New Publication by ARNIC Student on Gatekeeping Practices in Mobile Environments

How do apps consolidate their market share and control over information flows?

In this paper, ARNIC student Juan Ortiz Freuler uses a walkthrough method to show how high the walls around different apps and operating systems have been risen.

The analysis covers how Alphabet and iOS describe the process of changing the default browser and 27 apps deal with user requests to access web content: While email apps are split, apps belonging to traditional media outlets allow users to access the web browser immediately, and most social media apps keep users in in-app browsers.

As we move towards an increasingly mediated world, the battle to control what content is available and who gets to monitor user behaviour is becoming increasingly fierce. This paper offers a methodology to keep track of abusive gatekeeping practices that are often deployed to increase control over markets and the flow of knowledge.