Digital Platforms and Digital Inequality. An Analysis From Information Ethics Perspective
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Digital platforms are information technology artifacts that erode established market structures by providing a digital interaction space for producers and consumers. Therefore, it is argued here that digital platforms inherently support digital divide. This potential, if not governed or made visible for the involved actors, can lead and is already leading to undesired societal and ethical consequences. To derive these insights, Information Systems (IS) perspective is enriched with the Information Ethics approach and terminology. This interdisciplinary view allows considering both the technical and the social side of the problem. The analysis of interactions and roles is performed using the four ethical issues identified by Mason as a general taxonomy of ethical concerns in IS context. The identified aspects offer insights on the potentials of digital platforms that fosters digital inequality. Power asymmetries between the digital platform and its users are identified, outlining their potential for manifestation of the digital divide.