Gate Peepin'

Talk by Linda Hilfling, for Web Studies, as part of After the Net 3.0.


Through an introduction to the critical design intervention, Gate Peepin’, this paper aims to open up for a discussion on means of regulation and the user’s position within Web 2.0 service platforms. The paper argues that examining Terms of Service documents is an important part of understanding key elements of the online servicescape, which increasingly is becoming an integrated part of our everyday life. The countless click-and-agree contracts populating the Web are veritable gate keepers of the communities making up todays net culture, such regulations are, although materially detached from the structures that they govern, powerful means of controlling content on the Net. Gate Peepin’ aims at bringing back the performativity of the regulations of the services within their own execution. Not as an instrumental tool, but as an artistic intervention altering the browsing experience of different social network platforms according to their Terms of Service, and thus turning both the user generated content and the Terms of Services upside down.