Recently, the Thai Government has outlined its policy to monitor LINE (a messaging application on smart phones), claiming to protect their national security. According to Pol. Maj. Gen. Pisit Pao-in, Chief of Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD), this policy would not violate the individual’s privacy and Freedom of Expression.
He explains that these polices will allow for the monitoring of only certain Line’s users who are categorised as having the “potential to commit the crime”. This must be done on a case by case basis under the legal framework. This policy is seen as a joke by the Thai people.
Unfortunately, Thailand is not alone in having an authority which sees social media as a big threat to national security including terrorism and cybercrime. There are similar cases around our Global village, for instance, Australia, Burma, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, the UK, and Vietnam. And now Iran is following in China’s footsteps by creating intelligent software to control and filter the on-going social media activities of Iranians.
Evidently, our Freedom netizen, (internet + User) has been targeted. We have purchased this freedom with our privacy and confidentiality in order to enjoy the Free Lunch from social media providers like Facebook and Google (see my previous post). The good news is that it is not the only attempt to limit our free-flow of information.
“Filter Bubble”, named by Eli Pariser, political activist from Move On.org., is an invisible filter created by an algorithm (computer program), based on our individual interests and privacy information.
Besides gaining a big profit from their users’ information, Facebook and Google also use this filter to tailor our search results. Every time we search for some information on their browsers, they feed us the info which they think we want to see, not the standard result.
That means that they also can manipulate information anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. Does that sound similar to “Hollywood or Cultural Imperialism” when they feed us their entertainment?
For internet experts, there are many choices for search engines. What’s the big deal! But, how about users who do not understand the technical aspects of the internet and people who have not got access to our Global village?
This kind of news will almost certainly not be broadcast in the mainstream media (already dominated by political economy).
Actually, either our Global village is moving forward towards democracy, or we are going back to the Propaganda Era under the name of global business.
Have your say!
- As a Netizen, what do you think about the “Filter Bubble”?
- Update us about the latest news of social media control situation in your country.
Below is the video of Eli Pariser, ‘Beware online “Filter Bubbles”’ at TED talk. Duration: 9 mins with 40 languages for subtitles in your preferred language.
If you can’t turn on the subtitle option in Youtube video, you can visite TED.com directly. They have online script for you, too.
“There is no present or future, only the past happening over and over again now, Eugene O’neil.”
Criminal minds season 8, ‘Pay it forward’ episode/script.