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The Internet and User Content

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In the January 18th, 2012 New York Times article “The False Ideals of the Web”, Jaron Lanier attempts to take a very difficult issue – one that many view in terms of black or white – and find some middle ground. Unfortunately, what he ends up doing in the article is create an either/or situation, rather than find any middle ground. In the end we are left in the same situation that we started with.

In the first paragraph, Jaron appeals to the pathos of the reader; he assumes that the reader is of the generation that has grown up in the digital age, thus they would agree that the most important aspect of the internet is the people who contribute to it. However, there is no reason to ever assume that. Some people may actually believe that user contribution detracts from what makes the internet a viable source of information. For example, if the internet were controlled by academia, it would most likely be a peer reviewed source of information. However, as it is, anyone can contribute information to the internet, which makes the internet not a reliable source for knowledge. We can see this in academia, which typically does not support the use of Wikipedia as an academic source, and Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that relies entirely on user contribution.

In the third paragraph the author says, “The proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, which is being considered in the House while the Senate looks at a similar bill, is deemed the worst thing ever. “ However, at no point does the author state who considers this bill “the worst thing ever.” There are many people who supported this bill, and I would assume in supporting this bill that they did not think it was the worst bill ever.

The author then goes on to say, “The legislati...

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... it could affect other aspects of our online lives. At this point we may just pay for it. However, there truly is middle ground, but unfortunately most people are not looking at it – nor is this article. It's not an either/or situation as everyone has put forward. We simply need to control what users are able to contribute to the internet, and where, rather than either allowing them to uncontrolled, or not at all.

Works Cited

Lanier, Jaron. "The False Ideals of the Web." New York Times. 30 Jan. 2012. Web. 30 Jan. 2012. .

Works Cited

Lanier, Jaron. "The False Ideals of the Web." New York Times. 30 Jan. 2012. Web. 30 Jan. 2012. .
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