Complementary Reading Presentation

Guillaume Knobloch

COMS 308


Complementary Reading: “Introduction: The New Video Geography.”


In the introduction of Ramon Lobato’s book, Geoblocking and Global Video Culture, he covered a lot of different topics regarding geoblocking. He defines it as “a spatially-aware filtering technology that uses IP address databases to determine a user’s location ” (Lobato, 10). He talks about the different platforms such as Youtube, Facebook and many more that use these sorts of technologies, to regulate what people can see depending on their location. This results in most people having access to the internet, however very different kinds of internet. This sort of technology is mainly used in order to restrict certain kinds of content from being viewed in certain countries around the world.

The intro goes into how people have found ways to go around these geoblockings. Things such as VPNs are the most popular ways of going around these restrictions. Lobato says that these have “unleashed a wave of unauthorized cross-border media activity, allowing audiences to easily access streaming, news and sports services from other countries” (Lobato, 11).

In the intro, the book is broken into three main parts, the first being “Blockage and Flow”, he says that “ For many internet users, the experience of online video is characterized by blockage rather than flow.” (Lobato, 12). He explains that this is a result of each countries’ different policies. Each time you see the message “the video is not available in your region” it is often a result of copyright issues, or country policies. Even though this may be rare in North American some countries see this message more often than not.

The second main part of the book is “Control and Circumvention”, he expresses the ways in which the government tries to control the internet and the relationship that has with, “circumvention – the tactics, tools and work-arounds that people use to access blocked video sites.” (Lobato, 14).

The third theme in this book is “the relationship between commercial technologies of access control and government site blocking, surveillance and censorship.” (Lobato, 18). Here he discusses more of the perspective of the user and the fact that these technologies are used in very different ways, and that even though seen as a crime in many countries people often use VPNs simply to communicate with friends abroad or to watch a foreign show.

Even though I only read the intro of this book it seems to be incredibly interesting and gives information about a topic I assume many are unaware of.


Works Cited:

Lobato, Roman. Geoblocking and Global Video Culture. Institute of Network Cultures,



Discussion questions:


Knowing that the government is able to see what we do as well as control what we see, do you believe that in today’s society it is possible to to say that our opinions and beliefs are truly ours, or are they affected by the government?


With the development of things such as VPNs to get around geoblocking, do you think that technologies will eventually come to protect ourselves from unwanted surveillance? Maybe sunglasses that don’t allow cameras to recognize you? (I know kind of a stretch)


Week #11 – Response


  • In which sense sociality in social media is not only human? How/where do you see that? What is the role of affect in that entanglement?

I think that a big factor of social media that is making us seem less and less human is the idea that it is making us more and more lazy. In your video you talked about the fact that facebook has now added the option to react to something,  these reactions once again are making us so lazy to the point that we do not even write out our thoughts anymore. These little emoji’s use tp be at the end of our message to complete what we had types out, wear as now our entire message is that one little symbol. iMessage has also started their version of this with one being them allowing the reaction to be haha! I find it unbelievable that we live in a place that we are now too lazy and it woudl take to long to type out haha so we make it a simple button that can be pressed.

Eventually this is going to limit more and more what we are able to say on social media as we are moving to a more symbol based culture. Even though the symbols are easy to use and fun they create massive limitations as to what can be said through them. If we keep going in this direction we will only be able to react to what we see online through a sad emoji or a happy one, and never trully express the way that we feel.

  • What type of emotion do you associate distraction with? Why? 

I associate distraction with disinterest, when something does not interest me I will get distracted by whatever I can find around because doing anything but the task i am suppose to do would be more appealing. I think that we turn to distraction in order to find something else than what we are told to do. The task that we are often distracted from is very rarely something that we want or choose to do. When we are doing something for ourselves or something we wanted to do without anyone telling us to do it, we get distracted much less often.


Long Xi Session 11

I feel that distraction perhaps does not associate with any one emotion, but a lack-of-emotion. In the real world, when left with ourselves in a pure form, have only ourselves and our emotions, our thoughts. Any objects, environments, or experiences around that can change or form our further emotions, but perhaps online content, the internet and real-world environments are also distracting ourselves from our pure emotion. Distraction is at once the inundation with emotions through alluring forms and the lack of emotion in distracting ourselves from what’s inside. I think distraction is valuable, after all, our entire systems of society could arguably be a distraction. But I think it keeps us occupied, and can keep us from being left with an existential feeling of the absurdity of life.

I think its interesting how ASMR videos blur the line between distraction and attention; while they still use strategies on sites like Youtube to capture your attention/distract you from other content, like using exciting titles or thumbnails, they ultimately offer a different type of sobered distraction once you click. The enjoyment of ASMR videos is rooted in total and unfettered capture of attention through the use of immersive sound and external technologies (high-quality mics, and noise-cancelling headphones). While capturing attention, they offer an important distraction in a virtual form to a world perhaps hectic and therefore where peace is unattainable in the outside world. However, ASMR is not always immersive or peaceful; it can be jarring, aggressive, sad, arousing, funny etc. ASMR, in many forms, can capture all sorts of attentions and fundamentally distracts at the same time. This captures what Paasonen claims to be an interweaved network of both attention and distraction in networked connectivities

Sarah – Question respond

In which sense sociality in social media is not only human? How/where do you see that? What is the role of affect in that entanglement?

I think I can answer by saying that social media like Instagram for example, yes it requires the sociality of followers/people who decides to interact with your content but the part where it becomes not only human, I am tempted to say numbers. Only because when you reach a certain place with likes or subscribers, the person behind the account turns into this person that feels pressure to keep up with the status of the platform. It becomes less human when something you do for fun becomes something you have to do to be able to be happy. If I can take another example that is very common nowadays which is burnout related to content creators. A lot of them after a while of dedicating their time to creating and keeping their audience entertained are tired of working so hard. From this, many of them always say that they don’t feel like their true self. This is when they always tell us that overwork themselves for the sake of entertainment.

My response session 11

I normally associate my distraction with eating to decrease negative emotions like being highly anxious/stressed, overthinking, boredom or when I feel alone. Distraction is anything you do to take your attention off of strong emotions you are feeling. However, the effect of ASMR plays a huge role for me personally when a I am stressed or cannot sleep for instance I watch ASMR videos which relax me and calm me down. This can be distracting for me at times since I tend to watch many of different videos about ASMR.