The Bad Web

The Internet is a bad, bad place. I’m reading “The Cult of the Amateur”, the much maligned book by Andrew Keen, and it does not make happy reading. He has a bone to pick with the web as we know it, elsewhere he commented that:

“When I look at today’s Internet, I mostly see cultural and ethical chaos. I see the eruption of rampant intellectual property theft, extreme pornography, sexual promiscuity, plagiarism, gambling, contempt for order, intellectual inanity, crime, a culture of anonymity, hatred toward authority, incessant spam, and a trash heap of user-generated-content (whew, what a mouthful!). I see a chaotic humans arrangement with few, if any, formal social pacts.”

All revolutions need their grumpy sceptics, and Keen is making a lot of money as the outspoken critic of Web 2.0, peer production and what he considers is an environment that glorifies communist ideals. One needs to see who is praising Keen to understand who his audience is: the Daily Mail, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, etc.

However, Keen’s message may have a resounding endorsement in the way some governments respond to online threats. Instead of better policing, the UK gets a scaremongering campaign that tells us to beware of social networking sites and open wireless spaces. We need education and proper policies, but the UK governments is only giving us message that reeks of Daily Mail Luddism.

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