Why Does Free Internet Mean “Exploitation?”

Most content and services on the internet are free for customers: electronic mail, social networks, news portals… Yet have you ever idea ‘why’? Maybe you pay free of charge for internet content, a splendid extra deal that you can consider.

The illusion of “unfastened.”

Facebook, Google, and news websites are simplified versions of most net users’ normal itineraries. This route is completely unfastened and truly secure: you pass from one destination to another nearly automatically. But what would happen if you visited your preferred (unfastened!) news portal and determined that you study a single article? Instead, you would be asked to pay in case you want to get admission to the substances.

Your exceptional walk could be spoiled. “Why, for God’s sake, do I need to pay for it?” – many customers could exclaim. “Why can I use Google or Facebook completely unfastened? Who do the editors assume they may be, asking me for cash?” Many humans assume that people who work in such big corporations, like Google or Facebook, are passionately committed and enthusiastic volunteers who ordinarily sacrifice themselves in the name of “the consumer-orientated internet.” Well, numbers talk louder than words: in 2014, Facebook’s earnings turned 12 billion dollars, and Google – even more sixty-six billion dollars. Do you continue to believe in the “consumer-oriented net” mission?


Our information portals can slightly consider such sums. “Not my issues, sorry” – atypical, added up by the miracles the free internet user could state. “The truth is that there are individuals who study their portal, and it is already a huge success for them.” Such common sense proves that users do not comprehend that they’re involved in the technique of capital accumulation – and on this “sport,” their function is unenviable. As a matter of truth, the internet isn’t always an area where all of us are identical; however, it is a hierarchical pyramid governed by those on the pinnacle.

To prove yourself that “the whole thing is free” is a mere illusion, you could wonder how come those “loose” services get a lot of money. The rule is easy: if you do not pay now, any individual else does. This someone isn’t a beneficiant daddy, equipped to pay his last cent, so you may want to scroll via your information feed on Facebook or find where to spend your evening on Google. This somebody is… Advertising.

To clean it up, if the websites dictate the policies from the top of the pyramid, advertising and marketing are the proprietors who create these guidelines. Were you seeking out the location to have dinner? Awesome! Google will provide you with many romantic venues to seek out. havethat everyone? Sure, it isn’t always: the next time you scroll through your news feed, you may (marvel-marvel!) stumble into the photos of the place you’ve visited, sending you a linear message: revisit us! Alternatively, you can see the snapshots of other locations, implying that it’s miles excessive time you went somewhere out. It is the primary lure of “the illusion of unfastened” – you are tracked, and your non-public information is used without your permission.

The second trap is even extra risky – probably you do not recognize that now; however, you’re away to produce capital for websites at the top of the pyramid. Yes, no person pays yours for that. The stolen records are used to scouse borrow your attention – and it is marketing that does it. Ads are everywhere: on your private page, for your news feed, in search engines like Google, and even for your email – nobody warned you about it, and no person asked whether you permit using your private details for such purposes. Google and Facebook made this choice on your behalf and on behalf of hundreds of thousands of other human beings: well, guys, we provide our offerings for free; we neglect your attention and get our billions for that. It’s as simple as ABC.

The mechanism of exploitation on news websites is even more uncanny. Suppose earlier than the internet was a promise of a platform in which anybody is the same. In that case, anyone could express their opinion (and could be heard), in which nearby and worldwide troubles are solved cooperatively. Available to anybody, media foster civil society; nowadays, as a lot of time has passed, this only places a sad smile on our faces. All cited goals might be achieved only in a situation where an individual might be respected. From the very second you open the information portal, you are not a person anymore – you become a part of site visitors.

“But is it so? I can remark, argue with others, and ultimately, forestall visiting this website!” – one may argue. It is genuine, but sadly, your opinions and arguments are not a huge deal: inside the present device, you are both 1 or 0 – either you, or you aren’t. This is one more enticing of “the phantasm of free” – the illusion of participation. You are not anything but 1 – and there are many such 1s. You are neither a client nor a person; you are improper or incorrect and just a discerning part of site visitors. And yes, to procure it properly, your favorite information portal normally sells you to advertisers, stealing your attention.

Should we blame the proprietors of information portals for it? No. In this sort of gadget, they don’t have any preference. Should we blame newshounds for low-first-class, ill-organized, and sometimes even stupid content? No, they do their activity so long as the effects satisfy their enterprise – advertising. You go to the web page – you become 1, you examine the material – over again time, you emerge as 1, you like or do not like what you have read, and you’ve decided to percentage your thoughts – yes, you appear as 1. The best way is nothing in the pyramid; what truly matters is the amount, your interest, and you as 1, which can be converted without problems into dollars.

The outcome is that journalism, because of its fourth strength, does not perform its essential social function – to inform society and shape its self-recognition. Instead, it offers the illusion of participation that is, as we realize, a visitors-era tactic to draw advertisers. So, do you agree to hand over electricity to unfair advertising and marketing?

First and foremost, the paid subscription has to be brought again (as with newspapers). We must understand that, as long as somebody else will pay for us, anyone else decides who you are and what you will read. To convey again the born subscription approach to rehabilitate first-rate analytic journalists and provide journalism its legitimate strength. Paying for the content material, you grow to be one of the responsibilities for the information portal. While journalists will be stimulated to satisfy high requirements, you may get the most effective top-notch content material.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.