“The Internet is becoming more and more widespread and will increasingly represent a scientific random sample of the population,” claims ICANN’s newest board member, Joi Ito. Quite what scientific experiments he will wish to perform, once the desired sample size has been reached, remains a mystery. But like many people who spend too long in front of their computers, he’s talking about a Platonic ideal rather than the real world.
A survey by the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration shows that the internet has entrenched the divide between rich and poor, and the races. Statistics reveal an internet that’s overwhelmingly white, wealthy and urban. And the net’s best days may even be behind it. The pace of internet adoption has tapered off to a trickle, with a substantial part of the population not interested in the internet at any price.
Continue reading “Netizens: white, wealthy and middle class (and full of it)”