Copy Paste?

So, last Wednesday, I went to Mummy Brown paint’s presentation: Actually, why CAN’T I copy money? and it was pretty fascinating. She had used this blog to base her presentation off of, which is the link that I’m going to base this blog post of off.

While the title is Why can’t I copy money? Is that censorship?: Thoughts on framing SOPA and PIPA, there’s really not much to do with SOPA or PIPA specifically. Instead, the post talks about what is censorship and how to frame and argument and conquering the Internet frontier.

It’s interesting, the post, because it really is about how to frame an argument properly. After all, if you control how something is framed — where the boundaries are, and what the distinctions are — then you have a good bit of control over how it is defined in the end.

An interesting issue that this touches on is what is censorship? When is it a good thing, or a bad thing? What is copyright? How are the two connected?

I really liked the example of not allowing people onto your property being censorship. It’s a twist to the word that no one thinks about — the connotations of censorship have a more malevolent sort of feel. It’s sort of like the aftertaste to the word is bitter and full of vengeance. Which, yeah, the guy standing with the shotgun has the same sort of feel, but locking your gate doesn’t. Yet, censorship can apply here.

I don’t know, I thought it was cool. I like words, and phrases, and origins. (Did you know that close but no cigar comes from days where there were cigar slot machines? And if you didn’t win, well, you were “close, but no cigar?” It’s one of my favorites. Beating a dead horse is an interesting one as well, but let’s not get into that right now.)

I wish that this blog post was longer, but it’s only seven paragraphs, and not much of that is substance. It’s mostly just throwing questions out, thought it does contain a lot of links. There isn’t all that much that can be said solely about this page, except that the author has really bad grammar. (Which, yes, I know it’s rude, and that mine isn’t all that great either, but still. The way the end of this sentence is never, ever going to be anything even resembling “okay”. Just, no. That’s not where the punctuation goes. Not unless every teacher I’ve ever had was terrible. …Though, US education being what it is, that actually wouldn’t surprise me.) I do,  however, like how he used examples of framing to show what he meant. If framed right, you really can lead the conversation down whatever path you want.

It’s really quite manipulative.




Bad Things on the Web (or Death and Facebook)

In class, we’ve been doing presentations. It’s been grand, really, because these “presentations” are done in small groups, and are much more like chats, which is great.

My presentation was on a cyber harassment case at Rutgers University. I also used this article, which I mostly only used for emphasis.

Reading the article, I was really taken aback, for several reasons. I wish we knew more about the background of Tyler Clementi, so we knew why exactly he reacted with suicide. No, I’m not one of those “suicide is never the answer!” people, because I can understand that there are some things that someone can’t get over, or through, or even under, and that picking death isn’t actually an easy choice — and actually going through with it, that’s even harder. However, being video taped secretly and having that streamed, well, that’s not exactly on my list of Things That Are Bad Enough To Commit Suicide Over (or, if wouldn’t be if I had a list, but you know what I mean).

So I looked up his background.

While the article makes it seem like he went Oh my God, he taped me, my privacy is gone, I’m going to jump — there was actually more time between Point A and Point B. Not much,  but there was enough time for the roommate to watch him a second time, and for complaints to be made.

However, what interested me most of all wasn’t the why, or the how, but rather, the suicide note.

He left a message on Facebook that said he was going to jump, sorry — and that was it. Several people thought it was a really poor joke — his father was hoping he’d been kidnapped. When they found the body a week later, though, they knew the truth.

Still, it’s interesting, isn’t it, the way our lives and even our deaths are starting to revolve around social networking sites? While this is the first time I’ve heard of Facebook-as-a-place-for-suicide-notes, I admit that it’s not the first time it’s been death related that I’ve seen. More and more, when people die, others leave notes on their Walls, or they Message them. It’s like the online version of a wake — everyone gathering on someone’s Wall and commenting on each others posts. I think it’s kind of creepy, personally. But I guess it saves on gas.

I looked into it, a bit, and found that Facebook allows the family of a deceased person to memorialize or delete profiles. It makes sense — after all, it can’t be pleasant to see your late good friend show up in your Reconnect results. In fact, I would think it’d be a little heartbreaking.

…Looking over what I’ve written, the topic seems to have gotten away from me. I meant to write about the secret taping and sharing of Tyler Clementi in a place where he should have been safe — his dorm room. I meant to write about how his roommate, the guy who taped him, tweeted about it, and how if he’d plead out, he would have gotten 600 hours of community service and some counseling. I meant to write about how a girl in their hall was part of it, and how she ended up with 300 hours of community service and three years of cyber bullying classes. That the laws about cyber bullying/harassment/stalking simply aren’t all that effective — primarily because they aren’t really there, or enforced.

I was asked a question, and though I’ll tell you my answer, feel free to answer as well.

Do you think bullying on the Internet an extension of bullying in real life, or is it a new thing?

Personally, I think it’s a bit of both. Real life and Internet life are one and the same these days. If something outside of the ‘net happens, people bring it to the ‘net — it’s impossible these days to live in only one world, unless you try really, really hard (or are Amish). So, as far as bullying is concerned, of course it’s an extension. It’s just a new place to torment other people, to gossip, to tease.

It’s also a reverse — the bullied can become the bully. This is because, unlike pre-Internet days, it’s really easy to get information about someone onto the web, or to pretend to be someone else. In fact, in a few keystrokes, you could make someone else’s life hell — something that most bullied children daydream about but are unable to do due to size or strength or self confidence issues. It’s a simple matter to get back at someone anonymously as well, something that is harder to do in the physical world.

I would, of course, like to hear (or, you know, read) your opinions on the matter. Which do you think it is? Why?