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Building social connections with media

In class, we discussed how social network is consisting of large components and few weak ties connect between them. In real world, there are many elements in establishing a tie between two people. Using media is one way.

This article discusses an event that Google, the owner of Youtube, blocked access to the video on Youtube that could stimulate violence over the Arab area. According to the article, this video contains profane materials to the Muslims in which they view it as “the most inflammatory pieces of content on the Internet”; however, claiming that it does not violate its own guidelines policy, Google decided just to block it in two countries in turmoil, Egypt and Libya, although four American diplomatic personnel were killed in Libya in response to this video and severe outrage was shown to its producers by millions of Muslims.

When I read this article, I immediately realized that a media such as Youtube videos are weak ties between us and people in the other side of world. That is, by watching a video that someone posted or blogged elsewhere, we get to gain some connection with the provider. For instance above, millions of Muslims are trying to figure out the video provider after watching it. People who posted and watched had no connection in the past, but they certainly have some knowledge of each other, which relation is built by the video although it is negative. In addition, there is another resent instance which developed an actual connection between people who had no connection before. Few months ago, an entertainment agency posted music video of Gangnam Style by Psy on Youtube. Within very short time, this video got so popular that several Broadcasts in U.S. invited him to U.S., introduced him on broadcast and learned dance from him. This instance shows how the video functioned as weak tie and helped establishing a connection between a guy in Korea and Americans. Although it is not video or online publishing, newspaper, magazines and other media also help people to build ties between each other.


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September 2012