The event was hosted by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and included a panel discussion with the creator of the Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Berkman Fellows Rosemary Leith and Judith Donath, and Berkman Director and Harvard Law School Professor Jonathan Zittrain. The Berkman’s executive director, Urs Gasser, moderated.
Cole, who spoke at a panel discussion Wednesday at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said she launched Impossible to change the culture of wish-making.
“You don’t want to read the rights so broadly that they affect public discussion,” says Jeff Hermes, director of the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. It’s widely accepted that the right of posthumous publicity “can’t be used to block a discussion of an individual for news reports,” he says.
Graeff, Stempeck, and Zuckerman contribute important insights into the networked ecosystem of communication and news. The paper is a direct follow-on to an earlier paper by Internet theorist Yochai Benkler and Co., which suggested new network dynamics at work around the Stop Online Piracy Act SOPA/PIPA and related online activism. Both papers leverage the underappreciated Media Cloud project, which is finally getting its due. Graeff, Stempeck, and Zuckerman basically show a kind of counter-example to the Benkler findings. This scholarly back-and-forth is well worth paying close attention to, as MIT and Harvard’s Berkman Center have more papers in the pipeline along these lines. If we are to answer the ultimate digital media question — “How much has the Internet truly changed communication?” — this research will be a vital resource in providing the data.
Op-ed from Bruce Schneier: “Increasingly, we are watched not by people but by algorithms. Amazon and Netflix track the books we buy and the movies we stream, and suggest other books and movies based on our habits. Google and Facebook watch what we do and what we say, and show us advertisements based on our behaviour. Smartphone navigation apps watch us as we drive. And the National Security Agency, of course, monitors our phone calls, emails and locations, then uses that information to try to identify terrorists.”
Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor at Harvard University, said it’s difficult for people to say no when presented with immediate benefits because any potential problems are vague and years away.“Information seems harmless and trivial at the moment, but can be recorded forever . and can be combined with other data,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve come to terms with that yet.”
One reason, perhaps, is that these new organizations are able to make decisions in a very different way. The traditional corporation was organized to limit the amount of information that flowed to the hierarchy, a concern that matters much less online, according to David Weinberger, author of Too Big to Know, and senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
The censorship issue presents a quandary for tech companies that often espouse free speech as part of their core ethos. It could also be a financial problem, since abiding by the government’s often vague censorship directives can be expensive. “The existing Chinese microblogging sites have had to invest in huge armies of individuals who spend their time looking through the content and determining what should or shouldn’t be removed,” says Ryan Budish, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “You can’t exactly just move in there and do business. It’s a very different framework.”
Dr. danah boyd she prefers to style her name in lowercase letters is a cutting-edge scholar of technology at Microsoft Research Center, New York University, and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a youth advocate with the daunting research skills of an anthropologist and the political zeal of an activist. Her first book, “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” Yale University Press: 296 pp., $25, proves she is a writer and thinker in a category of her own invention.
After all, 2013 research from the Pew Research Center and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society revealed that enthusiasm for Facebook was waning among teenagers for such reasons as a growing adult presence and the excessive sharing of information.