The Web Comment as Fast Poetry: Language After Censorship

    • Présentatrice(s) ou présentateur(s)

    This presentation reads the web comment as a form of time-based performance poetry. Web commentary—across platforms such as personal blogs, How-To articles, Facebook and YouTube—is simultaneously in conversation with the public, the private, and time itself. The virtual comment joins pages of past replies and anticipates future response. This presentation explores the linguistic affects of time-based web comments, then posits the questions: What happens when a comment is censored? And how is that language digested by the public? As its focus, the project navigates censored web commentary in both Iran and the United States, illuminating new trends in language developed as a means of bypassing state-sponsored, locally-sponsored, and self-sponsored content restrictions.

    From sports blogs repurposed as hubs for discussing political music, to YouTube’s algorithms designed to allow users to control public debates, this paper takes the form of an interactive archive, with the hope that users will immerse themselves in what is referred to by David Crystal, professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor, as “an amazing medium for languages.”


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