Home > communication, education > #7 – Still doubting the power of Internet?

#7 – Still doubting the power of Internet?

The release of the above video had since became viral and caught the attention of netizen as well as the media. The ‘UCLA girl’ controversy had caused Alexandra Wallace to become an overnight sensation. Various news agencies covered the controversy and reported the story. However, I observed the 2 major opinions of the press based on the tone of media coverage – free speech versus the negative effects of Internet.

First, The New York Times gave coverage to this controversy with the underlying point that the content should be taken purely into the context of free speech, despite it degrading to the Asian group that she was talking about.

On the other hand, The Huffington Post covered it highlighting the repercussions of Internet fame and how youths are now more reckless with Internet (uploading pictures, sharing thoughts without even censoring and thinking about the outcome etc).

Based on this controversy and the media coverage observed, I believe agenda setting function was adopted to raise the issue. Aside from reporting the news, the difference in several of the media’s tone of coverage shows the difference in agenda the news agency is adopting. In the case of New York Times, they supported the stand of free speech, and that curbing it would only be a threat to education. For The Huffington Post, as much as they disagree with the content of the video, they highlighted what Internet has done to the youth of this generation. Based on the coverage, I agree with Huffington’s Post stand on the creation of reckless youths with Internet.

Based on the definition above, the Internet is a new communication technology, with facilitating communication as its aim. People seem to lack the grasp of the power Internet has with its ability to reach people across geographical location. Even though the purpose of the video was for Wallace to rant, her action showed her lack of judgment. Sure she is unhappy, but ranting on the Internet specifically uploading her video on Youtube is a dumb action. Did she really not anticipate her video going viral considering the content?

Since the video gone viral, Wallace had received death threats causing her to leave school (not expelled though). However, one of the thing that struck me was how is she going to move on from here. Is it possible for her to be accepted into a new school or even getting a job as she is widely known as racist? The Internet is a medium that can affect your future; people can look up information on you on the Internet and it might not be flattering. You can ultimately limit your opportunities in life based on the information and pictures uploaded on the Internet.

I still think Internet is the greatest invention. However, when you act recklessly thinking that you are too small to make an impact in this world, think again.

So what do you think about the controversy? Has the Internet created a reckless generation?

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  1. March 26, 2011 at 5:46 am

    It astounds me that this can be “allowed” under the cover of “free speech”. I am not a lawyer, but I am reasonably sure in my country she could be charged.

    Reckless? I do not think this generation is any more reckless than any other – just now they are reckless publicly! Or publicise their recklessness, whichever you prefer.

  2. March 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    This is one of the many many examples that shows how powerful the Internet can be. Nobody is safe anymore! Once you post anything on the Internet, especially something as controversial as this, be prepared to receive backlash.

    I definitely disagree with the article the NY times published. If you say that it’s okay for her to post that because it’s considered as freedom of speech, then soon enough everyone will start insulting everyone else. And nobody can say anything about it because hey, we have the right to free speech.

    People are entitled to their own opinion, of course, but if you must rant, rant to your friends or something. Don’t post a video online.

  3. wensssy
    March 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Everybody should know the internet is totally the world of free speech. Unless the country censors any particular sites, otherwise, anybody in the world is free to say whatever they like. Likewise, anybody in the world will be able to see the things or actions as a result of your senseless thinkings (if the issue is sensitive). At the end of the day, as long as the words or actions do no have detrimental effects or strain ties between countries and lead to war, you can continue posting stupid or racist or sexist comments and videos in an attempt to attract all the wrong attention.

  4. March 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Well, today Internet encourage freedom of speech on a global scale.
    We often see such people making such videos to gain attraction or not, once people start complaining they will often scream about their Freedom of Speech, guaranteed by the United States Constitution which seems to be ridiculous at time.
    Although true enough Internet does encourage basic concept of free speech BUT it is not totally free such as Youtube in this case has their own set of rules to abide and the service are well within their(administrator) rights to tell you what you what you can and cannot do. And Wallace has simply push her luck despite knowing? As said by Wallace if its meant for ranting, don’t America use other ways to rant? (E.g. Twitter or etc)
    Having freedom of speech is a privilege in United States thus treat it like one and not abuse it.

  5. Jeannette
    March 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I had actually chanced upon this video when somebody posted this link on twitter. A rant about her feelings about particular events of a certain racial group had caused her so much trouble, it makes one think whether the internet is a good option for putting up personal thoughts and feelings. Nobody thinks twice about adding pictures or commenting things online from whatever networking site they are on, but they really should. Imagine future employers goggle-ing your name online, only to find a post that you even forgot existed, but a proof of your past (less than desired) beliefs.

    All I can say about her thought about posting this online is that it was not thought through. Everyone is racist, on one level or another, the thing is to either keep it to people you trust, or yourself. It’s a waste really, that someone would get kicked out of school and receive death threats because of a decision that she would come out to regret later.

    Honestly, I do feel a little sorry for her. Whatever her intentions were, and whatever she might have running through her mind at the point she uploaded the video, no one should be condemned to a life of being constantly labeled and looked down upon.

  6. milollita
    April 3, 2011 at 7:54 am

    That video just totally made me LOL, perhaps that being this girl’s original intent, but apparently the consequences weren’t so funny for her. It isn’t so much that the Internet has created a reckless generation; rather, it is the accessibility of the Internet is so great that some people don’t know how to control that power and use it recklessly. Was such a rant really worth posting, that it had to ruin her education and future? I think this is what people have to think of before using the Internet to communicate personal thoughts.

    Think before you speak but think twice about posting it on the Internet!

  7. April 3, 2011 at 11:21 am

    oh this blonde dumbo sure got herself into a mess now that this video has spreaded like wildfire. i was wondering for a moment if it was staged since it was actually so stupid but i guess some people do push the limits huh?

    without a doubt the power of the internet has been steadily exponentiating since its very invention back in the late eighties. with the popularly used social mediums such as facebook, youtube etc – what can we not know, do or see nowadays? as we have probably seen how certain people have been slammed/sued for the content of their speech, we should all think twice on what ever we intend to post up on the World Wide Web lest we pull an Alexandra Wallace!

  8. April 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

    No doubt I feel that Wallace is pretty racist through the portrayal on the video but the point that this has become viral has indeed brought this comment to attention, isn’t it? I feel like the Internet has become another different society where you are viewed upon by your Facebook profile or any other blogs, or websites you have by strangers or people who want to know you. It is totally different from the real world where you got to know this person inside out first before you judge her. However, we like to think that we could do nasty things on the Internet and no one will knows about it (HELL NO!). Thus it’s best to post any videos of sort or any thing on the Internet discreetly because you never know if you’d be like Wallace!

  9. April 4, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I wouldn’t say that the Internet has created a reckless generation, but more of a daring one. I’m assuming that youngsters do know what they are doing when they resort to such attention-seeking resorts, and I believe this is not the first occurrence of such! I agree with millolita that it is the accessibility of the social media technologies which led to what youngsters can “achieve” till date. Perhaps the consqeuences of such actions should be made clearer to the public!

  10. April 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    the freedom of speech is encouraged and it’s this girl’s will to decide what she wants to do.
    True that her stupid and humiliated actions can cause unpleasure to others but then again, it’s her choice to choose whatever she wants to do. I believe she knew very well that one her clip is posted online, it’s not personal anymore and it could also caused other problems to her. And she chose to do it anyway. so just let’s her be 🙂

  11. April 4, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    It gets a little scary to know that internet can give/brand a person’s identity/character/personality.. In my opinion, the internet age was never created for anything negative (or evil) — it was meant to improve the lifestyles of mankind. However, there will always be a few blacksheep who abuse the technologies to post ridiculous videos/messages, like the example of her. What can be done to prevent such hurtful comments to be posted on the internet? 😦

  12. TheycallmeKenneth
    April 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    The internet is definitely a great invention, but it falls badly at the hands of the wrong users, especially to a girl like her. A reckless generation? I’d like to think so, this is one of those examples, but not the worst i’ve seen. I remember an american 13 year old teen who went on a rant in youtube and she received so much backlash from the public her parents had to call the cops. But yeah, the internet is a wonderful technology, it’s just that the users are abusing it.

  13. Shawn
    April 10, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Hi Faz! Without doubt, the internet is a powerful tool full of endless possibilities, and a useful invention for the advancement of mankind. However,I do not fully subscribe to the notion that the Internet is creating a reckless generation, for I believe that it is how we use the Internet that truly matters. We have the choice to either use the Internet for the betterment of our lives, or for worse.

  14. April 17, 2011 at 5:00 am

    I’ve seen the video and the responses to it. It was a pretty interesting day just listening to what people have to say about her thoughtless video. In my opinion, I feel that the internet is the greatest invention. Information, gossips, “how to”s, foreign media, games, and much more are all easily available with a simple click. In addition, I think that it is unfair to say that the internet has created a reckless generation. Yes, we have the “freedom of speech”, “human rights” and etc, however, does that really give us the right to defame a certain race? No. I believe that the internet is just another platform for this inconsiderate generation to pour their “hearts” our without a filter. If anything, the ones to be blamed should be the current generation. If we, ourselves, do not treat others with respect, this inconsiderate act will still continue with the influx of new media.

  15. April 17, 2011 at 7:35 am

    The internet is bound to have its pros and cons, an extremely debatable topic. I remember reading this article about how the current generation enjoy posting about their lives and addressing the what, how, why aspect of everything they do, sometimes so much that they abuse the internet and forget that the world is watching their every move.

    Fel

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