Segments in this Video

Internet Beginnings (03:41)


The internet begins as a decentralized, non-profit network; a few network platforms now dominate online business. A Mark Zuckerberg memo cites how networks like Facebook empower people. Eric Schmidt reflects on early ideals.

Centralized Hierarchies vs Decentralized Networks (03:08)

Intercontinental communication consists of letters until the installment of the transatlantic telegraph cable; the telegraph network enriches the Victorian elite. Network structures leading to central nodes are integral to network theory; they often fall under concentrated ownership.

Network Law: Matthew Effect (05:06)

The theory states that the more you have, the more you will receive. Centralized power structures are targets for attack. The Rand Corporation develops decentralized computer communication; the Soviet Union begins OGAS but it never launches.

Decentralized to Centralized Networks (06:51)

Pioneers design the internet to be decentralized; building a business on top of the internet is illegal until 1991. Startups struggle during the dot-com bust; Google develops a successful business model. Facebook is the most profitable social network.

Data Mining (02:28)

Jure Leskovec discusses using social networks to predict future behaviors. Amazon leads e-commerce, Google is the dominant search engine, and Facebook is the top platform for social media.

Robber Barons (06:13)

New York inspires Fritz Lang's "Metropolis." Jay Gould dominates the railways and telegraph network. William Randolph Hearst dominates print media; he shares similarities with Zuckerberg. Big tech companies their purchase competitors.

Targeting Emerging Markets (04:46)

Network platforms are fundamentally hierarchical. Facebook promotes Flex and Free Basics in Africa, but many see the company as a bully. Alex Stamos states that large companies operate like quasi governments.

Data Commodity (05:59)

Data harvesting is the center of many business models; user engagement is key. Ferguson compares data to oil. Data extraction occurs with personal devices, voice assistants, wi-fi connections, and city cameras.

Cloud Computing (07:12)

Over 70% of internet traffic passes through Data Center Alley. Computer scientists consider how AI and big data can revolutionize the world. China uses big data for control. Ferguson reflects on George Orwell's novel "1984."

Surveillance Capitalism (03:43)

Experts reflect on surveillance in Germany, China, and the West— Orwellian surveillance vs. power limitations. European privacy laws regulate large tech companies.

Limiting Monopoly Platforms (02:50)

Zuckerberg testifies at Congressional Hearings. Antitrust proponents label Amazon, Google, and Facebook as "Standard commerce, Standard social, and Standard data." Experts discuss competition ability and increasing power.

Credits: Winner Takes All (00:31)

Credits: Winner Takes All

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Episode 2: Winner Takes All (Niall Ferguson's Networld)

Part of the Series : Niall Ferguson’s Networld
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



By looking at lessons from Victorian telegraph pioneers, Cold War history, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and George Orwell's 1984, host Niall Ferguson tells the story of how a decentralized, not-for-profit worldwide web shape-shifted to become a highly profitable network controlled by a tiny elite selling our attention for billions of dollars to the world's advertisers.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL206194

Copyright date: ©2020

Closed Captioned

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