Personal Data: Blind Spot of the “Affective Law of Value”?
This essay intervenes in the discussion of value generation on social networking sites by focusing on the role played by the collection and use of personal data. It argues, with Fuchs (2012), that the paradigm of user labor remains a useful way for approaching the issue of user generated content. In response to Arvidsson and Colleoni (2012), it suggests that the value of “data troves” better explains the discrepancy between valuation and revenue than the hypothesis of the direct transformation of users’ affective investment into financial rent. Finally, it advances the discussion by considering the challenge posed by new forms of data processing and collection for arguments regarding labor’s ability to appropriate forms of socialized knowledge.
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