Misogyny and Internet Anonymity

Misogyny and Internet Anonymity

Misogyny and Internet Anonymity are both prevalent and immediate issues that need to be addressed on the web. Google Chrome is a platform that is accessed by users to navigate the web and conduct activities online. Chrome does not acknowledge whether the user is male or female nor does it police the actions of its users on websites. Chrome is merely a free product to be used however the user wishes with online website policing being conducted by the administrators of the websites that users visit.

Misogynist attacks against woman online have become more frequent over the years and have now come to be regarded as commonplace. This discrimination is being aimed at woman who are seen to be invading public spaces that are predominantly only occupied by men such as law schools. An example (Filipovic 2007) of this would include Jill Filipovic whom suffered continued degrading abuse on an anonymous online message board service called AutoAdmit with reference to her sexual appeal, threats of rape and violence, and along with her personal information – full name, email, photos etc. – being posted for all to see.

Vanessa Thorpe and Richard Rogers (Thorpe et al. 2011) write about psychotherapist, psychoanalyst and writer, Susie Orbach, who discusses her view on the subject, saying that the objectification of women has become a problem as it portrays women as an object of beauty and sexual desire, not as a human being who can think, feel and experience. This argument coupled with the feminist view (Filipovic 2007) that men use sexual assault as a tool of social oppression to keep women from invading masculine spaces, only strengthens the argument that men are afraid of women stepping outside of their forced role as an object and participating in masculine spaces.

Misogynists have gained even more power through the ability to remain anonymous when issuing threats of sexual violence. Karalene Evans (Evans 2014) believes that it is this anonymity that allows men to express their feelings of disgust over women. Women (Evans 2014) wouldn’t put up with this abuse in the street, so why should they have to put up with it online?

References:

Filipovic, J (2007) ‘Blogging While Female: How Internet Misogyny Parallels ‘Real World’ Harassment’ Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, p 295 – 304.

Thorpe, V; Rogers, R 2011, ‘Women bloggers call for a stop to ‘hateful’ trolling by misogynist men’, The Guardian, 6 November, viewed 16 May 2014, <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/nov/05/women-bloggers-hateful-trolling>

Evans, K 2014, Men Call Me Things: It’s Not As Romantic As It Sounds, The Drum, viewed 16 May 2014, <http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3659712.html>

feelingsofnostalgia 2013, 23.365, Image, Flickr, viewed 16 May 2014, <https://www.flickr.com/photos/63210221@N08/9725439479/in/photolist-3ghxTd-5pdYAm-nrhHME-fPpqk2-2F9mLn-2zhpzi-na5ukr-6nCujt-f8HPp-76a5Lu-pAfsk-nrhwkv-3z5wv-8b7oJu-5oEUJ8-4WjBCr-yBBAX-8412Zv-5GjUau-7dLYEn-4VULtu-na5u9V-na5tR8-na5tTn-nryTjX-nrhJ4b-nryTpB-4y9B9b-bjUEvi-pdU34-CiLBk-fNA85p-kN7JKp-cYp6NY-6UrT1E-kN7Qkx-815tYX-aDC2Yp-aDC34n-aDC2Tr-aDC2MH-mawMy6-dX1UyM-dX7AQf-dX1U2k-dX1TvD-dX7zWf-dX7Apd-dX1Wsv-6PmjnQ/>

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Political Activism?

Political Activism?

Does Google Chrome have the potential to act as an engine to drive political activism? The answer to this question is I believe, no. But why? Google Chrome is effectively a web browser that users access as a tool or platform for searching and traversing the web alongside using it as an entry into the virtual world of Cyberspace. In the case of political activism, Chrome only allows you to access sites where political activism is possible, with this said, you could say that it is still important in the process of political activism.

Now, online political activism is organised and publicised through social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Chrome is good in this case for allowing users to “…coordinate action across a more dispersed network” (Jenkins 2012). But users are generally only supporting these activist groups to a certain extent. Sure they may like a page for a cause that they support but that is generally all they will do, these users won’t turn up to organised protests, they won’t donate money to the cause and they certainly won’t take the initiative as active members who organise these groups. This is called slacktivism which basically means that “once we’ve shown our support and earned the status associated with joining a cause, we feel less obligated to follow through with a meaningful contribution to that cause” (Grant 2014).

I think that Chrome – as a platform – is more about its ability to access these websites where political activism takes place. It is more about “Spreadability” which Jenkins describes (Jenkins 2012) as a group’s ability to spread its message/s to the audience. What follows is “Drillability” which Jenkins describes (Jenkins 2012) as the group’s ability to get down deep into an issue and to defend its position with facts. “Drillability” doesn’t really have anything to do with Google Chrome but it is important to mention because Chrome is the search engine that some users will be using to access the facts that they need to support their activist group.

References:

Jenkins, H 2012, The New Political Commons, Institute for Research on Public Policy, viewed on 11 May 2014, <http://www.irpp.org/en/po/come-together/clicktivism-the-new-political-commons/>

Grant, A 2014, Are You A Slacktivist?, Huffington Post, viewed on 12 May 2014, <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-grant/are-you-a-slacktivist_b_4390258.html>

Bill & Vicki T, 2010, like, image, Flickr, viewed 12 May 2014, < https://www.flickr.com/photos/iluvcocacola/8155062740/>

Remix, Distribution, the Web, and Chrome

Remix, Distribution, the Web, and Chrome

Where does Google Chrome fit within remix culture in regards to convergence using the web as a distribution point? First of all, Google Chrome is a web browser. Individuals come to the popular web browser first as users, their role however, shifts depending on their online activities. Users engaging in remix culture quickly become produsers and engage in produsage activities. For example, Bruns uses (Bruns 2010) the online creative commons website ccMixter as an example of distributed creativity, he talks about musicians creating music using samples of others songs to create something new, but not a product. He goes on further to say (Bruns 2010) that these songs are downloaded by other produsers and are either incorporated into one of their own songs or are added to by the produser and served as an updated version.

But how does Chrome fit in? It is because of convergence that allows Chrome to fit into this model. Jenkins describes (Jenkins 2004) convergence as being more than a technological shift but that it is a process; an ever-changing phenomenon that “…alters the relationship between technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences.” Jenkins further elaborates (Jenkins 2004) that thanks to the broad range of media and devices that we have today, the lines between these technologies have become blurred. The lines have become blurred for Chrome as it has evolved from simply being a web browser into a tool — and platform — that allows users and produsers alike to access distributed content, and distribute produsage content via the web.

It is not just Chrome that has become essential for online remix culture and distribution, but all web browsers. They’re all a platform that produsers use to distribute remix content. I’m not saying that online distribution is the only way produsers can distribute their content, but that it has become a popular way to do so. I think that in the future we will see a lot more in terms of remix culture but that right now, it is growing in popularity and is becoming a part of our lives whether we are involved, or are consuming these temporary artefacts.

References:

Jenkins, H 2004, The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence, SAGE Publications, Vol. 7 Issue 1 pp. 33-43

Bruns, A 2010, Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage, Sonvilla-Weiss, Stefan (Ed.) Mashup cultures. Springer, Wien, pp. 24-37.

Ruch, P 2013, Dj Turntable Scratching Music Hang Up Disco Rap, Image, Pixabay, viewed 6 May 2014, http://pixabay.com/en/dj-turntable-scratching-music-228999/

Transmedia and Potter

harry_potter_quote_by_nomercy68-d38weds

‘Transmedia’, what is it? It is definitely not the same as the term ‘Multimedia’. ‘Multimedia’ is the distribution of a single narrative across multiple media channels (One3Productions, 2011), if anything, ‘Transmedia’ is the antithesis of ‘Multimedia’ being that ‘Transmedia’ refers to the distribution of multiple stories that contribute to a storyline across multiple channels (One3Productions, 2011). So how does the technology, Google Chrome, fit in? Simple. I say it every week and I’m not going to stop now, Chrome is a platform that users use to access online content, but, it is also a channel users can utilise to distribute transmedia narratives.

An example of transmedia includes the Harry Potter series. But how is it transmedia? It is transmedia because the story is expanded upon on multiple media platforms. The 7 books have had movie adaptions which are virtually the same as the books which you could argue are multimedia texts, this is true, but, the series has become transmedia by the addition of Pottermore. Pottermore is an online world where users become their own character in the world of Harry Potter where they craft their own story and gain access to original information by the author not available in the original books.

In addition to the stories written by J.K. Rowling, there are also un-commercialised transmedia narratives to consider in the form of original stories written by users who rip off other authors original characters and universes, Jenkins (Jenkins, 2007) uses FanFiction as an example to explain this and says that it is used by users “…as an unauthorized expansion of these media franchises into new directions which reflect the reader’s desire to “fill in the gaps”…”, meaning that people are unsatisfied with the original story and want more so they write their own original narratives to achieve this.

Google Chrome is a useful tool for distribution in the way that it gives the user access to content that is transmedia in nature and allows those to distribute transmedia narratives whether they be legal or illegal.

That’s all for this week.

References:

Jenkins, H. 2007, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, weblog post, 22 March, viewed 23 April 2014, http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html

One3Productions, 2011, Transmedia 101 by One 3 Productions, Online Video, 24 June, YouTube, viewed 23 April 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvJbY9hUgbc

NoMercy68, Harry Potter Quote, image, deviantArt, viewed 23 April 2014, http://nomercy68.deviantart.com/art/Harry-Potter-Quote-196347088

Brun’s Key Characteristics of Produsage and Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a web browser that acts as a base platform users use to access the internet and the various communities that it allows them to join and flow between. In terms of Axel Bruns’s four key characteristics of produsage, Google Chrome falls under all four because it is a platform that allows users to participate in produsage activities. Bruns’s four characteristics include:

  • Organisational Shift: Chrome allows users to evolve from individuals and team members to become participants in groups or communities that are engaging in collective knowledge and produsage practices. Bruns (Bruns, 2007) uses Wikipedia as an example, explaining that as users contribute collectively to the articles on Wikipedia they are engaging in produsage practices. Chrome operates, in this case, as a platform that allows users to access Wikipedia where they can engage in produsage.
  • Fluid movements: Chrome not only allows users to flow between different websites and the content housed there, but it also allows users to become fluid agents of produsage. Bruns (Bruns, 2007) says that users can now take on different roles and flow between these roles in groups and communities to create produsage artefacts. This is true of users who utilise Chrome to access sites such as Wikipedia where users collaborate to publish an updated version of a produsage artefact.
  • Unfinished: Chrome allows users to access finished products which they consume, users then use their newly learned knowledge to contribute to artefacts of produsage that Bruns (Bruns, 2007) describes as, and can be regarded as, ‘…rapidly evolving revisions of existing content, released for public view and further update immediately upon revision.’
  • Permissive: Bruns (Bruns, 2007) says that produsage artefacts are able to be reviewed and added to by anyone, he says that artefacts become objects more of merit than ownership meaning that these are collective works owned by nobody, not even if you added to the artefact. This is very true of the articles you read on Wikipedia which users access and add to by using Google Chrome, if that is the web browser they use.

Google Chrome is not an artefact of produsage, it is a product designed and distributed by Google Inc. that users use to access and contribute to produsage content.

References:

Bruns, A., 2007. Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. [Online] Available at: http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CDcQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Feprints.qut.edu.au%2F6623%2F1%2F6623.pdf&ei=mwpKU77sCojLkwW6oIGoBw&usg=AFQjCNF2V8r4RH0qdhnH6hD8rt2SxEnmUw [Accessed 13 April 2014].

The Audience

The Audience

This week for BCM112 we looked more closely at the audience in media convergence. Today I would like to have a look at the place of the audience in regards to the technology that I am researching which is Google Chrome.

Chrome is a technology and platform designed for users to access content through the internet. Chrome connects users to the Google search engine from where they can locate and find content that interests them. We keep saying user but what we really mean is the audience, but who is the audience? The audience for Google Chrome would be anyone that has a computer and uses the Chrome browser. Users only diverge from the main audience when they enter specific sites where different demographics gather. When we think of these demographics the possibilities are endless as people split off into fandoms and groups to publish and view content and start discussions.

In terms of communication channels, Chrome allows users to engage in monological and dialogical communication channels or ‘one to many’ and ‘many to many’ communications. (Moore, 2014) It allows ‘one to many’ communication through personal blogging and other publication type websites, although it is more of a hybrid type communication since users can now comment on the published work. (Moore, 2014) ‘Many to many’ communication involves users being able to talk back and forth between each other without the restriction of barriers such as time and place. (Moore, 2014) This communication also allows users to contribute content collectively, an example would be the website Wikipedia where users contribute to articles collectively in an effort to produce accurate information for other users, although this is undermined by some users who purposely change the information for fun, making it an unreliable source at times. (Moore, 2014) Other example include chat rooms and other social media sites e.g. Twitter, Facebook etc.

Although gatekeeping is generally lax on the internet because it is so hard to police, it is done. Google Chrome itself doesn’t have gatekeepers per se, but Google Inc. certainly censors content on the services that they provide e.g. YouTube, Blogger, Picasa etc. (Rosen, 2008) An example of Google gatekeeping would be the country wide ban of YouTube in Turkey in 2007 due to defamatory videos declaring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk a homosexual. Nicole Wong who was deputy general counsel of Google at the time persuaded the Greek users to remove the video. The Turkish government, unsatisfied, went on to list a number of videos that were either offensive or broke Turkish law. The videos were translated and the videos that violated YouTube’s terms of service and Turkish law were banned and removed. (Rosen, 2008)

The initial audience that use Chrome remain the same, but users have the capacity to shift and change between different audiences as they redefine what they are looking for in content and what they are discussing.

That’s all for this week, I hope you liked it!

-UPDATED-

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ilouque/6169402770/

Moore, C., 2014. BCM 112 (S114) Convergent Media Practices: Echo360 EchoCenter. [Online]
Available at: https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/blocks/echo360_echocenter/echocenter_frame.php?id=2406
[Accessed 04 April 2014].

Rosen, J., 2008. Google’s Gatekeepers. [Online]
Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/magazine/30google-t.html?pagewanted=all
[Accessed 02 April 2014].

Open or Closed?

Open or Closed?

Google Chrome. Is it an open or closed technology? I believe it walks a line between these two extremes and takes in the best of both worlds. In terms of media convergence it achieves this through its diverse range of apps and extensions. But what do we mean when we talk about media convergence?

Media convergence is a technological shift. It is a technology or industry/company with the capacity to branch out and connect multiple technologies and channels. (Jenkins, 2004) Media convergence is an evolving technological phenomenon that allows technologies to evolve and connect across multiple platforms and channels. (Jenkins, 2004) Google Chrome is a technology that has the capacity to branch out and connect technologies and channels because it is a platform designed for this purpose. Google Chrome is a web browser that has features which allow it to transition from a simple web browser to fully customizable software which can help you connect and access your interests, it does this mostly through apps and extensions.

When you first install the Chrome browser software a bookmark labelled “Apps” should already be there. By clicking on this you can access a page where you can store apps after you have downloaded them. Your first app should be the Google Chrome Store app which is where you can download free apps, there are hosted apps such as TweetDeck which rely on a connection to the internet and packaged apps such as Google Keep which do not necessarily require a connection to the internet and run direct from your computer. (Cervantes, 2014) Extensions can add buttons that can help you access online services faster such as the Gmail Checker extension. (Cervantes, 2014)

Some extensions are used by journalists like freelance writer Andrew Hutchinson who uses extensions such as Pin It, Hootlet and Klout among others. (Hutchinson, 2014) Google Chrome is relevant to media convergence because it allows users to access many different technologies, social media being one while others include games, video editing software and much more.

That’s all for this week.

-UPDATED-

Cervantes, E., 2014. What is the difference between Chrome apps and extensions?. [Online]
Available at: http://chromespot.com/2014/03/25/difference-chrome-apps-hosted-packaged-extensions/
[Accessed 30 March 2014].

Hutchinson, A., 2014. Five Useful Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media Marketers. [Online]
Available at: http://socialmediatoday.com/index.php?q=adhutchinson/2285901/five-most-useful-google-chrome-extensions-social-media-marketers
[Accessed 30 March 2014].

Jenkins, H., 2004. The cultural logic of media convergence. International Journal of Cultural Studies, Volume 7, pp. 33-44.