Today, I will investigate the extent to which a lack of diversity has hampered the development of the Internet. In my opinion, the lack of variety on the Internet has had a significant impact on the development of the Internet from both an individual and a societal standpoint. This subject will be examined in historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts.
The lack of diversity in the media sector is not a new phenomenon, and it has inevitably led to a lack of diversity in the Internet industry. Long before the emergence of Internet media, when the media industry was still employing television and radio as communication vehicles, there was a monopoly of huge media organizations. The market share of the major three – CBS, ABC, and NBC – has fallen dramatically since 1980. In the 1970s, however, 56% of homes watched these three networks on a typical weekday evening. According to prominent figures in the media industry, inaccuracies in news reporting occur on occasion owing to unintentional mistakes, as well as factors such as deadline pressure, financial limits, and the challenge of condensing a complicated narrative into a short report (Parenti, 2002). This case is a good example of the history of monopolies in the media industry, and by exposing the dangers of monopolies in the traditional media industry, it demonstrates how a lack of diversity on the Internet can lead to news reports by monopolies that convey false information for one reason or another. In the long run, this phenomenon may cause the viewers to lose trust in the media.
The absence of diversity on the Internet is especially noticeable in the economy. Many industries are monopolized by very large and dominating leaders, which is one of the distinguishing features of the Internet platform economy in the framework of the ecosystem. To mention a few, the only well-known Silicon Valley media companies are currently Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Amazon accounts for half of all online purchases, Facebook accounts for 77% of mobile social traffic, Google dominates 81% of the search engine industry and 97% of mobile search, and Facebook and Google account for 63% of the digital advertising market (Popiel, 2018). This condition indirectly stifles economic development by making it impossible for smaller internet enterprises to grow in the face of monopolistic suppression by big internet business titans. These internet company titans, in turn, have slowed in terms of technological innovation and propelling the overall internet economy because they already have a whole system in place. As a result of global changes in the second part of the twentieth century, the term “media monopoly” became popular. New communication technology; higher literacy rates; demographics that expanded the size of prospective audiences; increased democratization in developing countries increased interest in politics and the media; and high profits spurred group ownership of all major means of mass communication (Bagdikian, 2007). This reflects the massive rise of the Internet economy and validates industry giants’ monopolies. Publicly-owned newspaper companies are less likely than family-owned firms to have the ideological agenda they wish to promote (Companie, 2005).
In terms of politics, the impact of a lack of diversity on the Internet looks to be the most serious, threatening basic rights such as people’s lives. Some critics accuse the media of being sensationalist and intrusive. In truth, it is frequently mute and mysterious. True sensationalist stories are frequently minimized or avoided. Suppression under the influence of power politics comprises vital elements and the entire story itself. Stories of bad security in the country are the least likely to make the news. Political repression is carried out by governments described as ‘rogue,’ such as the Taliban in Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan (Parenti, 2002). Because rogue governments dominate the internet and public opinion in these nations, the media has significantly reduced coverage. Some Syrian officials have even suggested that the media’s mobilizing function is to express the leadership’s aspirations in pursuit of its aims of growth, industrialization, and increasing legitimacy. In Indonesia, where the overthrow of President Achmed Sukarno and the destruction of the Indonesian Communist Party and its allies in 1965 killed half a million people, governments are in a position of hegemonic power politics to limit the development of internet diversity. This was a political slaughter on par with the Nazi Holocaust. The generals also destroyed hundreds of communist-built clinics, libraries, schools, and community centers. This explosive news took three months to surface in Time magazine (Parenti, 2002). This issue exemplifies how a lack of diversity on the Internet as a result of government meddling can lead to big tragedies for humanity. Governments influence public opinion through their power and conceal their horrible deeds. The gap between individual people and the media places them in a state of ignorance, which is detrimental to the long-term development of human peace. To be sure, there are benefits to government interference in public opinions, such as the control of terrorists or unlawful organizations broadcasting statements on the internet that provoke panic or disrupt social cohesion. However, a lack of diversity on the Internet as a result of government action might have major effects if the government itself poses a threat to people’s lives and property. The new satellite channels not only make government media less significant, but they also bring freer and more independent sources of information, and they may be another tool for civil society to use in its struggle against the state on issues such as free expression, human rights, and democracy (Ghadbian, 2001). As a result, in today’s culture, the absence of government control over internet thought and the attainment of relative freedom of expression is critical.
On a cultural level, the Internet’s lack of diversity harms the development of the affirmative action movement. The key concepts of free speech include the media as watchdogs, according to heritage ethical norms, and the free media as watchdogs of power exercise and democratic practice. Free speech has the potential to revolutionize the political economy, and it is strongly reliant on the advancement of mass communication, centralized media ownership, and online media community control. Lobbying is important in these processes because it serves as a channel for elite interests to penetrate the state as well as a revolving door entrenched in its business model (Teachout, 2014). The lack of diversity on the internet can easily lead to media control of people’s opinions, to the harm of information distribution and public opinion transmission. For more than a decade, the Australian meat and cattle industry’s advertising campaigns promoting lamb have been a fixture on Australian media platforms. These adverts, strategically placed on national holidays, showcase Australian male sporting heroes (Drew & Gottschall, 2018). The idealized target demographic in the advertising has the core traits of being Anglo-Australian, male, sport-loving, and BBQ-loving. While these advertisements appear to be aimed at “all Australians,” they are actually aimed at a very restricted clientele that excludes vegans, women, and people of color. This form of advertising harms the growth of affirmative action movements for vegans, women, and people of color. This story exemplifies how a lack of diversity on the internet harms the affirmative action movement. People would be able to access cultural information from multiple perspectives if the internet was diverse, and even if some platforms still promote white male dominance, people would be able to access different cultures through different platforms, which would be beneficial to the development of the affirmative action movement’s gender, race, and culture aspect.
In the preceding sections, I examined the influence of the Internet’s lack of diversity on society and individuals from four perspectives: history, politics, economics, and culture. From a historical standpoint, the lack of diversity on the Internet is a legacy that contributes to the propagation of misinformation and a reduction in viewer trust in the media. From an economic standpoint, a lack of diversity on the Internet can inhibit technological innovation, which is harmful to overall economic progress. In terms of politics, a lack of diversity on the Internet can lead to persecution of people by hegemonic, authoritarian governments, as well as a gap between people and the truth of information. From a cultural standpoint, the lack of diversity on the Internet is damaging to the development of affirmative action initiatives for gender, ethnicity, and culture. As a result, I feel that the lack of variety on the Internet has a significant influence on society and individuals.
Bagdikian, B. H. (2007). Media Monopoly. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781405165518.wbeosm065
Compaine, B. (2005). THE MEDIA MONOPOLY MYTH HOW NEW COMPETITION IS EXPANDING OUR SOURCES OF INFORMATION AND ENTERTAINMENT. https://techliberation.com/wp-content/uploads/2005/05/Final_Compaine_Paper_050205.pdf
Drew, C., & Gottschall, K. (2018). Co-optation of diversity in nationalist advertising: a case study of an Australian advertisement. Continuum, 32(5), 581–593. https://doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2018.1487033
Ghadbian, N. (2001). CONTESTING THE STATE MEDIA MONOPOLY: SYRIA ON Al-JAZIRA TELEVISION. Middle East Review of International Affairs, 5(2). https://ciaotest.cc.columbia.edu/olj/meria/ghn01_01.pdf
Parenti, M. (2002). Monopoly Media Manipulation. Mediterranean Quarterly, 13(2), 56–66. https://doi.org/10.1215/10474552-13-2-56
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Teachout, Z. (2014). The Forgotten Law of Lobbying. Election Law Journal, 13(1), 4-26.