Throughout the second half of our class the two main topics that we focused on were social media & copyright laws. Being from Generation Y we almost all have used one of the many social media sites that have infested our world, both physical and virtual. The restrictions that copyright laws have imposed on everyone have helped to raise a generation where we no longer follow any copyright laws due to unrealistic rules they attempt to impose on us.
In Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship danah m. boyd introduces the history of social media, its present uses, how companies have taken advantage of these technologies to expand their influence of the public & future capabilities of social media sites. She writes about features that every social media site all have in common. Boyd describes all social media sites as all having features that allow users to create “a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.”
In Social Network Sites as Networked Publics: Affordances, Dynamics, and Implications another paper authored by boyd she lists “profiles, Friends lists, public commenting tools, and stream-based updates” as features that all social media sites have. The differences between each site come from the content they allow their users to share between each other. Facebook will allow you share videos, status updates, built in applications and groups with your friends. Other social media sites like Twitter will allow you to share 140 character “tweets” with your followers or Instagram sharing strictly pictures with your followers. She writes about the implications these “networked publics” have on privacy, the expanded intended or untended audiences that our message reaches, and the connections we make between our offline and online lives. These social media sites begin to blur the line between our public lives and our private lives by removing the control we have over the spread of our private information. Once our private information has been transformed into bits on the web it can be duplicated and distributed without our permission.
Not all implications of social media sites are negative, some positive consequence of these sites is the emergence of slacktivism. In Why Slacktivism In Underrated Katya Andresen describes slacktivism as when a social media user will “take easy, social actions in support of a cause – signing a petition, liking a Facebook Page or putting a pink ribbon on their avatar.” Using statistics from The Dynamics of Cause Engagement study by Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and Ogilvy Worldwide, Andresen concludes that these slacktivists are just as likely and in some cases more than four times likely to take meaningful actions outside of social media to benefit these causes.
In Project 2 & Project 2 we used what we learned about social media creating successful Twitter campaigns from danah boyd & Dave Toliver to analysis businesses’ social media sites and how effectively they are engaging with their followers. We learned about how these sites have engineered their privacy policies to maximize their profits. Facebook acts as a third party to market it’s users to advertisers by capitalizing on the massive amounts of personal information it has from their users.
Copyright laws attempt to preserve artist’s ability to profit off their work. These were established in a generation when to only way to make a copy of a work was to use a photocopy machine or other device to make another physical copy. These laws have failed to evolve with the digital age where we are constantly making copies and sharing. In Rhythm Science paul d. miller proposes a compromise of copying the “systems culture” and allowing artists to use pre-existing music to create new music. This “Remix culture” would be beneficial while still allowing artists to receive the monetary benefits that they deserve. In this situation it is important to redefine what exactly “fair-use” remove to mystery of it. Lessig describes it in Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy best in proposing we create an economy “that builds upon the economic and creative opportunity of hybrids and remix creativity; one that decriminalizes the offense of being a teen.”