“Facebook might have won already, which would mean the end of democracy in this century,” [Jaron] Lanier said. “It’s possible that we can’t quite get out of this system of paranoia and tribalism for profit—it’s just too powerful and it’ll tear everything apart, leaving us with a world of oligarchs and autocrats who aren’t able to deal with real problems like pandemics and climate change and whatnot and that we fall apart, you know, we lose it. That is a real possibility for this century.”
A major hypothesis.
Nota bene: New media are new, but also not new. Both the incessant expansion of data-harvesting and the shift away from print-dominated media are major marketing (read: corporate capitalist) imperatives.