Matt Mankins

Matt Mankins

I Make Things

WEB MONETIZATION 2021 Mozilla Fellow

I've been holding the news for awhile, so I'm excited to be able to announce that I'm one of this year's Mozilla Fellows.

From Mozilla's announcement:

Mozilla, with support from Coil, welcomes Amber Case and Matt Mankins as Fellows. Case and Mankins will reimagine new models and approaches for sustaining web content that is not reliant on advertising.

The AI powering today's internet can create unprecedented opportunity, but also serious risks to billions of internet users. For that reason, it's imperative to think critically about how we design the AI in consumer technology -- and ensure it's helping humanity, not hurting us. We've talked a lot about this over the past two years as we started to focus on Trustworthy AI as a way to build a healthier digital world.

But it’s not just about the technology. The business models that sustain the web also shape the way we use the web and what we believe is possible online. Today, advertising is the dominant business model for supporting content and services online. While advertising in and of itself isn’t harmful, the harms of targeted advertising are significant and well-documented. The invasive tracking and data hoarding practices that have become commonplace in AI fueled digital advertising are shaping everything that the web touches — from journalism and business to art and democracy.

A healthy internet needs openness and opportunity. It needs alternative models of digital and data services that more evenly distribute equity and prosperity. It needs new business models that don’t rely on the exploitation of people’s data.

So today, Mozilla is welcoming two new fellows who will be focused on reshaping the economics of the web and reimagining new models and approaches for sustainability. These fellowships are made possible through support from Coil, whose mission is dedicated to building a better business model for the web. Together, Mozilla and Coil seek to address some of the most serious socio-technical problems online - loss of privacy, centralization of power, and inequalities in participation - that are perpetuated by the dominance of ad-based marketing as the primary business model of the web.

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