News Release

The Internet: Democracy or Ad System?

JEFF CHESTER
Executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, Chester is author of the new book Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy. He said today: “Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace to make it an advertising delivery system. Google bought YouTube to make it an advertising delivery system. The industry giants are trying to control eyeballs to create a commercial homogenized culture. This is happening on three platforms: PC, mobile and television.

“The Internet’s potential to serve as a diverse and democratic medium in the U.S. is now threatened by largely invisible, but powerful, political and economic forces. The nation’s largest telephone and cable companies have lobbied the Bush Federal Communications Commission to eliminate the key federal rule that has enabled the Internet to flourish as a dynamic medium of expression and commerce. A system of interactive data collection increasingly threatens our privacy — both online and from the new U.S. system of digital television.”
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MARK COOPER
Director of research at the Consumer Federation of America, Cooper said today: “There is a race to claim the soul of cyberspace between a democratic, public sphere inhabited by citizen journalists, independent artists, and open social networks, and the corporate mega-corporation websites streaming their product over exclusive high speed connections. Some complacently believe that technology will prevail in favor of democracy, but a democratic outcome requires political action and mass mobilization prevailing over corporate money.”
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Both Chester and Cooper participated in the recent Free Press National Conference for Media Reform; audio and video of panels are at: Free Press.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167