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Monday, May 14, 2012

Social Dilemma

Social Dilemmas

I found the social dilemmas the Shirky discussed in chapter 8 (Shirky 2008) to be extremely profound in two areas. First, the blog that was created within what was FKA for Young Miss, and then Your Magazine, then just YM, was extremely disturbing. Naturally, as the father of four sons and two step-sons, there never would have been a reason that I would have even visited this site, let alone know of the popularity of taking pride in young girls who got together to discuss how to remain anorexic (Shirky states that they became known as Pro-Ana) as well as bulimia and other mental disorders These disorders YM did not want to be affiliated with, therefore shutting down their blog.

One thing that I believe that YM could have done however, is monitored their website closer, putting into their code that every post that contained certain keywords, which other blogs and chat rooms have in place that automatically either redirect an email address to one within their own, or even censor keywords, this case pro-ana, anorexia, bulimia and other such terms would show up as **&&^%&** to block such content, then that user would simply be eliminated. At this point, as their IT director, I would have made it mandatory for a cookie to be dropped on their IP Address and prevent that person from logging on under a different identity. Although this has a simple “go around,” many users do not understand how to do it and thereby would be shut down by default.

“Sorting the good from the bad is challenging in part because we’re used to social disapproval making it hard for groups to form.” (Shirky 2008) He speaks of social loss and how these new found freedoms, due to the Internet[i], are often stymied. Governmental interference, such as that of the Singapore government blocking content of blogging prior to a 2005 loses all respect for mankind’s most basic freedom, Freedom of Speech. This is similar to how content is blocked/ restricted in countries such as China, North Korea and others where state owned media controls/ owns the Internet providers.


[i] Shirky uses the word Internet without being capitalized. As an avid reader and past high school teacher of English, Internet is a proper noun and I am not sure how the editors allowed for this word to be published without capitalization. This I would like to get clarification on. 


  1. I wonder if some websites prefer to keep certain topics posted versus blocked to get noticed or to keep the controversy going. I have never read YM but have heard a lot about anorexia, bulimia, and other terms from several daytime shows. I am would be concerned about young ladies going through those issues but would everyone? While sites can monitor and block certain entries from being posted, it still would not stop the message or problem continuing. What one group finds offensive another group finds okay. So who would watch and determine what is good or bad and who in turn would monitor the watchers and so on……

  2. Just as in all social media, I believe that if an organization decides (which they should) to make a presence for themselves within social media networks (SMN's), they should have a SMN manager assigned to said task. It is too low of a transaction cost to NOT take advantage of, however the hate groups and the groups that they don't want to be associated with need to be constantly monitored for, dealt with in an appropriate manner and continue to delete content that goes against the very fabric of the companies mission statement.

  3. A social media manager is becoming a very important position. More organizations are beginning to recognize that.

    BTW, when I was in graduate school, the debate was whether or not Internet should be capitalized. Guess some people are old school.