Today’s lecture went over the “CyberPolitics” and eDemocracy that has taken place since the mass-use of the internet. There was discussion about how the politicians use Facebook, Twitter and even set up a site that spams followers to get their friends to follow the politician as well. This method was seen as voters “doing the work” for the politician without being paid. Also know as viral campaigning.
The readings for this week went further into the subject of information warfare. What I found interesting about the first reading was the integration of pro-war propaganda into Hollywood’s films over the last decade with relation to the war on terror. What also fascinated me was the way the military and journalist worked together to sensationalise a story of Private Jessica who got injured and saved by Iraqis who took her to a hospital to tend to her, but the story released led on to believe she was captured and tortured and that the militants were saving her from the hospital where she was being held. What was also interesting to see what the Pentagon’s involvement and perusal of many films (including Spiderman) before they could be released. I am unsure how Spiderman could be seen as anti-war or pro-terrorism but I do recall that it came out shortly after September 11.
The second readingwent into Stockwell’s (2008) theory that “information wants to be free”. The citizen hacker not as a person who breaks into government facilities, etc. but one who presents information or objects against political information that they do not agree with. He also goes in further to discuss that people are already citizen hackers and already contributing to global democracy with his example of someone re-blogging or sharing videos mocking political leaders such as Sarah Palin. Stockwell (pg. 6, 2008) goes on to separate the definition of hackers usually seen as criminals by stating that the”True hackers seek to free information and are at pains to distinguish themselves from crackers, intruders who damage or steal data whether in simple forms such as denial-of-service attacks or in systematic and clearly fraudulent ways such as credit card manipulation”. In relation to eDemocracy, I see the citizen hacker as someone who is trying to have a view different to how a video or piece of propaganda would want them to think of an issue such as “terrorism” or other politically driven agendas of the modern world.