Liked on YouTube: Is The Internet a Public Place?


Is The Internet a Public Place?
Why you CAN’T say whatever you want on the web….

On the internet, you meet lots of people, have lots a conversations with strangers, end up in spots where it feels like anyone can gain access–so it would be understandable if you thought of the internet… as a public place. But… is it? Is the internet a public place? I imagine, and talk about, the internet as a set of locations traveled between. Heck you kinda have to: the thing at the top of your browser is called a LOCATION BAR, you put in ADDRESSES, you go to SITES. But, if the internet is a place it exhibits a PLACEHOOD unlike physical places. “Going” to those internet places is unlike “going” to physical ones–we can be in more than one internet place at once, move between them effortlessly and attach or detach a persistent identity. So even if the internet FEELS like a public place, is it really? And should we expect the same free speech privileges on the internet as we do in real life public spaces?

Written and hosted by Mike Rugnetta (@mikerugnetta)

Made by Kornhaber Brown (
via YouTube

Tthis video is particularly relevant after this week’s tutorial especially with regards to MOOC platforms and how they are funded by for profit corporations.

There was an interesting conversation on Twitter where Renée and Philip discussed whether private companies can serve communities better than they could serve themselves, another point brought up in the video.

The video highlights the country-specific, cultural attitudes that influence people’s behaviour online – in particular the American ideology of ‘free speech’ and Europe’s resistance to ‘hate speech’ and how this influences community behaviour online.

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