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De länkade orden : Den digitala arenans dynamik

by Mattus, Maria

Abstract (Summary)
The overall aim of this thesis is to explore freedom of speech and aspects of credibility related to the Internet. The phenomenon freedom of speech is seen and examined principally from a communicative perspective. Theoretically the thesis is based on three key concepts: Internet, freedom of speech, and credibility. Four studies are included; each of them focuses on the main problem from different angles using different methods.In the first study, two websites on the Internet, both having reference to the Holocaust, are examined. The aim is to identify some kind of hypertextual dialogue between Living history [Levande historia], representing a serious project about human respect and democracy, and True history [Sann historia], a plagiator expressing a revisionist opinion. The second study examines a media debate about freedom of speech and censorship related to the Internet found in newspaper articles published during 1997-1999, to see which issues these newspapers emphasise, and how the role of the Internet is described. The third study focuses on how university students writing essays assess the credibility of scientific information in web-based environments. In a questionnaire, the students estimate the importance they attach to 24 different elements. The fourth study seeks to increase the understanding of the function and dynamics of Wikipedia as a collaboratively shaped wiki-encyclopaedia. In e-mail interviews, active users are asked about their impressions and experiences.Based on the studies, some reflections on what could be considered as special with the freedom of speech on the Internet are presented. These reflections, in terms of seven aspects, are referred to as the hypertext structure, the collage effect, boundless identities, shift in responsibility, parallel worlds and hyper reality, the compensating effect, and the leaching effect. A concept, denominated the hypertextual dialogue, has emerged during the work on this thesis. This concept has a technical, an intertextual and a discursive level.The discussion deals with the news media’s approach towards the Internet, what their possible agenda could be, and the impact they have on people. Internet’s pluralism and its consequences are discussed. Wikipedia could serve as a model by showing how committed individuals interact to create a competitive product. When users interact with and within the hypertextual structure, the construction of meaning, as well as the responsibility for the consequences, would move from the texts’ original authors to the users. Perhaps the Internet requires the involvement of some kind of homo navigare who is able to function within, outside and between digital arenas.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Linköpings universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:FORESTRY, AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES and LANDSCAPE PLANNING; Area economics; Information science; Communication; Internet; freedom of speech; credibility; hypertext; wiki; dialogue; Kommunikation; Internet; yttrandefrihet; trovärdighet; hypertext; wiki; dialog

ISBN:978-91-7393-954-6

Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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