New media and new practices of exploitation

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dc.contributor.author Uzunoglu, Sarphan
dc.date.accessioned 2019-04-03T13:15:46Z
dc.date.available 2019-04-03T13:15:46Z
dc.date.copyright 2015 en_US
dc.date.issued 2019-04-03
dc.identifier.issn 2149-3669 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10725/10334
dc.description.abstract Triple-C’s 2012 dated issue titled Marx is Back was involving a contemporary and critical analysis of the rise and institutionalization of neoliberalism in media industry. Furthermore, this analysis was based on the shift between the processes of production and consumption. Related issue of the magazine, was handling freelance working and exploitation relationship observing contemporary labor problems while it was also covering precarious labor relations and their reflections on media employees’ labor processes, contracts and working life. Some of the key concepts they focused on were involving member/subscriber/reader labor, alternative models regarding share of surplus value. Similar to that magazine, Guy Standing’s definition of precariat, which has many in common and some in conflict with traditional understanding of proletariat, was both defining status of media employees in the age of neoliberal economy and it was providing a space for a broader discussion regarding the share of surplus value. Standing (2011:6) defines most important quality of precariat as flexibility and quick response to demand while redefining employment as a process rather than a stable condition. Employees might be categorized in four different groups: Regular, contracted, part time and freelancer. These categories might be observed both in big media companies and boutique media initiatives at the same time However, there is a new and rising category which is not contracted and highly exploited: Prosumers. Prosumers aren'tseen as workers as they mostly are not aware of their involvement in fiscal structure of a company. However, there is still a dependency between precariousness of labor and prosumerism as new capitalist informationalism utilizes both of them. As evolving labor processes signify that reader/audience participation can also be evaluated as a form of production, citizen journalism’s rise in web 2.0 era has also caused a shift in terms of the share of surplus value and decreasing salary of contracted media employees. Reporting turned into a process where a reporter tries to act within the hegemonic space that state and capital created through the Internet, whose conditions rely on the admission and approval of the state and the capital (Fuchs and Mosco, 2014:31). While Google controls 84.7% of search engine market, it is not a condition free of charge. Users share serious amount of information with google for the exchange of the services they think they use free of charge. And Google turns this data into profit and new form of exploitation is institutionalized (Sandoval, 2014:147) just as it happens in Twitter and Facebook, which are recognized as popular media of citizen journalism. Relatively, while production of information became more dependent on capital, a delusion about information/news production has been derivated. Sublimination of citizen journalism started to make it lose its efficiency and durability. In order to resolve this conflict between precocity and prosumerism, this study wouldlike to offer a cooperation between two sides of the debate. Karl Marx had made a clear distinction between manual labour an immaterial labour and he based his analysis on manual labour which was the leading labour type of his time. If he was alive, he would be responsible to analyze new exploitation mechanisms came into our lives through the introduction of new technologies, especially new media.We need to handle the new media and exploitation issues through four key terms: Posession, censorship, exploitation and political content production. (Fuchs, 2014, 595-596). These terms should be questioned this way: Is there a democratic possession relationship? Is any type of view admired more than other and the other one has been excluded? What type of censorship is working? Who is responsible of political content production, what are the methods?Probably all those questions have been wrongly responded by optimistic new media thinkers. However, the picture that i’m going to talk about is not that much ‘bright’ as cognitive labour and role of it within new economical order has been badly manipulated by new media oligopolies which try to centralize the centralized nature of new media through an exploitation process which effects both traditional labour in newsrooms and cognitive labour in new media. Today, possession is another problematic term as possession of content and production tools is a matter of new and important debate.Raymond Williams (2013,66) stated that communication tools should be handled as tools of production and he stressed that, it is completely wrong to handle these as forms of production. His statements were important in two senses: Historical developments and technological developments were handled together and he emphasized that these couldn’t be thought free from traditional production relations. There is still a Orthodox marxist understanding which objects categorization of communication tools as production tools. Here we need to keep on with Williams’ statements as he says that communication tools can not be named as abstract (immaterial) or a proiori. He insisted that communication tools couldn’t be categorized according to their output’s material or immaterial status. According to Williams (2013,75) the interesting issue here is about the change in the class relations within editorial processes. Editors and journalists are different from people working in technical process in terms of their cognitive activities. And the structure of traditional media economy lies on this difference. According to him ideological crisis appears when these people who are expected to be ‘busy’ with technical issues become interested in producing content rather that producing form.The class conflict here is like a reference to today’s society and new fabrication systems. New media caused such an ideological crisis. There is an invisible conflict between traditional journalism and unpaid journalism types such as citizen journalism or news-blogging. Most of the content produced in new media is reproduced by media companies even without editorial effort. Traditional media started to use a type of syndication for making use of social networks and citizen journalism practices. These practices can be examplified the best through Dokuz8 and Radikal Blog in Turkey. While Dokuz8 suggests to pay citizen journalists in the future, Radikal Blog is completely based on a system that works on digital exploitation that i’m going to explain now.Henning and Hebblewhite works on tools of reproduction in media sphere and tried to analyze Facebook and Google. They stated that you still need to have an Internet connection or a membership to ISP for producing within new media. Therefore, even the content that we created on Youtube should be evaluated as a form of production. Digital Labour’s emergence is based on capital flow system today. Microblogs and wikis have become profit production sources of contemporary new media economy. Fuchs and Sevignani (2013, 237) referring to the term playbour exemplified how we voluntarily reproduce the labour. So while talking about digital labour, there is paid and unpaid labour over there and; exploitation is effective in both categories as unpaid labour dissolves the effectiveness of paid digital labour. Internet is a rapidly growing production mechanism (Henning, Hebblewhite, 2013). It is also a mechanism within which great consumption mechanisms exist. To define these roles of the Internet and outcome of these roles, I’m going to use a term ‘prosumer’ as a key term to end the conflict between paid digital labour and unpaid digital labour. This is not possibly signifying a new class; but this signifies new and useful answer for our class based problems. But we need to discuss more about viewer’s or consumer’s labour in order to understand new system. According to Dallas Smythe’s theory, media’s possession values were all determined upon rating systems. Today, in new media sphere, tracking technologies replaced rating systems and data about consumer is being sold. Increasing use of new media and increasing Internet penetration through rising sales numbers of mobile devices caused a necessity for a new debate. We need to discuss privacy within the limits of digital labour as well. However, because of the short period we have i need to pass this one and come to our final debate: Can we analyze prosumerism and precariat as ‘new dangerous class’ together? Can Cognitive Labour Wake Existence of a New Class Struggle?The concept of presumption signified that, production and consumption are integrated functions in contemporary society. Within contemporary society, one of the leading assumptions is that new media is providing democratic, equalitarian model with flexible work force. Digital or cognitive types of labor are resulting in emergence of new types of occupations or jobs. However, precariat or prosumers haven’t been accepted to be a class by many Marxists and members of precariat do not basically have legal and fiscal rights to secure their labour force. Freelancers or subcontractors (meaningprecariat) can not determine their wage because they do not have a collective memory even if they act together, they do not have chance to be part of union legally (Ağırnaslı, 2012). So not only a blogger or citizen journalist, but also freelance reporters or writers who work in ‘cloud office’ system are also becoming ‘denizens’ of the new economic order. Denizens are the people who are isolated from basic human rights and citizen rights. To finalize the struggle between citizen journalists and professionals, we need to accept a common terminology while defining problems of existing working regime. Precariat, prosumerism and immaterial labour should be defined and recognized by employees, employers, unions and law at the same time. This is the only way we can overcome capitalist oppression against ideological crisis of media industry and capitalism’s existing habit of making profit from it. en_US
dc.title New media and new practices of exploitation en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.version Published en_US
dc.title.subtitle from consumer to prosumer en_US
dc.author.school SAS en_US
dc.author.idnumber 201802117 en_US
dc.author.department Communication Arts en_US
dc.description.embargo N/A en_US
dc.relation.journal E-Journal of Intermedia en_US
dc.journal.volume 2 en_US
dc.journal.issue 1 en_US
dc.article.pages 181-194 en_US
dc.title.altrnative Medyada dijital Emek sömürüsü: tüketiciden urketiciye yeni medya, yeni sömürü pratikler en_US
dc.keywords Prosumerism en_US
dc.keywords Precariat en_US
dc.keywords Production en_US
dc.keywords Consumption en_US
dc.keywords Exploitation en_US
dc.keywords Informational capitalism en_US
dc.identifier.ctation Uzunoğlu, S. (2016). Yeni Medyada Dijital Emek Sömürüsü: Tüketiciden Ürketiciye Yeni Medya, Yeni Sömürü Pratikleri. Intermedia International e-Journal 2(2), 181-194. en_US
dc.author.email sarphan.uzunoglu@lau.edu.lb en_US
dc.identifier.tou http://libraries.lau.edu.lb/research/laur/terms-of-use/articles.php en_US
dc.identifier.url http://intermedia.ticaret.edu.tr/index.php/intermedia/article/view/20/16 en_US
dc.note Article written in Turkish en_US
dc.orcid.id https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9736-1763 en_US
dc.author.affiliation Lebanese American University en_US

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