Corporate Silos – No hay nor corn

Facebook has made changes again. Corporate Silos are in the blogs again.

Most address privacy concerns but privacy concerns only distract us. We lost privacy when we obtained credit cards and agreed to pee in cups to get paid for our talent. 

How much less private can it get, really?

The real threat? Corporate silos, whether with intention or not, establish an environment  for censorship.

For twenty years we enjoyed Free Exchange of Information on an, open, distributed Internet .

New kinds of debate emerged. New stories linked to background. Study results linked to raw data – ideas transformed and branched in unprecedented ways. 

During the decade that saw a few holding companies take control of almost all television stations, radio stations and newspapers, Free Press was reinvented on the Internet. A rapidly enriched audience, outside the pale of advertising influence, discovered a frontier filled with information, ideas – not all to our liking but some eye-opening, which is the point of Free Press.  

Corporate Silos threaten Free Press on the Internet. They may not mean to. They have a goal to accomplish: generate profits – satisfy stockholders. If they fail, they go away. Protecting the Free Exchange of Ideas is not in their job description. If Free Press gets in the way, it goes away so they do not.

Worse, social-network silos create an environment ripe for a few companies to seize control of the Internet and implement policies that reduce it to something resembling cable TV: a thousand channels and no genuine choice.

Corporate Silos dictate tastes and values – motivated by revenue opportunities and subject to the tastes and values of other, outside corporate policy makers. Individuals are not the primary, if any, part of the algorithm. Stuck in the silo, individuals begin to forget about the rest of the world. Prime time television weaves a convenient and comfortable cocoon. Reality TV supplants ideas and insight.

We’ve enjoyed a two decade renaissance of idea. It would be a shame to see if fade away.

Corporate Silo describes a social-network site, like Facebook or Google +, who get people into the silo and try, like television stations, to keep users activity inside the silo. They control user experience through interface and filters. In some cases they censor content in and out of the silo.


  • Gary Stein

    You’re good, Karl.

  • Anita Figueras

    As well expressed as anything I have read on the topic. “A thousand channels and no genuine choice” – that’s the world of Facebook right now. So many people, though, are very satisfied with what they think is a fantastic way to stay in touch (and with the choices available on cable TV, too).

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