Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

CAPITALISM / SOCIALISM / DEMOCRACY - Internet for the People?

Friday, April 8, 2022 - 2:00pm

View the video here.

As part of the Capitalism/Socialism/Democracy Series, JESSA LINGEL and BEN TARNOFF join Mitchell Center Fellow ZACHARY LOEB for a discussion about what it means, and what it would take, for the Internet to be “for the people.” Despite its inception in military research, the Internet in its early days was championed by anarchists and techno-utopians as something that promised to unite us while creating a more equal society. Now, at a moment when the Internet is increasingly carved up and controlled by a handful of large companies, when it seems to magnify our worst rather than our best collective impulses, and when many argue that it widens the inequality gap, what an Internet by and for the people might look like is an urgent question. Lingel and Tarnoff, grappling with the hopes, dreams, and anxieties that are so often projected onto the technology, explore the past of the people's Internet and look toward its realizable future.

JESSA LINGEL is an Associate Professor of communication at The University of Pennsylvania and author of An Internet for the People and The Gentrification of the Internet. BEN TARNOFF is a founding editor of Logic and author of the forthcoming Internet for the People.