Moderating the conversation: How are you going to balance it?

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Participatory in online culture is a common approach in this century. Simply, it is because of the efficiency and interactivity through Internet have make convenient to everyone to share and respond to the tweets, status and up-to-date info.  Hence, there are various issues and incident could be just openly discussed through various media platforms, especially blogging and forums. These have inevitably become the virtual landscape for them to voice out their doubts or arguments towards the issues without fear. In a direct manner, how will a controversial issue that has being regulated meanwhile the public can participate to that issue by giving out their comments freely?

According to Martin (2012), she mentioned “as unregulated speech increased, the personal safety of staff and users became a concern.” In my personal opinion, I believe it is hard to regulated public especially who are eagerly to write their opinions towards the controversial issue. For example, the media platform likes ABC Online has faced the biggest challenge which is hard for them “to identify and control individual behaviors that could destroy that cohesiveness.” (Martin 2012) Therefore, it has implemented “code of conduct and conditions and also operated three strikes system.” (Martin 2012) These are specifically set to against the users who are still trying to breach the code and rules and the ones that still widespread the inappropriate comments continuously.

Thus, is this considered as moderate in fair situation? I think it is. Perhaps one of the controversial issues which are being discussed in forums, I will suggest to use the authorization code to limit the forum user not to post more than 3 comments towards the issue. In short, it might able to decrease the spammers. Besides, the comments could be also implementing to be “flagged” as well if spotted in using inappropriate phrases or words regarding to the issue. In other words, this way is to balance the regulatory of issue and participatory of public in different media platforms.

Furthermore, there are several cases happened in Malaysia and one of the cases is “In 2008, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, another famous socio-political blogger in Malaysia, was also arrested by the authorities. He was detained under the Internal Security Act.” (Ahmad and et. al 2011) It is all due to his blog content is considered as subversive and misled the public.  Likewise, this is just like how Martin (2012) said that the importance of “personal safety” while giving out the unregulated speech, the content in Internet definitely can be go viral, thus the balancing of regulation and participatory is indeed significant. To look into an easier perspective in the Internet security, light punishment can be just account being banned. In contrary, the heavy punishment will be drag in your personal safety. To conclude, I think moderating the conversation in the digital world to be fair is just hard because it eventually bring the implication to the freedom of speech.   

Reference

Ahmad, AL, Mohamad, EMW, Hassan, BRA, Pawanted, L, Ahmad, F & Aziz, J (2011), ‘Regulating blogs in Malaysia’, The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, Vol. 16, no. 30, pp. 2-17, viewed 29 May 2013, http://www.innovation.cc/scholarly-style/latiff_ahamad_regulating_malasian_blogs16v2i11a.pdf

Fiona Martin (2012) ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei: ABC Online and the risks of dialogic interaction’, in Histories of Public Service Broadcasters on the Web, editors, N. Brugger and M. Burns. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 177 – 192

 

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White Bread Media

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‘Media matter because they do not merely reflect, but are also players in, key public debates, providing representations and frameworks which shape understandings and action.’  (Dreher n.d.)

Speaking of media, it is powerful on portraying and reflecting on what we can see and perceive from the media. In fact, both stereotypes and racism have been always the topics that show the nature of pervasiveness in the media. For example, the stereotyping words that prevalently described and implied was lazy, dangerous, violent and et cetera. These words simply could just affect the racism being last longer until now. On the other hand, what could it mean by the concept of ‘white bread media’? To further explain on this thought, Australia Media will be taking as an example to be discussed.

For example, a New Zealand actor who is Jay Laga’aia was in rage due to his cast has been cut in a long-running soap called Home and Away. (Wilkins 2012) First and foremost, how will this example relate to white bread media? Simply, Jay Laga’aia is not a white actor and Australia media seems to be discouraging the non-whites to appear on TV. Perhaps Australia media could be still devote to Australia white policy? Australia white policy is referring to “During the decolonisation of Southeast Asia, public attention in the newly emerging nation-states of the region was regularly drawn to Australia’s attempt to exclude non-white migrants from its shores—the White Australia Policy” (Blackburn 2001)

Notwithstanding with the policy, could it be their perception towards whites are still the same even though the white policy was being abolished? I think this is very subjective and this is also why racism or stereotype in media is the topics that could not finish discussing about. However, speaking of the case that mentioned, it had actually shown the races that come with different cultural background being served within the media are inadequate and unequal.

Besides TV drama or movie infused the concept of white bread media, advertisement is also being a part of it. According to Avgoustinos (2013), he asked AussieBums (men’s fashion label) in the aspect of race and asking like “Why are all their models white? Why no Asian, black or brown Aussie bums, AussieBum?”Here, his doubt has showed the Australian are more likely encouraged whites even in advertising field. Personally I think if putting up diverse models in the ads is not really a problem because anyone in Australia who comes from different cultural background is also ‘Australian’. Simply put, they are the people from their own country; therefore I think there is no point in saying skins colors, background or any things that relate to their same race.

By illustrating these two examples, it has given me a new point of view to understand more about the infusion of white bread media in Australia media. Furthermore, these two examples are issues that should be aware because it needed to be comprehended about the equity of races in media.

 

Reference

Avgoustinos, C 2013, ‘Where are your aussie models, AussieBums?’ Newmatilda, 13 February, viewed 14 May 2013 http://newmatilda.com/2013/02/13/where-are-your-aussie-models-aussiebums

Blackburn, K 2001, ‘Disguised anti-colonialism: protest against the White Australia Policy in Malaya and Singapore, 1947– 1962’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 101–117, viewed 14 May 2013 http://www.hsse.nie.edu.sg/staff/blackburn/BlackburnAJIA.pdf

Dreher T, (forthcoming 2014), ‘White bread media’, The media and communications in Australia, eds. S Cunningham and S Turnbull, Allen and Unwin

Wilkins, G 2012, ‘Star hits out at Home and Away racism’, Brisbanetimes, 16 February, viewed 14 May 2013 http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/star-hits-out-at-home-and-away-racism-20120216-1ta23.html

 

Digital Inclusion or Exclusion

“The paradox of disability and inclusive information technology is considered”. (Goggin & Newell 2007)

Starting with this quote, I think it has given a quick kick-start with an example, smart phone. Why? It is because the technology of smart phone is still unable to engage with the disabled one. Therefore, it might have conversely turned into digital exclusive instead of inclusive. Besides, there are a lot of examples have been shown in Goggin and Newell’s journal on the designing specifically for the disabled one. For instance, the self-service kiosk in the airport is not accessible for people who are blind. The biggest obstacle for the blind people is because it is a touch-screen machine and given inconvenience for them in searching and navigating the information they want. Yet, the assistance in the airport for the blind people will be offered by human instead of improving the kiosk to be more convenient for them.

To clarify, I am not denying the service offered by human is not good enough. It is just that technology nowadays has become something for people to keep up the trend while providing convenience and efficiency. Perhaps a kiosk that designed specifically for the disabled people would help them to able to gain back their confidence. They can do things by their own; they can feel they are also same with other people. Simply, advancement of technology is able to enable people included the disabled one to keep learning. One of the advantages for the disabled is they are “using a range of online tools and technologies to subvert mainstream media’s representation of disability, to counter negative stereotypes” (Foley & Ferri 2012) in the society. Once again, it just proved technology enhancement can provide them a great help for their life without anyone help.

Speaking of social media such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, blogs and et cetera are the important mediums that enable everyone to communicate, sharing and updating information to everyone. However, Ruh (2013) said that “unfortunately, most social media applications today do not adequately address accessibility and are difficult to use with assistive technology, which makes them inaccessible to many users with disabilities”. Once again, it has apparently triggered the instance of technology to address the problem for the disabled. Indeed, social media is very significant especially in this century because whether you are in workplace, colleges, university or anywhere, social media is able to keep your distance with others to know what you are doing, your location so forth and so on.

Hence, social media is also able to provide great help for the disabled one because they can be just like others. They can text, hear, feel, see and also can let their acquaintances keep in touch with them in anytime, anywhere through social media. Therefore, Ruh (2013) has suggested some tools which enable social media has the possibility to be fully participated by the users with disabilities:

  • EasyChirp is an alternative to Twitter designed with accessibility and assistive technology in mind.”
  • “Twitter provides a long list of keyboard shortcuts for keyboard only users.”
  • “Facebook also provides a small set of keyboard shortcuts.”
  • AppleVis, a website created to collect information on the accessibility of apps developed for iOS devices, includes a free, accessible LinkedIn app.”
  • Easy YouTube provides an alternate, fully accessible interface for viewing YouTube videos.”
  • Easy YouTube caption creator is a content creating tool that generates a standard format caption text file which can be attached to YouTube videos.”
  • “Google offers an accessibility app for the Hangout feature on Google+.”
  • WordPress, a popular open source blogging tool with many free plugins, allows you to host a page on your own server, giving you more freedom to customize the software for accessibility.”(Ruh  2013)

Therefore, these suggestions might give the disabled to strike out the wait-and-see position and technology advancement could make them infuse the society norm easily. Simply, they would not just being excluded.

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Source at: http://www.livingwithcerebralpalsy.com/images/_logo_hand.gif

Reference

Foley, A & Ferri, BA 2012, ‘Technology for people, not disabilities: ensuring access and inclusion’, Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, pp. 1-9, viewed 9 May 2013http://www.academia.edu/1488237/Technology_for_people_not_disabilities_ensuring_access_and_inclusionjrs3_1230_1..9

Goggin G & Newell c 2007, ‘The business of digital disability’, The Information Society: An International Journal, vol.23, no.3, pp 159-168

Ruh, D 2013, ‘Ensuring Social Media Accessibility for persons with disabilities’, viewed 9 May 2013, http://g3ict.org/resource_center/newsletter/news/p/id_402

Walled garden (Feudalisation of Internet)

Are you devoted to Facebook, Google and Youtube? Or maybe will you switch your allegiance to Android and Apple smart phone? Indeed, all of them are interlinked and the information will be shared through Internet in certain circumstances.  Why they are only limit in “certain circumstance?” Isn’t the information accessible to every public in Internet? Followed by the instance of “walled garden”, it could explain for the separate entities from Internet.   

So, what is walled garden?

“On the Internet, a walled garden is an environment that controls the user’s access to Web content and services. In effect, the walled garden directs the user’s navigation within particular areas, to allow access to a selection of material, or prevent access to other material.” (Rouse 2005)

I think the definition has directed a clear clarification on walled garden, it simply means users are only can find certain information in particular areas which it is not just openly accessible for everyone. For example, Iphone users who have iTunes store will required their ID and password to log in to buy the digital products. The content of iTunes store will not exposed through Internet but it will just share to all the Iphone users who have ID and password. Same goes to the example given by Zittrain (2008), “a particular Web site might demand that a user create an ID and password in order to gain access to its contents.”

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However, as Google shared a lot of openly accessible content to the users, it has also “jumped in with a subscription plan that offers a more favorable deal and others will follow.” (McLennan 2011) Hence, it could have become an obstacle to the Apple’s app market because Google could have mimicked the business model that Apple has done. For example, the publishers can charge the apps and contents. Simply, iTunes app store is giving the priority to the Iphone users only. I believe the publishers are still controlling the content of the apps in order not to expose to outside. The ultimate goal of them is to maintain the priority and originality which is reasonable enough for the Apple users to purchase the apps.

Besides, another great example for walled garden will be Facebook. I think this is pretty obvious to clarify it. It is because before anyone are signing up an account for Facebook, there are terms and conditions on Facebook has the authority on privacy control and owning the users’ content. Simply, Facebook owned all the information which shared by the Facebook users and they even will keep backups copies such as the photos and videos which have been deleted for few months. In a direct manner, I think Facebook is too excessive on controlling the users’ content and isn’t it will become more insecure for the user to retain their account?

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From the perspective of these two examples, “walled garden” provides pros and cons towards the website itself. Particular websites who want retain the originality of the something by having the “walled garden”; it could become a strong defense for them. Conversely, implanting the walled garden in social network like Facebook and Twitter could have be cons to the users. No doubt, I understand that it is important to login access through ID and password but somehow in the end all the private information will be owned by Facebook and Twitter. For me, I think this is really a bad privacy control because it could have increase the opportunity for the hackers to hack someone’s account.

Edwards et al. (n.d.) have also stated that “a user may impose certain access constraints on digital artifacts that they own, e.g. certain information about the artifact may only be accessible to users who contributed towards the creation of that artifact. Such policies are defined declaratively in terms of obligations, prohibitions, and permissions.” Once again, this quote has directed on the point of “walled garden”, of course the information in Internet are meant to be move freely but sometimes it could have control the information in different perspective such as the copyright, privacy control and other aspects. To conclude, I think walled garden have given a lot of unpredictable risk instead of benefits. It is because once the controlled content in certain website are leaked within itself. I believe there will be a chaos situation among all the Internet users.

Reference

Edwards, P, Pignotti, E & Corsar, D n.d., “Provenance on the web, leaving the walled garden behind…”, viewed 1 May 2013 http://www.websci11.org/fileadmin/websci/Posters/127_paper.pdf

McLennan, D 2011, “The walled garden problem”, viewed 1 May 2013, http://www.artsjournal.com/rwx/2011/03/the-walled-garden-problem/

Rouse, M 2005, “Walled Garden”,viewed 1 May 2013, http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/walled-garden

Zittrain, JL 2008, “In the future of the internet and how to stop it”, viewed 1 May 2013, http://futureoftheinternet.org/static/ZittrainTheFutureoftheInternet.pdf