The Internet is slipping out of ordinary users’ control. Internet technologies are transforming our workplaces, relationships, and societies. Companies like Uber, Amazon, and Facebook are capturing vital sectors of the economy such as transportation and phenomena like search and social networking. All of us who rely on the Internet have virtually no control over the platforms that affect and inform us on a daily basis.
Countless platform co-ops and initiatives supporting them have developed rapidly over the past two years. This ecosystem challenges the practices of the “sharing economy” and the often misogynist ‘win at all costs’ culture of Silicon Valley. The cooperative platform ecosystem ranges from alternative financing models, labor brokerages for nurses, massage therapists, and cleaners, to cooperatively owned online marketplaces, and data-protection platforms for patients.