Is the media out of control or is it simply too controlled?
I suppose it all depends on your perspective; whether you’re looking at the media in terms of generative or locked devices.
A generative device may also be described as being an open device or code. Open platforms are user empowering as they give the user responsibility and freedom, thus allowing them to make their own decisions and even mistakes. The overall control of how the platform and its content is utilised, is in the hands of the user. Based on this notion alone, many would conclude that if the media isn’t already out of control – it’s definitely heading that way. How safe can it be to give absolutely anyone, the power to do whatever it is that they want with a media platform?
A locked device on the other hand, otherwise known as a closed device or code, is exactly how it sounds. Owners or the creators of closed platforms possess complete control over the technology and the way in which users can interact with the content. Consequently closed platforms are very empowering for the owners, rather than the users. In contrast to the very free and unrestricted limits of open devices – locked devices seem almost too controlling. Why would anyone want to use a device that restricts their freedom of choice and ‘tells’ them what they can and can’t do?
I tried to consider these conflicting viewpoints in terms of a media platform that I’ve been studying – LinkedIn. Is LinkedIn an open or closed media platform, or is it a bit of both?
I’ve come to conclude that it is in fact a bit of both – somewhere in the middle of being open and closed. LinkedIn is in many respects an open platform. However this openness only goes so far before copyright infringement laws and their ‘User’s Agreement’ comes into play and introduces the aspect of closed media. This concept that a platform can be both open and closed, I believe, suggests a balance in terms of media control.