Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Internet and Democracy

1. Based on this debate and previous readings What Definition of democracy do you feel is most fitting for us to use in-conjunction our growing reliance and integration of digital networked technologies?

I feel the most fitting definition for us to use is that of direct democracy or the ability of anyone to contribute to the source, everyone has a say and can add more information.  When everyone is involved, the posted information is not influenced by any small party that influences the system to show results in a specific order by pay, or hiding information that isn't good.

2. How does your answer to #1 fit into the unchecked nature of Web 2.0 technologies, and what are some tangible examples of this? Do you feel this is an important issue that needs to be addressed further?

Direct democracy relates to the unchecked nature of Web 2.0 because of the sheer number of contributors and the majority are anonymous in their postings.  One example is Don Imus: the man has been in trouble a few times, including recently when he ripped a kids charity commercial on the radio. He issued a retraction and apology, merely joking around and meant for some humor. On the Internet, it would be just any other post-- people can get away with anything. Imus also had another scandal, which everyone knows about, where he was fired for his words.  Internet audiences are so huge, I don't believe anything can be done to regulate it; the chances of finding each and every offender is too large a task. Plus the cases where it is threatening, police have their ways of tracking down the perpetrator; most cases are tame enough.

3. Define and describe the phenomenon of the Media echo-chamber as described in the Internet Debates. What are some examples of this silo effect, and do you believe it is an issue that need to be addressed? Why or Why not?

The media echo-chamber is the posting of news, which in turn is reposted in other locations where more people see it, and this is done over and over until everyone has heard the news and possibly even changed.  This happens all the time, sites like www.reddit.com spread news to numerous other sources.  One example was Michael Jackson's death which caused Google to crash, huge number of people flooded twitter and Wikipedia crashed.  Mass confusion leads to a flooding of the Internet and sites crash, leading people to go somewhere else, and information is reposted over and over.

4. What are some ways that expertise and authority could be (or is being) enforced on the internet? Who would be behind these forces? Why do you believe are they needed or not needed?

I don’t think expertise and authority on the internet can be enforced; It is all users responsibility to obtain reliable information from the Internet. People can be encouraged to find quality information but it can’t really be forced onto people. College professors and teachers constantly remind the class to gather good information for assignments. When people look for information on the internet, they should continue to search for reliable sources, with fact based evidence. Expertise already exists on the internet, people just have to look for it.

6. Give a through example of an adaptation or improvement made by a of a social, political, or cultural group, government, business or individual to keep up with changing nature of the internet.

Businesses today use Facebook to host their pages, moving away from purchasing their own domain to save money.  Every ad today seems to have a reference to the company's Facebook page or Twitter, and it works because both are so popular; the business has moved into the social forums.

7. Is democracy threatened by the unchecked nature of the internet?

Despite the unchecked nature of the internet, democracy continues to exist without being threatened.
Having the ability to create internet sites, post blogs, and share comments is ultimately a basic democratic function. Even in an uncertain online world, much of the information is posted legitimately, checked for facts and provided with a source; certain things are regulated for accuracy making the Internet a powerful tool of information.

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