Who runs the internet?

Before the internet, we were not free to publish our ideas and findings. We had to get permission from newspapers and publishers.

The internet gives us the ability to learn about what’s happening on the other side of the world in real time. It eliminates distance and lets us transact, do business, socialize, post our moments, and share our friends’ moments.

But if we think about it a bit further the truth is that we don’t really control our lives online the way we should.

Every time we post something online, we do it through a platform that is owned by a corporation or the government (see China). We give away everything about ourselves: our preferences, beliefs, relationships.

Besides privacy issues, I wonder about the consequences of personalized recommendations, when a corporation selectively guesses what information we want to see based on what they know about us.

If we consume only the information that is similar to our perspective then how do we form opinions? Even if we feel that we are overwhelmed with tons of info and news, we are most probably completely isolated from information that disagrees with our viewpoints. Do we all live in our own cultural and ideological bubbles?