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In Manovich’s Whither Internet Control, the following passage was the most thought provoking:

Google already bases the ads that it shows us on our searches and the text of our e-mails; Facebook aspires to makes its ads much more fine-grained, taking into account what kind of content that we have previously “liked” on other sites and what our friends are “liking” and buying online. Imagine censorship systems that are as detailed and as fine-tuned to their “users” (targets) as the behavioral advertising that we now see every day. The only difference between the two is that one system learns everything about us in order to show us more relevant advertisements, while the other one learns everything about us in order to ban us from accessing relevant pages.

It was shocking to think that even now, we are only a small step to losing our Internet freedom due to the amount of information we publicize. But I think that was the general point of Whither Internet Control: to enlighten the readers of how Internet doesn’t just mean democracy, it could also easily lead to a tool for government censorship and control. But I don’t think this means we have to reject the Internet for the fear of the possibility of the government re-purposing the Internet for authoritarian uses. Many things can be used for “good” and “evil” and it just depends on how the people decide to use it.