The real opportunity of social networking looks a lot more like Burning Man and WikiLeaks than it does like P&G’s word-of-mouth campaign or whatever Twitter is hatching in its new analytics lab.
We are building the social organism together. That’s all the Internet has been doing from the beginning. But it seems as soon as we develop a new tool or strand of connectivity, it is hijacked by business, robbed of its power, and then replaced by mechanisms that connect us to things, rather than people.
Most Americans do not want to be tracked by online advertisers, according to a new Gallup poll released Tuesday.
When asked if advertisers should be allowed to match ads to people’s specific interests based on other websites they’ve previously visited, a clear majority of 67% said no, compared with 30% who said yes.
Berners-Lee was clear on one count: Open government data is data about a country which “is not personally identifiable information about individuals. It does not have privacy issues associated with it. And it does not military or state secrets.” That’s inline with the definition for open government that the Obama administration advanced in its directive last December, or the perspective that Berners-Lee provided at the first International Open Government Data Conference.
To be sure, there are some things to fear, but their names are not West or Chomsky or Horowitz. The forces — call them neoliberal, call them corporate capitalism, call them political indoctrination — that have in different ways turned the university away from the emancipatory project Kant called us to (and every one of these authors celebrates) are enemy enough. We don’t have to demonize each other.
They are the online equivalent of enclosure riots: the rick-burning, fence-toppling protests by English peasants losing their rights to the land. When MasterCard, Visa, Paypal and Amazon tried to shut WikiLeaks out of the cyber-commons, an army of hackers responded by trying to smash their way into these great estates and pull down their fences.