Doing more harm than good

One might ask themselves, What’s so bad about protecting the artists, directors and authors from copyright and illegal downloading?
The answer to this is nothing.

Except that’s not what is going to happen…
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) are both US legislation’s which essentially both mean the same thing.

If these bills were to be passed, this would give the right to the American Justice Department to take down almost any blog or web post without warning and not really address the problem of pirated movies or music. Websites like Pirate Bay and U Torrent which are hosts for illegal downloads don’t actually have any illegal music or movies on their own site, just the links, like a search engine. This makes it a lot harder to track down the culprits, which are the public, the downloaders, who half the time have no idea they are even hosting this.
Studios and labels rely on DMCA take down notices to handle piracy on websites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.   The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) allows the website to take down the content within a specific period of time after receiving a DMCA notice without penalty.

As the public opposition becomes stronger SOPA and PIPA were slowly pushed to the background. Similarly ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is strongly disliked within the public as all of these legislation’s restrict the public on the internet and control what can and cannot be viewed.
Many online protests have been held, Wikipedia shut down for 24 hours as this website would be one of the affected sites if the bills were to pass and the Google logo was blacked out to raise awareness.  As a result, it is likely that these bills will continue to be amended as they are a hot topic this year, they may pass in some fashion, they are likely to be quite different than they were when first proposed.



Say that a little louder I don’t think Facebook heard you

Facebook has announced its newest feature, more creepier then ever!
This ‘feature’ allows Facebook to listen in on whatever you’re doing,  at any time of day…
Yes, it is optional, but if anyone else is like me I never read what pops up on my screen, I just click yes as soon as I see it, I don’t even know I do it, it’s just a reaction.
The release of this has definitely sparked an online debate, in fact there’s a petition you can sign to stop the feature from being made public which already has 551,390 signatures and counting.

The feature works in the same way Shazam finds songs, except it automatically listens in. The petition reads “Facebook says the feature will be used for harmless things, like identifying the song or TV show playing in the background, but by using the phone’s microphone every time you write a status update, it has the ability to listen to everything.”

“Not only is this move just downright creepy, it’s also a massive threat to our privacy. The feature is opt-in, but many won’t even read the warnings. If we act now, we can stop Facebook in its tracks before it has a chance to release the feature.”

 The public have spoken and majority of people who have heard about the update agree that it’s pushing the privacy boundaries and calling it a “Big Brother move”. James Vincent writer for The Independent says “For some though, the most worrying aspect of the update will be the most banal: the feature is designed to allow exactly the sort of “frictionless” sharing that removes another layer of thought between you and your social network.”

Interestingly at the same time, Facebook has also released that it’s changing the privacy settings for users so it’s easier for the public to access your page. As Facebook loosens its rules on privacy and surveillance the public’s attitude towards their rights online have taken a tighter grip to hold onto what seems their last bit of confidentiality.


Experts, Trolls, and What Your Mum Doesn’t Know

 “Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.”


The internet is a powerful platform for discussion a place where absolutely no one knows who you are, yet you can do and say what you want. Women would change their names to male names just so they could have an online discussion in forums so users would read and respect their opinion. Being a woman online, would ultimately make you powerless as a woman’s opinion  is not taken seriously.

For multi million dollar award wining female author J.K Rowling this feeling was known all to well at the start of her career.
Rowling’s ambiguous pen name using the initials ‘JK’ was a publishing suggestion to make her identity anonymous, for fear that a wizarding story penned by a woman might be unpopular. ‘K’ is the initial of her grandmother’s name ‘Kathleen’, since Rowling had no middle names of her own. As a result, a girl called Francesca Gray wrote Rowling her first fan letter addressing her as: ‘Dear Sir…”
Hiding her now famous initials as a man alias helped bring the books to the spotlight? Not a chance. Being a female author or blogger  should and lets hope doesn’t have any say what you write or say online. 

Another example of internet trolling would be the Charlotte Dawson case. The comments Charlotte received via twitter were threatening and demeaning most from misogynist men. I admire the women who stand up for their equality online and to cyber bulling. I believe there should be more laws put in place to stop people from being keyboard warriors and the death of innocent people.

Clicktivism or Slacktivism?

  Clicktivism: the use of social media and other online methods to promote a cause.

On march 5th 2012 Invisible Children launched their 30 minute video about a man named Joseph Kony and the campaign to bring his reign of terror to a stop. Or at least that’s what I can remember, who knows I liked and shared that video like 2 years ago.  With more than 99 million views this video went viral overnight.

Promising viewers with their help from spreading awareness they could bring down the LRA leader, stop child soldiers and bring home all the abducted.  The video was encouraging clicktivism, using online activism to pressure the government into making a change to stop the LRA, leading people to believe that liking and sharing the video and Kony 2012 Facebook page would stop the LRA from doing something they have been doing for years and give them justice. Although clicktivism closely relates to slacktivism I do believe the video and social media did help make small changes to the rebel group and help spread awareness around the whole world.

I know watching a YouTube video will have no direct impact on capturing Kony, I know liking and sharing the video will also not lead to Konys’ imprisonment. I think everyone knows this, but the excitement of participating in something that could ‘potentially’ lead to making a change will drive people crazy, everyone has the dream of world peace, happy families and no world hunger. This video very cleverly makes it seem like you are one click away from solving all of these problems. If you’d really like to make a difference please click here.  


(Remix Version)

When thinking about remix’s the artist Girl Talk instantly popped into my head, his music is famous for remix’s and chopping and changing songs.  Greg Gillis creates the remix style mash ups of several different existing songs from different artists to make one new song, collaborating with the songs creating  a free flowing beat from joining them. Gillis creates these remixes for entertainment and has become successful and famous in the music industry from using other artists work and remixing them to create his own sound.

When listening to Girl Talk I sometimes hear songs I like in the mash up and find that individual song and buy it, a song I would have otherwise not heard of has now gained revenue through one of Girl Talks remix’s. I believe artists such as Greg Gillis that create music through the use of other artists songs to then create their own work is acceptable.  Giving the songs he has used a bigger audience and potentially more listeners.

Remix’s and mash ups are extremely popular in today’s society, almost every song in a club or at a party is a remix. Having given the original artists the credit they deserve from their song I don’t see anything wrong with this style of music. Every spoof gives more power to the original… 

Transmedia Storytelling

Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project franchise is one of the first successful examples of transmedia storytelling. It matches the Henry Jenkins’ definition as the low budget Horror Film released in 1999 and is followed by The Blair Witch Project website, which gives a back story to the movie and makes the film seem more surreal and less fictional. This was then followed by a book written by Dave Stern in 1999 called The Blair Witch Project, Author Cade Merrill wrote a series of 8 books called The Blair Witch Files (2000-2001) which continued on from the movie, around the same time comic writers Jen Van Meter and Tommy Lee Edwards created a four series comic called The Blair Witch Chronicles, lastly came the computer games, created by Terminal Reality.  

There are many different transmedia platforms The Blair Witch Project has been created on, users and fans are given opportunities to be absorbed into the horror story and become lost with the journalism students, or become a detective and uncover the secrets. As the platforms all connect with one another the plot thickens and grabs the user through hints and plots. 

The Blair Witch Project website was the main marketing tool used to promote the film and in turn all the transmedia channels. The website engaged the online community with clues like police reports, interviews from family members of the missing teenagers and clues to where they might be. Like the movie, the website had handheld video footage the create the link between both and to push the boundaries of fiction into reality.

Transmedia storytelling expands what can be known about a particular fictional world while dispersing that information, insuring that no one consumer knows everything and insure that they must talk about the series with others. Consumers become hunters and gatherers moving back across the various narratives trying to stitch together a coherent picture from the dispersed information. 



Guerrilla Journalism


Definition of citizen journalism: The collection, dissemination, and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the Internet.

A new kind of media outlet has emerged and the role of the audience has shifted from passive to active. Citizen journalism has posed as a threat for the traditional journalism as the people are now using their right to freedom of speech to have opinions on worldwide topics.  The public are no longer just influenced by the content created from media publishers and journalists, the public is also exposed to the views and opinions of citizen journalists.

Many online information outlets or open news sites including Wikipedia  act as tools for content production, the sites provide the users the option to edit or alter the information on the site to better the facts and evidence of the story or news. This is also happening in the gaming world, gamer’s are able to decide how the games ends as the makers have provided an unfinished product encouraging open source development and putting the fate of the game into the users hands. Axel Bruns a professor and the author of Towards Produsage: Futures for User-Led Content Production has said games like The Sims are booming in popularity as it is created with an open ending and consumers love the idea of being in control.

Citizen journalism is developing its own journalistic role beside traditional journalism, when working together they can create mutually complementary forms of contextual information and opinionated analysis. The audience will learn of an issue via the traditional news media, and if they are interested, will then seek opinion, analyses or further information from bloggers or citizen journalists who they trust.  

Reflecting BCM110


From media concepts, ownership and raunchy children and I still think having to introduce myself was the hardest post to do.  In these past 7 weeks I have learnt more than I ever did at school, because I’m interested. Researching and delving in to these topics to discover information I never knew existed have made angry, upset and most of all happy.  I’ve definitely gained different perspectives on some topics, reading other classmates blogs and opinions is also great, in a way it’s a public sphere. (Told you!).

Where to start… I think Albert Banduras’ Bobo Doll Experiment angered me quite a bit as I thought how can he make a solid argument  that children would copy an adult doing a particular behaviour or action when Bandura has put them in an extremely controlled environment, he set out his ‘experiment’ so that he could get the answer he wanted. This type of behaviour is  also seen in my week 5 blog post as The Biggest Loser producers put the contestants into a controlled environment to achieve their set goals.

I am a lot more skeptical of the media as I’ve learnt and experienced how easy it is for the media to persuade and morph the audiences opinion to feed their stories and reports.
Being able to write down my opinion and thoughts has helped me a lot, I am usually a very opinionated person but writing down my thoughts has helped me be less bias and more factual rather than just stating my opinion without any evidence to back myself up. 

BCM110 lectures are without a doubt my favourite lectures, there’s never a dull moment thanks to Sue! The people I’ve met, the information I’ve learnt and the experiences so far are unforgettable. Blogging is something I’d like to keep doing because it’s had such a positive impact on myself and showed me a whole new way to express my thoughts.

Sexy, Susceptible and Sixteen

“Corporate Paedophilia is concerned with commercial exploitation of and predation upon children, not only as naive consumers of the products corporations peddle, but also as tantalising lures used to promote consumption by others.”

In 2012 Witchery launched a clothing brand for girls aged between 8 and 14 called 8fourteen.

witchery_8fourteen_bethany“Meet Bethany, surfer girl, vegetarian, style obsessed”
Their advertising campaign  involved “meeting the personalities” which was two 45 second videos of 2 girls giving a few details about themselves. Innocent enough right?
The overall tone of the videos was flirty and romantic, shot in black and white accompanied with acoustic music in the background. The girls are supposed to be modelling and promoting the new clothing range yet they are only wearing one outfit for the video and the camera is mainly focused on the face and body language more than the fashion.

The sexualization of children, mostly girls is a growing epidemic throughout the media. The Australian Physiological Society (APS) says Research has shown that the exploitation of children, particularly girls, as sexual objects has a detrimental effect on adolescent development, increasing the risk of depression, eating disorders and low self-esteem.  The unrealistic depiction of children in a sexualized manner is not only harmful to girls and women but has wider consequences in the community.”
Children’s attitudes, desires and in return their behaviour  can be shaped by the media through advertising. Children have trouble distinguishing television advertising from other program content, in recognising the persuasive intent of advertising, and in understanding the language of advertising.

Is this the right way for our youth to be depicted? Do we really need to sexualize children at all, is this the only way to sell the products?

Thank god I had my phone

Having our mobile phones glued to our sides at all times is the norm these days. I know I have a mini panic attack if my phone dies and I’m out with no charger insight. Mobile phones are a part of this generation’s everyday life. Not having one would be missing out, the endless possibilities of what phones can do now is amazing.

Janey Gordon’s The Mobile Phone and the Public Sphere: Mobile Phone Usage in Three Critical Situations report explores what type of influences mobile phones have on the public sphere. Gordon used the example of the Chinese SARS outbreak in 2003 when the government was withholding information from the public about how many cases of SARS have been recorded, the people of Guangdong province sent out the restricted information to family and friends via their mobiles which was an extremely effective method for contacting their loved ones.  “According to the Guangdong Mobile Telecom, on 8, 9 and 10 February 2003, SMS use was three times higher than the previous year”. This example of convergence altering the role of the audience to become journalists themselves to report and send important information out into the world for the better is unquestionably affected the relationship between the audiences and mobile phones in a positive way.

In a distressing and very frightening time the survivors of the London Bombings on the 7th of July 2005, used their mobile phones to document, take pictures, videos and call or message their loved ones to let them know they were alive after four suicide bombers killed themselves and 52 other people and wounded around 700 other people as they detonated bombs on a double decker bus and the London underground trains. “Photographs were taken within seconds of the events; for example, one photograph of the bus shows the surviving passengers still standing on the upper deck. Other dramatic images taken by survivors include finding an exit along a dark underground tunnel.” The people rely on their phones to document the aftermath of this horrific event to show loved ones, the police and the media which will broadcast this worldwide as news so people from all around the world can be informed. Although many people wanted to communicate with their family and friends and reassure them that they were safe, this caused the mobile network to become congested and the emergency services couldn’t communicate to each other because of the demand for communication. In this circumstance technology did not work in such a positive way with the audiences involved because it became very challenging for both the public and emergency services.

In both cases the public have become citizen journalists. With the convenience of having the phones the public have been able to reassure and document extremely important events. The footage can then be used as evidence, find survivors and help with police investigations. The relationship between both the audience and the mobile phone has proven to be a strong and important one. As the technology of mobile phones has evolved so has the standard of the media, news can be reported live, people can know about important events around the world in a matter of seconds.