Social Media Part I : Who owns the Internet?

In the last few months I have noticed the repeated calls to end the nastiness on the Net or Internet. A number of people believe this has been be because of the recent elections, the politics and the propaganda war for the political narrative. These reasons may be valid but one factor is seemingly left out — The closing of the digital divide and the entry of more Filipinos on-line — resulting in a more diverse on-line community in thePhilippines. Culture and beliefs are bound to clash.

In this situation how does one tackle the increasing diversity brought about by more and more Filipino’s getting connected? In the light of calls of taking back the Net, Who really owns the Net?

This reminds me of the story of the Little Red Rooster, a pastiche of a common European folk tale more popular known as the The Little Red Hen.

What Happened When the Little Red Rooster & his Friends Discovered the Net

Once upon a time in a farm far far away a telco built a mobile Internet network, seeded smartphones and tablets to the farm animals and gave them free subscription for a year. The Little Red Rooster; The Little Red Hen; The Fat Pink Pig; The Yellow Duck and The Cheshire Cat each received their gadget and free mobile internet subscription.

The Little Red Rooster decided to build a blog and asked her friends if they would like to help her.

Not I said the Little Red Hen, I am sharing photos of my eggs on Instagram;
Not I said the Fat Pink Pig, I am checking out the other pigs on Tinder;
Not I said the Yellow Duck I am tweeting;
Not I said the Cheshire Cat I am reading an on-line article about the Digital Divide;

The Little Red Rooster said well then I will do it myself.

After setting up the blog Little Red Rooster began to write her first post and sync her posting to social network sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked IN. Again she asked her friends if they would like to help her blog.

Not I said the Little Red Hen, I am setting up my e-commerce site to sell my eggs;
Not I said the Fat Pink Pig, I am chatting with my friends on Instant Messenger;
Not I said the Yellow Duck I am debating with a bot on Twitter;
Not I said the Cheshire Cat I am busy with an on-line course on Internet Governance;

The Little Red Rooster said well then I will do it myself.

The Little Red Rooster finished writing her post her blog, which was immediately shared by her across the different social media and social network sites. Her friends saw the post

And the Little Red said, I will read it later;
And the Fat Pink Pig said I will share it with my friends;
And the Yellow Duck said I will tweet your post;
And the Cheshire Cat said OK I will read after I read this article on Trolls and the Moral Panic;

The Little Red Rooster said fine.

So the Little Red Rooster became a blogger. Several posts later, Our friend the Little red Rooster noticed the some comments were getting too nasty and some exchanges were becoming too heated. He began complaining about this to his friends and said something should be done on this nastiness and they should take back the Net.

And the Little Red Hen said. Oooh I hate trolls and negatrons;
And the.Fat Pink Pig said more and more farmies (farrm animals) are using the Net and it brings diversity;
And the Yellow Duck said well it is freedom of expression;
And The Cheshire Cat said you do know whatever you post online is fair game;

The Little Red Rooster said nothing for a few moments.

Then the undeterred Little Red Rooster insisted that something should be done to end the nastiness and take back the Net. Who do they think they are do they own the Net? Maybe the farmer should impose rules on the use of the Net.

But the Little Red Hen said everyone who is on the Net owns the Net;
But the.Fat Pink Pig said I do not want the Farmer to control the Net;
But the Yellow Duck said you are imposing your values and prejudice on others;
But he Cheshire Cat said It really does not pay to be on the Net with rose colored glasses;

However the visibly vexed Little Red Rooster insisted that the nastiness should end.

But the Little Red Hen said you can have a comment moderation policy for your blog;
But the.Fat Pink Pig said you can unfollow, mute and block;
But the Yellow Duck said just do not mind them;
But he Cheshire Cat said you can use the community rules and the law if they steal, threaten, harass and libel you;

But the incensed poultry Mr Little Red Rooster said he would launch a campaign and asked his friends to join him.

Not I said the Little Red Hen;
Not I said the Fat Pink Pig;
Not I said the Yellow Duck;
Not I said the Cheshire Cat;

Fine with me said the Little Red Rooster.

As you can see the Little Red Rooster’s friends wanted the Net and no the Nyet.

So our avian friend the Little Red Rooster alone started his campaign some joined him but his friends did not, Did the campaign succeed? Did the Farmer used this to get control over the Net? Did thought police appear? The story is not yet done as of this time. But I am happy to report despite their differences the Little Red Rooster, the Little Red Hen, the Fat Pink Pig, the Yellow Duck and the Cheshire Cat are still friends and on the whole pleasant with each other … most of the time.

End of story 😉

Continued in Part 2

 

This post is supported by a writing grant from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) 

 

 

Juned Sonido is a blogger, infomation specialist; digital media, social media and on line reputation management specialist; He is currently a lecturer at the Science and Society Program of the UP College of Science and a Senior Media Consulant for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and a STC for the World Bank. He blogs at Baratillo Pamphlet a commentary and analysis blog.

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