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People used to think the internet would help democracy — but in the era of Facebook data breaches, it's seems it hasn't

  • In the recently published The Internet Trap: How the Digital Economy Builds Monopolies and Undermines Democracy author and professor Matthew Hindman suggests that as we enter the web's third decade, market forces drive the vast majority of traffic and profit to an exceedingly small group of sites, with no change on the horizon.
  • In his 2006 book The Wealth of Networks, Benkler noted that in the industrial age, one could only reach a wider audience by making "ever-larger investments in physical capital" — for example in telegraphs, presses, radio and TV transmitters — ensuring a corporate monopoly over public speech.
  • In The Internet Trap, Hindman extends the inquiry, finding that while the net does lower the basic cost of mass communication, the cost of building and keeping a large audience remains high.

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