Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Media cont...

In relation to this post:

The photo I used for this meeting was taken from the cover of a newly released movie called "we live in public" which is a documentary about one of the first and little heard of Internet pioneers, entrepreneurs and media artists Josh Harris aka "The Warhol of the Web". When he made a substantial buck on the dot.com explosion, in opposition to the other dot.com millionaires, Harris spent his money on an sociological art experiment called "Quiet". And here I am taking from the movie's website: "Quiet" took place in an underground bunker in New York City where over 100 people lived together on camera for 30 days at the turn of the millennium. With "Quiet", Harris proved how we willingly trade our privacy for the connection and recognition we all deeply desire, but with every – what the website calls "technological advancement", but what I would call "communication and social phenomena" such as Myspace, Facebook and Twitter, this experience of recognition and connection becomes more elusive and sometimes, sinister.

In an article published on Gizmodo, Dan Yoder gives 10 arguments on why we should quit Facebook. Yoder mostly discusses the privacy issues regarding Facebook, and their seemingly sneaky ways of going about accessing information on it's customers and then making that information public. He says:

"Facebook is clearly determined to add every feature of every competing social network in an attempt to take over the Web… I often hear people talking about Facebook as though they were some sort of monopoly or public trust. Well, they aren't. They owe us nothing. They can do whatever they want, within the bounds of the laws. (And keep in mind, even those criteria are pretty murky when it comes to social networking.) But that doesn't mean we have to actually put up with them."

In an article entitled: Too Much Information: what Google and Facebook know about you recently published in the Irish Times Weekend Review, Karlin Lillington commented on the fact that whereas once upon a time, "Online you could be anyone you wished. Or you could be you. Identity was fluid and vague". Now it is quite the opposite. In fact, issues of privacy and control, ownership and public accessibility of personal information has become one of the primary concerns regarding social networking sites, in particular Facebook. Lillington asks if these concerns are valid, are the problems often discussed regarding Facebook and it's policies actually something to worry about? I wasn't sure, until I read that the introduction of compulsory Identification cards to secondary school new-comers in the UK was conceived via Facebook marketing information.

Another concern of mine is how although the new technology such as cameras are becoming more and more accessible in the democratic sense, our etiquette in using these new devices is lagging behind. And as I discover more and more photos of myself posted on the internet without me being informed, I wonder if the problems regarding new media stretch to one of bodily integrity and/ or exploitation.

1 comment:

  1. SHHH!!! Facebook will Heeeeaaaaaar Yooooooooouuuu!!!

    I do wonder sometimes if the increased access we have to all things, for which we have traded our privacy, is actually increasing our access to all things or merely giving us the impression that we have it. Are we really more engaged and plugged in to the world around us than we were when nobody had a mobile phone or gmail? Or all this lights'n'baublery funneling our attention away from important issues to things like the, by no means whimsical, debate over whether or not the kardashian sisters need to start a new diet or get divorced or adopt an Angelina baby? I know I can't think straight when I'm at the computer, anyway. I don't even know who the kardashian sisters are, but somehow they have invaded my mental space - do they play football?

    Mostly, I want the radiation monsters to hurry up and bust some shit so we can move on past the boring old mid-point between savagery and super-science dystopia that we currently inhabit. Come on the bleak future!

    Sorry, that has little to do with privacy. (Perhaps if we throw the kardashians into a volcano..? Um...)