This is a Revolution

Social media is the most powerful tool in today’s society. Big statement, I know. Internet users can have such a large impact on the world, just at the tip of their fingers. Thanks to the internet being so distributed and decentralised, users can become a part of something much larger, from anywhere in the world.

But with such power, comes responsibility. With the #arabspring movement having such a positive impact, there can be moments where a revolution can have other outcomes. For example, 4chan convincing the internet that microwaving your iPhones can charge them, or how 4chan made Kim Jong Un 2012 Time reader’s person of the year.

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Although, these examples may be a funny type of revolution, it just goes to show how impactful the internet is, and we as an online community, can be stronger than any force in the world.

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Reframing and Citizen Journalism

Citizen Journalism is citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analysing, and disseminating news and information (Bowman and Willis 2003). Some of the advantages that citizen journalists have over the media corporations include open and free ability to post what they want, no censorship and simply the fact that there are more citizens with access to iPhones, video recording and twitter than journalists.

When it comes to this notion of reframing and citizen journalism, we can look towards websites such as YouTube and apps such as Periscope, and how the prod-user can simply reframe the news different to a journalist.

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Whether it be a live account with uncensored live footage, or a YouTuber focusing on a different aspect of the news without being swayed by bias bosses or the shadow of large corporations looming.

Although amateur when compared to the clean cut television news and newspaper articles, citizen journalism is taking over the way we watch receive our news.

 

Would you like Pepsi instead?

Android vs iPhone is just another battle that modern day society is a part of. Coke vs Pepsi, Playstation vs Xbox, dogs vs cats can incite some serious arguments, and its no different to the Android phone versus the iPhone.

 

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On one side of the argument, you have Android users, who prefer the open linux style system and the ability to make the phone to suit your wants and needs. The other side is the iPhone, where users rather be inside the gardened wall of apps and like to join in with the majority of society.

 

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There are also some differences between the two devices, in terms of how society portray the two phones. For example, some people see the android as being the poor persons iPhone, and sometimes frown upon those who have one has not being like the rest of society.

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In the end, the way we use our mobile devices has evolved in such a way, that you sometimes forget that the main purpose of the device you carry around is to make phone calls.

Google – Our Mighty Overlords

Ever since he stepped into power as President of the United States, Donald Trump has become the centre of attention worldwide. I mean he is the leader of the free world, and there is so much concern about it. But if he is the leader of the free world, then who is the leader of the controlled world. Is Google the leader of the controlled world?

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Google is the centre of the internet. As much as Reddit hates the idea, Google is the mighty overlord of the interwebs. They have access to everything and everyone that uses the internet. And they have already began taking over our everyday lives. Since 2014, Google has introduced Google glass, a new phone and even driverless cars.

People may be concerned with the current state of the world. But if Google and other platforms like Facebook continue to grow and take control of every aspects of our lives, is Donald Trump really the worst thats yet to come?

We’re not here to take part, We’re here to take over

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The world just witnessed one of the biggest fights in sporting history. Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather. Two individuals who excelled in their own sports, multiple time world champions coming face to face, for the world to be entertained and enthralled in.

This one fight generated a large amount of content creation, from memes on Facebook, live photos and videos from the audience on Snapchat, to hundreds upon thousands of YouTube videos on who would win, exclusive interviews and daily vlogs from each of the fighters themselves.

All this content being produced on the internet has shown that this is a new phase in content creation. The phase of the prod-user, where those who use the internet can actively be involved in creating the content thats being produced, and that this phase isn’t here to just take part, this phase is here to take over.

 

Total Eclipse of The Sun

The Sun has been widely considered as one of the most controversial tabloid newspapers being published in the United Kingdom. Its fabrication of interviewsimmoral actions to get the inside scoop and the number of controversial headlines has seen Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid become the centre of a boycotting campaign. The campaign is being led by fans of both Merseyside football clubs Liverpool and Everton.

When recognised as one of the most controversial tabloid newspapers, it comes with a reason. In 2011, Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World had admitted to phone hacking and breaching the privacy of a number of celebrities, as well as those involved in the Milly Dower disappearance, the 7/7 London Attacks and the relatives of British Soldiers who had been killed. This ultimately shut down News of the World, but has not stop The Sun from its continual creation of controversy.

The Sun has been boycotted before by Liverpool, after the newspaper produced a controversial headline surrounding the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989. The Hillsborough disaster had resulted in the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans, some as young as ten years old. The Sun claimed to have the ‘real story’ surrounding the disaster, where they quoted an unnamed police officer in the article called The Truth, published by editor Kelvin Mackenzie. The officer had stated that some of the Liverpool supporters were pick-pocketing the bodies, urinating on the lifeless bodies and even beating up police officers who tried to resuscitate some of the victims. The controversial article had caused sales to plummet in Liverpool and the early beginnings of a boycott campaign.

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The Sun’s 1989 front page headline after the Hillsborough Disaster.

Although bitter footballing rivals and enemies, Liverpool and Everton have a mutual understanding and respect for the importance of the Hillsborough disaster. When editor Kelvin Mackenzie posted another controversial article, this time where he compared Everton footballer Ross Barkley to a gorilla, both Merseyside club’s fans became furious with Mackenzie and The Sun. Although Barkley has represented the English national team, the footballer had a choice as a youngster to represent Nigeria due to his grandfather being of Nigerian descent. The newspaper company claimed in their apology that they did not know of Barkley’s heritage, although mentioning it in a story published in 2014. The racial slur caused outrage throughout the footballing community, with many wishing for The Sun to sack Kelvin Mackenzie. Mackenzie was terminated from his position in early 2017.

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Screenshot of Mackenzie’s article comparing Everton’s Ross Barkley to a Gorilla.

After the sacking of Kelvin Mackenzie, Everton denied The Sun and any of their journalists access to their premises, a move that their rivals Liverpool implemented earlier that year. Following the ban, football fans took twitter with #banthesun to try and persuade the other teams of the Premier League to follow in the Merseyside club’s footsteps.

Online petitions have been set up in an attempt to ban The Sun from being allowed to access any Premier League football club’s premises, the latest being Arsenal fans, who have set up their own petitions to ban The Sun from reporting on the clubs, especially after The Sun posted this controversial headline following the London Bridge terror attacks.

 

Memes are the future?

Throughout Ted’s lecture about global media industries and the costs of immaterial labour, I was having difficulty in wrapping my head around the ideas he was presenting. Now the ideas he was presenting were presented well, its just my head was up in the clouds, thinking about one thing. Memes.

And then it clicked.

Ted was talking about memes.

Was he really?

No… but yes.

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Information companies have been outsourcing there work for what seems decades now, but with the new wave of social media, companies are now outsourcing their work, to create memes.

For example, the Australian Police Force. How do you get your messages across to the Facebook generation?

Is it some 40 something year old cop, trying to figure out how to share that funny picture your Aunty Susan posted on Facebook?

No. You outsource your work to a group of people who understand the market and the audience, and can get your message across.

Memes are then, now and forever.

What’s the deal with Networks?

After spending what seems like an eternity in trying to create this gif, with an internet connection that makes carrier pigeon look like a faster alternative, I finally understand the importance of networking.

The phenomena of scale and speed ultimately changed the way information was to be shared. It provided global control and coordination to a world that was on the brink of innovation at the time.

Manuel Castells believes networking “structures society” in relation to information and technology, in which I have to agree with this ideology. Networking has ultimately changed the way information is sent, whether its through centralised or decentralised networking, the way messages can be sent between users has significantly improved since the introduction, creating a “global village” a term coined by professor Marshall McLuhan.

Throwing it back to the first week’s reading by Kevin Kelly, from our perspective, networking at the moment is awesome, but I wonder what it will be like in 30 years time?

 

 

Eclipsed

Fan activism has become a popularised term for fans who utilise the fan culture of a media product, such as films, television shows and sports, as a means to engage in forms of civil and political issues (Jenkins and Shresthova 2012). Social media has provided itself as a platform for fan activism, especially through Twitter, where millions of people can use hashtags as a way to promote issues, such as the representation of racial minorities in the media (Lopez, 2011) or to support the ideals expressed by the fandom. One example of fan activism is the boycott by footballing fans, especially those from the United Kingdom, towards Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid, The Sun.

The Sun has been widely considered as one of the most controversial tabloid newspapers being published in the United Kingdom. Its fabrication of interviews, immoral actions to get the inside scoop and the number of controversial headlines has seen Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid become the centre of a boycotting campaign. The campaign is being led by fans of both Merseyside football clubs Liverpool and Everton.

The Sun has been boycotted before by Liverpool, after the newspaper produced a controversial headline surrounding the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989. The Hillsborough disaster had resulted in the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans, some as young as ten years old. The Sun claimed to have the ‘real story’ surrounding the disaster, where they quoted an unnamed police officer in the article called The Truth, published by editor Kelvin Mackenzie. The officer had stated that some of the Liverpool supporters were pick-pocketing the bodies, urinating on the lifeless bodies and even beating up police officers who tried to resuscitate some of the victims. The controversial article had caused sales to plummet in Liverpool and the early beginnings of a boycott campaign.

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The Sun’s 1989 front page headline after the Hillsborough Disaster.

Although bitter footballing rivals and enemies, Liverpool and Everton have a mutual understanding and respect for the importance of the Hillsborough disaster. When editor Kelvin Mackenzie posted another controversial article, this time where he compared Everton footballer Ross Barkley to a gorilla, both Merseyside club’s fans became furious with Mackenzie and The Sun. Although Barkley has represented the English national team, the footballer had a choice as a youngster to represent Nigeria due to his grandfather being of Nigerian descent. The newspaper company claimed in their apology that they did not know of Barkley’s heritage, although mentioning it in a story published in 2014. The racial slur caused outrage throughout the footballing community, with many wishing for The Sun to sack Kelvin Mackenzie. Mackenzie was terminated from his position in early 2017.

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Screenshot of Mackenzie’s article comparing Everton’s Ross Barkley to a Gorilla.

With social media becoming more prevalent in today’s society, fan activism has become more widespread and popular, due to the easy accessibility that the internet, as a platform, provides. Whether it be to support children with cancer, or stand up and protest against some the world’s problems, fan activism can serve as a gateway to participation in important aspects of civic and political life (Kahne, Feezell, and Lee 2011).

References:

Henry, J, & Sangita, S 2012, ‘Up, up, and away! The power and potential of fan activism’, Transformative Works And Cultures , Vol 10 (2012), Directory of Open Access Journals, EBSCOhost, viewed 8 August 2017.

Kahne, J, Lee, N, & Feezell, J 2013, ‘The Civic and Political Significance of Online Participatory Cultures among Youth Transitioning to Adulthood’, Journal Of Information Technology & Politics, 10, 1, pp. 1-20, Computers & Applied Sciences Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 8 August 2017.

Lopez, LK 2012, ‘Fan activists and the politics of race in The Last Airbender’, International Journal Of Cultural Studies, 15, 5, pp. 431-445, Humanities International Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 8 August 2017.

 

 

Simple Freedom?

In Bruce Sterling’s 1993 column A Short History of the Internet, Sterling says the reason why the popularity of the internet of was growing rapidly was the simple freedom that the it provided. A place where there were no overarching authority and that a node could speak as a peer to any other node.

The one question I have is, does this simple freedom of the internet still exist?

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In some aspects yes, like forums such as Reddit providing interaction amongst peers. However, Sterling’s idea that there were no bosses or authority figures has changed significantly.

Still using Reddit as an example, there are moderators put in charge of subreddits that control what content is being uploaded, along with enforcing a number of rules to ensure that the subreddit is a place for friendly discussion and interaction.

Although these moderators have good intentions, it demonstrates how much the Sterling’s theory about the internet has changed.