Peer production: Saving grace or tool of destruction?

Although this blog has already dedicated a fair few post to Trump, and the online social networks surrounding him, as I went through the Kreiss, Finn and Turner article I could not keep my thoughts away from the new president. This critical discussion of peer production made me want to analysis the role of individual production value in our current controversial state of politics. Trump has been the center of numerous scandals. His new immigration ban has created an over whelming amount of online production, as individuals who sit with Trump, and those who sit against him engage in political debate.

Trump’s campaign and now presidency has also been filled with fake news stories, and the more recent #alternativefacts, making peer production that much more important, and at the same time that much more dangerous. Recently an overall distrusted and fear towards popular news agencies has created somewhat of a moral panic, making peer production that much more powerful. For some reason, different social networks find membership more trusting in each other, than in main stream media.


But here we see an important intersect between the good and the bad side to peer production. Try as we might, there is no way to negate what she has said, and as ludicrous as it may sound, there is likely a network of individual who have already begun to craft a conspiracy store regarding this fake piece of information. Pizzagate, the fake news story regarding Hilary Clinton was fueled by peer production, and in that sense the bureaucracy that Kreiss, Fin and Turner talk about is very much alive.

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There is a very real, and very concerning binary to peer production that has to be considered. This election, and the aftermath have proven the modern power of peer production. It is inherently good and bad, and both sides need to be considered in light of increasingly deceptive production. It seems, everything has an ulterior motive, and because of that we need to be critical producers, and critical consumers.



  1. This is a really relevant and nuanced discussion of peer production and I think it’s important to continue discussing the Trump presidency so long as his presidency continues to be outrageous. Relevant to this week’s readings, I think it’s interesting to consider technological affordances which have permitted peer production as well as a network of fake news and #alternativefacts. Are the networks responsible for moderating peer production? Is there accountability? Or do the same affordances which is allow for falsities to be spread online also allow for us to engage critically with the same content and with one another?

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  2. Peer production definitely has a role in US politics these days, and I would argue is a product of some ‘slips’ by inexperienced employees in the White House, strong bias against Donald Trump by many media outlets, and a handful of liberal trolls who are having a lot of fun.

    There does seem to be a convolution between information obtained by news outlets, and information obtained from some of these ‘peer-productions’, which I believe puts an emphasis on the some news items that may not deserve such attention. I am sure we can think of many examples from the last two weeks. I take issue with this because I find that it can waste time during the few opportunities when both sides interact, in that these instances of nonsensical/satirical/comedic peer products can be focused upon and easily delegitimized, taking focus away from the relevant issues that should really be responded to.


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