Digital diversity is the development of technology and its impact on different aspects of our lives from the social, to economical, to communication, racial, cultural and beyond. To fully understand digital diversity, one must study the components that make up the digital world of today. They must view both the benefits, of which there are plenty, as well as the consequences that arise with advancing from an analog world to a digital one.
In class, we delved into how social networking and community sites such as flickr, Facebook, and youtube, allow for the free exchange of ideas on a global scale (Charles, 2009). Information is obtainable by anyone with access to the technology, and they are able to contribute to it through various mediums such as video, audio, and graphic design. But there is a backlash to the rapid growth and spread of the digital era, mainly in an increasing gap between those with modern technology and those without. This digital divide has led to a great deal of exploitation towards those in rd world and developing countries who are lacking technologically. This has lead to abusive dumping of e-waste into 3rd world countries, forcing the inhabitants to make a living harvesting raw material from outdated hardware using techniques very hazardous to their health. They are exploited as chief labor who can barely make a living cleaning up after our mess. And yet there are still some who are attempting to close the gap. Afordable phone plans allow families to keep in contact and buisnesses to grow. And a movement to provide children with free computers is under way in order to educate 3rd world populations and connect them to the rest of the world.
In my video, i attempt to incorporate these lessons from the class into the short film. My overall message was that the good and the bad are a part of the digital world of today, and by understanding both the positive and the negative we can improve how we utilize the digital world and improve upon it for the benefit of all.
Images all courtesy of goole images
music by DJ Earworm: United State of Pop 2009, Blame It on the Pop
DTC 475 Spring Semester class (notes)
Ess, Charles. (2009). Digital Media Ethics. Malden: Polity Press.
As our topic revolves around race, gender, and video games, I will focus on the historical aspects of video games. I will begin by discussing the evolution of video games, from pong to more character oriented games. I will the discuss the racial and gender issues that arises as games developed. Examples include how women became playable character such as in the Metroid and Tomb Raider series, the use of stereotypes in video games, and the introduction of more options in video games that allow for players to chose who and what they play as. The purpose of my portion of the project is to introduce and provide some background to the topics that will be discussed in depth by my fellow teammates.
Whenever one thinks of the digital divide, they picture the gap between the amount of technology available within western countries and third world nations. They think of the lack of access to hardware and software, the knowledge of how to fully utilize advances in communication and information being accessible only to wealthier societies while less advanced ones fall further and further behind. Yet one aspect of the growth of the digital era is often excluded, on that is an important aspect of the digital divide, that of “e-waste.”
Newer and better versions of everyday devices appear on a regular basis. As the masses hurry to purchase the latest i-phone or 10G doo-dad, the outdated merchandise has to go somewhere. That somewhere is often massive overseas dumping grounds. Once fertile land is transformed into dangerous and hazardous wastelands as companies dispose of used electronics in a cheap and socially and environmentally damaging fashion. People including children scratch up a meager existence harvesting old forgotten t vs and computers for scrap components and material. The process often involves being subjected to poisonous compounds and unsafe working environments for little to no pay.
This unsafe and harmful process of disposing of e-waste endangers the lives of hundreds of people. It prevents people form improving upon their homes, leaving them to live in squalor as the amount of broken and outdated technology slowly overwhelms them. E-waste holds these people back, preventing them from bridging the digital divide. This issue raises many ethical questions over dumping rights, corporate responsibility, safety standards, and the unpopular side efects of the march of progress. In order to truly close the gap of the digital divide, we must recognize e-wast as a major part of the problem. only then can we move foreword.
During the debate, the topic was weather the government create harsher laws for the adult entertainment industry. Our opponents argued that harsher laws needed to be introduced for several reasons. They believed that porn was degrading to women, depicting them as submissive sex objects and creating negative gender views. This argument lead to the topic of minors participating in pornographic media, causing harm not only to them but also to individuals who suffer legal repercussions for unknowingly viewing the material. Those proposing more government interference also acknowledged the wider accessibility that children have to the material due to technological advancements such as the internet and search engines. This group believes that stricter laws are necessary to prevent harming minors and eventually do away with the industry altogether.
The opposing side argued for preventing further government interference . We argued that there were already laws in place to prevent the participation of minors in pornographic materials. Access to pornography should be regulated by parents, not the government. Because adult entertainment is deemed a form of free speech, having the government regulate it beyond protecting minors and workers from harm would open p a can of worms leading to the infringement on other forms of free speech. Also, different cultures have varying opinions on what constitutes pornography.Assuming the standards of one equals the views of another is culturally insensitive and possibly dangerous on a social level.
Both views have valid points. A compromise would be the government enforcing the laws already in place more strictly while adjusting them to incorporate new media such as the internet and running campaigns to encourage greater parental supervision.
Technology is a tool. Creations such as the internet and all the programs found within it act as a framework that allows one access to a compendium of humane knowledge. With it, people are able to not only locate information, but are given the capability of influencing what is there, thus leaving an impact on the world. This is ether done by blogging, face booking, tweeting, advertising, web designing, and so forth. In western culture we believe that the impact of technology is world wide, although only a small portion of the world’s population has access to it. Yet those who do have access are able to do many things made more difficult without it.
Within the video, Facebook is used by the revolutionary protesters as a tool for social reform. Ysuf Bagato, a young revolutionist featured in the video, claimed that Facebook and twitter are what got the revolution started. Its framework of mass socializing allows the protesters to share their message to a broad audience, both within and outside of their country. They use it as a means of spreading the word of the corruption and tyranny of the Egyptian government by posting political views, videos depicting atrocities, and generally reaching out to the youths of Egypt who nearly all have Facebook accounts.
Within the last week of class, we have studied the effects of technology in media, specifically the issue of reusing information. With modern digital technology it is easy to find, discover, use, duplicate, and alter different forms of media. We are able to circumvent copyright laws through file sharing and internet sources, and through further means alter and redistribute them. This has lead to several ethical and legal dilemmas concerning cultural and intellectual properties, and the remixing or redistribution of certain material based off of them. Many injustices have accord do to the relative newness of such issues due to the advances in technology, as well as the unfair and outdated laws that fail to encompass the changes of the digital age. Therefore we as a digital culture must adapt with the times instead of remaining in the past, and adjust our legal and distribution system in order to fix these problems.
For example, in the documentary “Protecting the family Silver”, we learn about copy write laws and the ethics of using materials belonging to specific cultures. It begins by telling the tale of a New Zealand musician who is unable to use her own name because it had been copywriter be a German company. The film then discusses the Maori people, who have had their cultural material (art, music, dance, tools, etc) used by various companies around the world. This raises the ethical dilemma about what can be owned and distributed. The Maori should have a right to control material based on their culture, if for nothing other than to make sure it isn’t tarnished. If someone can take a part of your culture and use it without your consent or knowledge, then something should be done about it. Then there’s the issue of remixing. It is taking the works of someone else and altering it. It is the same basic concept of the Maori, except it involves specific pieces of work rather than a culture itself. Personally i think that, as long as credit is given to the source material, remixes are OK. the digital culture is built upon improving the past. we draw inspiration from previous artist’s works and make them fit ourselves. Remixing is another method of doing this, and the outdated laws need to compensate for this in order to allow creativity to evolve without ostracizing those who try to make the changes. Basically, give credit where its due, and everything should be fine.
The impact of Facebook and its effect on social relationships can often be seen within the news. Because of the anonymity of the internet, as well as the connectivity of social networking sites, people are capable of using this tool for bot benevolent and harmful acts.The impact of this site has affected our world to the point that the news has taken an interest in it, highlighting the dangers and benefits of this social networking site. There numerous cases in which information found or given on individual’s Facebook pages have been used for cyberstalking and harassment. For example, In this ABC news article and video, a man manipulated an underage girl on Facebook in order to commit statutory rape and abduction. In another news clip, we see how a group of teens assumed the identity of a classmate in order to harass and bully him.
And yet Facebook can also be used for good and noble purposes. Since it allows one to reach out to a large number of people, some have formed groups to spread messages of remembrance. Take, for example, the video below, also from ABC News, which talks about a group of volunteers who created a Facbook page in memory of fallen soldiers of the war in Iraq. Also, due to the social aspect of Facebook, it can allow people to reunite after being separated for years, such as in this clip in which a mother is reunited with her 2 kidnapped children after 15 years through Facebook.
In conclusion, Facebook has greatly affected the world since it was created. The fact that Facebook has become newsworthy shows the impact it has had in our culture as a networking tool, and the affects that it has introduced through its existence. Each article and story shows us the dangers and benefits that Facebook has introduced through social networking. It has unlocked new tools and opportunities that allows us to reconnect with old acquaintances, discover others of similar interests, and share ourselves to the world. But it also paves the way for cyber crimes and invasion/exploitation of private information.There are both good and bad implications of the impact of Facebook, but the fact remains that it is a part of our lives, our culture, and after experiencing it modern digital society can no longer go back to the way things were.