To those of use who experienced its genesis, the Internet seemed at first to exist apart from an unfortunate status quo; a brave new blueprint for a thriving peer-to-peer society that spurns corporate branding and advertising culture in lieu of actual, genuine human connections. But Isaac Wilder, founder of the Free Network Foundation, knows the truth: The Internet, a once publicly-owned utility birthed from a government communications experiment, is falling back into the hands of corporations, and it’s time to fight back. The only problem: some of the most popular ways we’ve taken to doing so are based, ironically, on platforms owned by profit-driven entities.
It’s just one dilemma Wilder addresses in Motherboard’s recent documentary, Free the Network, which follows him and his band of network engineers across months of protest and police agression in New York City. He worries people are starting to forget that services like Twitter and Facebook (the latter of which is currently looking forward to a potential $10 billion IPO this May) are private organizations with their own self-serving agendas. When reminded of the narrative being pushed around during the social upheavals of the Arab Spring – that of social media as a liberator – Wilder was understandably ambivalent.
“It made it very clear that there is a very dangerous mass-delusion among the populace,” he said. “A lot of people […] put a lot of faith in those platforms and don’t realize that the medium is the message.”
Read the rest at Motherboard.