Week 3 Discussion: Creating and Sharing InformationTopic 1: New ways

Week 3 Discussion: Creating and Sharing InformationTopic 1: New ways of creating/sharing Information. 

Choose one example from the readings (and cite) and briefly discuss how new information technologies are changing the ways in which we create or share information. Based on your example, do you think this is a positive, negative or neutral development? Why?

Topic 2: Threats/benefits to free speech & democracy. 

Leadbeater addresses two different points of view regarding the potential of the web: the web as a place for free speech and democracy, and the web as a place of surveillance and inequality. Pick one of these sides and argue why you think the web is generally represented by these ideas (free speech and democracy for users, or surveillance and inequality for users). You must give at least one example for your argument to support it, and reference the reading.

Week 5 Discussion: Searching for Information 

Topic 1: Information Seeking
Describe one of the key concepts mentioned in the chapter from the Davis and Shaw reading on information seeking. Explain how this concept relates to your own dominant method for retrieving information. What concept from this chapter did you find most useful for understanding your everyday information seeking?

Topic 2: Dark Side of Search Engines
According to the readings from this week, what problems or issues can be attributed to the use of algorithms? How might search engines overcome (or at least address) these issues? Feel free to reference recent news stories to see if and how search engines might be addressing these issues.

Week 7 Discussion: Fake News & Misinformation 

Topic: Fake News

What is the biggest concern regarding the rapid spread of fake news online ? How does social media facilitate the rapid spread of fake news? Why do you think it is so easy for us to spread fake news, spam, and misinformation via these tools today? How might we, the users, and social media sites work together to combat this issue?

Week 10 Discussion: Information Policy 

Topic: Balancing Property Rights with Social Benefits of Copying

The U.S. government’s power to pass laws to protect intellectual property are defined by the Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution: 

The U.S. Congress has the power:  “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, (the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Clause (Links to an external site.))”

The original length of time for copyright, as specified by the Copyright Act of 1790 was 14 years (renewable for a second 14 year term). 

Follow this link and skim this article about the current state of U.S. Copyright law:

http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/sep12/Hirtle–When-Is-1923-Going-to-Arrive-and-Other-Complications-of-the-U.S.-Public-Domain.shtml (Links to an external site.)

(“Public domain” refers to published works for which their copyright term has expired, making them open to copying by anyone for any use.) 

Reflect on how current copyright law differs from its earliest conceptualization in the U.S. Constitution. Do you think the current laws help or hinder information flow? Does the law today still support the spirit of the Copyright Clause? Why or why not? (Be sure to draw connections to the assigned readings for this unit)

Week 14 Discussion: Evaluating the Threats and Promises of Digital Technology 

Topic: Evaluating the Threats and Promises of Digital Technology

Based on the readings for this week and last week, please identify one “threat” and one “promise” that digital information/technology supposedly poses to society. Why are these significant? What types of evidence do the authors use to support their arguments? Is this convincing? Why or why not?

For Week 14 discussion use readings for week 13 and 14

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