The battle between Wikileaks and Miley Cyrus

According to this Canadian writer, Wikileaks has been largely ineffective in truly bringing change because of our incredibly short attention spans:

The “collateral murder” video has been viewed almost 7m times on YouTube – that’s 128 times fewer than the video for Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA. That comparison might seem silly, but it hints at a bigger problem. That is, the “collateral murder” video, as it became a part of the usual TV structure of message-advertisement-message, was reduced to an equivalent of all other parts of the usual pattern of disarticulation and abstraction of signs. In essence, “collateral murder” was overshadowed by a Miley Cyrus video because, in the end, it became part of a structure inherently designed to nullify its message by promoting the status quo of the culture industry.

So, as much as WikiLeaks thrives in its online setting, its information still falls prey to the sameness of modern media. Even if someone were to see the video on YouTube, the same mechanisms prevail, with all information – including web advertisements and other videos – being presented as equal. Effectively, the only way one can view a WikiLeaks video without that influence is on the site itself, where it lives within certain confines, and with less influence.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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