Category Archives: Lesson 10 task

Internet Democracy

Looks like a fun game, I would play it

 

For lesson 10 we are also reading Astra Taylor’s chapter “Unequal Uptake,” which focuses on whether the Internet has a democratic nature, and whether it is an equal space or not.

Shouldn’t governments be all for democracy?

Let’s begin with whether the Internet democratizes the media, activism, and politics. I believe that the Internet does democratize the media, activism, and politics to some extent, however, there are always exceptions.

Every user online has the ability to create, post, and share what they believe is important, or will make a difference. By doing so, they are able to become a part of the media, and have the ability to make a difference. I believe that this the democratic part of the Internet.

The Internet can be a powerful tool.

Some examples would include the success of the infamous Ice Bucket Challenge. After countless videos, and celebrities spreading awareness, the organization was able to raise close to a billion dollars towards finding a cure for ALS. The ability for people to share their opinions with like-minded people towards a greater cause makes the Internet a powerful tool. Another example where this occurred was when social media was credited for overthrowing the Tunisian government. By look at these examples we can see that the Internet gives users the ability to make a choice, and by doing so they can have power to change the course of the media, activism, and politics.

This is what money can do.

However, there are times when we see this go the opposite way. A prime example of this is BP’s oil spill. They bought out search terms from Google that promoted sites with positive views on BP and the actions they were taking to clean up the spill. By doing so, BP’s sites could’ve pushed down other sites that might’ve provided a more unbiased view on the matter.

Save the baby!

 

In addition to this, we see the Internet leading more towards a monopoly. If you’re familiar with the debates on net neutrality then you know what I’m talking about. If ISPs have the ability to control the speeds of different websites it could put smaller websites at a disadvantage. This could even affect large corporations whose site have huge amounts of traffic and as a result would get regulated by ISPs more.

 

So what are your thoughts on this? Do you believe that the Internet is a democratic space that provides every user with free and equal access to information? Are monopolies taking over the Internet, and is it a good or bad thing?

Let me know your thoughts, and I’ll get back to ya’ll soon with another post!

Is Equality Possible on the Web?

This week we are still reading boyd’s It’s Complicated. The chapter we read, “Inequality,” discusses the networked lives of young people and how technology can widen the division between races, and social classes. Let’s connect the boyd reading with some current events.

The points that boyd makes in her chapter, “Inequality,” are very relevant, and can be applied in many situations online, and in real life. The talk about race has been prominent in the news lately with the Ferguson trials, and the shooting of Trayvon Martin.  During these events, and other similar cases, there have been comments on social media that range from the extremes on both sides of the spectrum (supporting the officer, and supporting Michael Brown) and a variety of dialogue occurred on social media, both positive and negative.

**Disclaimer: this article does not represent my opinion on the matters discussed. It is merely an example used for analyzing how the Internet can cause increased levels of inequalities and prejudices in the youth’s networked lives.**

After the shooting an infamous tag was born #blacklivesmatter. Positive, peaceful protests have occurred using the hashtag.

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A very powerful photo.

 

Even photos that tugged your heartstrings appeared:

Much feels.

 

However, violent riots, and support for these violent acts also emerged:

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Does this make sense?

 

In response to this others have called for increased hostility towards them, and in turn, it incites a new kind of hate. (This point is made in boyd’s example of Alexandra Wallace and threats she faced after posting her video)

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Be careful about what you post on Twitter.

 

These type of tweets continue to reinforce structural divides, and encourages racial segregation. This cycle continues as the web allows for freedom of speech and thoughts to be heard:

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Otherwise, responses like this are surely going to follow.

 

 

However, it doesn’t stop there. I’m not saying that either side has a justifiable reason for their actions, however, the girl’s personal information was released, she received death threats, and was suspended from school. Is this type of response acceptable? Sure she said some hateful things, however, was her action so bad that it in turn requires death threats? This type of interactions online show that each side is doing what the other condemns, and a growing divide in social and racial classes.

But how can we fix social divide caused by the Internet? Racism has had a long history in our country, and it doesn’t just disappear overnight. Similarly with real life, it is hard to get rid of all prejudices as these are beliefs engrained into the minds of some people since they were young. As a result, I believe that the only way really combat this issue is through openness and awareness of other people from different backgrounds.

Sorry for such a heavy post this time, however, I feel that this is a very important topic that needs to be addressed. I hope ya’ll enjoyed it, and let me know what you think!