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In this section we shift our focus to how social media and the internet influences popular culture and society. Social media is used to convey news, but participation and engagement also influences the news. In addition, social media is a powerful tool for advocacy, but this is countered by the growing phenomenon of walled gardens on the internet, a new form of filtering content.


Context reading

Consider the impact on globalisation, society and culture given, for example that:

  • China has more internet users than any country
  • Since 2009, in America, more individuals access news through the internet than traditional newspapers.
  • Since 2010, Facebook surpassed Google as the top site driving traffic to news and entertainment on both Yahhoo! and MSN.
  • For the first time, in 2016 more than half of those living in emerging and developing nations use the internet[1].

The following reading is intended to provide context before exploring the stimulus resources below. The reading is written from an American perspective so you should consider how this issues effect popular culture and globalisation in your own country.



Internet activism (Cyberactivism, electronic advocacy, e-activism)
“Using e-mail, blogs and social networking sites to publicize a cause by disseminating information quickly that is unavailable through normal government and commercial news sources, which may or may not eventually catch up. Cyberactivism can help promote a cause, product, company, politician or a revolution (PC Magazine (n.d.)[2]).”
Walled garden (Internet)
“On the Internet, a walled garden is an environment that controls the user’s access to Web content and services. In effect, the walled garden directs the user’s navigation within particular areas, to allow access to a selection of material, or prevent access to other material. An Internet service provider (ISP) may or may not allow users to select some of the Web sites contained or barred from the garden. Although the walled garden does not actually prevent users from navigating outside the walls, it makes it more difficult than staying within the environment. … A common reason for the construction of walled gardens is for the profits they generate: vendors collaborate to direct consumer’s Internet navigation to each others’ Web sites and to try to keep them from accessing the Web sites of competitors (TechTarget n.d[3]).”

web resources

Stimulus resources

Activism and social media

Walled gardens


Reflective questions

Reflect on the following questions an post your answers on your blog:

  • If you wanted to use social media to influence a cause, what tools would you use and why?
  • How will social media influence popular culture in your country?
  • Are “walled internet gardens”, especially through smart phone applications, new filters of media bias controlled by corporate entities or are these developments that enhance the user experience of the open web?
  • In what way’s will popular culture and society in your country be influenced by globalisation in a digital world? Will this have a positive or negative impact on culture in your country?

Remember to tag or label your post using the course code: LiDA104


  1. Pizzi, M. (2016, February 22). Survey: 54 percent in developing world use Internet.
  2. PC Magazine. (.n.d.) Cyberactivism. Definition. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  3. TechTarget (n.d.) What is walled garden? – Definition from