“The violence of participation is about data mining” #bigdata

[…] “In the third part, “The Violence of Participation,” Mark Andrejevic reports from the new frontiers of data mining. He makes the case that the commercial appropriation of information meets an abstract definition of exploitation. Andrejevic argues that it is indeed the sign of a certain kind of material luxury to be able to be exploited online—to have the leisure time and resources to engage in the activities that are monitored and tracked. Google tracks its 1 billion unremunerated users and sells their data to advertising clients, who consequently target users with ads. The intertwining of labor, leisure, consumption, production, and play complicates the understanding of exploitation, but Andrejevic remarked that the potential usefulness of an exploitation-based critique of online monitoring is that it invites us to reframe questions of individual choice and personal pleasure in terms of social relations. Andrejevic also discusses peer pressure and the obligation to network online, which is becoming institutionalized, and the fruits of this labor are recognized as a source of value. Commercial surveillance has become a crucial component of our communicative infrastructure, he observes. Exploitation, however, does not mean that workers don’t take pleasure in the success of a collaborative effort. There are moments of pleasure despite the fact that we are losing control of our productive and creative activities. While his critique of exploitation does not disparage the pleasures of workers, it also does not nullify exploitative social relations […] The violence of participation is about data mining on the one hand and the personal and professional price they would pay for their refusal of mainstream social media services on the other. Refusal would be tantamount to social isolation” (from the INTRODUCTION “Why Does Digital Labor Matter Now?” Trebor Scholz, Digital Labour: the Internet As Playground and Factory, Routledge, 2012)
Schermata 07-2456481 alle 17.59.38

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Cosimo Accoto

Research Affiliate at MIT | Author "Il Mondo Ex Machina" (Egea) | Philosopher-in-Residence | Business Innovation Advisor | www.cosimoaccoto.com

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