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“Taylor is the Marshall McLuhan or the Neil Postman of our new digital economy, the lonely voice raising urgent questions we need to answer together . . . If The People’s Platform doesn't spark the conversation about the kind of democracy and culture we deserve, then we'll deserve the one we get.” – NY1 News’ The Book Reader
The Internet has been hailed as an unprecedented democratizing force, a place where all can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In a seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, The People’s Platform argues that the Internet in fact amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. A handful of giant companies remain the gatekeepers, while the worst habits of the old media model – the pressure to seek easy celebrity, to be quick and sensational above all – have proliferated in the ad-driven system.
We can do better, Astra Taylor insists. The online world does offer a unique opportunity, but a democratic culture that supports work of lasting value will not spring up from technology alone. If we want the Internet to truly be a people's platform, we will have to make it so.