Community and Media

While I was reading this week’s readings the main thing that kept going through my mind, was the role that media has on these social communities. While word of mouth and the influence of friends can be extremely relevant when it comes to where people congregate, whether physically or electronically, the role of the media no doubt plays a role. In “White Flight” we read about how the media painted a very specific picture of Myspace. It had been in operation for a few years and quite popular before the media caught wind of its existence. Once more teens and traffic started going to Myspace the media painted a negative picture of the kind of community it represented. It seems as though this negative media is where the shift in who uses what really came into play. The role that the media plays and how it portrays websites, in my opinion after reading some of these articles, helps to create the kind of community that is formed. The media helps to attract certain members to join or not join websites through their representation of what the site has to offer.

As we read in “White Flight” Myspace had just as many security features in place as did Facebook, but due to the exclusivity of Facebook, it was perceived as safer.

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Who teens were thought to be having discussions with and what they were planning became a big focus of the media as well as parents. Once Facebook opened up, kids flocked to it and parents had less concerns about it. Kids that weren’t allowed to use Myspace were now allowed to use Facebook largely due to media presentation.

The media plays a huge role in how not only websites but also their creators. The article #NotYourAsianSidekick discussed how the media can help get a message across but also get it wrong on some level. As Park discussed about the hashtag, the movement and hashtag are not about her or one specific person, but a whole community. The media chooses to focus on Park and single her out when it comes to the hashtag following but according to Park, you can’t have something trend if you are just about you. It takes commitment to something larger. She discusses how the hashtag can’t be used genuinely by corporations because of this. While Park has learned to embrace the media attention and use it to her advantage when it comes to her movement, she continues to try and shift the focus from just her to the whole community supporting the movement.

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Park’s movement has a large focus and a very large and community supporting the messages she and her friends put out. Her ideas and goals are bigger than herself, unlike the media, she realizes and is thankful for her supporters. The media can focus on her as long as attention is given to her cause as well.

The media also plays a large roll in the creation of bots. Protest bots use media to come up with “news headlines”.

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How the actual news media will react or not to bots such as NRA Tally is anyone’s guess right now. This is the new movement and it’s a powerful one. Will the media want to listen to what they have to say? It is uncomfortable and pushes the boundaries that need to be pushed. These bots give attention to things that we don’t always want to give attention to. However, like the protest music of the 60’s and 70’s, it is very possible that serious protest bots will be overlooked by the media in order to focus on more comfortable subjects.

 

 

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4 Responses to Community and Media

  1. sheridanleighsayles says:

    I love your grappling with the idea of the “genuine” in this post–specifically how things that are perceived as genuine (Facebook’s security, the community behind #NotYourAsianSidekick) have the greatest authority in online spaces. I touched on this as well in my blog post, and I was wondering if you thought there were a way–as terrible as it sounds–to sound genuine without being genuine? It might make bots and–gasp–corporations more successful in online scenarios.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. NicoleMelina says:

    I agree with your statement about people thinking Facebook was safer. The added questions and forms you needed to fill out when you first signed up for it made it seem like you were joining some kind of exclusive club (kinda like the club Jesse Eisenburg threw a hissy fit about not getting into in the Social Network, ehh?). The age thing and university forms were a big part of that because people automatically assumed, “Oh, you NEED to put what college you go to and you have to be 18 to join, this must mean everyone has to be honest about who they are.” HAH. Anyway, I enjoyed your post…minus the creepy meme with the cat fishing happening. Eeep.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Drew says:

    This was an interesting post for me to read because part of what I wrote about in mine has to do with media and the construction of reputation, the allotment, for lack of a better term, of cultural, or (sub)cultural capital. The media is hard to discuss as one monolithic entity, but I think it’s inarguable that media has bearing on the reputation and cultural capital of individuals in online communities (e.g. Suey Park) and the communities themselves (e.g. MySpace and Facebook). Thanks!

    Like

  4. Sheridan’s question about being able to sound genuine without being genuine is a tough one. I personally hope that there isn’t a way for that to happen since media manipulates so much, it’d be nice if corporations and such couldn’t trick users into thinking a post is genuine if it isn’t. However, there may be a way to fake sincerity during situations. The first coming to my mind is “genuine” support after a catastrophe like the Paris attack in order to create support and goodwill among customers. But that could be a pessimistic view of how corporations can or do use the movement.

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