In a media environment increasingly dominated by Big Tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, and Google, the struggle for more equitable and dignified jobs begins with a struggle over classification: content creation is work. Last week dealt two major wins for Big Tech in this regard as U.S. courts decided to allow Facebook to continue building its monopoly and Black content producers lost a case against Google’s YouTube, the focus of this post.

Black content producers (or, per YouTube’s interpellation, “creators”) alleged that Google’s video streaming platform discriminated against them based on their race and ideological viewpoints, thus infringing upon…

Social media platforms and their opaque governance have finally come to the forefront of public policy discussions after four years of Trumpist lies and the ongoing problems caused by the circulation of COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Now, media manipulation and privacy concerns appear regularly in the news and are the subject of congressional hearings, but what about platformized labor? The important conversations about political speech force us to reckon with the inordinate power wielded by Big Tech as more and more of social life occurs on platforms, so we should also be talking about how our livelihoods are embedded within platforms…

Michael L. Siciliano

I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Queen’s University. My research addresses issues of power, technology, and the future of work under capitalism.

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