Regulation needs surveillance

For my open post, I would like to concentrate on the aspect of privacy and mass surveillance in relation to regulation. I feel that the idea that we are watched wherever you go is most definitely a concerning one. It feels almost strange to talk about privacy and surveillance under one topic because they appose each other, or may be thats even more reason to link them.

The idea of surveillance in the real world, through cameras and police authority is one form of surveillance that I do not have a problem with, simply because it keeps the public safe and is a reliable source in prosecuting people who commit crimes in public spaces. It is arguable, but I’m confident that most people also have no issue with real world surveillance. It however seems that as soon as you bring the concept of surveillance into the digital world, everyone has a problem with it, why?

I feel its because the mass who use digital in some form see the internet as something that only requires limited surveillance because it’s not real and therefore not a threat. I now however feel that perhaps people are discovering that their actions on the internet have a real effect in the real world. A more serious example would be cyberbullying that has caused many teenagers to commit suicide. When we get to a point where people are losing their lives due to poor surveillance, it becomes a problem. This is where I feel the power of regulation needs to come in.

Regulation and surveillance in my eyes are hand in hand. Regulations are the rules, the surveillance is what is able to implement them effectively. For example, if Facebook set certain rules and regulations for people to follow, the use of surveillance can be used as a form of controlling that regulation. People seem to have a issue with this concept, but I do and always will ask why? Unless you have something to hide, you shouldn’t be concerned with surveillance online for security reasons. If it’s for serious crime/situation (life or death/terrorism), peoples privacy I think should be moved aside. I do understand that regulating all users is a difficult task, but when it is necessary, it should take priority. Going forward, I feel that the interlinking the two needs to be further developed in order to keep people feeling safe online. Do you agree or am I over-thinking it?

Lewis King



Come Netflix and chill… If you pay


As a Television student it seemed only natural to bring up the new online television platform that is Netflix. If you are unfamiliar, it is a subscription service that gives you access to hundreds of Films/TV series and Documentaries for your enjoyment. Subscriptions are usually around £5.99 per month. Without payment you are simply unable to access any of their content. For the amount you pay, the selection choice of content on Netflix seems to be growing rapidly, they even have shows exclusively for them. For example, recent shows such as ‘Orange Is The New Black’ is a series that is only available on Netflix. It therefore seems that the amount you pay is ‘fair’ for what you get in return.

I feel if Netflix were to suddenly come under the Creative Commons license, Netflix would be run far differently. As you may of already guessed, the website would most likely be plastered in advertisements. This would simply be because the website would not be able to operate without a revenue. Lastly and most importantly is that due to the nature of copyright law with Films and Television and the nature of the industry, the website would simply not be able to operate. When films are released you are able to watch them at the Cinema, which you of course have to pay for. When a film is then out on DVD (which you have to pay for), if Netflix were to have the film there for anyone to watch for free, this would cost the industry millions, due to the high number of people that would watch it through Netflix for free. You can think of the paying the subscription like paying for a TV license, you are paying for a service that provides a large collection of content for your enjoyment.

Many TV shows are now being developed today straight for the internet. BBC Three for example is now completely online and is also free for anyone to use. Do you think this is fair? Do you think the copyright law to putting Film and Television content on the internet will change? Or do you think it’s fair for some websites to charge you and others not too?

-Lewis King

It depends on the platform…

While my name is fairly ‘common’ (which if I admit I don’t like), you are able to find me on a variety of social media sites by typing in my username that I use for almost everything. Including Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. The only exception is Facebook. My profiles on all of these platforms are on a public setting…. Why?

The truth is I don’t really have any particular reason to why my profiles are public. I use Facebook more than any other profile and the public are able to view my profile to see what I get up too. People may think, isn’t that dangerous? You don’t know who could be looking at your profile. My argument to that is, I don’t post content on my profile that I deem to be sensitive. For example, I wouldn’t post my address on Facebook or anything I deem to personal. My online self is of course made by me, so I am aware of what is on these platforms. Therefore all of the content that is available for viewing, I feel comfortable with people seeing. This includes mainly pictures and any statuses that I may post about my life.While I do not have ‘control’ as such, because the sensitive information isn’t there, people will not find anything to use against me. I am not an individual that posts often on Facebook, I use it more for seeing what my friends are doing and messaging/interacting with friends through the messenger.

When it comes to YouTube, I want people to see it! As a creator, I very much enjoy making and producing content for peoples enjoyment. My YouTube channel is related to mens hair as I have an interest in mens style and fashion. Therefore having people viewing and using the tips I give, I get enjoyment out of it.

If I were ever to think that any of the content on my profiles could effect me in the real world, I would certainly change the settings, however now, I do not deem it necessary.

-Lewis King

While many communities have been created online that do not exist in the offline world. They’re certain communities that are made online as an inspiration of an offline community. My prime example of this is an online community based around the support for substance abuse. As we know substance abuse is a serious and sensitive topic that millions of people unfortunately fall into and therefore require support. They’re support groups that are set up across the world to support and control their issues in order for them to ultimately have a better life.

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This is where comes in. It’s an open community solely committed to supporting individuals through choosing a life without substance abuse. People with similar issues can talk and support each other through the website, therefore adding value to the community. I personally feel that as the website offers helplines as well as forums, people have a number of options to gain support for their problem, whether that be hearing a voice of support, or reading a story that is similar to them so they feel they’re not alone in their struggle.

There have been debates whether an online community for substance abuse is a suitable platform. The reasons in support include 24/7 access to support. Individuals that are unable to travel to a support group, or require extra support outside the support groups have this platform to go too. However, on the other hand they’re limitations. It is argued that with a problem as serious as substance abuse, having that face to face support is far more affective than an online community. However, isn’t having the option there for extra support a good thing? After all, the websites intentions are nothing but helpful.

– Lewis King

We control Facebook

Social Media websites that are used by a large proportion of the country on a daily basis is a prime example of content that is shaped purely by the audience. If we take Facebook, you as the user have control on who you are friends with and which pages you follow, whether that be a celebrity or a news station. While other social networking sites such as YouTube, you are only able to post videos. Facebook is a platform that includes all types of social networking. Videos, blogs, news, businesses and so on. All of the content that we see on Facebook is developed and published by us, the users. If you were to see a post you find disturbing or not interesting to you, you can hide the post from showing up on your timeline and Facebook takes into account the types of posts you do not wish to see, in an attempt to maximize the user experience.

Because Facebook is used by so many and is a business in itself, they are keen to receive and analyse user feedback so they can improve, so that they can ultimately perfect the users experience. If Facebook didn’t analyse feedback and didn’t control the posts you see or do not wish to see, there is be decline in users and without the users, there is no website. So in a way, we as the users control Facebook to the content we are subject too, and what also makes that even more impressive, is that we can individually control it.

Lewis King

Social Media & The Law

The creation of the internet led into an era of new social media platforms that have been created to keep us interconnected with each other and current affairs. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have gained an overwhelming amount of users that visit on a daily basis. The implication that comes from the masses of social media is the slow convergence of Law onto the internet and it’s effectiveness.

The nature of the internet has ultimately resulted in the need to create new legislation, as it has become apparent that what many users were posting could be seen as hurtful or inappropriate. However the creation of legislations takes time to come into practice, by which time thousands of people will continue to create unsuitable posts or comments.

An example of law and social media making a promising convergence that I personally witnessed was during the 2012 olympics. After Tom Daley came fourth in synchronised swimming, he received a hateful tweet on Twitter from a user. The user said that he had let his father down. As a result of that tweet, the user was arrested on suspicion of malicious communications. The link to this article is below.

You may think this means, ‘Great, it’s sorted then! Law is integrated into Social Media’. However the implications continue. Millions of users use Facebook and Twitter on an hourly basis, it is simply therefore an unrealistic task to monitor everyones comments and posts. The outcome is that the practical use of legislations related to social media has high limitations and will continue to do so. This there a way around it? Perhaps having a computer system that can monitor posts to evaluate if they contain hateful comments, but how reliable would it be? Is this something we simply just have to live with?

-Lewis King

As we are all academics in training, it is extremely beneficial to have a website that it essentially social networking for academics and their work. is a website exactly for that. Academics make profiles through either Facebook, Google+ or email and they’re then able to share their own papers and follow any research fields they’re interested in. Since the website launch in 2008, 31 million people have registered and with over 8 million uploaded text, you’re more than likely to come across a paper that sparks your interest.

What does that mean for us Media students? Using this website we are able to observe other academics work that you have mutual interest with. Therefore being able to broaden your field and interact with likeminded academics to engage with and learn from. This website is also an ideal website to cite/reference from if you were to find an argument you wished to include in your essay.

Lewis King