Folksonomy and Facebook

During Monday’s class, we had discussed the many distinctions between Commons Knowledge and Copyright. We came to the conclusion that commons knowledge is a shared space, such as sharing information and content. Commons knowledge is often referred to as an open source (ex:Wikipedia) where information is a  product of collaboration by consumers and can be continuosly edited. Copyright can be defined as a closed source, intellectual property, and expert driven. Sharing copyrighted content is a violation of the law as the owner of the content was given sole rights to use and distribute it.

We see the use of commons knowledge and copyrighted information often, but there are a number of sources that we use daily that can be considered commons knowledge, for example, Facebook. One quality of commons knowledge is that it’s folksonomic, meaning that a system of classification is put into place to organize content, mostly through the use of tagging. Facebook is folksonomic as it uses tags to organize their viewers content.

For example, Facebook users often uploads photos, whether it be of family or friends, they are given the option to “tag” someone. If they choose to tag someone, the “tagged” individual receives a “notification” telling them they have been tagged. They can choose to keep the tag or remove it, and even sort it into their own photos, thus aiding in the categorization of their Facebook page.

On Facebook, we also have the power to create our own profiles and other pages, to be viewed publicly (or not if you chose not to). However, this can be considered commons knowledge because you are collaborating to create content, and then sharing it. Said information does not even have to be factual, since these pages are not heavily moderated. People have the power to create pages for their favorite celebrities or even pages for shared likes or interests. This is a way to organize users on Facebook while still giving users the option to create content.


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