There is an astonishing gap between how people perceive internet ‘freedom’ and the realities of the digital sphere in the 21st century. While the internet was fostered by an unprecedented amount of social capital and provides unique ways for humans to interact, the grim reality is that the contemporary internet is being colonized by corporate and state interests.
It is important to articulate what is unique and important about being human in the digital age – and how the central positive aspects can be preserved in the interests of the citizens, rather than for the demands of states or corporations. If we do not act soon, we will lose the collective capital and freedom of the online sphere. We need to learn what it will take to preserve the rights of public digital citizens.