Something that was mentioned in our classes this week that stuck with me, was a quote from Clay Shirky. Where he said “The internet imposes no barriers to entry, no economies of scale, no limits on supply”. Thinking about this and analysing Shirky’s message, does he really mean that anyone can do anything on the internet?
The thing about the internet is that, yes, we can do almost anything on it, almost anyone can access it. Whether it be writing this blog post or filling out forms for your workplace, everyone has the same connection. But this is something that Shirky means when he speaks that “the internet imposes no barriers to entry”, Anyone is able to use the internet in any way that they want, and they are able to profit off of it.
We’d like to say “No, not anything is possible. ‘anything’ is within reason” but the reality is, yes. With the correct tools and ways to access certain things, yes, anything can be done with the assistance of the internet. The internet is often described as an iceberg, we only see 10% of it, and the rest lays under water. The below image describes what we can see on the everyday web, and under the water, shows all the ‘deep’ and ‘dark’ things that can occur on the web.
So, you would think that having an open internet would be the best thing, you can do anything, and anyone can access it, but have you considered the repercussions of the internet? Not everyone is as innocent with it as some homework and funny cat videos on YouTube. Unfortunately, we have things such as the “Dark Web”, a platform that homes negative and harmful content such as drug trafficking, illegal activities, and much more. It is a place that has unfortunately become a place where no one is really safe, and this is partially because, the internet is so open, and you can do almost anything on it.
This begs the question, Are we really safe on this internet?