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74

Dallas Smythe and Audience Labour Today

5
terms
11
notes

Fuchs, C. (2013). Dallas Smythe and Audience Labour Today. In Fuchs, C. Digital Labour and Karl Marx. Routledge, pp. 74-134

77

[...] For Graham Murdock and Peter Golding (1974, 4), the media are organizations that "produce and distribute commodities", are means for distributing advertisements and also have an "ideological dimension" by disseminating "ideas about economic and political structures". Murdock (1978, 469) stressed in the Blindspot Debate that there are non-advertising based culture industries (like popular culture) that sell "explanations of social order and structured inequality" and "work with and through ideology--selling the system" [...]

—p.77 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

[...] For Graham Murdock and Peter Golding (1974, 4), the media are organizations that "produce and distribute commodities", are means for distributing advertisements and also have an "ideological dimension" by disseminating "ideas about economic and political structures". Murdock (1978, 469) stressed in the Blindspot Debate that there are non-advertising based culture industries (like popular culture) that sell "explanations of social order and structured inequality" and "work with and through ideology--selling the system" [...]

—p.77 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

make (something abstract) more concrete or real

79

Reification means "that a relation between people takes on the character of a thing and thus acquires 'phantom objectivity', an autonomy that seems so strictly rational and all-embracing as to conceal every trace of its fundamental nature: the relation between people"

citing Lukacs (History and Class Consciousness)

—p.79 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago

Reification means "that a relation between people takes on the character of a thing and thus acquires 'phantom objectivity', an autonomy that seems so strictly rational and all-embracing as to conceal every trace of its fundamental nature: the relation between people"

citing Lukacs (History and Class Consciousness)

—p.79 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago

(verb) philosophy: to negate or eliminate (as an element in a dialectic process) but preserve as a partial element in a synthesis; assimilate (a smaller entity) into a larger one; used by Hegel

83

Malthus, Mill, Petty, Ricardo, Say, Smith and Ure that Marx studied, sublated and was highly critical of in his works

—p.83 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago

Malthus, Mill, Petty, Ricardo, Say, Smith and Ure that Marx studied, sublated and was highly critical of in his works

—p.83 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago
84
  1. capital accumulation in the media industry;
  2. advertising, public relations and sales promotion for other industries;
  3. legitimization of domination and ideological manipulation;
  4. reproduction, regeneration and qualification of labour-power.

Horst Holzer and Manfred Knoche (in different books)

—p.84 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
  1. capital accumulation in the media industry;
  2. advertising, public relations and sales promotion for other industries;
  3. legitimization of domination and ideological manipulation;
  4. reproduction, regeneration and qualification of labour-power.

Horst Holzer and Manfred Knoche (in different books)

—p.84 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
86

Media content would be "an inducement (gift, bribe or 'Free lunch') to recruit potential members of the audience and to maintain their loyal attention" (Smythe 1977a, 5). Smythe (1977a; 1981, 22-51) introduced the notion of the audience commodity for analysing media adveritsement models, in which the audience is sold as a commodity to advertisers: "Because audience power is produced, sold, purchased and consumed, it commands a price and is a commodity. [. . .] You audience members contribute your unpaid work time and in exchange you receive the program material and the explicit advertisements" (Smythe 1981, 26, 233) Audience "work to market [. . .] things to themselves" (ibid., 4) The "main function of the mass media [. . .] is to produce audiences prepared to be dutiful consumers" (Smythe 1994, 250) [...]

—p.86 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

Media content would be "an inducement (gift, bribe or 'Free lunch') to recruit potential members of the audience and to maintain their loyal attention" (Smythe 1977a, 5). Smythe (1977a; 1981, 22-51) introduced the notion of the audience commodity for analysing media adveritsement models, in which the audience is sold as a commodity to advertisers: "Because audience power is produced, sold, purchased and consumed, it commands a price and is a commodity. [. . .] You audience members contribute your unpaid work time and in exchange you receive the program material and the explicit advertisements" (Smythe 1981, 26, 233) Audience "work to market [. . .] things to themselves" (ibid., 4) The "main function of the mass media [. . .] is to produce audiences prepared to be dutiful consumers" (Smythe 1994, 250) [...]

—p.86 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
89

[...] Internet platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide access to means of communication without selling access or content as commodity, yet they do not stand outside the commodity form, but rather commodify users' data. In return for the commodification of data, Facebook and Twitter provide a means of communication to their users. These means could be considered as being in-kind goods provided as return for the users granting the companies the possibility to access and commodify personal data. [...] users on Facebook and Twitter do not receive a universal medium of exchange, but rather one specific means of communication. By giving users access to their platforms, Facebook and Twitter do not provide general means of survival, but instead access to a particular means of communication whose use serves their own profit interests. This is not to say that I argue for payments to users of corporate Internet platforms that are advertising-financed. I rather argue for the creation of non-commercial non-profit alternatives that altogether escape, sublate and struggle against the commodity form.

glad to see he sidesteps the Jaron Lanier trap, but what does he propose should happen to FB/Twitter as they are now?

—p.89 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

[...] Internet platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide access to means of communication without selling access or content as commodity, yet they do not stand outside the commodity form, but rather commodify users' data. In return for the commodification of data, Facebook and Twitter provide a means of communication to their users. These means could be considered as being in-kind goods provided as return for the users granting the companies the possibility to access and commodify personal data. [...] users on Facebook and Twitter do not receive a universal medium of exchange, but rather one specific means of communication. By giving users access to their platforms, Facebook and Twitter do not provide general means of survival, but instead access to a particular means of communication whose use serves their own profit interests. This is not to say that I argue for payments to users of corporate Internet platforms that are advertising-financed. I rather argue for the creation of non-commercial non-profit alternatives that altogether escape, sublate and struggle against the commodity form.

glad to see he sidesteps the Jaron Lanier trap, but what does he propose should happen to FB/Twitter as they are now?

—p.89 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
90

[...] Whereas wage labour is coerced by the threat of physical violence (the threat is death because of the lack of being able to purchase and consume goods), audience labour is coerced by ideological violence (the threat is to have fewer social contacts because of missing information from the media and missing communication capacities that are needed for sustaining social relations). Audiences are under the ideological control of capitalists who possess control over the means of communication. If for example people stop using Facebook and social networking sites, they may miss certain social contact opportunities. They can refuse to become a Facebook worker, just like an employee can refuse to work for a wage, but they may as a consequence suffer social disadvantages in society. Commercial media coerce individuals to use them. The more monopoly power they possess, the easier it gets to exert this coercion over media consumers and users.

in response to Brett Caraway's claim that audiences are not commodities (2011)

for diss: cite this to say people CAN't boycott

—p.90 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

[...] Whereas wage labour is coerced by the threat of physical violence (the threat is death because of the lack of being able to purchase and consume goods), audience labour is coerced by ideological violence (the threat is to have fewer social contacts because of missing information from the media and missing communication capacities that are needed for sustaining social relations). Audiences are under the ideological control of capitalists who possess control over the means of communication. If for example people stop using Facebook and social networking sites, they may miss certain social contact opportunities. They can refuse to become a Facebook worker, just like an employee can refuse to work for a wage, but they may as a consequence suffer social disadvantages in society. Commercial media coerce individuals to use them. The more monopoly power they possess, the easier it gets to exert this coercion over media consumers and users.

in response to Brett Caraway's claim that audiences are not commodities (2011)

for diss: cite this to say people CAN't boycott

—p.90 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
90

[...] for being able to drink the Coke one has to pay money so that Coca-Cola realizes monetary profit. The consumption does not directly create value for the company. On Facebook and Twitter, the consumption process of the service entails all online communication and usage online. All of this time is not only reproduction time (i.e. time for the reproduction of labour-power), but at the same time labour time that produces data commodities that are offered by Facebook and Twitter for sale to advertising clients. In the consumption process, the users do not just reproduce their labour-power but produce commodities. So on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, all consumption time is commodity production time.

—p.90 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

[...] for being able to drink the Coke one has to pay money so that Coca-Cola realizes monetary profit. The consumption does not directly create value for the company. On Facebook and Twitter, the consumption process of the service entails all online communication and usage online. All of this time is not only reproduction time (i.e. time for the reproduction of labour-power), but at the same time labour time that produces data commodities that are offered by Facebook and Twitter for sale to advertising clients. In the consumption process, the users do not just reproduce their labour-power but produce commodities. So on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, all consumption time is commodity production time.

—p.90 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
91

[...] Smythe does not celebrate audiences as always rebelling and does not argue for social-democratic reformism that tolerates exploitation and misery. His analysis rather implies the need for the overthrow of capitalism in order to humanize society and the overthrow of the capitalist media system in order to humanize the media.

—p.91 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

[...] Smythe does not celebrate audiences as always rebelling and does not argue for social-democratic reformism that tolerates exploitation and misery. His analysis rather implies the need for the overthrow of capitalism in order to humanize society and the overthrow of the capitalist media system in order to humanize the media.

—p.91 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
95
  • Cocercion [...]
  • Alienation: Companies, not the users, own the platforms and the created profit.
  • Appropriation: Users spend time on corporate Internet platforms that are funded by targeted advertising capital accumulation models. The time spent on corporate platforms is the value created by their unpaid digital labour. [...]

the last part means that all surplus value is appropriated

he says later (p263):

One hundred per cent of their labour time is surplus labour time, which allows capitalists to generate extra surplus value and extra profits.

—p.95 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
  • Cocercion [...]
  • Alienation: Companies, not the users, own the platforms and the created profit.
  • Appropriation: Users spend time on corporate Internet platforms that are funded by targeted advertising capital accumulation models. The time spent on corporate platforms is the value created by their unpaid digital labour. [...]

the last part means that all surplus value is appropriated

he says later (p263):

One hundred per cent of their labour time is surplus labour time, which allows capitalists to generate extra surplus value and extra profits.

—p.95 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
99

Sut Jhally (1987, 78) argues that "reorganising the watching audience in terms of demographics" is a form of relative surplus value production. One can interpret targeted Internet advertising as a form of relative surplus value production: At one point in time, the advertisers not only show one advertisement to the audience as in non-targeted advertising, but they show different advertisements to different user groups depending on the monitoring, assessment and comparison of the users' interests and online behaviour. [...] The efficacy of advertising is increased [...] The more targeted advertisements there are, the more likely it is that users recognize ads and click on them.

[...] These ads contain more surplus value than the non-targeted ads (i.e. more unpaid labour time of the advertising company's paid employees and of users, who generate user-generated content and transaction data).

need to think about his more in relation to exchange value and does it actually produce surplus value if it's not always individually effective??

—p.99 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

Sut Jhally (1987, 78) argues that "reorganising the watching audience in terms of demographics" is a form of relative surplus value production. One can interpret targeted Internet advertising as a form of relative surplus value production: At one point in time, the advertisers not only show one advertisement to the audience as in non-targeted advertising, but they show different advertisements to different user groups depending on the monitoring, assessment and comparison of the users' interests and online behaviour. [...] The efficacy of advertising is increased [...] The more targeted advertisements there are, the more likely it is that users recognize ads and click on them.

[...] These ads contain more surplus value than the non-targeted ads (i.e. more unpaid labour time of the advertising company's paid employees and of users, who generate user-generated content and transaction data).

need to think about his more in relation to exchange value and does it actually produce surplus value if it's not always individually effective??

—p.99 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago
101

Social media users are double objects of commodification: they are commodities themselves and through this commodification their consciousness becomes, while online, permanently exposed to commodity logic in the form of advertisements. Most online time is advertising time. [...] advertisements do not necessarily represent consumers' real needs and desires because the ads are based on calculated assumptions, whereas needs are much more complex and spontaneous. The ads mainly reflect marketing decisions and economic power relations. They do not simply provide information about products as offers to buy, but present information about products of powerful companies.

cite this: information tech enables creation of a new frontier/digital domain where commodity logic is amplified, accelerated, spread everywhere more deeply

—p.101 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

Social media users are double objects of commodification: they are commodities themselves and through this commodification their consciousness becomes, while online, permanently exposed to commodity logic in the form of advertisements. Most online time is advertising time. [...] advertisements do not necessarily represent consumers' real needs and desires because the ads are based on calculated assumptions, whereas needs are much more complex and spontaneous. The ads mainly reflect marketing decisions and economic power relations. They do not simply provide information about products as offers to buy, but present information about products of powerful companies.

cite this: information tech enables creation of a new frontier/digital domain where commodity logic is amplified, accelerated, spread everywhere more deeply

—p.101 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

(adjective) being or presenting a comprehensive or panoramic view

101

Oscar Gandy has introduced the notion of a panoptic sort: "The panoptic sort is a difference machine that sorts individuals into categories and classes on the basis of routine measurements [...]"

—p.101 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago

Oscar Gandy has introduced the notion of a panoptic sort: "The panoptic sort is a difference machine that sorts individuals into categories and classes on the basis of routine measurements [...]"

—p.101 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago

a Marxist term for a form of depreciation resulting from a new replacement providing greater use value (think technology)

114

Its wear and tear is what Marx (1867c, 528) called "moral depreciation": it is caused by competition and the drive of companies to establish new versions of informational commodities [...] in order to accumulate ever more capital

on information

—p.114 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago

Its wear and tear is what Marx (1867c, 528) called "moral depreciation": it is caused by competition and the drive of companies to establish new versions of informational commodities [...] in order to accumulate ever more capital

on information

—p.114 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago

philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence in which the divine encompasses or is manifested in the material world

120

corporate social media have an immanent connection to finance capital

—p.120 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago

corporate social media have an immanent connection to finance capital

—p.120 by Christian Fuchs
notable
4 years, 1 month ago
122

[...] claims about the Internet in the 1990s also constituted a "Californian ideology" (Barbrook and Cameron 2001) that stresses individualism, personal responsibility, competition, private property and consumerism, lacks consciousness of inequality and exploitation and is in line with the basic ideas of neo-liberalism (Fisher 2010). [...]

I feel vindicated for my gig economy piece that claimed as much

—p.122 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago

[...] claims about the Internet in the 1990s also constituted a "Californian ideology" (Barbrook and Cameron 2001) that stresses individualism, personal responsibility, competition, private property and consumerism, lacks consciousness of inequality and exploitation and is in line with the basic ideas of neo-liberalism (Fisher 2010). [...]

I feel vindicated for my gig economy piece that claimed as much

—p.122 by Christian Fuchs 4 years, 1 month ago