The Platformization of Labor and Society


This chapter focuses on the role of digital intermediaries in shaping technology, society, and economy under what Casilli and Posada call “the paradigm of the platform.” They trace the historical relationship between platforms, markets, and enterprises to demonstrate the role of algorithms in matching users, pieces of software, goods, and services, and how platforms can create value from the content and data generated by users. Their primary argument is that platforms play a fundamental role in establishing a digital labor relationship with their users by allocating underpaid or unpaid tasks to them. In order to enable and coordinate users’ contributions, platforms need to standardize and fragment (“taskify”) labor processes. The authors conclude by highlighting the link between platformization and automation, with the tech giants employing their users’ data to produce artificial intelligence and machine-learning solutions to an expanding range of problems.

Society and the Internet, Vol. 2
Julian Posada
Julian Posada
Assistant Professor

Research interests include platform labor, data production, and social computing.