In a globalized media landscape, the concepts of religious fundamentalism and legislative rights seem to be clashing in similar sacred places, online. Virtual battles between beliefs are occurring within contradictions in public policies and moral values. Resistance to change is sometimes expressed through various kinds of fundamentalism, when interpretations of one’s faith consumes them. Religious leaders and adamant atheists have been spreading their values for thousands of years, and many work passionately to preserve them. Extremists have committed violent attacks, while other fundamentalists recited scriptures and laws encouraging tolerance and upholding civil rights, whenever barraged by adversity. Social media has become a powerful platform for hosting both collaboration and disagreements. Continue reading
The Internet is continuing to exert a significant social and economic impact in populations on each of Earth’s continents. The World Wide Web has been changing the way people learn and collaborate since August 1991, when the first website published information explaining hypertext and Web page architecture (Blum, 2011). The Web has persisted in paving virtual highways between people around the world – some sitting thousands of miles apart, others in the same room. But what about those populations that aren’t connected? Africa, the world’s second-largest and second most populated continent in the world, has only 118 million people online, just 11.5 percent of the people – well below the world’s average of 30 percent.
People who are connected are no longer bound by geographical boundaries, separated by political limitations or divided by religious beliefs. Unrestricted access to the Internet allows anyone to rally worldwide compassion for charities, organize populations for global initiatives and conduct international business transactions. According to recent research from the McKinsey Global Institute, e-commerce accounts for the exchange of almost $8 trillion each year. The Internet has accounted for 21 percent of the gross domestic product growth in “matured countries” for more than five years. A McKinsey global Small and Medium Enterprise survey discovered the Internet created 2.4 jobs for each one it destroyed during the past 15 years (Manyika & Roxburgh, 2011). The Web has become an important driver for both economic growth and social progress. Continue reading
Social media is changing the way we learn about our world. The Internet-based communication networks are promoting freedom of speech. People are no longer passive readers, but rather engaging in news as a conversation on an international stage. Local and global societies are instantly collaborating, contributing, interpreting and interacting. The World Wide Web allows citizens to take ownership of public policy by reacting to issues that affect them. This literature reviews participation statistics, cultural implications and propaganda concerns as communities decentralize media and strive to democratize information online. Continue reading
Department of Defense officials are consistently undecided about embracing the latest Web technology. Proponents mention its strengths in supporting public affairs, recruiting efforts and family readiness, while protesters cite issues with operations and network security, as well as bandwidth drain. It’s the position of this author that military Web-first publishing leads to greater benefits than risks. This report combines public opinion research, open-source government information, Internet use surveys, newspaper circulation statistics and experience in Army external information programs. This report does not offer official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. government. Continue reading