Recent news from the Center for Civic Media | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Internet trolls are even uglier in person

A lot has been written, for over a decade now, about trolls on the internet, and the role that anonymity might have in emboldening people to say terrible things. ROFLcon even featured a panel, Aca-meme-ia, with the University of Oregon's Whitney Phillips, who researchs trolling. The MemeFactory group put on an incredible performance where they directly addressed the rape culture found all too easily on Reddit and the other hubs of web culture celebrated at ROFLcon. I hope it gets posted online soon so I can share it.

Thinking About the People Behind the Viral Videos

You've probably noticed that we were at ROFLcon all weekend. (Sorry for all the posts, but if I didn't tweet about Nyan-Cat-flavored ice cream, the Flying Spaghetti Monster would take the keys to my Twitter account). If you want to dive into the individual sessions and keynotes, Nathan Matias has pulled together a great liveblog round-up. But some common themes and a couple of major questions stand out that I wanted to think about some more, if you'll indulge me.

#ROFLCon Liveblog Roundup

ROFLCon 3 was amazing (thanks Christina and Tim!). Liveblogging the event were Matt Stempeck, Stephen Suen, and Erhardt Graeff.

Thumbs up all around!

Here is a list of Civic Media blog posts from ROFLCon::

Ben Huh on Copyright and Making the Meme Ecosystem Better

Thanks to Erhardt Graeff for all his help with taking livenotes for this panel!

Ben Huh, ROFLcon organizer and I Can Haz Cheezburger founder introduces us to the topic of his talk: Copyright and Making the Meme Ecosystem Better. He asks the audience, “More people are trying to use old models in the new system. How do we defend against that?”

Ben compares the SOPA debates to a debate on abortion. With SOPA and even now with other cybersecurity bills, the Internet and traditional media are talking about two different things entirely—the former concerned with freedom of speech and creativity, the latter focused on profit. But the politicians only respond to jobs, Ben points out.

“It is clear that we were unable to educate Congress,” says Ben, “on how the Internet works and the importance of creative content.” He refers to how much of US soft power is exported as culture—not just the film Hot Tub Time Machine, but all kinds of creative exports.


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