SOPA and Search- Cara

1. The first video was discussing the negative effects of SOPA and PIPA and how even though similar acts have not been passed before, the likelihood of similar acts being brought up in the future is high and media companies will continue to make sharing an issue for consumers.  If the bills are passed, internet censorship would basically negate the internet and turn people strictly into consumers again and prevent them from creating and sharing information online.  The second video was regarding the search capabilities of Google and how knowing how to properly and effectively search on Google is a critical skill.  The final reading and audio track were about the falsified radio commentary on the employees and treatment of the employees at Apple in their China plant that makes the products called Foxconn.

2/3/4/7. In the first video, it discussed the negative effects that SOPA and PIPA would have.  I don’t understand how media companies think they can prevent me from sharing my own music in a non-commercial fashion.  I feel like the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act sets up a pretty fair balance to what is allowed.  How in a free country with our first amendment can acts like SOPA and PIPA even be considered? I don’t know them that well, I really only know what the video told me, but it seems that the first amendment would protect internet censorship.  This entire concept is relatively difficult for me because it seems very big brother-ish and totally against what our country supposedly stands for (freedom).  As the speaker said, it really comes down to the fact that these laws are going to continuously be an issue because the media companies have millions of dollars, and us lowly consumers who are sharing things on our facebooks don’t.  The fact that money can overshadow constitutional rights still baffles me. I feel like there isn’t much to say on this topic because it seems so obvious that these acts shouldn’t be passed.

In the second video, the speaker basically states that we are not using Google to its fullest potential and that Google also needs to adapt to meet the consumers’ needs to make it a more effective search engine. I use Google Maps often and when he did that mini-tutorial on Google Maps and pointed out two features that people do not typically use, I went and tried them out, so it was an informative video.  I don’t know if most people need a complex Google though.  I feel like technologists assume that the average person needs to use Google, or whatever technology it is, to its fullest capacity, but really, most people don’t.  There are certain features that are useful for the average person, like the pizza example; I do not care where I can get pizza in California if I am in New Jersey, so searching based on location is a feature that the average person will benefit from, but I think that might be where it stops.  I am not saying that there aren’t people out there who are Google wizards and can search for things like it is their job, but I think it is more Google’s responsibility to make it easy to search for the consumer and not put the responsibility on the average user.  I also appreciated the speaker’s love of Monty Python.

The last reading and audio track was regarding the falsified radio report on Foxconn.  I feel like that issue is the perfect reason why there shouldn’t be censorship.  People need to be able to fact-check, cross-reference, share and talk about ideas to ensure that the information we are consuming is true.  If there are blocks on what we can see, search or share on the internet, then there is no limit to how the government or media companies can block or change information.    Basically, the guy shouldn’t have lied, he only made himself look foolish, but it is a perfect reminder that you can’t believe everything you hear or see.

5. Since money is really what is behind the SOPA and PIPA acts, with sites like Facebook and YouTube being two of the more popular sites for individual sharing, would laws like those ever really even be enforced because those sites are so powerful and have just as much money?  Also, I don’t really know enough about how policing individuals would work, but is it even really possible on such a large scale? Thirdly, what repercussions would it have on the rest of the world?

6.  The video on searching was useful because it is practical and I know I will definitely be using the Google search in the near future, whether it be for our upcoming assignments or personal use.  I feel the first video is useful for the future because it is good to be informed about what could potentially be affecting us as internet users, consumers and creators.  Any law that potentially infringes on freedoms should be well understood by citizens so we can logically fight back.

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