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Is There an Honor Code for the Internet?

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Web 2.0 is a term I’ve heard a lot and I had a vague understanding of the concept being something related to social media/networking as well as the ease with which we are able to share information using the Internet, but O’Reilly’s article provided a good foundation and a few laughs.

Written in 2009, it’s already humorously outdated in some small respects (and probably some larger ones that I’m not remotely aware of). I particularly enjoyed the bit about how one day in the future even our phones could report data. Ah, yes, I remember when I got my first smart phone…

And iTunes, oh wow. Does anyone even still use that? I received an iTunes gift card over the holidays and my first thought was what am I going to do with this? That’s a stupid thought because obviously, eventually, I will buy music or a movie or something with it, once I remember that I have it and stop stealing music off the Internet (Just kidding, dad! I stopped doing that in 9th grade when you told me you’d take away my computer privileges if you ever caught me illegally downloading Jay-Z again. Also, was that just in regards to Jay-Z? Because my tastes have evolved).

This bold admission of blatant disregard for another person’s craft in favor of my own convenience was something I kept coming back to as I read each of the three articles for today.

At this point, it’s so easy to lie, cheat, and steal and not even realize that what you’re doing is wrong. I mean, I know I shouldn’t have downloaded Blue Valentine last week, but who wants to drive to D.C. and sob for an hour in a movie theater when you can do it from the comfort of your bed?

Cool honor code, Internet.

I would never go onto a person’s blog and steal his or her writing to pass off as my own, though. I totally draw the line at plagiarism. I find the idea of lying about your identity or hiding behind a mask of anonymity troubling as well. I guess I don’t have a problem with stealing other people’s products, as long as I don’t take credit for their ideas or cyber-bully anyone in the process, though.

Also, you guys, I totally made Blue Valentine. That was my movie. I was going to submit it to the UMW film festival until it got leaked online.

I guess this is something that things like Creative Commons are dealing with and constantly improving on and I guess I probably don’t have a point other than Web 2.0 as a “collective intelligence” where users are constantly sharing information and knowledge to build and improve the current state of networking and media = good. Web 2.0 as a means for entitled assholes like myself to not have to pay for entertainment = bad.

So, there ya go.

Now, watch this trailer for the movie Catfish that came out last year (I paid actual currency to see this movie). It’s about storytelling on the Internet and how easy it is to lie with little regard for consequences.

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