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Behind the Search Box: Google and the Global Internet IndustryНазвание: Behind the Search Box: Google and the Global Internet Industry
Автор: ShinJoung Yeo
Издательство: University of Illinois Press
Год: 2023
Страниц: 240
Язык: английский
Формат: epub (true)
Размер: 10.2 MB

The search engine is a ubiquitous and vital tool that assists us in our daily lives with seamlessly instant results; however, this plain search box, used by billions of people around the world, also conceals the most complex changes in the global political economy and geopolitics today. Google (which is held by Alphabet, Inc.), one of the most popular entry points to the Internet is one of the leading Internet companies and an emblem of the “new” economy. For simplicity's sake, I will refer to it as Google in this book. Search as an entry point to the Internet has become a nexus of the power struggle among state, national, and transnational capital, labor, and other social actors as the Internet has become a new transnational marketplace and driving force for capitalist development and expansion. The goal of this book is to unbox search and show the broader structural changes that are occurring in global capitalism, dynamically intertwined with the political economy of the Internet.

Once seen as a harbinger of a new enlightened capitalism, Google has become a model of robber baron rapaciousness thanks to its ruthless monetizing of private data, obsession with monopoly, and pervasive systems of labor discrimination and exploitation. Using the company as a jumping-off point, ShinJoung Yeo explores the political economy of the search engine industry against the backdrop of the relationship between information and capitalism’s developmental processes. Yeo’s critical analysis draws on in-depth discussions of essential issues like how the search engine evolved into a ubiquitous commercial service, it’s place in a global information business that is restructuring the information industry and our very social lives, who exactly designs and uses search technology, what kinds of workers labor behind the scenes, and the influence of geopolitics. An incisive look at a pervasive presence in our lives, Behind the Search Box places the search engine industry’s rise and ongoing success within an original political economy of digital capitalism.

The purpose of this book is not to be redundant but to build and expand on this existing work by extending questions about how and under what conditions basic human information-seeking activities have been commodified and subordinated to capital in the first place, how search has transformed into a global industry that has accelerated the commodification and commercialization of the Internet and the accumulation of capital, and how it was turned into a new geopolitical focal point of the Internet. I hope that such a political economy of search will offer a broader understanding of today's global capitalism—which is absorbing and predicated upon digital technologies to an ever-increasing extent. I begin with situating search, represented by Google, within its political economic and geopolitical contexts. Although Google dominates the global search market, it is important to note that the search function is no longer exclusively taking place through the traditional search engine.

Besides Google, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo!, Baidu, Yandex, and Naver, there are numerous vertically integrated search engines such as Amazon and Facebook, as well as mobile and voice search. Moreover, the search giants intersect with every media and internet business, and increasingly, sectoral lines have blurred as the Internet giants have extended their businesses across the Internet and beyond. Search is about more than the search engine per se; it is about a focal point of controlling and shaping the Internet as a marketplace. Thus, while this book is about search and centered on Google, it also covers the intersection between search and the major Internet sectors that drive the dynamics of the political economy of the Internet.

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Автор: literator 29-03-2023, 00:39 | Напечатать
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