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Blog Post 1 – Live Streaming to the World

While the term digital encompasses anything with numerical digits, media refers to a method of transmitting information. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, listened to, and preserved on a digital device, this allows for faster and more versatile communication, but can also lead to data security issues. In the expanding world of technology, peoples increasing online presence has led to the development of trends that focus highly on protecting privacy and consumer consent for example ‘Apple’ asking permission for other applications to use your data, the development of artificial intelligence and the creation of new opportunities for income. Live streaming has contributed to the development of new relationships formed between streamers and viewers in a time of isolation due to covid. Often seen as a new way to connect with people with similar interests without physically being in the same location, has led to the formation of online communities with key leaders. 

Asia dominates the online streaming industry, with over 2 million internet users from the 4.8 million users globally. As the world shuts down during a pandemic, millions have turned to live streaming as a form of income, this has evolved into the “gig economy”, with services such as Up live and Lamour being developed, increasing in popularity on a global scale. 

In this week’s seminar, we looked at Hao Wu’s People’s Republic of Desire (2018) which highlighted the concept of digital transactions, defined as online transactions that take place through an online medium, ignoring the need for tangible aspects to make a transaction. The documentary looks at the ever expanding industry of online streamers in Asia. Focusing on the lives of those who use streams as a source of income and economic benefit, providing details on the hardships and pressure put on them to be the most liked. This documentary highlighted how people were able to significantly improve their living conditions through this new source of income, emphasising the extensive opportunities they are given to obtain financial abundance and status. 

As mentioned by Athique (2019) money appears as an integer or processing unit, its value can be determined within a set of social exchanges. Financial transactions occur online and act as an agreement between the buyer and seller, in the context of online streaming this refers to the viewer/fan and the online personality. Technology gives those that are in ownership of money greater control and influence, the creation of virtual money has led to enthusiasm towards crypto currency in Asia. Leading to a significant amount of digital heists, occurring through hacking which is an issue that has evolved from digital transactions. The documentary highlights the control and influence streamers have over their audience, as well as emphasising the ease in which digital transactions occur. For example, the influencers are constantly asking for donations and purchasing votes to nominate them as the most popular, or best online personality, consumers do this as they idolise the personality and enjoy seeing people doing the things they cannot do due to financial limitations. The documentary also indicates how the fans have power over the streamers due to financial interactions. As the streamers rely on the votes and donations from their fans, the fans gain a sense of power as well, this is often shown when fans demand the streamers to do certain acts which at times are ethically questionable. 

(GIF SEARCH – ‘GLAMOUR ASIA)

For me personally, the idea of online transactions with the context of providing live steamers with financial funds is something I would not do. Factors such as a lack of security and confidence of where the funds are going especially concern me however I can see how fans would want to support the live steamers as it is essentially paying for a form of entertainment and belonging. 

References

CopyPress. 2021. Digital Media: Definition and Examples. [online] Available at: <https://www.copypress.com/kb/content-marketing/digital-media-definition-and-examples/&gt; [Accessed 30 July 2021].

Smart Insights. 2021. Digital marketing trends 2021: 25 practical recommendations to implement. [online] Available at: <https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/digital-marketing-trends-innovation/&gt; [Accessed 30 July 2021].

Investopedia. 2021. What Is a Digital Transaction?. [online] Available at: <https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/digital-transaction.asp&gt; [Accessed 30 July 2021].

Bray C, Qu. T, 2021. South China Morning Post, Live streaming is the gig economy of the pandemic era, Uplive says. [online] Available at: <https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3138685/millions-turn-livestreaming-earn-living-during-covid-19-pandemic&gt; [Accessed 30 July 2021].

Collaborative Couriers

#BCM214 – Social Innovation

Over the semester our group focused on the project the ‘Collaborative Couriers’ which began as a way of assisting small businesses and creatives find a solution that is both cost effective and sustainable (Shan 2019). Increasing sustainability of the way we undertake our daily lives is a major issue facing our society as we struggle with the balance of convenience versus preservation.  

Shipping and freight movement is a major contributor to both air and water pollution as well as being a huge consumer of fossil fuels, therefore an important issue to address when developing ways to become more sustainable. The impacts of freight movement can be clearly outlined through statistics, with over 1000mt of CO2 being let out into the atmosphere yearly (Transport & the Environment 2022). Contributing 3% of the global emitted CO2 per year. With the current statistics by the EPA (2021) stating that 56tons of freight per person is moved per year in the US alone and a 45% increase expecting by 2040 a clear issue is identifiable. 

The video created has been themed around sustainability and targeted specifically for small businesses and creatives who wish to become more sustainable. The concept of the video is a ‘tips and tricks’ perspective, ultimately providing a short and convenient guide to sustainability. The video can be used to both bring awareness of the current issue as well as soft launch into how people can change their daily habits to become more sustainable. Being made for professionals within their field the tips and tricks were made short to ensure the content is easily digestible and convenient (Ryan 2016). The visual elements used within were chosen to create calm and demonstrate purity of nature, which is the outcome of implementing the tips shown. 

Using the graphic design platform Canva, the video was created using different stock videos and copyright free music. The video was created using the platform by layering elements and animations to create the desired visual effects shown in the clip. Contrast was used in the video to convey cause and effect with brown, industrial tones used to describe the severity of the cause and green/blue natural tones used for the solution. The clip was set out with a story line leading to the advantages of ‘Collaborative Couriers’ through the subtle conversation built within the video about the tips for sustainable shipping. Uplifting music, visual elements of togetherness such as the hands reaching to one another, animations as well as distinctive wording (“share the load”) was chosen to inspire change by creating a feeling as if the individual will be joining a community created for positive change. 

YouTube was chosen to allow for a broad of audience of people to gain access to the video. It also allows for the function of the video to be shared across other platforms without the redownloading and submitting therefore can be distributed on other networking sites such as LinkedIn which are suitable channels for networking within the professional industry. 

Reference:

Earth.org 2022, Past | Present | Future 5 Effective Air Pollution Prevention Strategies | Earth.org – Past | Present | Future , Available at: https://earth.org/air-pollution-prevention/ [Accessed 1 Jun. 2022].

‌ Pandologic 2015, Recruiting: AI-Enabled Recruitment Platform | Pandologic, Is Your Content Digestible? Here’s Why It Needs to Be, Available at: https://pandologic.com/publishers/trade-publishers/is-your-content-digestible-heres-why-it-needs-to-be/ [Accessed 1 Jun. 2022].

‌O’brien, J 2020, CHAPTER 2 IMPACTS OF SHIPPING, AWE, Available at: https://www.awe.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/impacts-shipping.pdf, Accessed 1 June 2022

‌Shan, S 2019, 8 Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Shipping Packaging Ideas, Shopify, Available at: https://www.shopify.com.au/blog/sustainable-packaging-and-shipping-solutions [Accessed 1 Jun. 2022].

‌Transport & Environment 2022, Ships – Transport & Environment, European Transport and Environment, Available at: https://www.transportenvironment.org/challenges/ships/ [Accessed 1 Jun. 2022].

US EPA 2016, Why Freight Matters to Supply Chain Sustainability | US EPA, Available at: https://www.epa.gov/smartway/why-freight-matters-supply-chain-sustainability, [Accessed 1 Jun. 2022].

“what might have you not seen” – censorship

Within the evolution of digital media the concept of censorship has become a widely discussed topic across the world as new social media platforms find balance between protecting users from sensitive content such as pornography vs limiting users ability to have a sense of free speech. In the modern technological era, Censorship can come from both governments and private organisations who control the major media outlets used as a way of global communication. 

There are growing concerns that censorship is diminishing the media’s ability to provide information as large media outlets prevent the spreading of media that does not align with their moral standards. With most media platforms being used globally and often by people who do not live in the base country of the platforms, conflict between what kind of censorship is morally acceptable has evolved, specially highlighted by the strict censorship undertaken on the Chinese platform tik tok where users are finding content that they would consider acceptable to be removed from the site (Hern 2019)

Censorship can have a large impact on the ease for political transactions to occur and this has been particularly present in Digital Asia. As an countries’ ability to have democratic society is highly influenced by the media’s ability to convey messages from numerous views. The overuse of censorship has been found to diminish the ability of individuals to have these political transactions on an online space (Athique 2019). 

A clear example of how this has occurred is with the “platformization of sociability” which has occurred through the spreading and saturation of “political clickbait”(Athique 2019). This refers to the idea of producing a substantial amount of content showcasing political viewpoints in an attempt to decrease the other point of view’s ability to gain traction on digital platforms as the channels have been overcrowded (Frampton 2015). 

Carson and Fallon (2021) have found that the use of clickbait has had significant political impacts as misinformation can be easily spread all with the intent to create confusion and take away the validity of credible news sources that are producing quality content. As ‘fake news’ is often more entertaining, it is therefore able to gain higher views on digital platforms, this creates a form of censorship as the fake articles are gaining more traction than the real articles (Information Society Project, 2017). Providing media companies with a method to censor information as people’s attention is being strategically diverted away (Information Society Project, 2017). 

Image / WordPress (Porter Novelli)

In the context of Digital Asia the ability of undertaking political transactions has become increasingly difficult due the introduction of repressive actions such as the use of Troll Armies where large followings of people threaten, harass and bully those with opposing views (Athique 2019). In order to attempt to suppress political transactions, people have gone to “weaponizing social media platforms” in an attempt to take down competing political opponents (Gilbert 2019). As in India, where troll armies were used to silence journalists speaking out against extremists by using their following to harass the figures into silence (Deccan Herald 2018). The ability to reach mass audiences via digital platforms has been a large contributor to these establishing issues with censorship and political transactions.

Image / Guardian (Invasion of the troll armies: from Russian Trump supporters to Turkish state stooges)

Hern, A. (2019). Revealed: how TikTok censors videos that do not please Beijing. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/25/revealed-how-tiktok-censors-videos-that-do-not-please-beijing [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].

‌Vice.com. (2019). Modi’s trolls are ready to wreak havoc on India’s marathon election. [online] Available at: https://www.vice.com/en/article/597mwk/modis-trolls-are-ready-to-wreak-havoc-on-indias-marathon-election [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].

‌La Trobe, 2019, FIGHTING FAKE NEWS, La Trobe University, Available at: https://www.latrobe.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/1203553/carson-fake-news.pdf.

‌Fighting Fake News Workshop Report hosted by The Information Society Project The Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression, 2017, Yale Law of School, [online] . Available at: https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/files/area/center/isp/documents/fighting_fake_news_-_workshop_report.pdf.

‌Frampton, B. (2015). Clickbait: The changing face of online journalism. [online] BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-34213693 [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].

‌Deccan Hearld (2018). Press freedom rank: “Modi’s troll army” takes India down. [online] Deccan Herald. Available at: https://www.deccanherald.com/international/trump-russia-and-china-media-attacks-threaten-democracy-666528.html [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].

Athique 2019, Digital Transactions in Asia, . (pp. 236) edited by Adrian Athique and Emma Baulch. New York, NY United States: Routledge

Digital Asia – Growing trends with Censorship

‌The growing expansion of Digital Asia over the past decade has allowed for a greater exchange of information and media between people. The development of new platforms provides new ways of connection, with financial, social and political transactions all now possible via digital platforms, ultimately removing the barriers. This is especially apparent in the current environment with the existence of COVID19. The evolution of Digital Asia has allowed increased ability for information to be shared between Asia and the rest of the world, with global flows of information, culture, media and more coming in and out of the region. CNBC (2020) has shown an increase of “40 million new internet users” in SouthEast Asia. 

I have been able to learn about key aspects of Digital Asia through the increasing distribution of Asia media. From documentaries such as the self financed and highly controversial documentary ‘Under the Dome’ which was created in 2015 by Chai Jing, I was able to be exposed to the increasing issue of censorship within Digital Asia. The documentary explores the increasing issue of pollution within China. The journalist Chai Jing investigates the state of the pollution levels within China and the key contributors. The documentary was designed for the Chinese citizens to bring light to an issue many citizens are unaware of due to the control of information (censorship) present within the country, with social media and media channels such as the CCTV having strong control by the Chinese government (Hatton 2015). 

Image / Citizen Lab

The documentary itself was a victim of the issues evolving with increased censorship by governments and media platforms with the documentary being taken after “reaching 200 million views” within a short period of time, the message of the documentary could not continue to be shared to the intended viewers (SMH 2015). 

Before watching the documentary or doing any further research I had only a preliminary understanding of censorship and how it worked. I knew the stronghold social media platforms, media agencies and governments have on the distribution of information such as recent censorship of certain COVID19 related information by companies such as Facebook and Google. 

By doing further research into censorship and particularly in the context of Digital Asia I have learned the extent and ways in which censorship is used. Censorship can be referred to as the “suppression of words, images or ideas that are ‘offensive’ (ACLU 2021). Having control of information can be done by both governments and private organisations in order to prevent a particular image or message being distributed. 

As highlighted by Jackson (2020) censorship has “gone beyond the greater firewall” with message control becoming an increasing issue for the sharing of information between the ‘East and West’. 

IMAGE / CHINA CHANNEL (CHINA VS WORLD)

Major countries including China, Vietnam and Thailand have come under scrutiny for the tight controls their governments have on their citizens ability to have free speech as well as English speaking organisations ability to reach those living in Asia. A major concern (Yecies et al. 2019) has for censorship is the political control governments can gain through the use of censorship. As major players such as Beijing have strong financial powers as well as their influence on private organisations is significant as shown by Beijing’s influence on Apple to remove the Tawinenese flag for Hong Kong users or the control the government has on the amount of ‘Hollywood films’ released into the country (Jackson 2020). Censorship is however prevalent not only in Asia but around the world and is developing with the evolution of digital transactions. 

Saheli Roy Choudhury 2020, Southeast Asia’s digital services surge as coronavirus pandemic kept people at home. [online] CNBC, Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/10/southeast-asia-40-million-new-internet-users-in-2020-report-finds.html, Accessed 27 Aug. 2021 

Hatton, C 2015, Under the Dome: The smog film taking China by storm, online BBC News, Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-31689232, Accessed 27 Aug. 2021

The Sydney Morning Herald, 2015, Under the Dome: Watch the viral video documentary about pollution that is scaring the Chinese government, online, Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/technology/under-the-dome-watch-the-viral-video-documentary-about-pollution-that-is-scaring-the-chinese-government-20150308-13yag6.html, Accessed 27 Aug. 2021

American Civil Liberties Union, 2021, What Is Censorship?, online, Available at: https://www.aclu.org/other/what-censorship, Accessed 27 Aug. 2021, 

The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) 2021, Social Media Platforms and Authoritarian Censorship in Asia, online, Available at: https://www.nbr.org/publication/social-media-platforms-and-authoritarian-censorship-in-asia/, Accessed 27 Aug. 2021 

Yecies, Brian 2019, Digital Transactions in Asia. Digital Transactions in Asia: Social , Economic and Informational Processes. (pp. 236) edited by Adrian Athique and Emma Baulch. New York, NY United States: Routledge

AlphaGo – ME VS THE COMPUTER

Over the past decade Esports (Electronic Sports) have increased in popularity and become a strong aspect of global popular culture and especially in Asia. Esports refers to the concept of competitive video gaming within the online space, often conducted in multiplayer settings where players meet with other users virtually. 

The realm of Esports goes beyond just playing the game as it has become a contributor to other industries such as live streamers as mentioned in previous blog post as well as other industries including gambling, publishing, technology and live entertainment. Esports popularity has significantly grown with the Global Sport Economy by bringing in $700 million in 2017 (Chapman, 2017), the Industry can also boast 2.3 billion users globally (McCauley, Nguyen, McDonald & Wearing, 2020). 

In this week’s seminar we viewed critically acclaimed documentary AlphaGo by Greg Koh (2017) which focuses on the evolving development between traditional gaming and artificially enhanced gaming. Within the documentary these two types of gaming come into conflict as the introduction of Artificial Intelligence changes the dynamic of the gaming industry. Forbes (2019) describes artificial intelligence to be a method of computer engineering that allows computers to imitate human intelligence, computers can then “perform tasks normally undertaken by humans”. 

SOURCE – GIPHY – ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The documentary shows the battle traditional gamers have with artificial intelligence due to fears such as the AI’s ability to become more advanced than the human players. Go players such as Lee Sodol are shown to be almost defeated as they initially struggle to beat the AI players. AI’s ability to outperform humans does not come from the perceived idea that AI has a greater intelligence level, as AI’s such as AlphaGo are developed by studying human behaviours, instead AI’s are more likely to take a higher level of risk which can either pay off or lead to a loss (Stuart 2021). 

The adoption of AI research and development by large corporations such as Microsoft, Tencent and Sony will lead to the further spread of AI technology within the gaming industry. These gaming software and hardware developers have a large market share within the gaming industry, which means they will have the ability to widely distribute this technology on a globe scale (Stuart 2021).

The evolution of AI has not just captured the interest of software developers with millions of people watching online tournaments between humans and AI, as this new technology provides another level to the games showing new capabilities of human creation (Marr 2020). Furthermore this development of AI technology has further allowed for the monetizing and commodifing of the gaming industry while also creating new ways of social interaction which will continue to develop in future, as technology progresses as highlighted by Athique (2019).

REFERENCES

Marr, B 2021, The Key Definitions Of Artificial Intelligence (AI) That Explain Its Importance, Forbes, Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/02/14/the-key-definitions-of-artificial-intelligence-ai-that-explain-its-importance/?sh=1268b6824f5d&gt; , Accessed 12 August 2021

The Guardian, 2021, Think, fight, feel: how video game artificial intelligence is evolving, The Guardian, Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/games/2021/jul/19/video-gaming-artificial-intelligence-ai-is-evolving&gt; , Accessed 12 August 2021

Toptal Finance Blog, 2021, Esports: A Guide to Competitive Video Gaming, Available at: https://www.toptal.com/finance/market-research-analysts/esports, Accessed 12 August 2021

Marr, B 2021, The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Trends Everyone Should Be Watching In 2020, Forbes, Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/01/06/the-top-10-artificial-intelligence-trends-everyone-should-be-watching-in-2020/?sh=1f0b2168390b&gt;, Accessed 12 August 2021

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