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The Platform Society$
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José van Dijck, Thomas Poell, and Martijn de Waal

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190889760

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190889760.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 March 2021

The Platform Society as a Contested Concept

The Platform Society as a Contested Concept

(p.7) 1 The Platform Society as a Contested Concept
The Platform Society

José van

Oxford University Press

The first chapter lays out the “platform society” as a contested concept, embroidering on Airbnb as an example. The term refers to an emerging society in which social, economic, and interpersonal traffic is largely channeled by a global online platform ecosystem that is fueled by data and organized through algorithms. Platforms are defined and approached at three levels: the micro-level of individual platforms, the meso-level of the platform ecosystem, and the macro-level of platform geopolitics. The American-based ecosystem is mostly governed by five big tech companies (Alphabet-Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft) whose platform services are central to its overall design and the distribution of data flows. Besides the dominant tech companies, there are also state and civil society actors active in governing the platform society. The question is: who is or should be responsible for anchoring public values in societies that are increasingly organized through online systems?

Keywords:   Big Five company, algorithm, data-driven society, online infrastructure, Alphabet-Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft

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