All posts tagged with 'internet'
Clay Shirky is a writer, consultant and teacher on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. He has a joint appointment at New York University (NYU) as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and Assistant Arts Professor in the New Media focused graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). His consulting practice is focused on the rise of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client–server infrastructure that characterizes the World Wide Web. His courses address, among other things, the interrelated effects of the topology of social networks and technological networks, and how our networks shape culture and vice-versa. His written work includes the books Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (2008) and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age (2010).
1:30 p.m., Saturday, April 16, room 701 | Faculty respondent: Dominic Pettman
The Politics of Being Political in the Digital Age
The discussion about the relationship between increasing use of new technologies and political engagement has recently shifted to a new level thanks to the uprising in Tunisia and Egypt against authoritarian governments, Wikileaks’s launch of diplomatic cables and following DDoS attacks by Anonymous. Joined by academics, journalists, and policymakers, one group argues that the Internet and other new technologies enhance citizen participation and promote being political while the other group points out that less and less people are engaged in actual politics at local and national levels. What is not clear in this discussion is the definition of ‘being political’. In the midst of Twitter revolutions, DDoS attacks or Wikileaks cables how are ‘being political’ and its online practice defined? This paper attempts to seek the definition of being political in digital age through analyzing the debate on ‘Twitter revolution’ that was initiated by one of Malcolm Gladwell’s articles, published in the NewYorker last year. The common agreement in that debate seems that being political refers to the citizens’ capacity to participate in a liberal democracy. However this participation is mostly clickable (momentary) and portrayed as it should serve dramatic purposes or promote a cause/an idea. In that respect, being political in digital age shows similarities with the dynamics of a mediated (neo)liberal democracy and its conceptualization on the media hinders the bigger challenge of creating a progressive collective political identity that should continuously engage in critical deliberation and be taken into account in political governance.
Supplementary materials: “Small Change,” Malcolm Gladwell
Censorship in the Age of WikiLeaks: Identifying a New Propaganda Model
Censorship of information is not a new or recent concept, but the means by which governments, private corporations, and institutions stifle thoughts and ideas in the general public consciousness are constantly evolving.
Prior to the transition of the internet as a primary medium for news and entertainment, print and broadcast media in the West were subjected to self-imposed commercial filters, as outlined by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. This seminal work in media studies identified the “propaganda model,” through which media coverage and interests were viewed for over a decade.
The advent of the internet has changed this model, and has circumvented many, if not all, of the filters Herman and Chomsky outlined. Yet, as other theorists have observed, new forms of internet censorship are emerging as quickly as previous ones are extinguished. State-sponsored restrictions to free speech have been modernized in countries like China, Moldova, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates, while corporate censorship of the mass media continues to flourish, as has become evident in Amazon and PayPal’s compliance in the attempts to shut down WikiLeaks. Thus, the future restrictions to free speech are looking increasingly similar to those of the past.
Toward this end, my goals in this paper are to 1) explore different cases of telecommunications censorship; 2) identify the trends underlying this censorship; and 3) outline the philosophical and political implications.
Incendiary Tweets: From Liberal Democracy to Anarchy in the U.K.
In Understanding Media theorist Marshal McLuhan, following political philosopher Alexis De Tocqueville, alleged that England has never had a revolution because, unlike the United States and France, the country had never shaken off its reliance on oral culture and tradition; print and visual media never had quite the disruptive effect it had on other nations. Has a proliferation of new media has threatened to drastically undermine traditional power structures at the start of a new decade? When the Liberal Democrats were forced by their Conservative partners in the ruling coalition into imposing Austerity measures this past Fall, the response was spectacular. A proposed tripling of tuition costs, combined with an 80% cut in funding for Universities and an elimination of benefits for high school students, brought tens of thousands into the streets of London. Social Media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allowed vast crowds to form, spread news of university occupations and allowed, through the #UKUNCUT network, roving blockades of some of the country’s biggest retail brands. Yet this was an uprising sparked by a distinct social scenario, not new technologies. This paper will attempt to argue that social movements both define and develop new media, while sparking rapid changes in old media.
Karen Fratti lived in Rome, Italy for five years before returning to begin the MA in Media Studies at The New School University. This is her second semester in the program where she is focusing on media theory, especially the social and political implications of the Internet and the changing field of journalism. She has a B.A. in English from Temple University.