What is walled garden? “On the Internet, a walled garden is an environment that controls the user’s access to Web content and services” (Rouse 2005). The best example will be Facebook. From the time you created an account in Facebook, you are actually being watched by Facebook. Posts that you shared; status that you updated; personal messages that you sent are all being watched. The worst thing is when you are gossiping someone that you hate with your friends, and you thought only both of you know about that. Like what I’ve mentioned, you are being watched every steps when you are on Facebook. Besides, all the information will be stored on Facebook as well. Although you deleted some information on Facebook, it will not delete completely because it’s still being saved in Facebook.
According to Matt (2010), “Facebook wants to keep users inside its own garden”. People now can use Facebook to sign in to other websites such as 9gag, CNN and so on. It will link to Facebook and share it to your friends once you click into any articles or pictures. In my opinion, it is like invasion of privacy where the user might not know the link that clicked on will share it on Facebook. At the same time, your friends will know what kind of articles that you just read and it will also being stored in Facebook. Besides, when anyone who is interested in you, they can just search your name on Facebook and all your details will be published.
Other than Facebook, you are also being watched when using Youtube. When you are looking for songs in Youtube, you just need to type the song’s name in the search engine and you can get the songs that you want. When the next time you open Youtube homepage, you can actually see what video that you have watched previously. It also have some recommendation of songs provided in Youtube homepage. What does all these means? It means that Youtube also will store what you have viewed previously. Actually it is not a bad thing because it somehow will make us feel convenient in the future by just clicking on the video recommendation without typing the song’s name.
According to Hillesley (2012), the Egyptian government shut down the access to the Internet because the Egytian activist tweeted “we use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate and Youtube to tell the world”. Although social networking sites is consider as entertainment for us but if we have posted sensitive issues, we will be in trouble. Therefore, we need to think twice when post something in social networking sites because there are many ‘people’ are watching at what we are doing. To avoid these thing happen, I think the only way is not to post anything on websites.
Hillesley R 2012, “Internet censorship: let it rot in walled gardens”, Tech Republic, accessed 2/5/2013, from http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/european-technology/internet-censorship-let-it-rot-in-walled-gardens/1333
Matt H 2010, “Return of the Internet’s ‘walled gardens’”, National Post, accessed 2/5/2013, from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/821897437/fulltext?accountid=15112
Rouse M 2005, “Walled garden“, accessed 2/5/2013, from http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/walled-garden
Zittrain JL 2008, “The future of the Internet and How to Stop It”, accessed 2/5/2013, from http://futureoftheinternet.org/static/ZittrainTheFutureoftheInternet.pdf