The Internet as Playground and Factory


(This conference about Labour online may be of interest.  From my rudimentary understanding ‘free’ labour online is a fairly contentious issue as online labour may be pooled by large commercial interests and used to accumulate profit without distributing the fruits of this labour to users).

Dear all,

You can now join the discussion about topics of user “labor” related to the conference “The Internet as Playground and Factory.”


Join the list and introduce yourself:

Follow the conference on Twitter:

A few questions from the introduction:

* Is it possible to acknowledge the moments of ruthless exploitation while not eradicating optimism, inspiration, and the many instances of individual financial and political empowerment?

* What is labor and where is value produced?

* Are strategies of refusal an effective response to the expropriation of value from interacting users?

* How is the global crisis of capitalism linked to the speculative performances of the digital economy?

* What can we learn from the “cyber sweatshops” class-action lawsuit against AOL under the Fair Labor Standards Act in the early 1990s?

* How does this invisible interaction labor affect our bodies? What were key steps in the history of interaction design that managed to mobilize and structure the social participation of bodies and psyches in order to capture value?

* Most interaction labor, regardless whether it is driven by monetary motivations or not, is taking place on corporate platforms. Where does that leave hopeful projections of a future of non-market peer production?

Trebor Scholz
— iDC



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