Pluralistic: The moral injury of having your work enshittified (25 Nov 2023)

Today’s links The moral injury of having your work enshittified: I missed my mother’s funeral for this? Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2003, 2018 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading The moral injury of having your work enshittified (permalink) This week, I wrote about how the Great Enshittening – in which all the digital services we rely on become unusable, extractive piles of shit – did not result from the decay of the morals of tech company leadership, but rather, from the collapse of the forces that discipline corporate wrongdoing: https://locusmag.com/2023/11/commentary-by-cory-doctorow-dont-be-evil/ The failure to enforce competition law allowed a few companies to buy out their rivals, or sell goods below cost until their rivals collapsed, or bribe key parts of their supply chain not to allow rivals to participate: https://www.engadget.com/google-reportedly-pays-apple-36-percent-of-ad-search-revenues-from-safari-191730783.html The resulting concentration of the tech sector meant that the surviving firms were stupendously wealthy, and cozy enough that they could agree on a common legislative agenda. That regulatory capture has allowed tech companies to violate labor, privacy and consumer protection laws by arguing that the law doesn’t apply when you use an app to violate it: https://pluralistic.net/2023/04/12/algorithmic-wage-discrimination/#fishers-of-men But the regulatory capture isn’t just about preventing regulation: it’s also about creating regulation – laws that make it illegal to reverse-engineer, scrape, and otherwise mod, hack or reconfigure existing services to claw back value that has been taken away from users and business customers. This gives rise to Jay Freeman’s perfectly…Pluralistic: The moral injury of having your work enshittified (25 Nov 2023)

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