1. There is no public space online. There are expectations of public space by people using online services, but each service is very strictly controlled either by a company with a bottom line or by a (semi-)government agency that is difficult to make accountable.
2. Online is permeating the offline world. The built environment is getting digital. Our behaviours are increasingly controlled by systems and structures built out of information and code.
3. Through that mechanism the values that are inherent in online services (such as corporate control, chokeable infrastructures) impose themselves upon the offline world and upon the public space that we were accustomed to.
4. Public space came about through public discourse around behaviour, expectations, rights and justice in our environments and was codified in social practice and law. A similar codification is taking place in the digital realm, but now in code which is often arbitrarily drafted and rigidly applied.
5. Discourse on this subject is ill-informed and superficial both in policy makers, the public and in whatever remains of the fourth estate. Discussions are easily hijacked to ends that serve particular interests but not any overall good.
So how do we fix this trend? How do we inform people at scale? Your ideas welcome.