Transparency and Development: Ethical Consumption through Web 2.0 and the Internet of Things
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:e-Democracy | e-Politics | Politics and Political Science | Social Media & Social Software
Commentators are now pointing to the potential for a globalization of knowledge and transparency that will harness the power of the Internet to allow consumers to learn more about the commodities they buy. This article discusses the potential for emergent Web 2.0 technologies to transcend barriers of time and space, both to facilitate flows of information about the chains of commodities, and to open up potential politics of consumer activism, particularly to influence the way goods that originate in the Global South are produced. We argue that these prospects are ultimately tempered by a number of persistent barriers to the creation and transmission of information about commodities (infrastructure and access, actors’ capacities, the continued role of infomediaries, and intelligent capture and use by consumers).