Conquerin’ gatekeepers since ’97

Ye ol’ Gatekeepers are anything or anyone that monitors the messages we put out into the world – whether that be publishers, manufacturers or even the university blocking particular sites that they deem as unnecessary or inappropriate.

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Tom Hanks realises shit about to go down

Now, we have become the gatekeepers for the information we produce. Except that one time I swore on a Facebook status and Mum rang me to tell me to take it down. Which I did. Because I’m not stupid. (She buys the groceries).

A classic example is a VPN. A VPN literally masks your IP address, making web serving anonymous. Classic gatekeepers like Netflix rely on IP addresses to determine your location in order to stream content designated for your country. With a VPN, they can not determine this and therefore an individual can can see unrestricted content by connecting to a server elsewhere. And they are pretty pissed.

Before I watched the full lecture, I thought that Google could be considered the initial gatekeeper of the internet. However, I realised that Google doesn’t stop us from accessing what we want, when we want it – just gives us the right steps to get there. It is like a door in the middle of a random field – you can go through it if you want, but you can just as easily bypass it and laugh at those n00bs going through it. (Like me) (I’m the n00b)




3 Replies to “Conquerin’ gatekeepers since ’97”

  1. Hey Larissa! You’re blog post is great! Not only was it really comical (had me laughing way more than once) but it was so well balanced in ensuring that it was informative as well! I thought your blog post really reflected well upon how on one hand the powers of gatekeepers are strong in controlling access to content by using geoblocks etc. but on the other hand, their existence makes people react in ways that either aids them to skirt around their controls, or go a new illegal route all together. Perhaps you could have included an example of what people are torrenting when Netflix can’t provide them access. This article for example talks about Australia leading in the world for illegal torrenting of Games of Thrones – Check it out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think your initial thought that Google could be a gatekeeper is an interesting one.

    Obviously, the point of Google is to open up access to nearly everything — pre-search engine, I imagine surfing the internet was falling down rabbit holes of links, stumbling across things, or hoping you had the correct URL/IP address to access. Now, we can send in customised searches for whatever we want, whenever we want.

    But Google isn’t some ultra-utopian equal-access free-for-all (and, if it was, I think nobody would use it). It has structured algorithms to provide us with what it believes is the content most relevant to our search parameters (and, obviously, these algorithms can be ‘gamed’, hence the proliferation of SEO advice, and content mill blogs churning out nonsense for the sake of SEO hits and the resultant AdSense revenue). But, nonetheless, these search engines are certainly acting as gatekeepers.

    Same on Facebook. Fancy computer shit decides for us what we want to see, rather than exposing us to everything that people post (see also: the new Instagram shift away from chronological to filtered posts). I remember this hilarious anecdote about a stack of FOX News-watching, gun-toting Republicans after the 2012 election, whereby they genuinely believed the election had to have been rigged for Obama to win, because they literally never saw anything on Facebook or in their choice of legacy media that was even remotely pro-Democrat.

    I suppose the question becomes this: is social media really that dialogic after all?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Larissa!
    Your blog is the one that perfectly described gatekeepers! Your examples of your mum being gatekeeper and telling you to take down your status was absolutely a perfect everyday life example, we have all been there and quivered in fear because what mum says go haha.
    Again so true using VPN and netflix as this is a major problem of mine, I always want to watch a tv show but cannot because we live in Australia and not America. I feel guilty as sometimes i do tend to torrenting tv shows. But what makes us different to other countries that stops us from watching?
    This link explains why we can’t have everything and i think could build on your body of information. Great Post easy to read and humorous.


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