Posts Tagged ‘news’
Rob Manuel gave what seems to have been an impassioned defence of “the bottom half of the internet”, saying that “troll” had become the equivalent of “chav” — a word used to demonise and silence people who don’t have power. Rob’s argument appears to echo the joke of defining a “troll” as “the least famous of two people arguing on Twitter.” Rob seems to have equated the disdain felt for the “proles” by the upper echelons of society with the disdain felt for the “commentards” by the chattering columnist classes of the media.
Rob Manuel via Martin Belam
Posted December 5, 2012on:
Since way before my first big project at openDemocracy.net I’ve been interested in the line. Separating ‘author’ and reader, broadcaster and receiver, powerful and powerlesser. In the physical world innovators are moving to challenge the authority / audience divide also, to “turn museums into social, participatory organisations – with all the challenges this entails.”
In online forums, we write for positive and negative response, for the conversation, for the pursuit of deeper understanding, for the feedback we get and the resulting whole. I love this line on Gransnet which sums it up neatly:
it isn’t my thread. Once I’ve pressed the “post message” button, it belongs to everyone on gransnet
This sentiment is endlessly difficult to sell or even explain to those whose livelihoods have depended on the commodification of information, ideas and opinion. As the recent Leveson report has shown, the advent of the industrial press has led to cultural particularities both positive and negative, but ultimately a participatory attitude is hard to adopt, by people below and above the line(PDF), when equity is not appreciated or sought.
While there is any inbalance of financial and reputational consequences for what is written, the public conversation cannot be the best, most inclusive, most honest version of itself. But we can attempt to aid it in this direction, starting with:
- Payment for both starting and continuing the conversation
- Pseudonymity so that one participating individual’s reputational and legal liability does not outweigh the others
- A standard for clear and attributable apologies / corrections for inaccuracies and mistakes by those on any side of any lines
Just quick props to Nieman Journalism’s new design feature (well new to me anyway) that quietens the right-hand nav as you scroll down to read. It’s all too easy to become tempted away, or just annoyingly destracted by what’s going on around your focus, to the left or right of a web article. Nieman deals with this neatly here – the right hand nav’s suggested links are faded out – becoming dark, with text coming into sharp focus, whenever the user hovers over. Nice detail, helps you stay on the article at hand, whilst allowing the site to keep their desired / suggested next steps on your visit just a nudge of the mouse / finger away.