The course looks critically at the web 2.0 phenomenon, as well as other related phenomenon of user generated content. For its proponents, web 2.0 represents participation, collectivism, interactivity and a basis for online communities – all this while sanctifying the concept of “amateurism”. For its detractors, the web 2.0 phenomenon represents an engine for generating profit at the expense of surfers at best, while at its worst it severely impacts on privacy. For them it certainly does not advance any type of democratization. The course looks at the central elements of the phenomenon. Privacy and hyper transparency; empowerment of users; political economy of web 2.0; and democratization. The claims will be viewed through both modernist and post modernist prisms. In addition the course looks at expression of the phenomenon in the Middle East.