Digitalisation and Labour: A Rejoinder to Christian Fuchs
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.
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