Dillon Mahmoudi

Nanjala Nyabola on Digital Landlords

Back: [Excerpts]
Categories: [digital geography]
Excerpts Tags: [digital landlords], [digital inequality]

Nanjala Nyabola challenges the idea that digital technologies, and social media platforms, enhance democracy by describing influence on social media platforms can be bought or sold. In this scenario, she convincingly argues, is more akin to feudalism than democracy.

"Bot farms can only exist and prosper because these sites are designed to make money, and the algorithms that run Facebook, Google and Twitter are designed to privilege paid-for-content. So those with deeper pockets obviously get more access to users. This is anathema to the flattening democratic principle of one person, one vote. It more closely resembles feudalism, where the moneyed landlords have a greater influence on the content and timbre of politics than the lowly serfs. The connection between advertising and algorithms on these platforms undermines their claims to enhancing democracy."

From Nanjala Nyabola's book Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics, pages 34-35.