Annotating a Copy of the Web

There are many how speak about the death of comments. However, something that has risen up recently is the ability to annotate the web. Whether it be Medium, Diigo or Hypothesis, each of these mediums provide the means of layering your voice on top of somebody else’s. Audrey Watter’s spoke out about this, pointing out that she has the right to choose whether people can annotate. It created quite a bit of discussion. Michael Caulfield adds his perspective.

My take (of course) is that annotation works best through a system of copies. Anyone should be able to annotate a copy of your work. But it’s not clear to me that people have the right to piggyback on the popularity of an address that you’ve worked your butt off to promote.It’s not clear to me that they should get to annotate the master file. This has always been the problem with comments as well — they work best on small sites, and go bad when they give users a much larger platform than they have earned. As with everything online, the phenomenon is gendered as well.ย  source


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