Tweet for Tracks

This is not a shameless plug (there’s shame involved, I swear).  I absolutely LOVE CASH Music.  About 95% of the music I listen to regularly is free on this Web site (about 95% of the music I listen to is made by the creator of this Web site named Kristin Hersh).

Anyway, they came up with this awesome business model– you promote us, we’ll give you free music.  If you Tweet or update your Facebook status about a song– you get it for free.  Promotion and free music.  You get what you want, and they get what they want. I think they may be onto something, I really do.  It’s like a barter system.  But online.

For the full article from Wired: Tweet for Tracks

After hearing about CASH Music’s new web apps, which allow artists or labels to give a free song to anyone who tweets or posts a Facebook update about their music, we’re wondering why nobody thought of this before. Artists are constantly encouraging their fans to spread the word about them; all that was missing was a way to make sure they were doing so, and CASH Music has solved that problem.

What do you guys think?

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Google Exits, Microsoft Remains

According to THIS article from Reuters, Google has decided to abandon its Google.cn Web site in China over censorship issues.  It’s important to note that they are still keeping an R&D center in China.

This news breaks at the same time as Microsoft’s $500 million Chinese R&D investment news.

We now see two ethical paths that have been taken: one new media provider bowing out and losing significant profit as a result (Reuters also reports China’s economy grew 11.9 % in the first quarter) and one new media provider who is complying with local laws for the sake of doing business.

This is perhaps one of the greatest new media ethical debates ever, because no longer is the road less traveled a hypothetical– both paths have been taken.  So which is more ethical?  Why?

Legal/Ethical Question

If any people are privy to laws or can use the internets better than me… I have a question about internet legalities.

If a person, say a woman, files a restraining order against an abusive and obsessive ex-boyfriend, does this legal order apply to the internet (IE: social networking Web sites)?   I could not find an answer myself, but this would be interesting to know.  It seems a lot of stalking is not really done in person anymore, or even over the phone.  Most stalking is online, I’d assume primarily by Facebook.  Is it possible to get an Internet Restraining Order?

Just wondering.

Unvarnished.

According to msnbc, a new Web site called Get Unvarnished lets you rank your co-workers and bosses, review them, knock them, rant about them all under a casual veil of anonymity.  To make an analogy… Facebook is to LinkedIn as RateMyProfessor is to Unvarnished.

The Web site is currently advertising itself as a way to build your own professional reputation, so potential employers and new co-workers can look people up and be pleased with what they see.  But the same worries and ethical issues that come up with RatemyProf happen here.  What if you have a riff with a co-worker and they post lies in anger about you on this Web site, and a potential employer sees this?  We all have that one co-worker we do not get along with, that one person that we fight with and disagree with.  Now that person potentially has the power to stop us from getting a job in the future.

Unvarnished Beta Web site

Postmortem Facebook Harassment

This story ran in the Huffington Post.  It’s about a popular, well-liked 17-year-old girl with a soccer scholarship to college who killed herself.  After her death, her friends (or family? It doesn’t specify) set up a Facebook tribute page that had nasty comments posted on it.  One example talked about was photos of people with nooses around their necks.

Alexis Pilkington

The parents of the girl’s friends are submitting the anonymous comments to law officials because this is causing emotional damage to the dead teen’s friends.

This goes back to our discussion on anonymity online and whether or not there is real harm done.  People were posting nasty, hurtful comments under a veil of anonymity.  People were harmed. Emotionally, at least.  Sources are unsure if the harassment was the cause of the girl’s suicide, but they are taking this into consideration.

What do you think this case says about the ethics behind being anonymous and being online?

Fool the World

The Youtube series, lonelygirl15, was about a young girl that makes video blog posts about “her” life.   It gathered a lot of success on Youtube, and the star of the show received a lot of support from people on the internet.  Not long after its success reached its peak were things being question.  The lighting was too good.  The video editing was too professional.  The situations were too extreme.  Community watchdogs were on the prowl and discovered that “Lonelygirl” was actually an actress named Jessica Roe who was hired to play the part of lonely girl.

This lonelygirl15 really fooled the world.  She gathered the trust of a generation of Youtube viewers, she pretended to she their problems and interests.  And she was a hoax.  There are plenty of other incidence of this on the internet.  I suppose the ethic question is about transparency.  Should companies who are funding a production be transparent about who they are when they air things on the internet?  Are we only seeing these Web shows as entertainment or is there a point that we cross the line and become personally invested?

“Ungodly” dressed women provoke rape

I do not consider myself to be a feminist.  I think all men and women are created, and should be treated, equally.  I am the first to admit that I am ignorant to a lot of the injustices that occur in the very city I call home.  It takes a lot to rouse the little voice in my head that is ashamed that the rest of me is not more involved in political and social feminism.  Well this article, which talks about a religious pamphlet that is distributed to “ungodly” dressed women, woke the sleeping giant.

Rape is one of those intense violations of personal, physical and emotional space that I feel only those who experienced it first hand can talk about without looking like a total nitwit.

The pamphlet, which was distributed primarily in Virginia says:

“You may have been given this leaflet because of the way you are dressed,” it begins. “Have you thought about standing before the true and living God to be judged?”
“Scripture tells us that when a man looks on a woman to lust for her he has already committed adultery in his heart. If you are dressed in a way that tempts a men to do this secret (or not so secret) sin, you are a participant in the sin. By the way, some rape victims would not have been raped if they had dressed properly. So can we really say they were innocent victims?”

My digital ethics issue with this is- is it ethical to publish this online?  The leaflet was only passed out in a small town… where, maybe 2,000 had heard about it.  This is given new, HUGE life on the internet.