The Power of Platforms: Shaping Media and Society
Title: The Power of Platforms: Shaping Media and Society
Abstract: More people today get news via Facebook and Google than from any news organization in history, and smaller platforms like Twitter serve news to more users than all but the biggest media companies. This presentation draws on original interviews and other qualitative evidence to analyze the "platform power" that a few technology companies have come to exercise in public life, the reservations publishers have about platforms, as well as the reasons why publishers often embrace them nonetheless. It draws out the implications of a fundamental feature of the contemporary world that we all need to understand: previously powerful and relatively independent institutions like the news media are increasingly in a position similar to that of ordinary individual users, simultaneously empowered by and dependent upon a small number of centrally placed and powerful platforms.
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