Internet Freedoms

I made this meme because I was angry. This week we were discussing the power of people coming together through social media to make a change, and I thought it was important to point out that sometimes that change isn’t necessarily a good thing. I’m a firm believer that the anti-vaccine movement would never have gained such a strong following without the same social media influence that helped people in the Arab Spring free themselves from tyranny. I’m not saying this makes social media a bad thing. As I’ve said before, I don’t think anything is inherently good or bad.

All the same, people die, every day, from things they wouldn’t have if some blogger hadn’t decided they knew better than doctors. I love the ability of social media to spread information that controlling governments would have otherwise wanted to keep quiet, but a little fact checking never hurts.

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4 thoughts on “Internet Freedoms

  1. This is a follow on effect from social media uprisings I hadn’t considered – but it makes sense. If I was someone who wanted to get my (unpopular) opinion to be noticed, you’d be striking an already captivated online audience. Once the dust settles from one event, people will surely be looking for the next – if you’ve got the whole world watching, make it all about you right? Twitter often encourages users to tweet their unpopular opinions and utilise the hashtag – if a tweet gets enough traction about how someone supports the anti-vaccine movement, does this open up a window for them to seize the opportunity to leverage social media to create and echo chamber their (incorrect and dangerous) views to an audience who is already paying attention to the platform?

  2. Hi! Just like you, I do believe everything has 2 sides and the Internet is not an exception. Different from legacy media as a one-sided communication, social media as a whole is believed to promote freedom of speech, freedom of information exchange. This freedom, on the other hand, results in the abundance of information, including both real and fake news, either intentionally or unintentionally. Still, the news still opens up to arguments and discussion among users, whether it is real information or not.
    However, recently the notion of social media as a free-information network has been under debate as a result of the rise of the ‘gatekeepers’ on the Internet. Internet giants are working to control all the internet and our access to information. Particularly, the latest move by Google to isolate and destroy Infowars, as can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yGPzSd3L68
    I hope no matter what happens, social media still keeps its essence as an open network for users to discuss and exchange information.
    – Ray

  3. Hi Sarah, I really enjoyed reading your post on this week’s topic of “The Social Networks Revolution”, I found it short and sweet, but at the same time interesting and relevant. Often when I think about social media movements, my mind tends to jump to those more newsworthy global events, so it’s great to read about a topic that touches so close to home (with the current active anti-vax groups in Australia). In saying that, after reading this, I completely agree with you and believe that social media is neither good nor bad. As social media gives people the ability to share opinions, and participate in conversations, there’s no controlling what kind of communities can come out from it all. I think your subject is important because it is often overlooked, as perhaps the magnitude (or casualties) of it isn’t as instantaneous. Consequently, because it isn’t in the forefront of our newsfeeds, by lacking knowledge of the subject, it might encourage a community to continue to grow from ignorance (or who knows, maybe it works opposite to that). Here’s an article that explores how social media has affected our perception of newsworthiness if you’re interested: https://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/creativity/has-social-media-ruined-our-perception-of-newsworthy-stories/. From this, I’m curious to know, do you think there should be an equal, if not more focus on this issue in our social media feeds? If more attention was brought to it, would it decrease or increase such communities? All in all, this was a great read Sarah, I totally loved your remediation, it was very clever and witty. Looking forward to reading more!

  4. Hi Sarah! I completely understand where you are coming from. Whilst social media is such a powerful tool, its implications can be quite destructive. Anyone can post online, making it easy for false information to spread. After reading your post, l was thinking of the regulations for social media. In particular l wonder if there is enough regulation. What do you think on this matter? Is there enough social media regulation, on what we can post? I don’t think there is, as we can blatantly tweet out false information with hardly any restrictions. One suggestion for your blog post could be to include hyperlinks to key terms, such as “Arab Spring”. Here’s a source on the misinformation of social media. You want to check it out !! https://theconversation.com/misinformation-on-social-media-can-technology-save-us-69264 Other then that l really enjoyed your blog 🙂

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