Potential Gatekeepers for New Internet Users

In a recent article titled, Social networks to solve complex problems: Mark Zuckerberg, the idea that only 1/3 of the world has access to the internet is presented.  The article then goes on to say that within 10 years, there is the possibility for the other 2/3 of the world to gain access to the internet.  I found this very interesting to think about, especially after learning of the concept of gatekeepers and bridges in networks.  When these millions of people are given access to the internet, they will be seeing it for the first time.  This brings up the possibility that they may be limited in what they are able to see and who they are able to connect with.  Depending on the “node”, in this case most likely a government, that connects the new users to the old, the new could potentially be restricted from the rest of the world.  Using North Korea as an example, this country is completely separated from the rest of the world when it comes to internet usage.  This type of strict censorship is extreme, but it poses as a possibility for all new users who will be connecting to the internet.  One way to prevent a single gate keeper from all this power could be to introduce multiple outlets to the new users.  This way their community will not be connected to the larger network by only a single node, but rather by multiple different nodes. This will allow for the most free form of internet usage to occur, and allow the new users to maximize their benefits.  Once the entire world is connected in one single network online, it will be very interesting to see what types of data large companies such as Facebook and Google will be able to attain from these new internet users, and how social networks are able to connect people of all backgrounds.




4 thoughts on “Potential Gatekeepers for New Internet Users”

  1. This was a good read. I never really thought about how only a third of the world really has access to the internet, but it may have been masked by what seems to be an already overwhelming amount of users that the 1/3 of the world consists of. I doubt Facebook will even exist by the time the entire world has access to the internet. But it certainly would increase the amount of connected nodes and new gateways into networks with better connections and so forth.

  2. This was a very interesting article. It can even be tied into the privacy settings to a Facebook page. Many users themselves put restrictions on who can see their Facebook pages. This can be anything from, anyone can see, friends of friends, or only friends. Fortunately for Facebook, there are still many out there who don’t mind of people other then their friends can see their pages, thereby increasing the possibility of more network connections through Facebook.

  3. I found this article to present a very important question for the future of the internet. As more people gain access to the internet around the world, and therefore information, it will be interesting to watch how gatekeepers, such as governments, will allow information to pass to their citizens. As uprisings occur through the usage of the internet, as it did in Egypt, governments will likely be monitoring the internet closely to prevent widespread open communication among their citizens. However, when gatekeepers censor the internet, it creates a dangerous environment because certain viewpoints and opinions are not able to be seen. It is important to keep the internet as a means unbiased and open communication amongst people, unfortunately, this is not likely to happen because of the power that gatekeepers possess.

  4. It took me a day from reading your article to think of the book, but you may be interested in reading The Power of Place by Harm de Blij. He writes about how the world isn’t as connected as it seems, that people are still isolated, but also goes on to explain how that is changing. Basically, he examines locale vs. globalization and the effects it is having on people, their environment, and opportunity. It has been a few years since I read it, so I wish I could give more insight, but I highly recommend the book.

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