user activity and user data for the value of Google and Facebook’s services, it explains how digital advertising companies’ revenues could be taxed based on the respective country in which targeted users are located.
The author reviews existing policy arguments and policy options and sets out practical steps to ensure that tax avoidance by online advertising companies is mitigated. Furthermore, he illustrates how tax revenues could be used to support public service internet platforms.Book Details
Online advertising will soon form the largest share of global advertisement revenues. Google and Facebook netted profits of US $29 billion in 2016. While these two giants control more than 66% of all online advertising revenues complex legal company structures have minimised their tax liabilities. This extended policy report considers where they should be taxed and where the value of their activities is actually created. It argues that tax paid by those platforms should be levied in the country where platform users are located when they click on or view an advertisement. Furthermore, the report examines the practical steps needed to ensure transparent accounting of taxed transactions in order to avoid long term negative effects for media and democracy.
Considering counter-arguments the author makes the case for an online advertising tax alongside a public service Internet strategy that could support other viable platforms and counter the dangers of duopoly or oligopoly and the high risks of financial bubbles in a world where advertising is the Internet's dominant business model.Book Details