Public Values in a Connective World
Individuals all over the world can use Airbnb to rent an apartment in a foreign city, check Coursera to find a course on statistics, join PatientsLikeMe to exchange information about one’s disease, hail a cab using Uber, or read the news through Facebook’s Instant Articles. The promise of connective platforms is that they offer personalized services and contribute to innovation and economic growth, while bypassing cumbersome institutional or industrial overhead.
In The Platform Society,
Van Dijck, Poell and De Waal offer a comprehensive analysis of a
connective world where platforms have penetrated the heart of
societies-disrupting markets and labor relations, circumventing
institutions, transforming social and civic practices and affecting
democratic processes. This book questions what role online platforms
play in the organization of Western societies. First, how do platform
mechanisms work and to what effect are they deployed? Second, how can
platforms incorporate public values and benefit the public good?
The Platform Society highlights how this struggle plays out in four private and public sectors: news, urban transport, health, and education. Each struggle highlights local dimensions, for instance fights over regulation between individual platforms and city governments, but also addresses the level of the platform ecosystem as well as the geopolitical level where power clashes between global markets and (supra-)national governments take place.
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