We the Commodities

One of the important ideas expressed in The Attention eConomy chapter of Reality Lost is commodifying the users’ information does not only serve make consumers victims of predatory marketing tactics. But it also, equally as important, creates a political dilemma where the online public become targets of political micro-targeting. The book briefly mention the idea of developing countries falling victim to data misuse. In these countries, nefarious data collection can lead to abuses which threaten the development in the political sense. Based on all of that, I believe that this phenomenon is only bound to get worse. Unlike the United States, where rights tend to be explicitly defined, these developing countries tend to be more unstable and the looming threat of fake news, is not to be taken lightly. This is because it is disinformation can quickly lead to human rights abuses, due to the unestablished government and/or lack of peoples’ rights. Another important issue, is that on top of dealing with state development, the people and the government have to deal with external forces spreading disinformation. An important point in your lecture that applies here, is that in responding to disinformation one gives it a platform no matter how illegitimate it may be. In effect, this may continue the erosion of trust in the developing government and may even undermine its authority since they are responding to such outlandish statements. Lastly, I also believe that this phenomenon will only continue to grow in developing countries as access to the internet in them increases. I say this because one may just be gathering information online, but as we see in this course, it I important to be a good digital citizen and know how to defend oneself from disinformation, which is easier said than done.

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