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OECD on User Generated Content

The OECD has just issued an important and insightful report on user generated content and the policy issues it raises.

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  1. quote bot says:

    Definition of UCC/UGC
    Very interesting definition of user-created content in this OECD report.

    “UCC is in many ways a form
    of personal expression and free speech. As such, it may be used for critical, political, and social ends. It has
    also been argued that the .democratisation of access to media outlets. fulfils an increasingly important role
    for democracy, individual freedom, political discourse, and justice (Balkin, 2004; Fisher, 2004; Lessig,
    2004; Benkler, 2006). As users raise questions, inquire, and as new decentralised approaches to content
    creation are being taken up, the political debate, transparency and also certain .watchdog. functions may
    be enhanced on their way to a more critical and self-reflective culture (c.f. web sites like Meetup and
    Pledgebank which facilitate collective action on political and social matters by civil society).
    Citizen journalism, for instance, allows users to influence or create news, potentially on similar terms
    as newspapers, companies or other major entities (see forthcoming OECD Study on Online News
    Distribution). Creators of UCC have succeeded in bringing attention to issues that may not otherwise have
    received notoriety (e.g. the online circulation of video files about politicians making racist remarks).
    Bloggers and other users on sites such as AgoraVox . see Figure 10 . have undertaken the role of
    grassroots reporters and fact-checkers that influences the content treated in traditional media (Gill, 2005).
    Effects may include a greater call for accuracy within the mainstream media, as users point out
    inaccuracies and flaws online. UCC may also provide a way to gain the attention of particular players
    when none previously existed (for example, protest movies against particular events or to inform about
    global warming). In some cases issues are covered in great detail which would not be otherwise (e.g. a blog
    that specialises in human rights issues in country x or a media reporting on alleged wrongdoings of
    influential persons or companies). GlobalVoices.com, for instance, aims to redress inequities in media
    attention by leveraging weblogs, wikis, podcasts, tags, aggregators and online chats . to call attention to
    conversations and points of views from non-English speaking communities. Often when unexpected events
    occur, the only source of immediate documentation may be users with their mobile phone cameras.
    36

    DSTI/ICCP/IE(2006)7/FINAL
    Figure 9. AgoraVox
    Source: http://www.agoravox.com.
    Impacts of UCC are indeed strong for politics and have not gone unnoticed by politicians (see Box 2).
    On the one hand, blogs, social networking sites, and even virtual worlds can be platforms for exchanging
    political views, provoking debate and sharing of knowledge about societal questions at stake. They can
    also be very directly implicated in the political process itself and create awareness. Recently, popular social
    networks have covered political campaigns, urged young users to vote and have staged related debates. In
    the United States, these platforms have been active in getting youth to register to vote or providing
    possibilities such as video contests to provide thoughts on national policy (e.g. the .MyState of the Union.
    initiative by MySpace). ”

    Timely, as there are other cases at issue now in Canada that very strongly intersect with this list of advantages of public interest content and free political speech.

    Notably this in your other column
    [ link ]