Internet and democracy

After I read Morozov’s “The internet: A room of our own?” I felt a little uncomfortable about Morozov’s wording. When he referred to some group that holds different opinion with him, he uses negative words to discuss it. For example, he describes the anti-vaccination communities as “pseudoscience,” which I find quite offensive. I think we should respect anyone who has different opinion.

Besides the author’s wording, I have a few other things that I would like to talk about:

First, the internet censorship is an issue which I think quite interesting. Sometimes I can see some Chinese internet users come to Taiwanese website complaining about their government’s policy in internet censorship (Although Chinese people and Taiwanese people use different Chinese characters, we can still understand each other.) I am very curious about what aspects have internet censorship influenced Chinese people’s life beside politics. I find some scholars indicate that the censorship will influence students’ academic performance; CNN also pointed out that the censorship might lead China to brain drain (http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/06/03/hong.kong.students.google/index.html). I feel quite sorry about the environment Chinese students are having.

Second, I find it is hard to say whether internet has create a platform for people to have an equal chance to express opinions and to reach information, or, whether it has empowered those who already got most of the power. Nowadays, it becomes very easy to access information by internet; however, the information on the internet mostly comes from the ones who already own abundant technical resource. For example, I believe the internet users in Africa receive a lot of information from Western world; however, do Western internet users receive the same amount of information from Africa? I don’t think so. The digital divide has enable Western world to input information to the third world, including western ideology, which I think it might have a big influence in many aspects (maybe in politics or culture.)

Third, I am wondering if the freedom of using internet will lead the internet users go toward some kind of collective violence. In Taiwan, there is a Bulletin Board System called PTT which a lot of college students will express their opinion there. However, in these years, several cases indicate that some PTT users will reveal the private information of some particular person. PTT users will influence each other and gather up to dig out a person’s private life to public, even though most of the time they don’t know who that is. The manhunt thing usually turns out to influence the person’s social life in the University. In some cases the victims even consider to commit suicide to end up all the mess. I think although it is very lucky to have freedom to use internet in democratic society, still, internet users should be educated about internet ethics. Also, the government should keep up with the pace of new technology to formulate internet laws that is suitable for its country.

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Something about me

Hello everyone,

My name is Carol and this is my second year in UF Advertising Master’s program. I was born in Wisconsin and I have lived in California for a short time; however, I spend most of my life in Taiwan. I love to travel around the world; by now, I have traveled to Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Bahamas and many other cities in United States.

I enrolled this course because new media is such a HOT topic now, but I find myself know only a little about it. I hope I can learn more things about how new media influence people, society, ideology, culture and communication in this course.