Posted by: sarakroth | October 1, 2012

Will We Soon Tweet on Pepsi Twitter and Search on Bank of America Google?

I have never heard of “Internet Addiction Affliction Disorder,” although I assume many of us may have this romantic-sounding issue. Digitization (and therefore the internet) “is a ‘universal language’ that is able to unite different communities around the globe” (p. 108). It has, more than any other medium, the potential to be all-consuming. Still, Frankfurt’s idea of the “consciousness industry” hasn’t yet taken over the internet. A huge, diverse population has control of the media on the internet. A mommy blogger in Nebraska has fans in Japan and South Africa. Twitter, the great equalizer, can give a teenager in Kansas as much attention as NBC.

But the internet is still a capitalist society. As described on p. 111, vertical integration is made possible because of media ownership and control. At first, major non-internet corporations were wary of putting their advertising money in online media. Now, online advertising spending is expected to outpace print. As major corporations become more web savvy (and web-based companies grow and buy), will the structure of the internet change?

Right now, the internet is open and free. Every voice can be heard, and everyone can say what they want (at least in democratic countries). But what will deep pockets with special interests be able to do and censor, and how will it affect our freedom of choice online? Will Twitter be bought by Pepsi and controlled by the FCC?

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