Let me draw you a sharp, plastic circle…

Australian Academy of Science, 2020, Microplastics, Canberra, ACT, Distribution: YouTube, accessed: 05-10.04.2022.

From my first blog instalment, Popcorn, peanuts, cigarettes, cigars, white flour, white sugar… no choc-tops today (2022), you have probably detected tension in the relationship between the mass-media monster and myself. This matters to me, others and Nature. In my world, western concepts of capitalism and ownership are at the least problematic (Bruno & Wilson, 2002; Cinnamon, 2017; Hall, 1997; Langton, 2002; Lyon, 2002; Moreton-Robinson, 2004; Plumwood, 1999; Sunstein, 2007; Todd, 2015; Yunkaporta, 2019). Subsequently, I see media ownership, billionaires, left-clicks, right-swipes, meta-data, algorithms, postings, tweetings, scrollings, browsings, buyings and the likes are microplastics pollution in the www. world. (Bruno & Wilson, 2002; Cinnamon, 2017; Langton, 2002; Lyon, 2002; Orlowski, 2020; Plumwood, 1999; Solove, 2021 & 2001; Sunstein, 2007; Zuboff, 2019). 

I accept there are questions requiring my answer. So, here’s the deal… I will meet my undertaking and answer the questions however, as an Indigenous person living on and caring for unceded land, I submit this blog as a demonstration of my rejection of the colonialist-capitalist, culture of entitlement to profit before people and planet (Carlson & Frazer, 2018; Cinnamon, 2017; Hall, 1997; Langton, 2002; Moreton-Robinson, 2004; Orlowski, 2020; Plumwood, 1999; Solove, 2021 & 2001; Sunstein, 2007; Todd, 2015; Yunkaporta, 2019). Given mass media’s role in perpetuating misrepresentations of Indigenous people and the destruction of the environment, I will not name or identify media moguls, their companies nor reference their profits or net worth (Bruno & Wilson, 2002; Carlson & Frazer, 2018; Cinnamon, 2017; Langton, 2002; Lyon, 2002; Moreton-Robinson, 2004; Orlowski, 2020; Plumwood, 1999; Todd, 2015; Yunkaporta, 2019; Zuboff, 2019).

Orlowski, Jeff (Dir.), 2020, The Social Dilemma, Official Movie Trailer, Distribution: YouTube, accessed:15.03.2022-04.04.2022.

The streaming platform I am discussing, grew from a dislike for video-hire late fees. Initially, the company, for a flat monthly fee,  hired out DVD’s which were distributed by post, the snail-mail kind. By 2007, subscribers were offered unlimited streaming of movies and television series’, via the internet (Horsch, 2022; Hibler, 2021). By 2021, around the world, 200 million subscribers, pay a monthly fee to watch ad free, almost however they choose (Costa, 2020; Horsch, 2022; Hibler, 2021; Orlowski, 2020).

Expanding to create original content, the platform claims a 93% success rate, against television’s 35% customer satisfaction score (Hibler, 2021; Orlowski, 2020). This success didn’t arrive by chance. The company tracks and collects user data and develops algorithms to filter content, based upon an individual’s user profile, a digital profile. The data gathered includes age, gender and location. The digital profile also includes data about browsing behaviours, accepted viewing recommendations, the number of times a program is paused, rewound and scenes viewed multiple times. Predictable popularity success of original content and marketing campaigns is also based upon this collected data (Costa. 2020; Hibler, 2021; Horsch, 2022; Orlowski, 2020; Solove, 2001; Sunstein, 2007; Zuboff, 2019). This means your digital profile feeds the algorithms that inform both content production and targeted viewing recommendations the platform makes to you (Costa, 2020; Hibler, 2021; Horsch, 2022; Orlowski, 2020; Solove, 2001; Sunstein, 2007; Zuboff, 2019). Recommendations are not handpicked invitations by generous, thoughtful human beings, not even by well-trained, domesticated monkeys. 

Consequently the algorithms also determine your viewing. Reducing your free choice, shrinking the variety of viewing options recommended to you, shrinking your world. Maybe even shrinking you. (Costa, 2020; Hibler, 2021; Horsch, 2022; Orlowski, 2020; Solove, 2021 & 2001; Sunstein, 2007; Zuboff, 2019). This platform like most, has whole departments of engineers and data scientists integrated within their business model, constantly collating data and coding for developing better algorithms to sway your dollars out of your hand into theirs. The consumer is being consumed (Costa, 2020; Hibler, 2021; Horsch, 2022; Orlowski, 2020; Solove, 2021 & 2001; Sunstein, 2007; Zuboff, 2019). 

Come with me, back to the beginning. Let me complete the circle with my microplastics pollution metaphor. To my way of seeing things, the www. world and the natural world are critically, overwhelmingly polluted by our addictions to our own single-use, throw away wants and greed, in lieu of our responsibilities to protect and heal where we live. Perhaps, if each of us spent ten percent of our scrolling and clicking time, searching and posting for the planet, we might save it and our humanity (Bruno & Wilson, 2002; Cinnamon, 2017; Langton, 2002; Lyon, 2002; Moreton-Robinson, 2004; Orlowski, 2020; Plumwood, 1999; Pontes, 2017; Sunstein, 2007; Todd, 2015; Yunkaporta, 2019). Orlowski, 2020; Zuboff, 2019) … I’m just putting it out there folks…

The Amazing World of Gumball, 2019, Stupidity is #Trending Song, Clover Network, Cartoon Network, Generated by: Vlogit LVs: Gumball & Darwin, The Web, episode, Distribution: YouTube, accessed: 09-10.04.2022.

Thanx for popping by…

Your Friend In & Out of Plastix,

Juundaal Strang-Yettica 10.04.2022

Reference & Bibliography List

Bruno, David; Wilson, Meredith, (eds.), 2002, Inscribed Landscapes, Making & Making Place, University of Hawaii Press, Hawaii, USA.

Carlson, Bronwyn; Frazer, Ryan, 2018, Yarning circles & media activism, Media International, Research Article, Vol.169, Iss.1, p.43-53,https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/10.1177/1329878X18803762?icid=int.sj-full-text.similar-articles.2, accessed: 07.04.2022.

Cinnamon, Jonathan, 2017, Social Injustice in Surveillance Capitalism, Surveillance & Society, Vol.15, Iss.5, p.609-625, accessed: 04.05.2022.

Costa, Claire D, 2020, How Data is Boosting Netflix, blog, Towards Data Science, 20.04.2020, https://towardsdatascience.com/how-data-science-is-boosting-netflix-785a1cba7e45, accessed: 05.04.2020.

Hall, Stuart, 1997, The Work of Representation, Chp.1, p.1-51, The Spectacle of the Other, Chp.4, p.223-277; in Representation: Cultural Representations & Signifying Practices, Sage in association: The Open University, England, accessed: 15-27.03.2022.

Hibler, Joan, 2021, Reed Hastings: American entrepreneur, (04.10.2021), Encyclopaedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Netflix-Inc, accessed: 05.04.2022.

Hosch, William L, 2022, Netflix: American company: Netflix Inc., 16.03.2022, Encyclopaedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Netflix-Inc, accessed: 05.04.2022.

Langton, Marcia, 2002, The Edge of the Sacred: The Edge of Death, in Bruno, David; Wilson, Meredith; (eds.), 2002, Inscribed Landscapes: Making & Making Place, University of Hawaii Press, Hawaii.

Lidberg, Johan, 2019, The distortion of the Australian public sphere: Media ownership concentration in Australia, AQ: Australian Quarterly, Vol.90, no.1, Jan-March 2019, p.12-20, accessed: 15.03.2022-22.03.2022.

Lyon, David, 2002, Everyday Surveillance: Personal Data & Social Classifications; Information, Communication & Society, Iss.5, No.2, p.242-257, Taylor & Francis, accessed: 04.04.2022.

Meltzer, Rachel, 2020, How Netflix Utilises Data Science, blog, Lighthouse Labs, Canada, https://www.lighthouselabs.ca/en/about, https://www.lighthouselabs.ca/en/blog/how-netflix-uses-data-to-optimize-their-product#:~:text=The%20Netflix%20Recommendation%20Engine,clusters%20based%20on%20user%20preferences, accessed: 05.04.2022.

Moreton-Robinson, Aileen (ed.), 2004, Whitening Race: Essays in social & cultural criticism, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, ACT.

Orlowski, Jeff (Dir.) & Rhodes, Larissa (Prod.), 2020, The Social Dilemma,  Production: Exposure Labs, Argent Pictures & The Space Program, Documentary/Docudrama, 94:00 mins, Distribution: Netflix, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaaC57tcci0, accessed: 09.03.2022-10.04.2022.

Pontes, Halley M, 2017, Social networking disorder: Investigating the differential effects of social networking addiction & internet gaming disorder for psychological health, Journal of Behavioural Addictions, AK Journals, Vol.6, Iss.4, p.601-610, accessed: 04-05.04.2022.

Plumwood, Val, 1999, The Struggle for Environmental Philosophy in Australia, World Views: Environment, Culture & Religion, (3), p.157-178, The White Horse Press, Cambridge, UK.

Solove, Daniel J, 2021, The myth of the privacy paradox, George Washington University, Law Faculty & Other Works Publications, L.Rev. 89, 2021:1, accessed:27.03.2022.

Solove, Daniel J, 2001, Privacy & Power: Computer Databases & Metaphors for Information Privacy, George Washington University, Law Faculty & Other Works Publications, 53, Stan.L.Rev. 1393, accessed: 27.03.2022-05.04.2022.

Strang-Yettica, Juundaal, 2022, Popcorn, peanuts, cigarettes, cigars, white flour, white sugar… no choc-tops today, blog post.

Sunstein, Cass R, 2007, The Polarisation of Extremes, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vol.154, Iss.16, 14.12.2007, B9: Washington, US, accessed: 27.03.2022-05.04.2022.

Todd, Zoe, 2015, Indigenising the Anthropocene, Art in the Anthropocene: encounters among aesthetics, politics, environments & epistemologies, Open Humanities Press.

Yunkaporta, Tyson, 2019, sand talk, Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, VIC.

Zuboff, Shoshana, 2019, Surveillance Capitalism & the Challenge of Collective Action; New Labor Forum, Vol.28(1), p.10-29; The Murphy Institute, City University of New York, New York, NY, accessed: 22.03.2022-06.04.2022.

Video Reference List:

Australian Academy of Science, 2019, Microplastics, video, Canberra, ACT, Distribution: YouTube,

https://youtu.be/fTGmpVUXwF4, accessed: 10.04.2022,

Orlowski, Jeff (Dir.) & Rhodes, Larissa (Prod.), 2020, The Social Dilemma,  Production: Exposure Labs, Argent Pictures & The Space Program, Documentary/Docudrama, 94:00mins, Distribution: Netflix, The Social Dilemma | Official Trailer | Netflix.

The Amazing World of Gumball, 2019, Stupidity is #Trending, Clover Network, Cartoon Network, from The Web ep., Generated by Vlogit LVs: Gumball & Darwin, Distribution: YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDN6OR_fMrk , accessed: 10.04.2022.

End

%d bloggers like this: