A World Where All Links Are Treated Equal?

Media artist Cory Arcangel discusses censorship as related to the activity of linking.

Media artist Cory Arcangel recently published his musings on “links pages”. The activity of linking to sites is nothing new or spectacular, but considering the political history of the Internet, the act of linking and the information allowed provides for a contentious issue, whereby censorship, networks and hubs become a means of denying access or covering up information.

While this censorship issue may seem like a way of valuing links, Arcangel points us to more utilitarian history of the web, in which the knowledge of how to even build a web page was often so complicated, that building links on a page required an expert knowledge. This expert knowledge was part of the valuing of linking and web page building. Information and access to it, here, was thus in the hands of the expert.

Why this is culturally important now is that links, what information we see and share are valued for their distributability amongst numerous social media outlets. This does not make for egalitarian access to information; rather, meme culture affords for things to occur in hubs and the circulation of information is limited to the types of social circles we travel in; in this sense, censorship is enacted by the very system of how social media operates.

Cory Arcangel

[via: Art Forum]

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