Digitalisation and Labour: A Rejoinder to Christian Fuchs

  • César Ricardo Siqueira Bolaño Federal University of Sergipe
Keywords: Audience, Political Economy, Labour, Commodity


I have published a paper about social network sites in the journal Television & New Media, criticising some ideas of Christian Fuchs, who considers the mere act of surfing on commercial websites using targeted advertising, such as Facebook, a form of labour. His rejoinder deserves some responses from me. We share the same concern about the need to analyse the Internet from a Marxist perspective—revealing its dominative features and its functions as an instrument of exploitation, while considering the counter-hegemonic possibilities allowed by the system structure or, as Fuchs puts it, regarding the fact that “alternatives to Facebook and the capitalist Internet are needed”. Although, Fuchs in his response concerns mainly one major idea, he makes the same mistake as Dallas Smythe regarding the labour theory of value. In his rejoinder he refers to some old polemic issues known in the Marxist debate that have nothing to do with the problem itself.

Acknowledgement: The two articles, on which this contribution is based, are:

Bolaño, César R. S. and Eloy S. Vieira. 2015. The Political Economy of the Internet: Social Networking Sites and a Reply to Fuchs. Television & New Media 16 (1): 52–61.

Fuchs, Christian. 2015. Against Divisiveness: Digital Workers of the World Unite! A Rejoinder to César Bolaño and Eloy Vieira. Television & New Media 16 (1): 62–71.

Author Biography

César Ricardo Siqueira Bolaño, Federal University of Sergipe

César Bolaño holds a PhD in Economic Science from the University of Campinas (Unicamp). He is Professor at Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS), Brazil. He is the author of Mercado Brasileiro de Televisão (São Paulo: EDUC); Televisão Brasileira na era digital (São Paulo: PAULUS); Political Economy, communication and knowledge (ORG.; Buenos Aires: La Crujía); Qual a lógica das políticas em comunicação no Brasil? (São Paulo: PAULUS). His research is concerned with a marxist perspective of Communication and Culture and with the field of the Political Economy Culture and Communication.

Reflections (Non Peer-Reviewed)