Sabino Di Chio

Big numbers, small elites. The power of Big Data and the concentration of power

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Big Data; Inequality; Digital Assimetry; Sociology of Knowledge; Digital Citizenship.

In global societies, social inequalities are growing hand in hand with the development and dissemination of digital technologies. What does prevent the increased information accessibility to result in a more equitable distribution of life opportunities? The answer lies in the side effects that massive datification produces on social conditions framing the cognitive activity: the first is the strengthening of the advantage in the possibility of appropriation, selection and use of data in favor of the oligarchies that govern the technical macrosystems; the second is the decline of the role of the knowing subject from creator of reality in Modernity to the current weakest link of the man-machine system, led to delegate algorithms to legitimize the foundation of decisions which he is no longer able to take responsibility for. These centrifugal forces are the dynamics of «Digital Asymmetry » , a defect that currently affects the exercise of citizenship in data-driven societies because it adulterates the distribution of knowledge in favor of the preservation of power relations underlying its production.

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