It is going without saying that the majority of content and offerings on the internet are completely unfastened for customers: email, social networks, news portals… Yet have you ever idea ‘why’? Maybe you pay without spending a dime internet content material a tremendous deal more than you could imagine?

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The phantasm of “free”

Facebook, Google, news internet site – this is a simplified model of most internet users’ regular itinerary. This path is absolutely loose and truly secure: you circulate from one vacation spot to any other nearly mechanically. But what might appear if at some point you visited your preferred (free!) news portal and discovered out that you have been couldn’t read a single article. Instead, you will be requested to pay if you need to get entry to the materials.

Your first-class walk would really be spoiled. “Why, for God’s sake, so I must pay for it?” – many users would exclaim. “Why can I use Google or Facebook completely unfastened? Who do the editors assume they are, asking me for money?” A lot of human beings assume that people who paintings in such large organizations, like Google or Facebook, are passionately devoted and enthusiastic volunteers, who ordinary sacrifice themselves in the name of “the consumer-orientated internet”. Well, numbers talk louder than phrases: in 2014 the annual Facebook’s profit turned into 12 billion greenbacks, Google – even extra, 66 billion bucks. Do you continue to agree with inside the “the consumer-orientated net” mission?

Our news portals can barely imagine such sums. “Not my troubles, sorry” – a regular, delivered up by means of the miracles of the unfastened net consumer could country. “The reality that there are folks who examine their portal is already a massive success for them”. Such logic proves that customers do now not recognise that they’re involved in the system of capital accumulation – and on this “recreation” their role is truly unenviable. The internet, as a remember of truth, isn’t an area wherein everyone is equal, however a hierarchical pyramid governed by those at the top.

The Internet Pyramid

The examples of Google and Facebook (there are tons more of them) are the examples of “those on the pinnacle”. They create the phantasm of “loose”. “So, what is incorrect with it?” – one extra possible query.

Paradoxically may it’s, however, the root of the problem is nothing but the reality that the whole lot is (at the start sight) free.

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To show your self that “the whole thing is unfastened” is a trifling illusion you may marvel how come those “free” services get so much money. The rule is simple: if you do not pay, someone else does. This someone isn’t always a generous daddy, equipped to pay his final cent so you ought to scroll through your information feed on Facebook or locate where to spend your evening on Google. This any person is… Advertising.

To clean it up, if the websites dictate the regulations from the pinnacle of the pyramid, marketing is its proprietor, who create those regulations. Were you searching out the region to have dinner? Awesome! Google will offer you a gaggle of romantic venues so that you might for certain find what you have been searching out. Is that everyone? Sure it isn’t always: the following time you will be scrolling through your news feed, you may (wonder-surprise!) stumble into the photographs of the vicinity you have got visited, sending you quite a linear message: visit us again! Alternatively, you can see the pix of different locations, implying that it’s far high time you went someplace out. It is the primary trap of “the phantasm of loose” – you’re tracked and your private information is used without your permission.

The 2d trap is even greater risky – probably you do now not even recognize that but you are a method to produce capital for websites placed at the pinnacle of the pyramid. Yes, nobody pays yours for that. The stolen statistics is used to steal your interest – and it’s miles advertising and marketing that does it. Ads are anywhere: on your private web page, on your news feed, in serps, even in your electronic mail – no person warned you about it and no person requested whether you permit to apply your private details for such purposes. Google and Facebook made this decision for your behalf and on behalf of hundreds of thousands of other human beings: nicely, men, we offer our services without spending a dime, we forget about your attention and get our billions for that. As simple as ABC.

Just use the services Google, Facebook and others offer you without cost. But is it truthful?

How the target market is transformed into traffic

The mechanism of exploitation of information websites is even more uncanny. If earlier than the net became a promise of the platform where absolutely everyone is identical, anybody can explicit their opinion (and could absolutely be heard), in which neighborhood and international issues are solved cooperatively, and reachable to anybody media foster civil society, today, as a lot of time has handed, this only places an unhappy smile on our faces. All of the mentioned goals can be performed best on condition that a human being would be reputable. From the very moment you open the news portal, you aren’t a person anymore – you become a part of visitors.

“But is it so? I can remark, argue with others, eventually, I can prevent touring this web page!” – one would possibly argue. It is true, however, unluckily, your opinion and arguments you provide aren’t any large deal: within the existing system you are both 1, or 0 – both you are, otherwise, you are not. This is one greater trap of “the illusion of loose” – the illusion of participation. You are nothing but 1 – and there are masses of such 1s. You are neither a customer nor a user, you’re never proper nor are you wrong, you are just a discerning, a part of traffic. And yes, you purchased it properly: your favourite information portal normal sells you to advertisers stealing your interest.

Should we blame the proprietors of news portals for it? No. In one of this gadget, they have no choice. Should we blame journalists for an extremely low-nice, unwell-organized and occasionally even stupid content material? No, they do their job so long as the results fulfil their company – advertising. You go to the site – you end up 1, you read the fabric – yet again time, you become 1, you want or do not like what you’ve got examine and you have determined to percentage your mind – yes, you come to be 1. The fine way not anything within the pyramid, what without a doubt matters is the amount, your interest, you as 1, which can be easily transformed into greenbacks.

The final results are that journalism as the fourth power does now not carry out its principal social characteristic – to tell the society and shape its self-consciousness. Instead, it offers the phantasm of participation that is, as we understand, a site visitors era tactic to draw advertisers. So, do you compromise at hand over strength to unfair advertising and marketing?

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First and main, the paid subscription has to be delivered lower back (because it was with newspapers). We need to remember the fact that, as long as any person else will pay for us, any person else decides who you’re and what you may read. To bring back paid subscription approach to rehabilitate best analytic journalist and to present returned journalism its legitimate energy. Paying for the content, you grow to be one of the liable for the news portal. While newshounds might be prompted to satisfy high standards, you’ll get the only notable content material.