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David Wees

Mathematics Teacher, Stratford Hall

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Is the current direction of the web Democratic?

While I agree with Roger that his vision of the future of the web is where we are headed, I would like to argue that it is wholly unDemocratic. The control panel version of the Internet is disturbing, because it seems to me that we have become willing to sacrifice the ability to control what we view and interact with for the convenience of other people making that decision for us.

Facebook and Google's algorithms to filter what we view based on our preferences means that, through the algorithms they have written, corporations have more control over the information we receive than ever before. The definition of fascist corporatism (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism#Fascist_corporatism) is "management of sectors of the economy by government or private organizations." In an information technology age, management of information is management of the economy, and we are letting private corporations manage entirely too much of our information.

We know where the road of fascism leads us. We need to take a step back from that road and find a new path.


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    Nov 12 2011: Some observations from Richard Beaudry (@RBeaudryLTA) on Twitter:

    Social media success - Examples: Elections in Iran, and people revolutions in the Arab world this year.

    Internet Censorship still a problem in countries led by single political parties: China, Syria, Burma.
    US Sen. tried to overturn the FCC's rules on Open Int. intro. in 2010. Corp. interests over democracy.
    US Sen voted 52–46 to defeat S.J Res 6 which would have overturned the FCC Commissions Open Int Rules.

    Can you think of other examples in which the Internet is becoming less Democratic?

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