Platform competition would gradually disappear in the unitary development of the internet, and a giant internet company would monopolize markets in many industries instead of fair competition between several platforms. In addition, the choices of utilizing platforms by the audiences are also unitary due to the lack of diversity on the internet. Several IT companies with embedded platforms have become monopolized in the areas because these platforms with high users can acquire more profits from the market than those with low user numbers (Silvestrov et al., 2022). Moreover, large-scale platforms recklessly steal users’ data and set targeted services to decrease competitors in the area and continuous monopolization (Silvestrov et al., 2022). European competition authorities have recognized Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple as the top four data monopolies of internet giants (Silvestrov et al., 2022). Lacking diversity on the internet negatively affects both society and individuals. The unitary development of the internet causes adverse effects on society by the discriminatory information transforming from platforms to society and the unbalanced development of the market economy in many areas. Besides, it also causes the minds to unilateral manipulation from platforms to audiences and limits individuals to starting businesses in a captive market.
Lacking diversity on the internet leads to biased information transmitted from platforms to society. Giant internet companies dominate the information channel, and the information on platforms can directly affect the audiences due to the lack of diversity on the internet. However, their platform recommendation models may not push neutral content to society but transmit discriminatory information to it. Besides, platform operators can not remove the incorporated information immediately. The algorithm of the search engine is considered to discriminate against minorities and sexualize women (Noble, 2018). Moreover, the algorithm of searching engine preferentially recommends sources with minorities when searching for negative news by audiences (Noble, 2018). Sexualized information about females also frequently appears in search engine advisement, especially the sexualization for Latino and Asian women (Noble, 2018). Prejudice recommendation by search engines aggravates the discrimination issues from the majority to minorities by relating massive negative news with minorities such as Latinos and Asians. Furthermore, sexualized sources of females in the platform seriously injure the image of the female group, and it also increases gender inequality in society. A poster designed by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai reveals the discriminated searching information by Google. Women are presented as vulnerable groups in the poster who are manipulated by men, and they cannot achieve the same social status as men. Therefore, lacking diversity on the internet causes misinformation to spread in society.
Moreover, Lacking diversity on the internet also leads to the unbalanced development of the market economy in many areas, which causes the generation of monopoly capitalism. The generation monopoly capitalism on the internet is related to the history of platform building. In the initial stages of platform development, the original platform would accumulate a certain number of users, which receive the ‘first mover’ advantage over the later platforms (Mansell & Steinmueller, 2020). Besides, these platforms can operate at significantly lower costs than their competitors while the costs decrease through the platform extension, and this causes a natural monopoly structure in the market (Mansell & Steinmueller, 2020). Therefore, the majority of users’ information and market share in such an area is controlled by a giant internet company, and a monopoly company occupies the market instead of balanced competition between various platforms. An internet company’s real-world example of a monopoly issue is that the European Commission has fined Google Chrome 2.42 billion euros for using monopolistic customer data to facilitate comparison shopping (Silvestrov et al., 2022). Comparison shopping seriously breaks the balanced competition between platforms. Thus, the unitary development of the internet causes the monopoly of the market economy.
Lacking diversity on the internet would cause biased information transformation from platforms to society, leading to the mind’s unilateral manipulation from platforms to audiences. The giant platform dominates the information channel between audiences and publishers that they could not analyze the neutrality of the information by comparing the information between several platforms. Thus, prejudiced information on the platform unconsciously affects audiences’ minds. Audiences are leaded to believe the concept of White Supremacy through the deliberate optimization of the white community images on the platform and the lacking presentation of negative information about them (Noble, 2018). The media deliberately optimizes information about the white community while denigrating information about other ethnic groups (Noble, 2018). Individuals would preferentially receive information with racial or gender bias on the platform due to deliberate recommendations. In addition, their information channel is a monopoly by a giant company, so it is difficult for them to search data from other platforms and distinguish the neutrality. Thus, there is a unilateral manipulation of minds from platforms to audiences. Giant internet companies monopoly the information channel and control the audiences.
Giant internet companies monopolize the market economy in various areas, limiting individuals from starting businesses in a captive market. Admittedly, micro-enterprises are not as competitive as large companies due to limited numbers of employees and financial constraints. However, several giant companies own the majority of users’ information and core technology in the market so that they can absolutely monopolize the market instead of competing with other micro-enterprises. According to the platform economy report, most of the platform economy is owned by a few internet companies for three reasons (Zhao, 2022). The capability of resource allocation by large-scale platforms is greater than by smaller platforms, which can handle massive consumer visits at the same time (Zhao, 2022). Besides, large-scale platforms own a more comprehensive capability of attracting users and flexible price adjustments than small platforms (Zhao, 2022). It is observed that large-scale platforms have more stable technology to serve and attract consumers than small platforms. They can adjust the data on their platform immediately to handle some emergencies. In addition, giant companies develop targeted strategies by acquiring the majority of customers’ information in the market, which can not own by small companies. Therefore, it is limited for individuals to develop in a monopolistic market if they want to set up a business.
In a word, the lack of diversity on the internet causes the generation of platform monopolization. Fair competition in the market between platforms would gradually decrease and be replaced by giant company monopolization if the development of the internet lacks diversity. This phenomenon has a negative impact on both society and individuals. On the one hand, platform monopolization would spread biased information to society due to the information channel being dominant by the giant company and the algorithm system with bias. In addition, it also damages the fair competition between different companies and the balanced development of the market. On the other hand, audiences are manipulated unilaterally by the monopolization platform. They are unconsciously affected by the biased information on the platform and are also limited to starting a business in the monopolized domain. Their development is constrained by the giant company and cannot compete fairly with the large-scale platform.
Mansell, R., & Steinmueller, W. E. (2020). Advanced introduction to platform economics. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Noble, S. U. (2018). Algorithms of oppression: How search engines reinforce racism (pp. 1–30). New York University Press.
Silvestrov, S., Starovoitov, V., Firsov, D., & Krupnov, Y. (2022). Control of platform monopolization in the digital economy: The implication of open innovation. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 8(2), 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc8020066
UN Women ad series reveals widespread sexism. (2013). UN Women – Headquarters. https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/10/women-should-ads
Zhao, W. (2022). New development strategy for economic platform using big data analysis. Mobile Information Systems, 2022, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/3221681