Week 8 – The feudalisation of the internet

facebook

This week’s lecture discussed the feudalisation of the internet, in terms of concentration, control, ownership and the ethics surrounding these issues.

The day before the lecture, several news stories surfaced around the world about the increasing number of people leaving facebook, 400,000 in 5 months here in Australia alone (News.com.au 2013). I believe social media users are becoming more and more aware and critical of the social media they use online.

Personally, I know I am more conscious of how much personal information I post online and directly hand over to companies. However, at the end of the day, we are also using a service, be it facebook, twitter or amazon, and to use this service and join the already thousands using the service, it is understandable we give something in return, whether it be the presence of tailored advertising, a subscription fee, or the disclosure of personal information.

The internet is no longer free or open, as it is near impossible for the average user to upload content without the use of a major corporate website such as youtube, facebook or twitter.

As the reading detailed, we are increasingly dependent and reliant on our tethered devices and appliances, being constantly ‘connected’ 24/7. The fedudalisation  of the internet is an increasingly important debate in media and in wider society, because of this increased reliance on the internet and the fact concentrated and powerful private companies are the major players in the internet, creating ‘walled gardens’ and controlling and restricting access to content and personal information. It is important for internet users to be aware of this situation, as many internet users are naiive to the risks of handing over personal information and data, as we found in our tutorial discussion.

References
International Business Times, ‘400,000 Aussies unfriend Facebook since December 2012’,  April 29th 2013, viewed April 29th 2013 <http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/462245/20130429/400-000-aussies-unfriend-facebook-december.htm>

News.com.au, ‘Facebook fatigue sets in with thousands abandoning the social network’, April 28th 2013, viewed April 29th 2013.  http://www.news.com.au/technology/facebook-fatigue-sets-in-with-thousands-abandoning-the-social-network/story-e6frfro0-1226630663227

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