by Zoë Pollock
Evgeny Morozov argues yes:
[W]e need to stop thinking of the internet as a marketplace first and a public forum second. What is long overdue is a fundamental reconsideration of the primacy of the internet’s civic and aesthetic dimensions. It’s time to decide whether we want the internet to look like a private mall or a public square.
Paul Ford's Internet Culture Review from 2001 touched on similar issues:
Very often the power of the "network" was seen to have a built-in social order that would topple governments, destroy churches, and “revolutionize” business. This was wishful thinking, as when TV's early apologists insisted the medium would transform education. Sure, TV could have changed education, but it's become clear in the last 50 years that the basic culture of advertiser-supported pablum and “open” stock markets, especially in the U.S., is entrenched, and gets first dibs on any new technology long before the “people” get to it. It was inevitable that the powerful social structures which already existed would simply co-opt the network, rather than the other way around.