CENSORSHIP – A GLOBAL INEQUALITY

Global media inequality being addressed: Censorship – global inequalities

Organisation/Foundation: Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a no profit organisation which defends the civil liabilities in the digital age. EFF works to ensure that the rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as the use of technology grows. Protecting the access to developing technologies is central to advancing freedom for all. Uses an independent voice to defend free speech online, fight illegal surveillance advocate for users and innovators and support freedom enhancing technologies. EFF advises policy makers and educates the press and the public through comprehensive analysis, educational guides and activist workshops.

 

The issue:

Censorship is the act/suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news or websites that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable or a threat to security.

Government around the world block access to online content for a variety of reasons including to shield children from content, prevent access to copyright infringing materials or to protect national security. Governments can tamper with domains, filter and block specific keywords and sites, block particular IP addresses and urge online content providers to remove content or search results.

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The extent to which governments censor information varies around the world, some countries including China use a combination of techniques in order to remove certain content from their citizens. China’s firewall is sophisticated and was produced in order to attempt to have an economy intricately connected to the outside world, however, keep their political culture cut off from ‘Western values” of freedom of speech and democracy.

 

Obviously, there are various disadvantages and advantages that come along when censorship is concerned. On one hand, censorship is used in order to protect copyright protection laws especially when content such as music and videos are involved as well as this it helps fight and address hate crimes and online bullying tactics. Disadvantages such as limiting the freedom of speech, giving the governments too much power and control as well as the annoying limit on what you are allowed to access from where you are, are a few disadvantages which relate to the control and censorship of content. However, Internet censorship might not always work because of the dynamic nature of technology and the available software individuals can use to bypass the government’s firewalls and control.

 

What has happened so far:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation provides fantastic educational posts which dissect the topic up for debate and give you the facts and information in an attempt make your own opinion and stance on the topic. An example of this foundation providing information and intervening in a case of internet censorship recently would be when intervening with the Canadian court. The post made on June 28, 2017, reveals the countries wish to prevent the internet access of its users in regards to accessing information. The case was brought forward in an attempt to force Google to delist domains and websites from its search index to make them invisible to citizens. The case Google v. Equustek was intervened by the Foundation, who explained that by granting the wish of de-listing the domains from google they would directly interfere with the U.S constitution of freedom of speech and would, in turn, set a dangerous precedent for other court cases. This case has become a trend around the world where governments are asking for content to be removed from the internet and the act of censorship to be enforced on its people.

GODZILLA

Before this week’s seminar, I have never really watched a Godzilla movie or found anything to do with it interesting. I knew they existed and that there was a movie franchise produced around them but I have never watched one.

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However, I have to say that watching the Godzilla movie this week was quite interesting. I enjoyed it to an extent. The most interesting part of the movie I think was seeing how different the scenes, dialogue, acting, graphics and even sound effects were. When comparing these things to this day and age there is a dramatic difference between them. It’s quite awesome to see how far film has come.

 

My high school gave us the opportunity to learn and study Japanese language, culture and history. The class opened my mind to this very different cultural identity and gave me the opportunity to explore the art of manga and Japanese films. I found that the film Godzilla gave me a different view point of Japan and especially their stance on nuclear energy. I think, however, because I was able to study Japan, I was able to make sense of the film text a whole lot better.

 

Godzilla in the film becomes a metaphor for the nuclear bombing nightmare that happened in Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the time. Images shown the film depict a raging Godzilla producing destruction in the form of a sea of flames, smouldering buildings and apocalyptic ruins. Director Honda explained “I took the characteristics of an atomic bomb and applied them to Godzilla” in an attempt to portray the atomic bomb and the effects that it produced on Nagasaki and Hiroshima during the attack. The portrayal of the character to this day can still be adapted and evolved in an attempt to portray the ideas of climate change and especially the problematic missile tests in North Korea.

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Overall I think that the film was very interesting, it brought up topics that I hadn’t considered or thought about before. Depicting the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima through Godzilla was a great way to emphasise the destruction and fear individuals felt during this time. Let’s hope that the devastation of the bombing will be enough to stop this from happening in the future.

 

MEDA101 – Around the Campfire

Where am I from?

From my last post, I showed the visuals that come to mind when being asked that particular question. However, for this project, I had to think a bit further and change my perspective a little.

For the sound part of this question, I chose to pick a particular place from my previous remoscopes that creates the feeling of being home for me. There was one place in particular that came to mind: the campfire.

The campfire is an important part of camping for me. It is the centrepiece of the land, a place where people are always around, somewhere for you to think, somewhere for people to come together and drink a few too many and a place to share stories, music and laughter.

For this assessment, I wanted to capture the contrast between the serenity that falls over the camp when the fire is lit as well as the busy and loud nature it creates. To do this I chose to include a number of sounds to overlap in this piece that were both soothing (the fire and music) and loud (dogs barking and people talking).

MEDA101: Where I’m From Remoscopes

Where am I from? Well, that’s quite an interesting question.

George Ella Lyon’s poem ‘Where I’m from‘ sparked my investigation to explore places, objects, events and people that are important to me throughout my life so far. When reflecting on this, a few fundamental things came to mind: my family, camping and reading.

My approach to this task was to take as many videos as I could of things that are important to me. I planned to go to a family’s farm to shoot some footage which was mostly used in this assessment. By using this kind of footage I would be able to convey the spatial and overall experiences of where I’m from to an audience more effectively.

I made the decision to stick with the remoscopes that I have displayed in this video over the others because I believe that they were more effective in conveying the things that are important and have been influential in my life.

The remoscopes hold more memories of where I’m from and how those memories have made me who I am today. For example, camping becomes a place of adventure, somewhere you have to look for simple things to do to entertain yourself during the day. This becomes closely linked to my family members and all the mischief and adventures that we got up to at camp. The shot of the campfire is a symbol of bonding time, a place where everyone comes together for a laugh, to talk and free their mind. These simple things are important to me, which is exactly why I chose to explore them for this project.

MEDA201: Experimental Film Project

The theme for my experimental film piece is primarily based on found footage of a group of men in a meeting. Playing on this idea, the footage was edited in a way to make the scenes more interesting and unique by including cuts, overlays, repetition and range differing speeds. A non-linear structure was used as many of the clips were edited into random order and placed anywhere on the timeline.

I believe the idea of rhythm was explored in this piece through the use of repetitive editing and a range of differing speeds as well as the manipulation of the celluloid film through scratching.

 

Analogue Film

Cameraless film focuses on producing images through directly interfering with celluloid film strips by scratching, painting, drawing, bleaching or destroying them with additive and subtractive methods.

I think that this idea of interfering with the medium of film is appropriately discussed in Clement Greenberg’s argument, where he states:

“Each medium has its own unique characteristics and these should be the basis of how the medium is used. The focus should then fall on the materiality of the medium (the physical and how people interact with it). The medium then often becomes the work)”

Greenberg’s ideas are relevant in this sense, as the film becomes the medium which is being used, and the focus falls on the physical ways that people are able to manipulate and interact with it which results in the medium of the film becoming a major work of art.

As the medium of film was established, an emergence of film avant-garde’s experimented with it which allowed for this practice to become relevant as a principle of film production.

Artists like Len Lye used scratching, painting and drawing techniques on celluloid film in his art piece ‘Colour box‘. Len Lye experimented with different kinds of paints that would be transparent enough to produce bright colours when projected. Lye created dynamic patterns that were both in and out of frame to create a sense of off scene space. Cuban dance music was also added to the art piece to compliment the array of shapes being projected. A loose relationship between the projected art and the music was created where specific shapes were associated with certain sounds.

The film ‘colour box’ had a huge impact because of its novelty and its appearance of a divided audience. Len Lye’s film is considered to be the work which established the genre of cameraless film, which was the cause for some film festivals to invent new categories to cater to this new style.

 


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Reflecting on Transnational Media and Cultural Industries

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Reflecting on my BCM288 Transnational Media and Cultural industries experience, I have found that it has allowed me to open my eyes to a range of different subjects to do with film and digital media companies, consumers and the abundance of creative and cultural content flows happening in the world and especially Australia.

While taking this subject I have found exploring television programs audiences and consumers, especially when looking at the block and other kinds of reality TV shows and how barriers between privacy have been demolished in a way. This was brought up in week 2 and 3, where the example of the office was brought up to show the comparison between two different cultural groups and how one was more successful and engaging than the other. I found this topic to be really interesting which is why I decided to further look into the differences between specific TV adaptions with the example of skins. Looking into the reality TV show adaptions was also a really interesting topic. When looking at this we explored the reality show Masterchef and its ability to translate a wide range of audiences around the world.

1464729048.jpgExploring the idea of Piracy and Diasporic media was also very interesting and I gain a lot of information from this topic. Using the global south as an example allowed for the idea of audiences and their interaction to be explored, especially when considering how audiences respond and interact with the media. For example, it was said that the global South’s piracy issue was enough to create corruption and also hinder the development of filmmakers and their profit made which would affect their living conditions. Although I believed at the start that piracy in some regards did allow for a legitimate way for media to be shared my beliefs in the end when doing further research changed. At the start, I believed that the idea of sharing these medias through piracy did allow for a form of distribution, which then benefitted the producers as these kinds of films like Nollywood would become more well known and shared around the globe. However, doing further research into the topic allowed me to realise that just because people are gaining these media through the internet does not necessarily mean that the producers are benefiting from it. This topic has then opened my eyes towards my habits towards piracy and has made me re-think my ways.

Virtual cosmopolitanism was another idea that was very new to me, it’s basically when two or more cultures come together and create a hybrid culture which contains aspects of the previous cultures and puts them together in a way that creates a new unique type of cultural characteristics. Learning this in class allowed me to further open my eyes to different types of cultures and what happens when they merge together.

Overall my BCM288 experience has been a positive one, definitely filled will a whole new list of words to learn and understand. The concepts explored within this subject were really interesting and I think in some way they still apply to this certain point in time. By learning about these topics my view of some things has definitely changed and I have gained a more solid idea of culture and also the way that it interacts with media and the people around the world.

Digital Project – Media and the Public Space Reflection

Focus:

For my Digital Project, I chose to look into public spaces and how people use technology and social media within them. I wanted to explore the idea of how media affects the connections people make to public spaces, the other people around them and whether introducing technology into a public space have been beneficial.

In order to explore this, I decided to take photos of the public spaces to show how they are being occupied and used and add them to the blog post. I found this to be quite fun and a good way to show people what I was talking about on the blog. My original idea with the photos was to take one before people were in the public space then take another during. I, however, wasn’t able to do this and stuck to taking photos of the public spaces during the time there would be people occupying it.

I thought it would be interesting to look at three different public spaces and do some research into them. I chose to look at the university of Wollongong, the lighthouse and restaurants and food centers. Most of my primary research methods were to watch people in the spaces and take notes on what was happening. In order to flesh out my discussion about the media spaces I chose to talk about topics relating to space, so for example with the lighthouse, I talked about the Pokémon go craze and how this used the lighthouse as a public space. I thought by doing some research into these kinds of topics it would really enhance my observations and also add some good information about how technology is being used in the spaces.

 

Challenges:

I faced a few challenges with this project which included time. I did end up leaving this project a bit late which did end up influencing what I could and couldn’t do. For example, I didn’t realise that when I went to go to university to take photos of the spaces that there wouldn’t be that many people there because the class had finished – total blonde moment. This lead me to looking through previous blog posts for photos as well as finding some online.

Another problem I though I would have been taking photos of people in public spaces. I had to consider the fact that these people wouldn’t want their photos being taken. This influenced me to take photos off people from far away from where you wouldn’t necessarily be able to recognise them or take photos of people from behind for the same reasons. I tried to be ethical and respectful when taking the photos of people and I think I did okay in that department.

 

Presentation:

I chose to present my Digital project on my WordPress blog as I thought it would be easier to use. WordPress is a great place to blog as it is very easy to format your blog posts which make it a whole lot easier for your audience to read. I thought that by using WordPress my content would really benefit from the layout.

 

Usefulness to the Media Industries:

I believe a project like this would benefit media industries as it provides a good insight on how people are consuming media. This would, in turn, allow industries to build themselves around the subject in a way which they would benefit from. I believe this project gives a unique insight which could be very helpful and informative in the ways in which people consume media on a day to day basis in public spaces.

 

Results & Future / what I took away from the Project:

The results of my digital project weren’t very surprising, in fact, I had a suspicion about the way that media is used in public spaces. Overall, watching and observing the behaviours of people in the spaces really opened my eyes to the crazy media usage there is on a daily basis. From these results I have received it has really highlighted that we are constantly on our phones. Whether it be to check up on Facebook or to text someone we are always connected and we don’t have a break. I think from seeing all this that it’s actually quite dangerous. This project has definitely opened my eyes and made me reconsider how much I use my phone during the day when I don’t have to.

 

Digital Project – Media and the Public Space

For my BCM240 digital project, I have decided to look into public spaces and how technology is used in them. I have decided to take photos of people in public spaces to highlight how these spaces are used and how technology has been introduced into the spaces as well. By doing this I aim to explore the idea of how media affects the connections people make to spaces and also to the other people around them and whether introducing technology to a public space can be beneficial.

Public Space – Wollongong Lighthouse 

 

Wollongong’s breakwater lighthouse is a scenic public space that attracts a lot of people. A lot of the time, there can be a whole lot of people taking photos of the scenery, however, recently it has become the main spot for Pokémon Go players as PokeStops have been placed at the landmark, which I will get to in a bit.

When I arrived at the lighthouse I was very surprised to see quite a few people wondering around in groups or spread out on the grass considering it has started to sprinkle. Whilst there I observed the public space in order to gain some insight on how it is being used by the people. I found that there were quite a lot of people walking around on their phones or using them as cameras to take photos of others and themselves with.

What was interesting to see, however, was the amount of people in small groups laying on the ground/ sitting/ walking around together on their phones. One couple was laying together on a small picnic rug together with their phones out and seemed to be quite entranced in what was happening on it. As well as this a lady was walking around on her phone with a child following along behind, headphones in and totally transfixed on her device.

What was interesting about the lighthouse is how the space is being used. Technology seems to have taken over the space and is being run by it. Over the half hour, I was there watching and taking things in the amount of people attached to their phones was actually astonishing. What was even crazier was to see children on phones in this space as well. It seems that the line of using phones in a public space has blurred quite a lot, especially when taking the lighthouse as an example.

r0_0_3456_5191_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgThe introduction of the game Pokémon Go in the Illawarra has had some great advantages for game players. Because Pokémon Go uses augmented reality that combined real space places like parks and buildings with virtual characters or object which appear on your smartphone a lot of participants have had to walk around to participate. This has then encouraged a whole lot of people to head down to the lighthouse because of the sheer number of PokeStops and Pokémon.

The game Pokémon Go would be both an advantage and disadvantage for people to make connections to the space. An advantage because players are being lead to these places, it could be seen as an advantage because players would be gaining more of an insight of the areas around them, even if it’s to catch Pokémon or reach PokeStops. Or even the idea of this game bringing people with common likes and interests together,the game provides the perfect stimulus to create a bond between people leading to players interacting with each other. A Disadvantage would be that a lot of players would get caught up in the game and forget their surroundings and would lead to them seriously hurting themselves.

 

Public Space – University of Wollongong

University is another world entirely when it comes down to public spaces and technology. Technology is used in basically every situation on the university campus, whether it be in the lectures, tuts or even out on the duck pond.

When going out to study the habits students have when it comes to technology and being connected, it is clear to say that students are fully enveloped in the digital world through their phone and laptop. Many people seem to be using their phones and laptops to information about others or just to plainly avoid interacting with people who are nearby.

Looking around the campus and especially focusing on the McKinnon Lawn there are plenty of examples of people using technology in a public space. Many people on the Lawn were sitting in groups, some had their computers out and seem to be doing work. A majority, however, were on their phones – either sitting down or walking passed whilst staring at a screen. What’s interesting to see is how people are multitasking between their phones and the people they are talking to. Walking around some couples don’t seem to be talking, just transfixed on their phones, whilst some were talking on off with each other whilst also being glued to the phone.

Mobiles can have a negative effect on the connections people make between the space that they are in and also with the people they share it with. Because people use their phones to waste time or to distract themselves for a period of time, it becomes a habit that persists further in their lives and can get worse. The constant of having our phone with us all the time gives users the promise that they won’t be alone, that they won’t get bored, that we can effectively put our attention where it needs to be and most importantly the promise of the ability to multitask. The ability to not have to commit yourself 100% to a situation and have that availability to avoid the terror that there will be a moment in an interaction when you will become bored is the selling point, and the thing people feel that they want most in their interactions.

It could also be said that the constant interaction between a person and their phone in any space can hinder real life interaction with people and their surroundings. Some individuals can find it difficult to remove themselves from their phones of laptops for long enough to re-connect with the people around them and the real world. Addiction to the technology and the constant connection it gives people can be a problem as it could hinder the person’s ability to socialise with people in real life because they aren’t comfortable chatting face-to-face.

Advantages are the obvious need for instant and easy communication with someone despite a distance that could be present. Public spaces become more resilient when this happens, and they open up to the ability for the space to become shared with someone else’s. Also if you’re with a friend in a public space and are talking and need instant information on something you’re talking about, being attached to your phone allows you to become instantly connected to information through the internet.

Constant information is available at a student’s fingertips allowing for a student to instantly look up things that don’t make sense to them or to further enhance their idea on a topic by searching up examples.

On a university level, the constant connection to people in the class can also be seen as a benefit. Interactions through social medias like twitter are encouraged in order to participate with other people in the class. Interactions like this encourage people in the classroom to bounce ideas off each other when certain topics come up and also allow for a more fluid interaction with the lecture itself. The way you choose to use the media that you have constant access to determines whether or not it can be positive or negative in a person’s ability to make connections with other people or the public space.

 

Public Space – Eating Out at Restaurants and Food Centers

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Eating out at restaurants and food centres is another public space which can be run by technology and media. It’s not unheard of these days to be on your phone whilst having a nice meal at a restaurant with a friend or a group of people. Doing this can be considered rude, however, the experience of eating out has become a more social experience inside and outside the digital world and has become a norm is some ways.

I did end up going out and having a look at how people were using their phones and social media at the dinner table, and what was interesting to see was that a whole lot of people actually reach for their phones quite regularly during a dinner or lunch out with friends. A few of the people I was watching picked up the phones only at certain times when there wasn’t any conversation and others were on it quite frequently throughout the experience. What was interesting to see was that when someone picks up the phone it generally gives permission to the other person to do the same thing. When looking around and watching people interact is can be seen that a lot of the time some people don’t look to have a problem when this happens as they just follow suit and copy the other or most of the time just continue eating and look around the public space.

When doing some research on the issue I found a study which concluded 88% of people believe that it’s generally not okay to use a phone during dinners. And to delve further in 82% of respondents found that using a phone during a social setting hurts the conversation, at least occasionally. Because technology makes it a whole lit easier to document every aspect of our lives, including when we go out for dinner, people have started to adopt a food blogging ways, which could be said to have altered the dining experience.

Technology and media at the dinner table can have both positive and negative associations. While the experience of eating out has become more sociable in the digital world thanks to instant technology and the availability of social media, it’s come at an expense of human interaction, where people feel the need to connect to others that exist through social media rather than the people who are real and are sitting around them at present time. Because of the tendency of people to upload everything that they are up to this takes away time from real life conversation and interaction. There has seen to also be a shift in the way conversations are run when technology is involved as conversations are produced in a way to recycle conversation and jokes present on social media.

Again negatively, as food is seen as a time to come together and celebrate for a lot of people, mobiles also inherently become a part of their events. And in turn, the event becomes more a social one – but not a connection made through talking to people face to face, but more people talking and sharing online. In a way, people participating through social media at these events could be considered to be there as they are filled in on what is happening and who said what.

Positively thinking the introduction of technology at restaurants has allowed for a power shift in the dining industry. People who eat at the restaurants have more power as they can instantly use social media or technology to broadcast how their meal is or how good the service was. This leaves the reputation of the industry in the hands of the public consumers, which is great as people have the power in this case to express themselves.

restaurants-online-marketing-1200x801.jpgAs well as this, food blogging has emerged on social media. Food blogging allows for a more altered dining experience, where communities are created based on food and enthusiasts create a more dynamic space and interaction with the food and industry. Food blogging also gives the power back to the people and allows for them to express themselves freely. This gives the food bloggers the ability to use social media as a tool to encourage people to go to or not to go to a particular place for their food. This is seen as a good thing as it allows for the public to be influenced by everyday people and not professional food tasters who may not be relatable in any way to the public.

In this way, its clear to say that social media and technology does, in fact, affect the way that people interact with people and the space that they are in, and the examples explored in this post does support this theory.

The Internet of Things

The internet of things is about connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us and applications. The rapidly growing network of connected objects that are able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. Devices can include smart fridges, smart home and smart watches. The introduction of these devices is more about the use of personal argumentation – which means less about individual devices and more about living services that people program and connect smart devices however they feel.IoT_20141023_01.jpg

Smart heating gives the user the control to turn down and up the heating remotely or turn it off even though there isn’t anyone home. Smart homes are the most readily available for consumers, from the amazon echo or the Nest thermostat there are quite a few products on the market for users to control and make their lives feel more connected. As well as this the smart fridge which would tell you when it’s out of milk or text you when an items went out of date.

Smart watches like the apple watch and other smart watched in the market are great examples of how the market has turned our wrists into a smartphone with the availability for text messages and phone calls.

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There could be some downsides to this awesome technology, though. You could seriously compromise security and privacy if these items were hacked, however, because there isn’t really that big of a market for some of these products yet you would think that hackers would ignore it. But that’s just my wishful thinking.

Think about it, a house which his fully controlled through a little device you can control. However, let’s hope that it doesn’t go down the same road as that Simpsons episode where the house goes crazy and ends up attacking the characters.

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