#SocialMovements

#YesAllWomen #HeForShe #BringBackOurGirls #OccupyCentral #Ferguson

#EverydaySexism #FreeTheNipple #Kony2012 #BlackLivesMatter #HandsUpDontShoot

Social medias involvement towards more (allegedly) powerful and widespread social movement was an idea that struck as most thought provoking to me during the course of Network Society and the Media. We have engaged in discussion about our involvement with social media as young adults and students, our online availability growing up in a generation of digital environments and communities, and how we utilise these platforms for our own agendas. These ideas all come together to suggest the importance of creating a movement in our day and age, contesting against or for political ideas and issues to be addressed to our government.

Are we genuinely passionate about these issues? Do we involve ourselves in these political protests online because it’s just easier, safer and more so selective participation on our parts? Online we are very persuadable, mediated content can engage us and educate us in issues we have never considered to be a problem before, it’s in these short bursts of persuasion that we sign up, enter in our e-mail addresses and add our names to the strong lists of people protesting. SeaWorld, Kony, Black Lives Matter, I can guarantee that our involvement in these huge social movements was predominantly online – questioning why? It is a concern that we are not educating ourselves enough on topics before we involve ourselves in them.

Social media is not a bad thing. Online platforms can engage more people all over the world, but if we were truly passionate about an issue, would we be taking part in peaceful stands or violent street-feuds and displaying our physical presence, instead of shying away behind our keyboards?

 

COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE

“If you think about copyright as a series of restrictions, fair use is a set of exceptions.  It protects your right to use copyrighted material in certain ways” -Anthony Falzone

Our degrees in the Media, Arts and Design faculty require a lot of creative content and experimentation with material perhaps not produced by us. This results in copyright law being an obstacle, especially on sharing platforms as popular as YouTube. Relative footage taken by others and music produced by artists leads us to question whether we can contribute it to our own productions and adapt it on our own accord, helping us along with our creative intentions. This is applicable to a wide range of fields, journalism, television, radio, photography etc. and therefore I found it useful to understand what is meant by the term, ‘fair use’.

Copyright owners do not have unlimited control over their content. The fair use doctrine allows you to use material in certain ways without permission, with consideration of how much you transform the content, the nature of the copyrighted content, how much of the original content you use and whether your work serves as a substitute for the original material. (E.g. If your video takes away views or sales from the original then it goes against fair use, understandably)

With YouTube productions involving background music, scenes/clips and parodies, fair use can be seen in all of this with consideration, using an entire clip of video or audio can involve your video being taken down due to copyright claims, as you are repeating an artists work without consent – in which I agree with myself, why would I work hard to write something for somebody else to copy and paste as their own. The fair use doctrine allows us to explore our creativity, and therefore I think the current regulations on copyright are acceptable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S521VcjhvMA

I don’t expect your attention span to engage in 35 minutes of legal-talk, however the description box on the link asks very interesting questions in which you can click and skip to particular sections – so check it out.

MY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INTERNET

I am networked with almost every trending social media platform, Facebook, Twitter (several accounts), Instagram, and Snapchat. I have been associated with gaming networks as a teenager and overall find my usage of these digital platforms as I’ve grown up have been considerably high. In terms of visibility, I have opted in for privacy on my Facebook and Twitter, these are very personal social media platforms which I share a lot of content and therefore control who I wish to ‘check up’ on me – likewise Snapchat. It’s great for family and friends who are located all over the world; my auntie in Arizona can keep in the know with important events in my life without me having to have hour long, weekly phone calls.

In terms of Instagram, I view this as a more artistic platform and therefore I am open to people I have never met before viewing this side to me. It does not represent an open book to my life therefore I do not have to control the people who look at my profile. Though it does indulge in where I go and some of what I do, it is not as complex as Facebook.

However this is just the surface, over the last few lectures I have come to open my mind up more to ‘privacy’. Are the privacy settings really allowing you to control how much privacy you have? Facebook is very snide at allowing things to go under the radar, choosing your privacy setting for you until you manage to figure out how to change it yourself. ‘Friend of a friend’ setting shares your content across a very wide range of people, a friends aunties cousin can like a status from three years ago, (it happens.)

Awareness of this has created a more professional side to me in terms of what I share online, with very little on my ‘about me’ page. My WordPress blog showcases my work, not my personal life. It’s been a good point to note how much we choose to share online, and no matter how much we dislike the content, once it is on the internet, it is there to stay.

THE GUARDIAN

The comment’s section on the Guardians digital multi-media platform is in itself an online community,  though I consider it a rather niche one as only a minority of users ever comment.

At least 20% of the comments left on the Guardian website each month come from only 2,600 user accounts, at a time when the audience of the website as a whole was in the order of 70 million.

This can be seen as a negative online community, as the contributors begin to think and act as the key primary audience of the media company, however there are positives too. An online community such as this one sparks intelligent debate, it’s not a place for childish comment such as social media platforms like Twitter (though it does happen), but a place predominantly for interested, opinionated people. This broadens ideas, takes on different angles from the professional, encourages interest and brings articles alive. This indicates change in the news industry, as published content online encourages shared opinions and ideas, a conversation. It can give a sense of inclusion to individuals, as they feel they are helping to shape and generate the news.

I see this as a positive online community as it is a safe place to communicate, formal rules clearly stated on the Guardian website regulate interaction, behaviour, privacy and copyright, appropriating use of communication and encourages that all audiences are ‘members’ to this community. This breaks the boundaries between ‘old’ and ‘new’ members that were discussed in the lecture, making it a friendly environment to discuss current affairs.

WAXED | Westminster Arts X Edited

Recently launched in September of this academic year, WAXED is a mixed media online magazine and creative social network for students at the University of Westminster, primarily for those on Harrow campus as it is a media, arts and design faculty. It’s a network of creativity, community and collaboration and a platform for students to publish their work.

 

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WAXED is a fitting example of how an audience shapes online media, as its content is solely submissions from us students. I find the significance of this is down to the fact it holds a very niche audience, and will continue to do so due to the common link between the online platform and its readers. The importance of the audience to contribute towards this magazine is the idea that it forms a community, students are able to express their ideas and publish them for other students to read / watch / listen to and network, pushing forward creativity – which I think is a great thing.

FACEBOOK

John V. Pavlik defined media convergence as “the coming together of computing, telecommunication and media in a digital environment.” When this was mentioned in the lecture, (week three,) Facebook stood as a strong example of media convergence. All social media platforms in general offer similarities and contrast only slightly with minor differences from each other, as it is social media that combines computing, telecommunication and the sharing of other means of media. Social media is now the worlds largest mass media, as it is understood that one billion consumers are now reachable through social media channels.

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Facebook is a website, as well as an app used on multiple devices. Its simple logo can be recognised globally, it is part of social convergence and most importantly cultural convergence due to us as the audience creating the content for the social media site. ‘See Translation’ tools on media text content have helped appropriate content on Facebook for the rest of the world, connecting us globally. You can video chat, audio call, instant message, share photos, videos, audio, and the digital convergence that has evolved to create something as multifunctional as Facebook is pretty impressive.

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Everybody has Facebook. I’d find it strange that you reading this, a mass communications student, would not have Facebook. Not only because you’re a student involved in the media, but because in general you’re in western civilisation and sadly, it’s almost isolating to not be involved in this social sphere. Botón_Me_gusta.svg.png

Traditional vs. New Media

Following the previous lecture I felt clarification was needed to understand the difference between traditional media and the new media, and how the two can effect each other positively, or negatively. We are aware that media shapes and surrounds our lives on a day-to-day basis, however as aspiring media professionals we should be knowledgeable of the intentions behind the media and how consumer needs has encouraged change over time.

This blog post, Traditional vs. New Media is a clean, concise summary of old and new media. What exactly is new media? What relationship do businesses have with consumers through the media? The blog also goes into the effects both means of media have on consumers, and ‘finding the equilibrium’ between the two. Though it is written by the Absolute Marketing Group with intentions to help you strategically plan a ‘media campaign’, it’s relevant for us students in mass communication as we think about our listeners, readers and viewers when producing and publishing work.

It’s a short read that touches on what has already been mentioned in lectures, however it helped me to analyse my media diet in terms of what was mediated through old media, or new media, helping my full understanding of the concept.