Dynamics of Remembering and Forgetting on the Social Web Platforms

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n recent scholarly works, the Web is viewed either as preserving all the available data for unlimited period of time or forgetting it all in a short-term succession. “[...] because of digital technology, society’s ability to forget has become suspended, replaced by perfect memory” (MayerSchonberger, 2009) while at the other extreme, the digital cultural heritage is “at risk from loss of data, knowledge or memory” (Blome and Wijers, 2010). This paper proposes to examine the dichotomy by exploring several (social) Web platforms. The article takes upon how the Web’s ability to remember and / or forget is often approached through studying the Internet Archive, or the personal involuntarily collected histories (and their relation to privacy issues, search engine backend politics, identity, markets, users generated content, etc.), or the ways the Web is changing the way we think and remember. It proposes to focus instead on the Web (social) platforms by asking what is the medium-specific way to study what is preserved or left behind? The article proceeds with analysis of two projects carried out within the digital methods framework and maps the contribution in the ways the medium-specific analysis explicates the dynamics of both remembering and forgetting through revealing mechanisms that reconfigure and reshape memory as content (memory narratives).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventMIT7 : Instability of platforms-the promise and peril of transition - MIT, Cambridge, MA, United States
Duration: 13 May 201115 May 2011


Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCambridge, MA


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