Walled Gardens


Feudalism is a dominant social system which has existed for centuries, especially in medieval Europe wherein the nobility held lands from the crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants were obliged to live on their lord’s land, and give them homage, labour and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection.

While you don’t hear of this kind of living anymore…..or you’d hope you wouldn’t. Feudalism is on the rise in the digital world. In this week’s topic, Ted delved into the idea of Walled Gardens. Walled gardens are in regards to social media websites and apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon. Aspects of these websites are it’s curated content, their control of how we interact with the content, licensing fees that come with the content, copyright controls. Essentially Walled Gardens are centrally controlled, hierarchical and closed of.

The walled garden controls the information, surveil information flows and censor information. This displays the rise of feudalism within the digital world. A different kind of walled gardens is the stack, otherwise known as vertically integrated wall gardens. Aspects of this is that it has a proprietary operating system, has it’s own cloud, has it’s own mobile device ecology, and has it’s own currency.



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