Is the government’s access to our online content that harmful?


One topic I found particularly interesting was brought up during a presentation I was a part of. We discussed the topic of how safe people thought their personal details were online. When discussing the fact that government has access to what we post and what we choose to hide from public viewing, the debate of whether the government having full access to our online activity can be considered as an act of terrorism.

terrorism – noun:
the unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Going by the official definition of the word terrorism, the government’s ability to view our online content is not terrorism but in certain situations it may be seen as such. For example, the government being able to view content without consent could be seen as unfair and if used against us, a form of intimidation.

The way in which this argument can connect the topics discussed in this module is through the way that the government uses their intelligence in order to change things. Doug has mentioned in a few seminars that we, as University students, are now in the top percent of people with access to such a large amount of information. We have so many options with what to do with this information. The way in which this connects to the government being able to access our online information is the fact that they will be able to do so many things with our information, and act upon some of the ways.

Throughout this module we’ve delved into deeper social issues and somehow have always come back to the use of the internet. As a seminar group we’ve discussed how copyright laws, personal identity, and convergence has all been affected by the use of the internet.


Tidal and its exclusivity


Tidal is an online music streaming service that requires you to pay a subscription fee in order to access the content available on the website. It began in 2009 and was originally called WiMP in Scandinavia and was bought by Jay-Z company in March 2015 for $56 million. It costs £9.99 for the premium version of Tidal and for a reduced version you can pay £4.99.

Tidal has received a lot of backlash from the public and from other streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music for restricting its users from accessing music. Spotify allows its users to use the service for free as long as they are willing to listen to adverts between songs. If Tidal were to do this, they would most likely gain more users and would also gain more money from companies wanting to advertise on their platform.

Although this would affect the exclusivity of the content that Tidal are able to produce and share on their platform. They are known for their content from artists such as Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé being exclusive for users of Tidal only and by making this available for free, it would lessen the exclusivity and ‘cheapen’ the feel of the content. 

Overall, Tidal has its pros and cons of being an exclusive paid for service and if it were to become a free service then it would become more like Spotify and not be as individual. 

How visible am I online?

Visibility online is a topic which is constantly discussed within society. Whether it’s between friends, family or a topic to debate about in parliament. We take our online security for granted when we may not be totally secure.

trans-SEO-innovative-online-certification-solutions-google-search-engine-visibility-PPC-Melissa-HolderWhen we’re uploading content onto our social media sites, we often forget about who can see what we’re posting (well I do anyway!). Without thinking we click ‘post’ or ‘tweet’ and send it out into the world! But the question is, how many people see it?

Recently, Twitter has launched the option to view your ‘tweet activity’ where you can see how many people saw the tweet, clicked on it, clicked the media within that tweet and how many people clicked on your profile as well. This analytical data is available for each of your tweets and personally, I find it really interesting.

For example, if you were tweeting certain content that relates to the career path you want to pursue  you are able to see how many people your content is reaching out to in order to tailor your content to your followers, enhancing your public profile for future.

Although there’s a positive side to being seen on the internet, there could also be the issue of someone knowing so much about you, they are able to stalk you. There has been recent cases of people stalking people they’ve found online and a recent story where a man has been meeting women from for dates and raping them. (The full story can be found here)

Overall, there will always be positive and negative sides to being visible online however I think the way in which you post and what you post determines the view that you can have on it. But overall, you have control over what you post but not who has access.

Instagram as an online community…


Instagram, as I’m sure you all know, is a photo-sharing app where users can post photos and videos onto their profiles. Users are also able to double-tap and ‘like’ other posts as well as comment on their photos. Similarly to Twitter, Instagram has a Direct Messaging service that users can send pictures to each other on and messages.insta logo

The reason I believe that Instagram is now an online community is due to the ‘cliques’ that you can find on Instagram. There’s many different types of communities that make one large one such as fitness, food, beauty, fashion, comedy and quote instagrams. All of these separate parts of Instagram build what it the larger  community.

The users of Instagram that choose to be a part of a certain community can benefit from it due to things such as being able to make friends, contacts within a certain industry, feel closer to a celebrity that they’re a fan of etc. However a downside to the communal aspect of Instagram is that although lots of people may feel included in a community there is no platform for them on Instagram to discuss what they share, like and comment on. Although if Instagram were to introduce a feature like this the app may seem too similar to other platforms like Tumblr.

I guess the main question is, how could Instagram integrate things from other apps and social media sites to make it more community-friendly?


The Life of Pablo…Or was it Waves…Or Swish?…

Now I’m sure all of us know who Kanye West is by now. If you don’t then I’m not really sure where you’ve been living the past 10 years or so! But last month, Kanye’s now-wife Kim Kardashian-West took to Twitter to ask her followers what Kanye should name his album…

There had already been reports that it was going to be called ‘Waves’ or ‘Swish’ with Kanye tweeting at one point a photo of the album’s tracklist as well as the title, covered in doodles and comments from people such as Kylie Jenner and Kim.

Where audience participation comes into this is the fact that Kim used the new feature on Twitter of polls. Users are now able to create polls within tweets to ask questions and get answers back anonymously from their followers. Kim tweeted asking her followers to name the album.

As you can see, Kim put in two options for the album name in her first tweet, with ‘Swish’ gaining 55% of votes and ‘Waves’ with 45%. And in a following tweet, you can see Kim added an extra option for her followers to vote for.

This interactivity on Twitter led to Kanye’s album name being influenced by the audience. Despite him then naming it something completely different in obvious Kanye style!*

What you can take away from this example is that nowadays fans are willing to become more involved in the creative process of things. They want to know the ins and outs of how things are made, for example an album, and want to feel closer to the artist. Twitter, along with other social media, helps the fan to do this. It takes down the barrier of fan and celebrity and places them on the same platform.


*it’s a great album though, definitely go and listen to it if you have the chance

Convergence – Tumblr

Convergence, particularly media convergence, is defined by Henry Jenkins as a ‘flow of content across multiple media platforms’ which suggests that both old and new media can come together to create something new for today’s media. Jenkins also mentions that it ‘should not be viewed as a displacement of the old media, but rather as interaction between different media forms and platforms.’

With the website, Tumblr, it merges together text, photos, video and audio, bringing together old forms of technology that have been prevalent for years and bringing them together on a sharing platform.By allowing its users to upload original content and to share content from other sources, it allows a community to be creative and to discuss the things that they share.

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The options of what content to upload that Tumblr gives

Tumblr has become more popular since being launched in 2007 and after being bought by Yahoo in 2013, it has become more of a mainstream social media platform. Since expanding in 2013, many celebrities have begun to use Tumblr including the likes of Taylor Swift and Ryan Reynolds. Tumblr also includes an ‘ask’ feature where users can send questions to each other and have recently started asking celebrities to answer questions. This breaks the barrier of celebrity and fan for the users of Tumblr.

The way in which Tumblr allows original content to be shared helps many people to broadcast their work in a way that would be difficult before this site came along. It is mostly artwork that is shared more so than songs or videos, but still allows people to showcase their work for free, and to have it seen all around the world.

In conclusion, Tumblr  brings together aspects of media that have been around for years and allows its users to exploit these types of media to gain a global audience. Something which so far has had a positive response.

The Representation Project

The Representation Project is a great resource for us and this module due to the fact it comments on current events and their impacts on society. Although the project doesn’t focus entirely on network media, it is still able to focus on certain aspects of it over its several platforms. 

In a video posted by The Representation Project on YouTube, the aspects of how we as a society consume and react to media is displayed through clear animations and info graphics.

cause and the effect.png

This video in particular follows how much media can affect a 12 year old girl in America, so may not be useful for us in the UK, and us as teenagers but still gives us as media students a very insightful look into how we are affected by what we see each day.

The YouTube Channel The Representation Project features many other videos that tackle topics such as gender, sexuality, feminism etc. and can relate to many topics that we cover in both this module and our individual courses. 

Another particular video that I’d recommend you to watch is How The Media Failed Women in 2013 which although isn’t as relevant to this particular module as other pieces of work they have done it still manages to offer an insight into all subjects within our cluster and how the women within the media industry were failed and also how the industry failed those out of it as well.

The Representation Project also has a website which has lots of information such as statistics, free resources, films and links to their social media campaigns. It’s definitely worth having a look at, even if it’s just to watch a few videos. They could come in handy over this module and the next three years.