Alternative Media Fallacy: Data Mining and Micro-targeting (Essay Sample)
For the major essay you are required to write an argumentative essay on a topic related to
the focus of this course, communication (and/or networked communication) and social
change. This gives you a good deal of leeway, and numerous potential topic areas are
listed below to get you going. Please remember that these topics are very broad, so you’ll
need to choose a specific aspect of the topic you want to explore.
Alternative Media is a Fallacy
Alternative Media Fallacy: Data Mining and Microtargeting
In less than two decades, digitization of the world has moved at an alarming pace, we now have virtual stores, can experience virtual reality, instantly community with another person at the other end of the world etc. these developments came through as a result of adopting neoliberal media policies. The values stood for like democracy, personal freedom and free fair competition have had a turn around. The digital revolution riding on the back of these policies are now a threat, backstabbing its way into undermining freedom and democracy on the extreme. While neoliberal policies are subtle and tend to voice the opinion of a majority, no one anticipated that its adoption could be detrimental. Today, the same policies that advocated for personal freedom, and right privacy has enabled a group of robust digital companies who thrive off data mining and microtargeting eroding personal freedom.
The origin of alternative media can be traced back to the 16th century, however its hallmark fame followed the events of protests in 1999 (Greenberg & Gilberds, 2011). During this period, a group of activists took to the streets to protest against global capitalism that was quickly engulfing nations into poverty. According to the demonstrators the World Trade Organization (WTO) was an enabler of these activities, it served to protect the interest of the multinationals at the expense of indigenous communities. As was expected, the center of attention was the demonstrators and not the issue being agitated. Independent Media Centre (IMC) was conceived to correct these reporting. As an alternative to mainstream media, its rather alternative script took to air out the grievances of the activists rather than their activities. Greenberg & Gilberds, 2011 define alternative media as “…typical efforts to engage and create social, political, or economic change and often promote radical agenda…it can encompass far more radical, or social change publishing can…the formats for transmission being graffiti, performance art or street theatre, pirate radio, community television, documentary film to mobile telephony and social media (Greenberg & Gilberds, 2011).’ Alternative media is further categorized as a tool of struggle popular with the neoliberal activists. It is important to note that around this time, the internet was fast rising to make obsolete any form of communication channel available.
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