I’ll not go into the details of *that* Cameron story but, one of the articles about the ‘scandal’ which I read this week used a phrase which struck me as interesting “…the Internet has decided…”. Now, I’ve probably happened upon that phrase hundreds, if not thousands of times before but my engagement with this course is having the effect of ‘making the familiar strange’ (Selwyn 2011, p.16).
The Internet as artefact cannot ‘decide’ anything. As artefact it is, as Shelly and Urry note, composed of ‘multiple fixities or moorings on a substantial physical scale that enable the fluidities of liquid modernity’ (Shelly and Urry, ‘The New Mobilities Paradigm’, Environment and Planning A 2006, volume 38, p.207).
The phrase ‘the Internet has decided’ highlights Selwyn’s repeated proposition that ‘technology’ is not just the artefact, the thing, but also activities, practices, and context (Selwyn, 2011, p.8, p.17). The ‘Internet’ is a community and it is the epitome of ‘liquid modernity’.