In the 1960s, technology futurist Marshall McLuhan rose to fame with a seemingly simple catchphrase: "The medium is the message." With the integration of television, computers and databases, he argued, communication technologies have taken on a meaning of their own that extends beyond the mere content of the information they deliver to customers. The ability of these technologies to instantaneously connect people across the globe, tearing down the physical barriers of time and place, likewise inspired McLuhan to dub the digital world a "global village." But in many ways, what modern media users experience online today is a far cry from living in a global village. Children can't safely roam the internet without supervision; adults can't surf the web without risking their identifying details, or being inundated with messages, ads and news items optimized for companies' commercial gain; users can't participate in trendy forums without expecting to get in an online...
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