Glimpse 20:79-87 (2019)

In August 2018, several European consumer associations have launched a lawsuit against Facebook arguing that “My data is mine,” but chose not to boycott the social network in its publicity campaign. The DECO FAQ list reveals why associations did not call for a boycott: they chose instead to use Facebook to disseminate information and to answer questions consumers might have. The argument presented by the associations confronts us with intricate questions concerning the nature of civil society, mainly with respect to the linkage between the market and the public sphere. Generally, critical theorists think that the realms of necessity and freedom are found incompatible with one another. The public sphere is considered as the realm of pure freedom where citizens deliberate matters concerning the destiny of the polis. The civil society is concerned with profit and with providing for material needs. The present paper approaches these questions by considering the nature of institutional configurations of contemporary digital capitalism and, also, the kind of interactions among social agents that act inside it. Are corporate digital networks permeable enough to communicative rationality to make us believe that they can host a culture of convergence and cooperative interaction among social agents such that can aspire to a rational public sphere? To answer those queries, this paper develops a) a literature review on the contradictions of modern contemporary cognitive capitalism; b) a critical analysis of activists’ statements against the use of digital networks; c) support for a critical literacy approach that identifies textual structures and contextual frameworks in digital public debate.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  Language and Literature  Semiotics
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 1544-0052
DOI 10.5840/glimpse2019204
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