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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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The internet in society: empowering or censoring citizens?

11 minutes

How we confuse the ‘intended uses of technology with the actual uses’

In The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citizens?, the Belarusian-born commentator Evgeny Morozov argues that, when it comes to oppression, the web is a far more complex system than cyber-utopians make it out to be, offering a tool to both activists and totalitarian governments rather than having an inherent bias towards freedom. In audio excerpted from an RSA lecture, Morozov argues that by viewing the internet as a tool for freedom, we confuse the ‘intended uses of technology with the actual uses’.

This video is published under the RSA open-access licence. For more information, visit the RSA website’s disclaimer and policies page.

Producer: Abi Stephenson

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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Essay/
Future of Technology
Do platforms work?

The distributed network has gobbled the hierarchical firm. Only by seizing the platform can workers avoid digital serfdom

George Zarkadakis

Essay/
Future of Technology
Fuelling the future

Fantasies about new power sources for human ambitions go back a century or more. Could these past visions energise our own future?

Iwan Rhys Morus