Platform Politics and Power


INF2318H — Platform Politics and Power

This course focuses on the technological, social, cultural and political economic organization of media and communication by critically engaging with digital platforms and apps. The cultural industries are undergoing rapid change and platforms are at the core of these transformations. The GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) platforms, complemented by Tencent and Microsoft, have become the most valuable and profitable companies in the world. As a result, the platformization of cultural production, distribution, and marketing poses new challenges for citizens, content producers, politicians, and businesses. As platforms are continuously upgraded and have become near ubiquitous, how to account for the relationships between platform companies and users, how can we systematically analyze a platform’s history and its position within the digital ecosystem, and how do platforms operationalize power?

Note: Formerly a special topics course. Effective fall 2020, the course is a regular course.