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The Language of New Media

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Based on her theory of commons and enclosures, Kidd (pp. 56) states that most companies have privatized cyberspace for their own selfish gains. They have achieved this by controlling the flow of information through fees, advertisements, and subscriptions. These advertisements and subscriptions are major sources of government income, with cable systems in the United States accounting for about 36.5 percent of total government revenue. This is probably why even politicians rely on the internet to conduct campaigns and popularize themselves. Most web sites are owned by a bourgeoisie minority who buy these sites from their original founders.

The user usually has no idea that the ownership of such a site has changed hands and he/she continues to operate normally. On the acquisition of these sites, the bourgeoisies then personalize any information flowing through their sites. Consequently, users are exploited to the maximum, and this allows the civil society to control the economic, social, political, and environmental sectors of the society (Pariser, pp. 122). This trend has angered many activists who fight against the ownership and privatization of knowledge. Many cyber activists argue that information is free and should, therefore, be shared and distributed freely, thus leading to the democratization of knowledge.

They argue that access to information is a basic human right and should be upheld by all stakeholders in the media industry. The Independent Media Centre in Seattle is one of the corporations that are against the privatization of knowledge and advocate for equal access to information to all. Google’ s privatization of knowledge through e-books is an excellent idea, but what happens if one day Google decides not to distribute this information with the public.

With paper companies decreasing in number, print copies of books are on a steady decline and soon all information will be accessed via e-books. What if a company decides since it has the power, to delete some of the contents in these e-books? That would amount to the privatization of knowledge and the denial of information access to the public.

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