The Two-FacedBook By William Bowles

7 January 2018 — investigatingimperialism

At the end of the 1970s, when I first started using and investigating digital media, it quickly became apparent to me, that what became the World Wide Web, was very much a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it afforded independent journalists and investigators, a vehicle for reaching a public outside the control of corporate/state media and whose only parallel lay back in the 17th century, with the invention of the printing press and moveable type, broadsheets and later the so-called Penny Dreadfuls. Sold on street corners and in coffee houses, and produced in literally hundreds of small printing shops, they challenged the status quo in ways previously impossible. Often banned and their writers/publishers thrown in jail under the then new sedition laws, they heralded the arrival of modern capitalism.

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England riots: Government mulls social media controls

12 August 2011

Updated: More social media abuse arrests

BBC News Yesterday at 17:24

More people are arrested in Wales on suspicion of using social networking sites to incite criminal behaviour after the riots in England.

Re my earlier reference to the insidious nature of the accusations that Twitter, Facebook and BBM “facilitated” the uprisings, lo and behold, we get this:

The government is exploring whether to turn off social networks or stop people texting during times of social unrest.

David Cameron said the intelligence services and the police were exploring whether it was “right and possible” to cut off those plotting violence.

Texting and Blackberry Messenger are said to have been used by some during this week’s riots.

Rights groups said such a measure would be abused and hit the civil liberties of people who have done nothing wrong. — ‘England riots: Government mulls social media controls‘, BBC News, 11 August 2011

In your Face! By William Bowles

26 May 2011 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Facebook transforms who you are, your likes, dislikes, beliefs and fantasies, all of it into a commodity that it alone owns, 600 million intimate profiles of people like you and me

Many moons ago, when the Web was still in its infancy I wrote that the way the Web was evolving led inevitably to the emergence of monopolies, whether of content or access to information. In the early days it was Portals, or the ‘place’ where you entered the Web eg, Netscape, Microsoft, CNN or whatever, that commanded ‘value’. Success, and hence an implied value, was measured in terms of ‘hits’ or to paraphrase, the proverbial ‘boots on the page’. It was assumed that advertising would be the revenue stream as users clicked on links and hopefully bought stuff.

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