Stage 3
10:00 - 11:00
Tech for Good
Burning out digital colonialism


From global content moderation to overnight algorithm variation affecting news streams, Big Tech is taking full control of key aspects of our social lives and directly affecting our collective autonomy, media independence and, more generally, freedom. We will continue the conversation started on RP17 on Digital Colonialism, this time going beyond just describing the problem: we will define a footprint on how to overcome it.


Big technology companies have benefited from the openness of the Web to grow their businesses, but after consolidating power they are putting at risk the very feature that allowed them to grow so powerful: decentralization. A period of unprecedented creativity and expansion involving a diverse pool of companies, is now being followed by endless mergers and acquisitions and the centralization of data to dominate all other industries.

Those with access to more data points and computational power dominate the World today and that presents pretty much a new form of colonialism, "digital colonialism". Their user base is larger than entire countries, but their aspirations of expansion are even larger. Their databases, centralised, getting a copy of each and everything you share online, your keystrokes, your activity in their platforms, the time you spend reading an article, what you buy, share, like or dislike online get larger, richer and more sophisticated by the day. The Web for Everyone become a Web for few to create, many to consume.

New strategies to take back the Internet and really make it for everyone are necessary and our talk will unveil 10 key steps to get there.