Did you know that over half of the internet is in a single language?
The internet and its interfaces were not designed to accomodate linguistic diversity. Because the internet was developed in a context where English was the dominating language, English became the dominant language of the internet's front and back end. Perhaps the universality of English online increases opportunities for information and knowledge exchange. However, if English works in tandem with the networks, cables, bits, and bytes of the internet to create a 'global village,' how does it also work to maintain hierarchies of privilege and control within that village? And, as the internet and its interfaces increasingly mediate our experiences with, access to, and navigation of the physical world, how might the limits of its linguistic landscape limit our experience of the physical, material one?
"[M]appings of the linguistic contours of the geoweb will help us to push forward a broader debate about how augmented inclusions and exclusions, visibilities and invisibilities, will shape the way in which places become defined, imagined, and experienced." - Mark Graham and Matthew Zook (2013, p. 97), Geographers