To What Extent Does Fandom Wikia Act as a Model for Labor Exploitation?
Keywords:Labor Exploitation, Modern Labor Exploitation, Fandom Wikia, Fandom
Founded in 2004, the company, Fandom, provided a new outlet for fans to engage with the media they love: a platform to edit and view information about their interests, as well as meet others who share those interests. It is possible, however, that Fandom has taken advantage of this as a vast pool of labor. As Fandom makes money from ad revenue and their users continue to make pages of information making ads more accessible, it comes into question whether or not this is a model for labor exploitation. In order to classify it as such, two conditions needed to be fulfilled to qualify Fandom as a model: is Fandom monopolistic and does it take advantage of its users. Whereas the monopolistic aspect can be determined by seeing if other media fill the niche Fandom does, the second aspect will be determined using Katz’s Uses and Gratifications Theory. A survey was conducted from user responses to analyze how users view Fandom. It was determined from the 50 responses that Fandom fits the model as it is the only media platform that fulfills an informational and social niche concurrently. The website also fulfills all aspects of Katz’s Theory, therefore, the second condition for labor exploitation is fulfilled. Although Fandom acts as a model for labor exploitation, this does not outline the moral aspects of its activities; this only classifies it as a model to be utilized for reference as technology continues to make controversial issues such as labor exploitation more ambiguous.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Justin Lim; Samantha Lawrence
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