With the rise of tech giants in the 1980s, Cyber culture diversified the web like a mini-society. The Internet was innovative, inclusive, and open. However, nowadays, the development of the Internet is less and less diverse. The lack of diversity will affect the development of the Internet from management and economic aspects to harm society and individuals. Users are distanced from the media and individual rights are affected.
Lack of diversity can affect the development of the Internet in terms of governance. The advent of the new network media era makes the traditional newspapers and TV gradually fade out of people’s lives, but the old media also have an immovable position. Australia has always been a multicultural country. However, there is a lack of diversity across the workforce, from superiors to subordinates. In Australia, the majority of employees working in the news industry are white and more male-dominated. Minority journalists are already underrepresented in Western newsrooms. Institutions’ commitment to diversity often does not match their experience, with negative consequences (Douglas,2020). According to the survey, a quarter of people in Australia are from Aboriginal or other countries, yet every news executive in Australia is white people (Rigby & Rigby, 2020). A diverse country needs to have different voices and opinions so that the masses can understand the multi-faceted nature of events. However, the majority of white journalists have difficulty ensuring that the masses receive fair and objective information, and they have been viewing issues from a minority perspective. As a result, media ownership in Australia has been in the hands of a minority of white men, which is dangerous and unhealthy for society. The limitations of hiring people have led to the fact that the old media does not see issues in diversity. Television and newspapers like to focus most of their stories on the preferences of white people and forget about the needs of other races. This seriously contradicts the diversity that the country has been promoting. Individual ethnic background and gender are barriers to finding a job. The lack of female leadership is also evidence of gender inclusivity, with women often finding jobs in society more difficult and less recognized than men. This creates injustice in society and democracy suffers. When news coverage of sensitive issues of race and religion is habitually filtered, stereotypes and prejudices are consciously or unintentionally reinforced. Australia needs to conform to the trend of diversity, but the Australian media is losing these things more and more. The lack of diversity creates a sense of distance between individuals and the media, which affects the development of the Internet.
The lack of diversity will affect the development of the Internet more economically and gradually lead to the Internet becoming a media tool for large companies to monopolize the market. For users, when it comes to online shopping, social media, communication websites, etc., and words related to network functions or services, they all think of a few fixed large-scale websites or applications. People habitually choose websites, media, and applications that are familiar and popular with the general public. Emerging, niche ones have few views and downloads, and soon face the risk of bankruptcy and market launch. After an investigation, the ACCC reported that Google and Facebook account for most of the market’s 80% turnover (Meade, 2020). They have gained absolute market share as big companies. As the main leaders of new media, they have the right to speak and endanger the development of the Internet. The report found that Google used its position to favor its own services and protect them from the competition. For example, Google provides its own ad tech service with an important advantage by preventing rival ad tech services from accessing ads on YouTube (“Google’s Dominance in Ad Tech Supply Chain Harms Businesses and Consumers,”2021). Take advantage of your own leadership to suppress other adversaries and limit users’ access to information. This behavior monopolizes the entire Internet market, resulting in conflicts between personal and platform interests. Google has done itself a favor, and its dominance in the ad-tech supply chain has hurt businesses and consumers, and has affected the growth of the Internet. In an environment where the large mainstream is suppressing the emerging industries in this industry, it is difficult for society and the public to focus on emerging things on the Internet. For example, on Twitter and Instagram, people have become accustomed to using these software, and few people will pay attention to and use other social software. The niche software is already very difficult. However, as big companies and major leaders, they have absolute right to speak. They also suppress competitors and prevent other software from being seen by the masses, thus suppressing the economy of those small companies. These actions seriously undermine the good relations of fair competition in the market.
Filter bubble and algorithms
The information on the Internet today is too large for us to manage effectively on our own. Whenever we look for what we need in search engines, it is difficult and difficult to filter effective information by ourselves. With the development and wide application of big data, network media will push specific videos and information to users through algorithms and Filter bubbles. Attract users in this way, thereby increasing usage and viewing times. This can be a good way to improve the user’s liking of the software and their own sales. For example, Amazon has reported that 35% of its sales come from its recommendation system (Preda, 2020). However, the emergence of Filter bubble also leads to the lack of diversity in the network. Algorithms written by mostly white male Silicon Valley employees can be biased (Lens, 2020). The data that employees input in the background determines the results that users get when they use the search engine. They can provide different reports and information according to specific groups, and even artificially restrict users’ access to browsing. When users see things on the web, they only see what the background wants them to see. This is terrible, the network can automatically filter some information, and users receive information that is one-sided and objective. This kind of information filtering behavior seriously affects the original judgment of users, unable to provide fair and diverse information. This will only make users more firm in their one-sided views on a certain matter, and fail to establish a correct and objective position through diverse information, deepening the contradiction among users and even the society.
With the development of the times, we clearly feel that the network provides more and more services, functions, applications, etc., which brings great convenience to our life. But there are fewer and fewer individuals on the web that provide these functions. This is precisely the lack of diversity in the network. Over time, the network will inevitably be dominated by a few business giants, and new things will be constantly stifled. The Internet should be a platform that provides users with a platform to view problems from multiple perspectives, rather than from the perspective of a few people and with information biases against race and gender. Algorithms and information filtering provide users with convenience but the information they see is not complete. The development of the Internet will be affected by the lack of diversity from management and economics harming society and individuals. The Internet needs to conform to the trend of diversification and give users a fair and healthy network environment.
Douglas, O. (2022). The media diversity and inclusion paradox: Experiences of black and brown journalists in mainstream British news institutions. Journalism, 23(10), 2096–2113. https://doi.org/10.1177/14648849211001778
Google’s dominance in ad tech supply chain harms businesses and consumers. (2021, September 28). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/google%E2%80%99s-dominance-in-ad-tech-supply-chain-harms-businesses-and-consumers
Meade, A. (2020, October 23). Google, Facebook and YouTube found to make up more than 80% of Australian digital advertising. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/oct/23/google-facebook-and-youtube-found-to-make-up-more-than-80-of-australian-digital-advertising
Lens, I. (2020, June 16). Do You Live in a News Bubble? | PBS. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/blog/do-you-live-in-a-news-bubble/
Preda, M. (2020, June 28). Amazon’s recommendation algorithm drives 35% of its sales. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://evdelo.com/amazons-recommendation-algorithm-drives-35-of-its-sales/
Rigby, B., & Rigby, B. (2020, August 18). All of Australia’s national news directors are white men, with lack of TV diversity starting at the top. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://mumbrella.com.au/all-of-australias-national-news-directors-are-white-men-with-lack-of-tv-diversity-starting-at-the-top-638923