Can Users Become Full-Fledged Links in Attention Economy and Receive Benefits?


We have witnessed a growth in digital media and content in the previous ten years, and we are nonetheless adapting to its penalties. The media landscape has come to be fragmented and complicated, with a constantly growing variety of on line platforms. A entire new promotion sector has appeared that bombards buyers with thousands of advertisements on the world wide web. As a consequence, consumers’ attention is now tough to catch, and tech firms are combating for it due to the fact it is monetizable. The awareness financial system is large, but its latest mechanisms raise moral concerns. 

The Latest Consideration Economic climate

For now, the way tech companies acquire and utilize consumers’ details is the most important concern. We use social media, research engines, and other totally free electronic expert services. The organizations powering them keep track of and use our data to make a financial gain by promoting focused advertisements.

And in some instances, our knowledge may act as a fuel not only for common advertising and marketing. For illustration, a handful of several years ago, the scandal triggered by Facebook leaking its users’ information to the political company Cambridge Analytica was rather huge. Allegedly, the leak has impacted the U.S. presidential elections for the reason that it has provided Donald Trump the opportunity to produce a a lot more helpful marketing campaign.

Tech organizations generally seek to know our spot, age, historical past of buys, hobbies, marriage status, and other particular information. The issue is that we do not even have a comprehensive picture of the quantity and form of knowledge extracted from our on line activities every single working day.

Organizations observe men and women on the web. Then they use the collected information to get earnings, so no question the Harvard professor and social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff phone calls it surveillance capitalism

Some see it as a rip-off. Tech corporations could build products and solutions, but these products and solutions can’t create any revenue on their own with no consumers. Consumers do their share of the operate each and every time they write-up one thing. So, the hard work arrives from both parties, but only a person economically positive aspects from it.

In addition, people today get rid of time in the present interest economic system. They have to enjoy on the internet promotion, which is really hard to steer clear of these times. Our notice equals time, and we just cannot repurchase it.

And Its Unfairness

Of course, some bloggers can make thousands and thousands of bucks with their content. Still, social media consumers generally really don’t get any money from corporations like Fb and Twitter for the knowledge they are developing. But for most people, the fact is ugly. In 2020, Online guru and technologist Tim O’Reilly calculated how significantly funds a user would make per thirty day period if Facebook returned its revenue for info-generated money: the total would be considerably less than $1 per month for a US person. Furthermore, O’Reilly assessed that an Indian user’s ‘data price tag tag’ would fall to a stunning a lot less than $1 a calendar year.

There is even more: guaranteed, we are the kinds who generate the content material. Even so, that content does not belong to us if we press the button to write-up it on-line. All of our knowledge in some way gets to be the house of these firms. Not only do they promote the info, but they can delete nearly anything you set out on their apps and internet sites if they never like it even though keeping all the posts that you delete on your own.

This method can make customers into objects rather than actors of the worth chain. So 1st, the environment noticed the attention economy as a battleground for companies. Then this problem became a warm matter for discussion. And in recent several years, it’s becoming additional and additional apparent that the fight should really be involving the businesses and people. 

Why We Nevertheless Require That Details

What might feel the easiest and quickest way to improve the system? Possibly, to ban tech organizations from accumulating users’ private info completely. But it’s not the most effective option. Because, in actuality, that facts can be helpful for us. For illustration, for any investigate that is about people, which may well mean their behavior or even wellbeing. 

“What is necessary in the encounter of world wide troubles these types of as climate change, migration, a precarious and uncontrolled global finance procedure, the ever-current threat of pandemics, not to talk of geopolitical ‘war of all in opposition to all’ on the international amount, is a feasible and inspiring eyesight of a worldwide potential. Also, the worldwide network modern society is information-driven. Consequently, the most significant reforms or initiatives we should anticipate are those producing readily available a lot more data of a greater top quality to extra folks and institutions,” David J. Krieger, director of Switzerland’s Institute for Conversation and Leadership, at the time said while currently being in opposition to clickbait, filter bubbles, fake information, and other unfavorable social media areas.

In addition to, the details created assists builders boost the customer encounter. What’s far more, it allows offer you customers more applicable products and solutions, producing our life easier. Focused adverts are important for small neighborhood corporations. They frequently have no other tool for effective promotion other than Instagram. So these small ventures make the financial system more healthy and give us with services and merchandise that we like and require. 

Anyway, we have to clarify the process of collecting and storing users’ details. With this, individuals who are not associated in tech can see and fully grasp in which their personal details is going and how it’s staying applied. Sadly, standard digital literacy does not at the moment occur close to being widespread awareness. Only following spreading some basic principles can we wake folks up and motivate them to start building choices about their details utilization.

Pathways to Adjust

There is an extensive conversation about the wrongfulness of the present-day program that monetizes consumers’ data. The most preferred plan is to make individuals the owners of their individual details and get paid dollars applying it. The thought seems uncomplicated, but it requires drastic variations in information selection and sale. Computer scientist and futurist from Silicon Valley, Jaron Lanier, implies that we need to develop new institutions for this to happen. 

These institutions will acquire knowledge from users in return for some monetary compensation. Lanier sees it as a thing resembling an insurance policy company. Individuals will select to whom they will carry their info primarily based on these companies’ gives. Lanier’s vision assertion would seem to be a promising selection. At the very same time, he notes that a lot of people do not believe such an thought can get the job done out, and they may well give up on it before hoping. 

Lanier is pessimistic about users’ eagerness to fight for possession of their information. Nevertheless, there are already legislative changes that may well make improvements to the problem. For instance, California’s Purchaser Privateness Act grants world-wide-web people the suitable to delete their info and choose-out of their individual information sale.

The Act does not point out spending people today for their information, but businessman and lawyer Andrew Yang sees it as a very first stage to turning issues around. He wants the legislation to understand own info as house and make organizations fork out end users for it. 

Moreover, with celebs like rapper and entrepreneur Will.I.Am starting off to speak about own data security, and people today are turning out to be far more aware of the difficulty. A review by Insights Network exhibits that 90% of U.S. customers discover it unethical that their particular info is becoming shared without the need of consent, and 65% of respondents truly feel uncomfortable about it being shared with corporations for financial gain.

Internet 3.0’s Claims to Take care of the Problem

Lately, the promise to put people in management of their possess knowledge comes from World-wide-web 3. (also recognized as Website3) fans. In accordance to its idea, huge tech businesses will not dominate Internet3, and it will hence continue to be fairer. Nevertheless, Web3 builders also adhere to the logic that consumers ought to be paid out for their knowledge.

For instance, the Brave Browser is from javascript creator Mozilla basis co-founder Brendan Eich. Typical internet browsers get much more trackers to accumulate our info with just about every new update. Internet sites also have their individual trackers, like cookies. The Brave Browser lessens the quantity of trackers that can monitor a standard world-wide-web surfer, so maximizing their privacy.  

The Brave Browser staff has developed the Simple Interest Token, the cryptocurrency meant to offer buyers with payment for their information. It’s open up-source and transparent. Consumers will get Fundamental Awareness Tokens for anonymously viewing adverts. Afterwards they can exchange them for any other cryptocurrency or fiat funds. This tactic can help advertisers, as properly, by offering them with better top quality details for qualified advertisements.  

The factor about World wide web3 is that now it doesn’t appear any improved or distinct from what can be accomplished with World wide web2. So, blockchain is not a magic wand that can repair the challenge in some one of a kind way. It however calls for electronic literacy, and it’s now having its own energy structures resembling individuals observed in Website 2..

Moreover, there cannot be the entire decentralization promised by the Website3 pioneers. Plus, the excellent of code is not best, which makes it unstable to hackers’ attacks. 


Right now there is no doubt that the existing designs of the awareness economic system need to be reformed. The principal purpose is to give users much more handle about their personalized facts. There is a range of tips about how this can be achieved. It appears like we may well one working day have a satisfying remedy. Or even a range of them, be they in Net2 or World wide web3.

But it will not come about quick. So, for now, the tech local community should pave the way for this revolution by spreading electronic literacy amongst folks at large. On this route, we have a good deal of food stuff for imagined and a whole lot of perform.

Picture Credit history: William Fortunato Pexels Thank you!

Vitaly Gerko

CPO and Co-founder of OTM, a technological programmatic platform obtained in 2021 by VEON world-wide electronic operator.
About 15 decades of working experience in AdTech and MarTech industries, foremost the enhancement of tech products. Solid expertise in merchandise administration, device overall economy, and paid out advertising which resulted in a 5+ 12 months journey in startup mentoring and investing.


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