Author(s): Andrew Keen
In today's self-broadcasting culture, where amateurism is celebrated and anyone with an opinion, however ill-informed, can publish a blog, post a video on YouTube, or change an entry on Wikipedia, the distinction between trained expert and uninformed amateur becomes dangerously blurred. Keen argues that much of the content filling up YouTube, MySpace and blogs is just an 'endless digital forest of mediocrity', which, unconstrained by professional standards or editorial filters, can alter public debate and manipulate public opinion. Our 'cut-and-paste' online culture, in which intellectual property is freely swapped, downloaded, remashed and aggregated, threatens over 200 years of copyright protection and intellectual property rights. While no Luddite - Keen pioneered several Internet startups himself - he urges us to consider the consequences of blindly supporting a culture that endorses plagiarism and piracy and that fundamentally weakens traditional media and creative institutions.
In this updated edition he also addresses the issue of protecting children on the Internet.