Castells acknowledges that social networks themselves are not new, the difference in a network society is that social networks are driven by micro- electronic communication technologies, such as the internet or mobile telephones. It’s kind of similar to the McLuhan theory of what came first technology or culture and I find the idea of time and space being altered online mind blowing. The network society seems to be all about online structures and perhaps the reason that social media is growing so rapidly around the world is because humans naturally love structure? Think about it, were born, our parents give us routine and then were in school following a system, following a set of structured years. Castells is mainly very optimistic about the network society, he believes that it could have positive effects on different society making people all around the world more open minded and connected so I guess this would be the positive, however there is ample opportunities for negatives to come out of the woodwork on the way to this completely connected society – regulation seems to always come into play…
Net neutrality and ways of keeping the online world open for business
On the 21st November the US federal communications commission (FCC) released their plan to roll back net neutrality. Some have argued that this will change the way everyone in the world used the internet. When discussing in our seminar it got me thinking about the negatives more so than the positives. From where I’m sitting it only looks like ending net neutrality will only benefit internet service providers. And the main conclusion I came to is that once again – it’s all down to money.
If the FCC does go ahead with the proposal to destroy net neutrality protections I’m sure that many small businesses won’t just stand by and let it happen, there will probably be lots of law suits. Surely protecting net neutrality is core to the internet and crucial for people’s jobs and everyday lives.
The internet has always been an ‘equal’ environment, so why change it? Neutrality has been a way of being democratic online since the day it was born. Like David Pogue says for Scientific American “Internet service should be like phone service: the phone company can’t make the connection worse if they don’t approve of the person you’re calling.”
What about freedom of speech? Without net neutrality, there would potentially be priority given to video from TV networks it owns like NBC—and slow down the signals from other networks. This is hardly fair – what do you think? Do the negatives outweigh the positives?
Thank you for reading 🙂