Platform capitalism

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Platform capitalism refers to the activities of companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Uber, Airbnb and others to operate as platforms. In this business model both hardware and software are used as a foundation (platform) for other actors to conduct their own business.[1][2]

Platform capitalism is either heralded as beneficial [3] or denounced as detrimental [4] by various authors. The trends identified in platform capitalism have similarities with those described under the heading of surveillance capitalism.[5]

The possible effect of platform capitalism on open science has been discussed.[6]

Platform capitalism have been contrasted with platform cooperativism. Companies that try to focus on fairness and sharing, instead of just profit motive, are described as cooperatives, whereas more traditional and common companies that focus solely on profit, like Airbnb and Uber, are platform capitalists (or cooperativist platforms vs capitalist platforms). In turn, projects like Wikipedia, which rely on unpaid labor of volunteers, can be classified as commons-based peer-production initiatives.[7]: 31, 36 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ N. Srnicek, Platform Capatlism. Wiley, 2016.
  2. ^ L. Weatherby, "Delete Your Account: On the Theory of Platform Capitalism," Los Angeles Review of Books, 2018.
  3. ^ A. McAfee and E. Brynjolfsson, Machine, platform, crowd : harnessing our digital future. W. W. Norton and Company , 2017.
  4. ^ J. Lanier, Ten arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now. Henry Holt and Co., 2018.
  5. ^ S. Zuboff, The age of surveillance capitalism: the fight for a human future at the new frontier of power. PublicAffairs, 2019.
  6. ^ P. Mirowski, "The future(s) of open science," Soc. Stud. Sci., vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 171–203, Apr. 2018.
  7. ^ Dariusz Jemielniak; Aleksandra Przegalinska (18 February 2020). Collaborative Society. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-35645-9.