Do metaphors influence our information policy preferences? Professor Osenga thinks so, which makes it especially important to choose the right one, as a metaphor is often the primary tool the general public uses to understand information policy. Using a five-point rubric, she evaluates, among others, understanding the Internet as “tubes,” “highway,” “space (cyberspace),” “coffee shop/bar” and “cloud.” Osenga finds them all lacking in important ways. However, she believes the metaphor of the Internet as “ecosystem” is very promising and deserves to be further developed.
The Internet is Not a Super Highway: Using Metaphors to Communicate Information and Communications Policy, 3 J. Info. Pol'y 30 (2013)