<aside> ❗ This is a speculative work.

Not a proposal, rather an exploration of how else things could be. The ambition is to shift thinking and provoke conversation.

****All photography and web screenshots are fictional, though inspired by reality. Any external sources are entirely real.


Vandalism against tech propaganda became visible in the summer of 2020

Vandalism against tech propaganda became visible in the summer of 2020

📖 The Back Story

Although the simmering threat of the attention economy has been present since The New York Sun's first edition captivated the city in 1833, a multitude of convergent factors have led to the crisis of today.

The Offenders

Digital colonialism's rise coincides with the giants of silicon valley's exponential growth. The so-called G-MAFIA (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, IBM and Apple) have grown to become untouchable, with oligopolistic control over infrastructure locking users into their ecosystems.

The problem extends far beyond these few companies, however. As surveillance capitalism takes hold in the 2010s, the global availability of internet-connected devices has enabled exploitative business models to take off on an unprecedented scale.

The Center for Human Technology's Ledger of Harms documents the damage caused by digital colonialism extensively.

The Argument

Part of digital colonialism's immense success is due to the immediate benefits it provides it's subjects. Many are happy using platforms like Facebook. We like nice things, and the severity of the trade off for our privacy and security is either concealed or diverted.

Addictive gambling mechanics and feedback loops provide us with the dopamine hits we grow to crave. Hyper-targeted advertising suggests products we didn't even know we wanted, complete with personalised messaging. Viral content recommended by our filter bubble is easily consumed, occupying our minds without the stress of being confronted with differing views.