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From private profit to public liabilities: how platform capitalism’s business model works for children

From private profit to public liabilities: how platform capitalism’s business model works for children

Two concepts have recently emerged that invite us to rethink the relationship between children and digital technology: the “datafied child” (Lupton & Williamson, 2017) and children’s digital rights (Livingstone & Third, 2017). The concept of the datafied child highlights the amount of data that is being harvested about children during their daily lives, and the […]

Digital platforms are governing systems — so it’s time we examined them in more detail

Digital platforms are not just software-based media, they are governing systems that control, interact, and accumulate. As surfaces on which social action takes place, digital platforms mediate — and to a considerable extent, dictate — economic relationships and social action. By automating market exchanges they solidify relationships into material infrastructure, lend a degree of immutability […]

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The limits of uberization: How far can platforms go?

Platforms that enable users to come together and  buy/sell services with confidence, such as Uber, have become remarkably popular, with the companies often transforming the industries they enter. In this blog post the OII’s Vili Lehdonvirta analyses why the domestic cleaning platform Homejoy failed to achieve such success. He argues that when buyer and sellers enter into repeated transactions they can […]

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Uber and Airbnb make the rules now — but to whose benefit?

Ride-hailing app Uber is close to replacing government-licensed taxis in some cities, while Airbnb’s accommodation rental platform has become a serious competitor to government-regulated hotel markets. Many other apps and platforms are trying to do the same in other sectors of the economy. In my previous post, I argued that platforms can be viewed in […]

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Why are citizens migrating to Uber and Airbnb, and what should governments do about it?

Cars were smashed and tires burned in France last month in protests against the ride hailing app Uber. Less violent protests have also been staged against Airbnb, a platform for renting short-term accommodation. Despite the protests, neither platform shows any signs of faltering. Uber says it has a million users in France, and is available […]

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