Type: Analysis
Pages: 4 | Words: 1168
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Nowadays the Internet is changing from the source of world news and information to the means of human interaction. The current Web 2.0 allows anybody from anywhere, irrespective of class, status or even education, to share their information with others, including responding to and commenting certain information as well as uploading videos through the social networks. The modern Internet focuses on the virtual people’s interaction via sharing information; this way all people are equal. People see this as a new development in the information age, although some have contrasting views about the Web 2.0 technology, namely Andrew Keen and Jaron Lanier. Keen argues that people’s interaction refers to democratization of the Internet, which in fact reduces quality of information by allowing anybody, even those without expertise, to upload their own files (Keen, 2012). Similarly, Lanier argues that Web 2.0 is a place that allows anybody to participate in any online activities (Lanier, 2012).

Keen argues that by using Web 2.0 people deteriorate the quality of information coming from the media, especially the traditional media such as radio, television, newspapers, and publishing. He cites that these media are being replaced with unreliable and corrupt contents generated by the users themselves, making entertainment significantly lose quality. Keen continues to argue that in the past traditional media methods were employing different tactics that were applied to enhance quality (Keen, 2012). Before anything was printed in the newspaper or broadcasted on the radio, it had to pass a panel of professionals to ensure high quality material was transmitted. Lanier reckons that Web 2.0 has led to mass response and participation, creating anonymity and reducing the quality of individual work and creativity, which got replaced by collective actions conducted by a great number of anonymous people. In his view, such websites as Wikipedia are reducing the efforts of individual professional websites that were providing quality information and creativity. Reduction in creativity results in poor quality of information. Moreover, it has led to the increase of hearsays. This is because almost everybody can produce certain work without even having to research the subject for quality purposes. This explains why Web 2.0 is killing innovation and creativity at a slow pace. Lanier states that if this continues, creativity will die inevitably.

Another similarity between the views of the two authors on Web 2.0 concerns the fact that everybody can express themselves over the Internet and interact with people to share their views. What the Internet does not offer is a chance for people to listen and consume information from the quality sources. The Internet allows people to view what they want to view, and hardly can they listen to what they are supposed to know. Rather than checking professional information, people look for information from those who might be ignorant on the subject (Keen, 2012). Therefore, instead of having diversity, people just confirm what they already know by means of the Internet. Similarly, Lanier says that the Web 2.0 allows people to participate in activities collectively, thus exchanging information with people who have the same pieces of information, thus eliminating diversity (Lanier, 2012). For example, when a person is searching for certain information, he or she will undoubtedly receive information that he or she already possesses. This means the Internet does not offer people a chance to view other options of the topic. In this case, they are not able to widen the scope of their study. Instead, they are reading about the same issues repeatedly. This might lead to redundancy in the education system.

The two authors again have the same opinion on the fact that the Internet has managed to destroy proper search effects. They both cite anonymity as the driver of all the irrelevant information found on the Internet. Much of the information is uploaded by anonymous people, whom one cannot confront or find out whether they are qualified for providing such information. Much of the self-expression is done anonymously, as some people upload even information that is not worth giving to the public. Keen says that by revealing our identity, the conversations can be more effective and meaningful as opposed to anonymity that allows people to upload anything since nobody can find out they did so (Keen, 2012). Lanier adds that one of the factors leading to such anonymity is the capability of the interaction sites, such as blogs, to allow many people to respond or post their commentaries (Lanier, 2012). Additionally, people can lie in the Internet when uploading the information. This is because they can falsely claim to be experts in a certain topic, while they are just common people who never attended schools. In this case, a person who is using the Web might find difficulties in evaluating the correct information and the false one. Finally, a person browsing the hyperspace is not able to communicate with the scholars if he or she has not fully comprehended the messages being delivered by people uploading information in the Internet due to anonymity.

One of the differences between the two authors’ views on the Web 2.0 technology is that Keen ponders the ability of participation in mass activities through the Internet, which he calls democratization, is not really doing what people think it is meant to perform. Many feel that democratization or sharing of information is helping people in developing and collaborating; on the contrary. Keen reckons democratization accomplishes none of these goals. Instead of development and collaboration Web 2.0 provides only degradation in the modern culture, which he calls digital narcissism (Keen, 2012). This is where people embrace the self more. He thinks that the best way of being a citizen is not embracing oneself; rather, it is consuming the right and quality information. On the other hand, Lanier states that Web 2.0 has resulted to democratization. In this case, people are able to air their views to the public in situations they were not able to do so previously. Lanier has indicated that this happens due to the anonymity of the information’s author (Lanier, 2012). People are able to express their freedom rights without fearing for the lives as it was in the past.

In conclusion, it can be noted that the two scholars have agreed on certain issues about Web 2.0. First, they have unanimously agreed that Web 2.0 is killing a lot of talent and creativity. Second, the information posted in the Internet may not be of high quality. This is because people, who are uploading files through web 2.0, are anonymous. In this case, they might be lying about their profession or they might be lying about the work they have conducted. Finally, the two authors have agreed that people do not have access to diverse information. This is because when users are searching for information via Web 2.0, they are likely to view the information they already know instead of receiving new messages. However, the two have disagreed on the issue of democracy. Lanier says that the Internet promotes democracy while Keen disagrees with this statement (Lanier, 2012).

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