Online Feudalism is an interesting concept that entails patterns of internet/program/application use in a feudal manor.

This is a concept that online industries have adopted and implemented to ensure control. Feudal control is evident in a multitude of platforms like Facebook, numerous apple applications and a further abundance of social networking sites.

The emergence of the internet as a tool of commerce breeds new issues of security, surveillance, data collection and permission control. Sites, platforms and applications that work in a ‘walled garden’ module manage to extract surplus from copious amounts of information online. This is achieved by specialising content and making it strictly tied down to one platform. Walled Garden’s control how we use a platform and establishes curated content.

A walled garden also does more than you may realise. A walled garden collects, monitors and stores your information. Have something personal written on a profile you were hoping only your friends would see? Think again…

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This article is an informative read on the topic of online feudalism that I would recommend for all.

This article too shows an example of a ‘walled garden’ module restricting what people in the Chinese nation are able to see on TV. This exemplifies the idea in a broader spectrum that content can be controlled and monitored.


9 Replies to “iFeudalism”

  1. Hi! Nice post, you have depicted the notion of control and surveillance nicely! The feudal adaption to the technological era is an integral component that drives corporations and centralized nodes. You brought up China, are you familiar with the Great Firewall Of China? The nation is a key example of the root meaning of feudalism and emphasises the structure of society through what information is curated and distributed. Here is a link that explains this notion and how it functions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWfUOG0EA9w. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Great remediation on this week’s topic, it broke down the characteristics of the ‘walled garden’ and the role it plays in society. Adding onto Sonny’s comment on the ‘Great Firewall of China’, it is an excellent example that really captures the idea of a walled garden! Check out this site: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4707107&page=1 This site breaks down the ideologies of the Great Firewall and explains that Chinese people are restricted from using certain social media sites and discussing certain things. They are also restricted from searching certain events that happened within China’s history in an effort to control the amount of knowledge that Chinese people have about their own country as well as knowledge about the rest of the world. However, have found a way around this ‘wall’ using VPN’S which are a Virtual Private Network that are used to access sites that are outside China. Within the last few months of 2015, 29% of Chinese people used a VPN regularly to escape the security measures of the ‘Wall’ enforced by the government: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30982198
    Your meme really captures the situation that happens within China, but crazily enough I found out that most people within China don’t mind the firewall, is this because the government has forced the idea into them of is it because they don’t know any different?


  3. Really well articulated post about the concept of the walled garden. I think you could have definitely improved this post by incorporating what your thoughts are on this idea of control and surveillance. I think the curation of content creates a negative impact as it limits the information we see online. What are your thoughts on content curation within the walled garden?


  4. The idea that “walled gardens” specialise content and make it strictly tied down to one platform, which you mentioned, I believe, can be explicitly related to many sites including Netflix. Netflix has an arrange of movies and TV shows to offer, but also has their own Netflix Original Series. This way, in order for people to view these specific shows, they have to sign up for the service. Of course, unless there is some way to break through the “walled garden.” Individuals have torrented many of the Netflix original series onto torrenting sites, in order for those individuals who do not have Netflix can watch the same tv shows. Series including “Stranger Things” particularly have become very popular, and has a very high demand on Netflix and other torrenting websites. Other ways people can break through “walled gardens” is via applications including adblock. When used on a site like YouTube- one of the components of the site is that income is generated through advertising. When this element is removed, audiences are watching content without the promotional videos, thus in some way breaking one of the elements that is exclusive to the website. Here is a link to an article which describes how adblocking applications are doing this. http://mashable.com/2016/08/19/ad-blocker-shine-deal-african-telecom/#9LJ39VwTnPq4


  5. I agree with your idea that “the emergence of the internet as a tool of commerce breeds new issues of security, surveillance, data collection and permission control”. I think that this new security issue will only continue to thrive in the future as technology and the internet develop.

    You mentioned China as an example and you could also look at metadata laws here in Australia (see this link: http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/new-data-retention-laws-begin-today-this-is-what-you-need-to-know/news-story/28ea2dc1b01d15e53f474e21b6d68501)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, this is one of the best blog I come across. I like how you clearly state the walled garden at the beginning on the post. I also like how you have included the further reading in mentioning the age [technology], and about the control and surveillances that china have. It would be good to see more of you understand / opinion [point of view] about China censorship, surveillances, and control. Love you work…


  7. Your meme is perfect! A humorous example of what iFeudalism really is. You can see iFeudalism in platforms such as Facebook where ads are specifically tailored to what you like, search and look at, even outside Facebook. This control over information really unnerves me.


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