Week 11 Moderating the conversation: inclusive dialogue in online news

Online news and social media sites are very young compared to the established media types such as television or radio. Regulators haven’t been able to figure out the best ways to impose regulations on internet activity and comments made on social media.

The Woolwich attack in the UK has led to a dramatic spike in the number of arrests made by authorities in the wake of comments made on social media sites. The link to the full article can be found below. It is evident by these arrests that the authorities believe these comments could insight more violence and hatred towards a particular social group in this case Muslims. Usually authorities don’t need to step in like this as most people follow a policy of self-regulation.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2330809/Lee-Rigby-death-11-people-UK-arrested-making-racist-anti-religious-comments-online-British-soldiers-death.html

I work for Woolworths and I know they will have a social media policy in place even though I haven’t read or seen any documents. I maintain a self-regulation policy when considering what to post as this could negatively impact on my job. As I stated at the beginning of this post the internet and social media sites are very young and proper regulations are yet to be brought in so for the moment, the internet is largely self-regulated.

The reading by Fiona martin this week gave me some ideas to express. Yes there are bad remarks made online but there again it’s the media’s tendency to only focus on the negatives rather than the positives because that won’t make a good news story. How many tweets or Facebook posts go unnoticed yet if there is one racist or sexist post it suddenly attracts all the media’s attention. Shows like The Project and Q&A broadcast tweets and Facebook posts live on their show as it’s a way for the previously considered passive audience to feel included in the debate. This adds to the discussion in that it shows the public’s reaction to certain stories or can show where they disagree on certain matters with either the presenters or other members of the community.

References

Fiona Martin (2012) ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei: ABC Online and the risks of dialogic interaction’, in Histories of Public Service Broadcasters on the Web, editors, N. Brugger and M Burns. New York: Peter Lang. pp 177-192

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Week 10 Digital social inclusion focus on disabilities

The issue of disability flows directly on from last week’s topic of white bread media. Currently there is a lot of exclusion evident in the Australian Media landscape. This week’s focus however, is the lack of disabled inclusion. More than ever is this issue in the limelight as the Gillard government is passing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) through parliament.

Since myself or no one I know is disabled it’s an issue that I hadn’t considered when using the current social media sites. Most of these just aren’t applicable to the disabled and because of this there have been several social media sites created for especially for the disabled, for example easy chirp which is similar to twitter and I live with a disability.com, the links to both of these sites can be found directly below for those who wish to explore these sites in more depth.

http://www.easychirp.com/

http://ilivewithadisability.com/

There are also plenty of apps out there for smartphones and tablet computers which are designed to help people with disabilities for example

http://edudemic.com/2012/09/the-50-best-ipad-apps-for-students-with-reading-disabilities/
Not only do apps such as this help disabled people learn better it is also helping them feel more included in today’s society. As Goggin and Newell stated “again and again, reflecting routine social exclusion, the introduction of new technologies sees people with disabilities overlooked, omitted, neglected, or not considered” I Believe that the ability to create your own apps is a very empowering tool for people with disability because It is made by them for them.

There are currently over one billion people living with a disability, this is a tremendous market share that companies such as apple and Samsung are not fully utilizing, these people are even more dependent on the current technology to make their life more manageable than the rest of the population. Therefore if a company were to design a smartphone that is totally inclusive then that company will gain a significant advantage over its competitors

I feel that this push for disability inclusion is being hampered by the disabled community themselves. For every disabled person who wants inclusive technology there are just as many saying that they don’t need it and that they don’t need special care, it seems that the latter is more vocal in its opposition to digitally inclusive technology, as most people just want to help.

References

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/09/billion-people-disabled-report

Goggin, G and C Newell (2007) ‘The Business of Digital Disability’ The Information Society: An International Journal, Volume 23, Issue 3, 159 -168

Social Media Practices

After looking at this week’s readings about unfair dismissals in the workplace because of social media activity. it has made me even more cautious and to an extent scared of what I have posted and what I will post in relation to my job in the future. I work at Woolworths and though they haven’t specifically shown me their social media policy. I’m almost certain that they would have one implemented as there are so many employees working there and at least 90% of them would have a Facebook account or something similar.

It is quite evident that actions taken in the workplace which are later uploaded to Facebook can have a very serious effect on their business. The dominoes incident which an article and video can be found below, caused a 10% reduction in profits for that year.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/14/dominos-workers-disgustin_n_186908.html

This goes to show that companies will not let these sorts of actions go without heavy penalties as the article says there are warrants out for the individuals arrest. The newspaper article from the Australian Bank’s Facebook sacking threat specifically mentions that employees must notify managers of any negative material posted online and failure to do so could result in the termination of your employment.

I have several friends from work on my social media accounts and this potential threat of termination helps keep everyone watching everyone else in a perpetually state of fear so nobody will post anything online. More or less it’s a self-regulation policy by the employees themselves which means the business doesn’t have to employee staff to check up on their employees. If my Facebook account were to be hacked, I could potentially lose my job as I have sent personal messages to close friends which shows certain aspects of Woolworths in a negative manner, but I’m fairly confident I won’t get found out as it was quite a while ago and the hacker would have to sift through thousands of messages to find the one conversation which could land me in trouble.

I didn’t include Howard’s article about The Vernacular Web of Participatory Media very hard to understand and gain a proper understanding of which lead to the reason why I avoided using any of his article in this week’s blog post.

Week 9 White Bread Media

Before this week’s lecture and tutorial I hadn’t given much thought about the imbalance of multicultural presenters on Australian television screens. After scanning the channels on TV at home, it became quite clear that the commercial channels such as Prime, Win and Ten have little to no presenters that are of any decent other than Caucasian. Only the government funded channels such as ABC and SBS had presenters from other cultures regularly on their screens. Another issue which also sprang to mind after thinking about this issue is the fact that there are no shows that I know of which air on the commercial networks that have non-white characters as the main protagonists.

Multicultural shows like East-West 101 and Salam café never made it to the commercial networks and as such never gained a big enough audience to make the show last. There are currently renewed pushes to increase the number of multicultural shows on television with Redfern Now airing in late December 2012. The introduction of NITV also shows that progress is being made to include other cultures on television.

After reading this week’s readings it’s clear to see that there is currently quite a lot of racism directed towards cultures other than white. The role of the media on television and radio has only served to inflame tensions and this is pretty typical of the media in general. They only focus on cultures when they clash for example the Cronulla riots. Rarely if not ever do you see stories about cultures co existing with each other.

The issue of white bread media goes far beyond that of television shows and presenters, it encompasses many facets of the media for example the recent controversy over the lack of multicultural models found in the men’s underwear company Aussie Bums. All these factors combined to generate this air of racism that lingers over Australia and tourists like Rosie Waterland believe that Australia is a racist country. This ‘racist’ tag is potentially turning off investors and other tourists who bring much needed money into our economy. Without the tourism industry, a lot of jobs will be lost and the flow on effects will be disastrous.

The link to the full article can be found below, for people to read

http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/john-oliver-australia-is-racist/

Social Media Case Study

After looking at this week’s readings about unfair dismissals in the workplace because of social media activity, I am even more apprehensive of what I have posted previously in relation to my job and cautious about what I will post in the future. I work at Woolworths and though they haven’t specifically shown me their social media policy. I’m almost certain that they would have one implemented as there are so many employees working there and at least 90% of them would have a Facebook account or something similar.

It is quite evident that actions taken in the workplace which are later uploaded to Facebook can have a very serious effect on their business. The Dominoes incident, of which an article and video can be found below, caused a 10% reduction in profits for that year.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/14/dominos-workers-disgustin_n_186908.html

This goes to show that companies will not let these sorts of actions go without heavy penalties as the article said there are warrants out for the arrest of the individuals involved. The newspaper article from The Australian titled Bank’s Facebook sacking threat specifically mentions that employees must notify managers of any negative material posted online and failure to do so could result in the termination of your employment.

I have several friends from work on my social media accounts and this potential threat of termination keeps everyone watching everyone else in a perpetually state of wariness so nobody will post anything negative about their workplace online anymore. More or less it’s a self-regulation policy by the employees themselves which means that business doesn’t have to hire staff to check up on their employees.

I didn’t include Howard’s article about The Vernacular Web of Participatory Media as it was very hard to comprehend and gain a proper understanding. This was the reason why I avoided using any of his article in this week’s blog post.

The Feudalisation of the Internet

With the rise of social media and the internet, the traditional model of communication which was a top – down layout was beginning to reverse with the opposite occurring. As seen in the lecture and reading, Companies are now building walled gardens which gives them back control of their products and only they can decide on what you can and cannot do with them.

This is just an observation that I have made while talking to people in general, it seems to me that most of if not all of the females that use smartphones prefer the walled in gardens that the apple store can offer. My reasoning behind this is because of the safety it gives to your device and everything is in a nice laid out model. Most men however, prefer to stay away from the walled gardens and stick to android as they like the option of customisation that a free marketplace gives you. It is more prone to viruses and attacks but in my opinion the benefits outweigh the risks but since I don’t own a smartphone I believe this gives me a non-biased view when discussing this issue.

After reading this article that was pointed out to us in the tutorial which is located below

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/17/tim-berners-lee-monitoring-internet

I agree completely with what Tim Berners Lee says. It is quite easy to see the ways in which the information that authorities could obtain through monitoring the internet could be abused. Digital information never fades and is always accessible through the internet. A perfect example of how much data you leave on the internet was given in the lecture by Ted, Max Schrems had over 1200 pages of data from just three years of Facebook usage. If legislation is brought in which gives governments control of this information then it’s quite possible in my opinion that we could see a big brother system becoming reality for the world where governments know just almost everything there is to know about you. it’s like 1986 but just a couple of decades later than the book predicted.