FINAL REFLECTION

At the start of the module I was new to many of the topics introduced in the module. I took the internet for granted, and was largely oblivious to many of the current topics that are increasingly culturally relevant to our progressing society.

“The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow”

– Bill Gates

global-village


 

MY EXPERIENCE (Values Beliefs & Assumptions)

 

Introductory Topic

Study of digital natives, immigrants; visitors and residents and the resulting discussions with my course-mates led me to see aspects of myself in both the resident and visitor categories. However my internet use is primarily passive, so I aligned closer with the visitor. Examining my course-mates’ blogs, I came to the realisation that the majority of my peers saw themselves as digital residents. This was a key moment for me as it made me realise that my internet use is profoundly different from other users in my age group.

 

Living on the Web

I analysed online inequality and digital differences, studying works from Van Dijk and Hargittai. I outlined 7 key areas that cause online inequality, garnering supporting statistics from the Pew Research Center and the Office for National Statistics.

square_302413681.png

My post concluded that internet use is disproportionally biased towards users from more developed backgrounds. This led me to consider the notion of the internet as a basic human right. This was a key moment for me as this idea was apealing to me from a moral standpoint. Sheyra pointed out that sadly geographical differences make it impossible for everyone to have equal internet access. Considering this input, and reading articles on the topic from Leiva-Gomez and Skepys, I concluded that equal and free internet access is unrealistic in our society.

“Although Internet access is instrumentally valuable for membership [in a political community], it should not be seen as a human right in and of itself because it is not necessary for membership.”

 –  Brian Skepys, Google.  From: “Is There a Human Right to the Internet?”

I discussed with Will and Megan methods institutions can employ to aid disabled users. Assistive technologies such as spell check and audio dictation software have helped me academically with my dyslexia. I later discovered the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and their progress to try and make the web a fairer and more equal place. Observing progressive steps made by institutions instigated optimism in myself that online inequality can be effectively eliminated.

 

Learning on the Web

I focused on the authenticity of online information, and was introduced to the concept of echo chambers, where users isolate the people/media they interact with online. I researched the effects of this on the political spectrum, finding Krasodomski-Jones particularly insightful. I explored the ways companies mistreat data to fit their narrative and derived a 6 step checklist that I use to check authenticity.

stop fake news

 

Dom notified me of a BBC plan to help students navigate the pitfalls of fake news online. I agreed with this strategy, proposing its inclusion into the ICT national syllabus. Chloe questioned whether I was in an echo chamber myself. Reflecting on my online behaviours I concluded that due to the content I view online I am somewhat in an echo chamber despite my best efforts remain neutral online.square_30241368.png

 

Working on the Web

I analysed the differences between single and multiple identities. I have now created an updated graphic outlining them:

new-piktochart_28340731 (4)

I realised I use multiple identities online to separate personal and professional life. Despite this I wanted to explore cases in which a single identity would be more beneficial. I concluded that professions that requires a user to promote their brand would benefit from a single identity, such as a celebrity or fitness model.

download-e1525965864499.png

Finally, I explored online anonymity. Tor‘s founder Andrew Lewman, believes that anonymity gives users the freedom to engage in areas they may not want tied to their real name ( 2012). Stephanie observed an increase in trolling and malicious activity on websites where users have an anonymous identity. I postulated this was because users gain a sense of ‘invincibility’ due to their masked identity.

“The Internet is just another experiment showing us more sides of us.”

– Frank Ocean

I discussed with Adrian how anonymity on the dark web has caused many illegal services to emerge online. This caused me a moral dilemma, as many horrific crimes and activities are known to take place through the dark web. We concluded that abolishing the dark web is an unhealthy solution as it provides a platform for free thought and journalism in countries with censorship issues.


 

REFLECTION

Before this module I thought the idea of me maintaining a blog was laughable. However I have enjoyed the challenge of writing a blog every week, it has taught me valuable web skills and made me think about how to present myself online. I learned that others have differing priorities in their profile, such as Joanna who opted for a single identity as to showcase her online portfolio.

If I were to repeat the course, there are things I may have changed. Specifically I would have liked to include more video content in my blogs. (I talk about improvements further in conclusion video)

At the start of the module I completed a self assessment test to asses my level of digital literacy. I decided to update this assessment in order to gauge what progress I have made throughout the course:

star_27983269 (1)

“Comparing my digital self test with others has shown me that I am lacking in some areas; Mostly involved around participating in and building online social networks and managing my online identity.”

– Me, Introductory reflection

Considering this prior statement and analysing my current digital literacy levels, it is clear I have improved in key areas.

I learned on this module where I stand as an internet user. In order to categorise myself accurately, I laid out all spectrums we covered over the course and attempted to place myself on them:scale

Seeing how others have expanded their online network and perceiving the difference between my identities I decided to improve my professional online profile by creating a linkedIn page:

me link

I decided to clean up my online identity by deleting any old unused accounts connected to my name. I also increased the security of my accounts, by updating  passwords to be more complex and unique. To help remember login data for all my accounts I downloaded Dashlane, a free password management service:

dashlane


 

CONCLUSION

Studying UOSM has made me more aware of web issues such as online authenticity and anonymity. I will be sure to manage my professional profile with more care. I will also  use my 6 step fake news checklist every time the validity of an article is in question.

The experience has made me more optimistic about my online future, as I have a much broader understanding of contemporary web issues. As a result, I must continue to expand my knowledge on fake news as I believe this is an issue which will continue to worsen in the future.

I created a final video presentation detailing my successes and failures in UOSM2008. Detailing what I learnt from them, how it has affected my online activities and what further steps I must take after this module:

 

Word Count: 987  (excluding headings, references, quotes and figures)


REFERENCES

FutureLearn (2018) – University of Southampton. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303357 [Accessed 14 May 2018]

Laabidi, M. (2014). Learning technologies for people with disabilities. Journal of King Saud University, 26(1), pp.29-45. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2010.499956 [Accessed 14 May. 2018]

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). (2018). Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).  Available at: https://www.w3.org/WAI/ [Accessed 14 May 2018].

Kadye, M. (2014). The Internet: Human Right or Privilege?  The Student Lawyer. Available at: http://thestudentlawyer.com/2014/02/03/the-internet-human-right-or-privilege/ [Accessed 14 May 2018].

Co, J. and M, K. (2015). Can the Internet Ever Be Free of Charge?. Make Tech Easier. Available at: https://www.maketecheasier.com/can-the-internet-be-free/ [Accessed 14 May 2018].

 Halford, S. and Savage, M. (2010). RECONCEPTUALIZING DIGITAL SOCIAL INEQUALITY. Information, Communication & Society, 13(7), pp.937-955. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2010.499956 [Accessed 14 May 2018]

Hargittai, E. (2008). Digital Reproduction of Inequality.  Webuse.org. Available at: http://webuse.org/pdf/Hargittai-DigitalReproduction2008.pdf [Accessed 14 May 2018].

Ons.gov.uk. (2018). Internet users in the UK – Office for National Statistics. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2017 [Accessed14 May 2018].

Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. (2018). Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet.  Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/ [Accessed14 May 2018].

Robinson, L. (2015). Digital inequalities and why they matter.  Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2015.1012532 [Accessed14 May2018].

Skepys, B. (2012). Is There a Human Right to the Internet?.  Ccsenet.org. Available at: http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/jpl/article/view/22541/14534[Accessed 14 May 2018].

Smith, A. and Zickuhr, K. (2012). Digital Differences.  English.illinois.edu. Available at: http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/482/482readings/PEW_Class.pdf [Accessed14 May 2018].

van Dijk, J. (2013). Inequalities in the Network Society. Digital Sociology, pp.105-124.

Engadget. (2017). The BBC will teach school kids how to spot fake news. Available at: https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/06/bbc-fake-news/[Accessed14 May 2018].

BBC News. (2017). Fake news: Universities offer tips. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41902914 [Accessed14 May 2018].

Ifla.org. (2018). IFLA — How To Spot Fake News.  Available at: https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174 [Accessed14 May 2018].

Pariser, E. (2011). Beware online “filter bubbles”.  Ted.com. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles[Accessed14 May 2018].

Costa, C. & Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society, Available at: http://eft.educom.pt/index.php/eft/article/view/216/126 [Accessed14 May 2018]

Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity [Accessed14 May 2018]

Jones, T. & Swain, D. (2012). Managing your online professional identity. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/bult.2012.1720380209 [Accessed14 May 2018]

Krasodomski-Jones, A. (2016). Political Debate Online and the Echo Chamber Effect Available at: https://www.demos.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Echo-Chambers-final-version.pdf [Accessed 14 May 2018]

Pew Research Centre (2010). Reputation Management and Social Media: How people monitor their identity and search for others online. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/05/26/reputation-management-and-social-media-how-people-monitor-their-identity-and-search-for-others-online/ [Accessed14 May 2018]

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Online Identities – Reflection

new-piktochart_29971303

Stephanie and I discussed how multiple and anonymous identities can lead to users gaining a sense of ‘invincibility’ online. On sites such as reddit users go by an anonymous username and hence any of their actions cannot be traced to their real identity. Stephanie noted that reddit has a lot more abusive behaviour than other social media platforms, and this is due to the bravery the users gain from anonymity. We concluded that a user can avoid this by accessing sites where most users do not conceal their identity.

I discussed this during my dialogue with Megan, users are no longer afraid to tarnish the reputation of their ‘false’ identities and hence activities such as trolling and swatting have increased in prominence in recent years. We discussed what measures if any could help prevent this issue, but concluded that government involvement in anonymous spaces is not ideal, as it could lead to people feeling ‘watched’, such as in the 2013 NSA scandal. Megan and I concluded that single identities can be more beneficial for some professions, such as instagram bloggers.

download

I discussed with Adrian on his blog how anonymity has lead to various illegal activities becoming available online. Child pornography, firearm purchase and even hitman services are conveniently available on the dark web, has anonymity been exploited? Adrian and I concluded that abolishing the dark web would be a bad idea as it allows people to communicate without the fear of being traced, and hence is too valuable to our advancing society.

Joanna and I discussed how a single identity can aid employment prospects by making it easy for future employers to find previous works online that could aid them in the  selection process. This is dependant on the job, for example journalists would benefit from employers seeing their past experience when writing online articles (Workopolis, 2015). Adrian also commented on my blog citing an article suggesting that blogs are a great way to show personality and make you stand out towards employers.

lol.png

 

Word count: 330

My comment on Adrian’s Blog

My comment on Megan’s Blog

 

 

 

References

 

TheEmployable. (2014). How blogging can help you get a job.  Available at: http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2018].

Workopolis Blog. (2015). The top three things that employers want to see in your social media profiles – Workopolis Blog. Available at: https://careers.workopolis.com/advice/the-three-things-that-employers-want-to-find-out-about-you-online/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2018].

 

FutureLearn (2018) What is your network identity? – Learning in the Network Age. University of Southampton. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303357 [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018]

Costa, C. & Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society, Available at: http://eft.educom.pt/index.php/eft/article/view/216/126 [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018]

Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018]

Jones, T. & Swain, D. (2012). Managing your online professional identity. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/bult.2012.1720380209 [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018]

Pew Research Centre (2010). Reputation Management and Social Media: How people monitor their identity and search for others online. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/05/26/reputation-management-and-social-media-how-people-monitor-their-identity-and-search-for-others-online/ [Accessed 23 Apr. 2018]

Your Online Identity – Topic 3

Your online identity is an actively formulated presentation of yourself in the digital world. This  can be accurate to your true self, or contain cherrypicked information in order to tailor your profile to a certain need or context (Costa & Torres 2011). After exploring the MOOC course I discovered the differences between single and multiple identities, shown below.

personal identities

Below I analyse the specific pros and cons of using single or multiple identities (FutureLearn 2018).

new-piktochart_28340731 (1).pngHaving a single identity can often result in negative consequences. For example, LinkedIn is a professional networking site used for finding job opportunities online. A user of this service would not want their clean profile tainted by their personal aspects of online involvement (Pinola 2017).

A number of professions opt for a single identity. For example a fitness model, a celebrity or an online media creator may choose to adopt a single identity to further promote their online brand.

Untracked online services such as 4chan or Tor are allowing users to create an alternate identity which can remain completely anonymous from their true self. Andrew Lewman the creator of Tor says that online anonymity gives users control, it lets them engage with topics/activities that they may not want tied to their real name, and hence allows them to discover their own identity ( 2012).

There are two macro areas to consider in determining our digital identities: presentation and reputation, I overview these factors below (Costa & Torres 2011).

new-piktochart_29804281 (1)

“Reputation management has now become a defining feature of online life for many internet users” (Pew Research Centre, 2010)

Conclusion

Online identities are useful for both social and professional reasons. Single and multiple identities provide two differing techniques to managing your online presence. A single identity allows for a consistent authentic online presence, better tailored to users where their professional and private lives are blurred. Contrarily, multiple identities lead to a decreased security risk and allow us to explore differing parts of our personalities. Overall most users are better tailored to multiple identities, in most cases a professional and private account. The creation of unlimited identities allows web users to explore more exciting and quirky parts of their personalities without any real world consequences.

 

Word Count: 330

References

FutureLearn (2018) What is your network identity? – Learning in the Network Age. University of Southampton. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303357 [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018]

Costa, C. & Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society, Available at: http://eft.educom.pt/index.php/eft/article/view/216/126 [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018]

Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018]

Jones, T. & Swain, D. (2012). Managing your online professional identity. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/bult.2012.1720380209 [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018]

Pew Research Centre (2010). Reputation Management and Social Media: How people monitor their identity and search for others online. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/05/26/reputation-management-and-social-media-how-people-monitor-their-identity-and-search-for-others-online/ [Accessed 23 Apr. 2018]

Fake News – Reflection

Due to a large number of comments on my blog this week I will not be able to show all discussions I had, instead I will choose a few comments and display what I learnt from them.

fake-news

While I had heard about fake news , I did not realise the prevalence of it online until researching for this topic. By reading other’s blogs and reflecting upon my own, I have further learnt about its severity, and how to combat it.

Image result for amazon recommendations

I discussed with Yusra what positives of filter bubbles exist, where she stated that they can shield children from inappropriate content online. I explored this Idea further with Carl, discovering that 35% of Amazon’s sales come from recommendations from an algorithm (Marshall, 2006) and that the filter bubble allows users to shop for related items easier.

I discussed with Xavier the variety of media sources that harbour fake news stories, discovering that social media websites are the primary host of fake news stories. We discovered that this was mainly down to the naivety of social media users, and their tendency to share articles to a widespread audience without assessing the validity of them first.

I discussed with Dom the severity of fake news and he provided an article about why individuals choose to ignore the fact some news is fake and read regardlessly. He notified me of a plan by the BBC to educate students about spotting fake news. We discussed how this is a great idea and I expressed my opinion that this should be a part of the syllabus for every school in the UK.

Chloe asked me a more personal question about how echo chambers affect me individuals. I reflected on my online behaviours with regards to echo chambers, creating a short infographic to display this.

new-piktochart_28957243 (1)By reflecting on these behaviours I came to the conclusion that while I am in an echo chamber, only certain aspects of this definition apply to me. I would argue that I have tried to not isolate myself from other’s points of view, as I believe freedom of speech and expression is what makes the internet so unique and useful.

 

Word Count: 319

My comment on Yusra’s blog

My comment on Xavier’s blog

 

References

Engadget. (2017). The BBC will teach school kids how to spot fake news. Available at: https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/06/bbc-fake-news/ [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

Marshall, M. (2006). Aggregate Knowledge raises $5M from Kleiner, on a roll. VentureBeat. Available at: https://venturebeat.com/2006/12/10/aggregate-knowledge-raises-5m-from-kleiner-on-a-roll/ [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

news, 4. (2017). 4 reasons why people ignore facts and believe fake news. Business Insider. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/why-do-people-believe-fake-news-2017-3 [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

Ponsot, E. (2017). A complete guide to seeing the news beyond your cozy filter bubble. Quartz. Available at: https://qz.com/896000/a-complete-guide-to-seeing-beyond-your-cozy-filter-bubble/ [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

 

BBC News. (2017). Fake news: Universities offer tips. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41902914 [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

FutureLearn. (2018). Media Literacy – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton.  Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303353[Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

Ifla.org. (2018). IFLA — How To Spot Fake News.  Available at: https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174 [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

Pariser, E. (2011). Beware online “filter bubbles”.  Ted.com. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles[Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

Pennycook, G. and Rand, D. (2017). Who Falls for Fake News? The Roles of Analytic Thinking, Motivated Reasoning, Political Ideology, and Bullshit Receptivity. SSRN Electronic Journal.

To the best of your knowledge, h. (2016). Fake news social media exposure in the U.S.  Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/649234/fake-news-exposure-usa/ [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

FAKE NEWS – Topic 2

Last week I created my PLN (Personal Learning Network), by studying the FutureLearn MOOC I looked at how to grow this network. To do this I need to be more aware of the authenticity of online media I interact with.

Social-media-bubble-e1511819806516Eli Pariser coined the term ‘Filter Bubble’ in his Ted talk. The term is used to refer to the specific tailoring of online services (Google, Facebook, YouTube) to only show content based on what an algorithm thinks you want to see. The outcome of this is that we are all stuck in a ‘filter bubble’ of repetitive content and only perceive a thin slice of the web.

 

 

The echo chamber effect refers to the apparent polarisation of views online. It is caused by many users only interacting with others that share similar views to them. Hence, they create a false virtual world where it appears that everyone online agrees with them and they fail to see the opposing side of an argument / view.

This is displayed very well in Alex Krasodomski-Jones’s paper, where he shows the link between twitter users political views and the content that they post and interact with.

poli

network-e1520862975760.png
A network analytic of various users with differing political views and how they interact (retweet) with each other.

 

Fake News
To the best of your knowledge, how often do you see fake news while using the Internet or visiting sites such as Facebook or Twitter? – Statista.com

 

198398_424402037583038_642096662_nMore than 30% of internet users interact with fake news more than once a day (Statista.com). Fake news seems to take up a large proportion of the content we see online, and we should be aware of the ways individuals and businesses try to influence us using it. By analysing the MOOC for this course, I was able to discover 5 ways that companies skew data to fit their narrative.

new-piktochart_28766703-11.png

 

I created a list of areas to be aware of when combating fake news, aided by lists compiled by Facebook, the IFLA and the BBC.

 

new-piktochart_28743517-1.png

Word Count: 328

References

BBC News. (2017). Fake news: Universities offer tips. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41902914 [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

FutureLearn. (2018). Media Literacy – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton.  Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303353 [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

Ifla.org. (2018). IFLA — How To Spot Fake News.  Available at: https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174 [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

Pariser, E. (2011). Beware online “filter bubbles”.  Ted.com. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

Pennycook, G. and Rand, D. (2017). Who Falls for Fake News? The Roles of Analytic Thinking, Motivated Reasoning, Political Ideology, and Bullshit Receptivity. SSRN Electronic Journal.

To the best of your knowledge, h. (2016). Fake news social media exposure in the U.S.  Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/649234/fake-news-exposure-usa/ [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

Digital Differences – Reflection

At the end of my previous post I examined the idea of the Internet being a basic human right, discussing this further with Sheyra. She stated there are other amenities more important as a human right, and that geographical differences make it impossible for everywhere to have equal Internet access. She provided an article stating that the high cost of hardware and maintenance crushes the idea of the Internet as a human right.

From examining her resource and researching the topic on my own I also concluded that while all humans should have equal free access to the Internet, this is inconceivable and highly unlikely in our society.

Discussing with Jeremy how website designers subconsciously design for their own demographic (e.g his own website) led me to explore different ways that a web designer can make their site more accessible, such as, having a consistent layout, using ARIA roles or keyboard shortcuts.

He mentioned an article with evidence of the recent vast improvements in accessibility, specifically recognising Apple. I realised that companies have been aiming to bridge the divide, with Apple releasing a Braille keyboard and third party developers also releasing apps such as ‘Be My Eyes’.

Megan found it interesting how the Internet has benefited me with regards to my dyslexia. We discussed how Google translate is another tool that can bridge the inequality gap. I raised the point that many essential services are accessible exclusively online and she described her experience with this when applying for placements. This discussion revealed that having services online can potentially alienate demographics and having limited Internet access will result in a lack of ability to participate in society.

I discussed with Will  what methods various institutions can employ to aid people with disabilities. I believe that assistive technologies and softwares should be provided to users, and tutorials on web use held. From my own research I discovered how organisations like the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) are working to improve accessibility online.

Word Count: 329

My comment on Jeremy’s blog

My comment on Shreya’s blog

 

References

Laabidi, M. (2014). Learning technologies for people with disabilities. Journal of King Saud University, 26(1), pp.29-45. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2010.499956 [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018]

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). (2018). Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).  Available at: https://www.w3.org/WAI/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].

Kadye, M. (2014). The Internet: Human Right or Privilege?  The Student Lawyer. Available at: http://thestudentlawyer.com/2014/02/03/the-internet-human-right-or-privilege/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].

Webaccess.berkeley.edu. (2018). Top 10 Tips for Making Your Website Accessible. Available at: https://webaccess.berkeley.edu/resources/tips/web-accessibility [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].

Co, J. and M, K. (2015). Can the Internet Ever Be Free of Charge?. Make Tech Easier. Available at: https://www.maketecheasier.com/can-the-internet-be-free/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].

Aquino, S. (2016). When it comes to accessibility, Apple continues to lead in awareness and innovation. TechCrunch. Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/19/when-it-comes-to-accessibility-apple-continues-to-lead-in-awareness-and-innovation/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].

DreamHost. (2016). 20 Tips on How to Make Your Website Accessible. Available at: https://www.dreamhost.com/blog/20-tips-make-website-accessible/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].

 

Halford, S. and Savage, M. (2010). RECONCEPTUALIZING DIGITAL SOCIAL INEQUALITY. Information, Communication & Society, 13(7), pp.937-955. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2010.499956 [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018]

Future Learn, (2017). Future Learn. Digital differences – inequalities and online practices [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018]

Hargittai, E. (2008). Digital Reproduction of Inequality.  Webuse.org. Available at: http://webuse.org/pdf/Hargittai-DigitalReproduction2008.pdf [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Ons.gov.uk. (2018). Internet users in the UK – Office for National Statistics. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2017 [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. (2018). Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet.  Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/ [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Robinson, L. (2015). Digital inequalities and why they matter.  Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2015.1012532 [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Skepys, B. (2012). Is There a Human Right to the Internet?.  Ccsenet.org. Available at: http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/jpl/article/view/22541/14534[Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Smith, A. and Zickuhr, K. (2012). Digital Differences.  English.illinois.edu. Available at: http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/482/482readings/PEW_Class.pdf [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

van Dijk, J. (2013). Inequalities in the Network Society. Digital Sociology, pp.105-124.

Digital Differences – Online Inequality

Digital differences refers to the inequality of internet engagement among users from differing backgrounds. Van Dyke outlines 5 factors that lead to web inequality: Technological, Material, Immaterial, Social and Educational. Hargittai also recognises this, and overviews the factors that affect web use. Below I outline the key areas where digital inequality is present and how they effect us.factors

While we may not realise it, these digital differences influence every one of us and our interaction with the web. Halford & Savage show that social inequalities influence a user’s internet usage, leaving users with an underdeveloped online skillset hence limited internet proficiency, leading to a loss of potential online opportunities. Robinson shows how limited access to the internet puts a user at a great disadvantage when it comes to potentially life changing online opportunities.

 

Self Assesment

Being from a developed country, I wanted to see how these differences have affected me. I created a graphic detailing my internet usage. web interaction

My Personal Learning Network (PLN)

A more detailed analysis of a user’s web-use can be found by mapping a PLN. This shows how I use different technology on a day to day basis in comparison to face-to-face interactions.My PLN

To find out how digital differences effect our everyday lives and internet usage, I asked my friend to monitor his internet usage over the past week so we can compare our online usage profiles.

me vs stevedisabiliity

 

Conclusion – Should the Internet be a Right?

It is clear that internet use is disproportionally biased towards users from more developed backgrounds, this begs the question: should the internet be a basic human right? Many have argued that digital differences should be removed to allow all users to have equal and fair access to online opportunities, and that free uncensored access to the web should be a right given to all humans. However, authors such as Skepys display how many factors of web use are not necessary for involvement in a political community, and hence should not be considered a right.

 

Word Count: 329

References

Halford, S. and Savage, M. (2010). RECONCEPTUALIZING DIGITAL SOCIAL INEQUALITY. Information, Communication & Society, 13(7), pp.937-955. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2010.499956 [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018]

Future Learn, (2017). Future Learn. Digital differences – inequalities and online practices [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018]

Hargittai, E. (2008). Digital Reproduction of Inequality.  Webuse.org. Available at: http://webuse.org/pdf/Hargittai-DigitalReproduction2008.pdf [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Ons.gov.uk. (2018). Internet users in the UK – Office for National Statistics. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2017 [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. (2018). Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet.  Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/ [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Robinson, L. (2015). Digital inequalities and why they matter.  Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2015.1012532 [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Skepys, B. (2012). Is There a Human Right to the Internet?.  Ccsenet.org. Available at: http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/jpl/article/view/22541/14534 [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Smith, A. and Zickuhr, K. (2012). Digital Differences.  English.illinois.edu. Available at: http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/482/482readings/PEW_Class.pdf [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

van Dijk, J. (2013). Inequalities in the Network Society. Digital Sociology, pp.105-124.