April 30th, 2011

Now New Atlantis.

Over at juggzy there is an interesting discussion about the purge of certain UK political sites out of facebook. The fact that fb is in its perfect right and acting according to its published statutes shouldn’t make us any less wary. This kind of incident should be a reminder to all of us, that our perception of the internet as a new frontier is very naive. The internet is not a place, and it is definitely not some realm where we can stake out claims and set up new utopian communities safely apart from the rest of the world. The internet is just a very big filing cabinet into which you can put your information and exert a tiny bit of weak control over who gets to see it. There is no guarantee that you’ll ever be able to remove it, and every single slot of the cabinet is owned either by a commercial company or by a governmental institution. Although it is an awesome technology that empowers us to communicate massively, there is no reason to expect that when using it we will be safer from manipulation, oppression, repression, or censure. On the contrary, on the Internet, "They" hold the whole deck in their hands.