Reality Bites

Technology allows people to comment and respond and interact. This can positively or negatively impact certain people. 

While it is acceptable to have self-esteem, in todays day and age, being too into yourself makes you seem snobby. 

This is evident with Samantha Bricks who wrote an article about how women hate her because she’s so beautiful. She also wrote another article on how women need to diet everyday to beautiful (like her!). Que eye roll and immediate judgement worldwide. Fair enough if you are Miranda Kerr. 

These articles caused a flood of reactions. The daily mail wrote an article on the situation saying that in the days after the piece, Samantha received thousands of messages, many of them cruel, and was on the wrong end of scores of Twitter taunts, including one from Dragons’ Den star, Duncan Bannatyne. 

These are just a few of the comments in reaction to the ‘i’m so beautiful’ article:

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Most people thought it was an April fools joke and the site disabled comments due to the flood of responses. 

This highlights how audiences are able to instantly respond and react to a situation on the internet.

The question is, should there be some moderation to these harsh comments? or does that take away the so-called ‘freedom’ of the internet?

 

 

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Digital Disability

People often ignore those that aren’t the same as them. They tend to ‘other’ and make assumptions, consciously or not. People with disabilities are discriminated against and often treated differently to other people.

A study in 2009 showed that there is a chronic lack of services to help people with disabilities live fulfilled lives. The most notable problem is with technology and how people with disability are often left out or an after-thought.

Goggin &  Newell(2007) highlight,”If those inventing, designing, commissioning, implementing, programming, and paying for, information and communication technology, had in mind the needs, expectations, and desires of people with disabilities, then accessibility and use would be incorporated in the technology—rather than having to be an expensive and not particularly compatible add-on, and after-thought. And in addition the technology would be accessible, easier to use, and more attractive for many people without disabilities. As a consequence, the argument runs, IT businesses would have more customers, more revenue, and would be more profitable.”

If the creators of technology were to create products that can be used by everyone then it would ultimately benefit them.

People with disability are often treated as if they are children or incapable even if they are perfectly capable of doing things on their own. Also, it is forgotten that people with disability are also in need of love and touch but they are the ones most avoided.

It is because of the assumptions and prejudices of society that there is an exclusion of people. If the same treatment was given to men or women because of their gender, how would we react? It is important to think about why we treat people differently when they are not exactly the same as us. In the end we are all human.

Reference:

Gerard Goggin & Christopher Newell (2007), ‘The Business of Digital Disability,’ The Information Society: An International Journal, 23:3, 159-168

 

 

 

 

 

White Bread Media.

There are several issues with White Bread Media, hose discriminated against or stereotyped due to race. However there is also issues with sex and age.

Quvenzhané Wallis was recently the target of a crude joke by Seth Mcfarlane at the Oscars. He said that she is so young that it’ll be 16 years before she’s too young for Clooney.

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The fact that he targeted a young girl is concerning but it’s the fact that he picked on her because of her race that is shameful.

The real issue is with race in the media. Most ‘black’ or ‘ethnic’ actors are using cast in stereotypical role. There is also a significant difference in the amount of white and black actors seen in the media.

Kalina(2013) highlights that,”The overwhelming message is that opportunities for actors who are, or look like, ”ethnics” are significantly lower than whites.”

The other issue in the media is women.

Julia Gillard is often attacked and arguments against her aren’t related to her politics but the fact that she is a women and certain issues such as she isn’t a mother.

The predominately male dominated politics world finds ways to marginalise women or portray them as weak.

Seth Mcfarlane also went on the attack about women. The boob song amongst other comments were seen as funny by everyone.

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The media appears to be shaping these stereotypes about race and women. Keeping the media more white than black and women as weak or as objects.

Is there any freedom on the internet?

While the internet seems free and open it is actually walled. Every place is monitored and censored. Most people may not realise how much content companies take from social networking sites to target products at them.

Zittrain argues that, “Generative networks like the internet can be partially controlled, and there is important work to be done to enumerate the ways in which governments try to censor the Net.”

To most people the internet is a garden of movies, TV shows and social networking but what they don’t realise is these are ‘walled gardens.’

For example, the US ambassador for Australia asked the population to stop illegally downloading Game of Thrones. 

“As the ambassador here in Australia, it was especially troubling to find out that Australian fans were some of the worst offenders with among the highest piracy rates in the developed world,” Jeffrey Bleich said.

Piracy is one of the largest issues surrounding the internet. There has to be some monitoring of the internet for them to find out who is downloading the most and what they are downloading. This means that the authorities are aware of the illegal activity on the internet and may lead to things such as SOPA.

Doctorow(2011) says that SOPA uses the same measures used in Syria, China, and Uzbekistan. He also highlights that it’s not just a black and white situation but grey, ”It may seem like SOPA is the endgame in a long fight over copyright and the Internet, and it may seem that if we defeat SOPA, we’ll be well on our way to securing the freedom of PC’s and networks.”

The problem is the users need to have everything immediately instead of waiting and the access to the content. In the future it seems the government will pass something like a Stop Online Piracy Act and all ‘freedom’ will be taken away.

The question is, will users just find another way around it? Or will the entire population of internet downloaders end up with massive fines or even in jail.

If content in mainly online, there needs to be a way to keep the movie and television industries going while satisfying the audiences need for immediate content.

References

Cory Doctorow(2011) ‘The coming war on general-purpose computing’ http://boingboing.net/2012/01/10/lockdown.html

Zittrain, J. ‘Thethered Appliances, Software as Service, and Perfect Enforcement’. In The Future of the Internet and How to Stop it, Yale University Press, New Haven, ppp.101-126; [URL: http://futureoftheinternet.org/static/ZittrainTheFutureoftheInternet.pdf%5D