Tuesday, May 10, 2011
It is evident the strong role social media plays in politics these days. It is undeniable that social media permeates through every aspect of politics. I think it is good because it is increasing the amount of people that are informed about things. I think it is bad because I believe now that opinions are swayed too easily. It is easy to change your feelings about a candidate when the second they do something, there are 17 new posts, 15 new tweets and 6 new emails popping up on your screen, virtually screaming opinions in your face. It is now hard to discern whether your opinions are really your opinions. People blow things out of proportion a lot in social media and their personal bias' are far from hidden. You thought all you had to worry about was government propaganda, people propaganda can be very dangerous as well!
Monday, May 9, 2011
The section about Obama and his blackberry was very interesting to me. While the world is progressing and taking part in new, new media, it feels almost unfair to prevent the president from having access to these new advances. They keep people connected and up to date with what is going on in the world, but the controversy does make me think.
On the other hand, I think it is important for the president to be securely protected at all costs. His information and messages should be protected at all cost. Social media constructs this certain open forum to everyone and even when something seems private, people on the internet can usually access it at some degree. This makes me think that Obama should not take part in these forums and understand why he perhaps should not have his blackberry. For maximum security, to himself, and our country, his messages should not be shared. Overall, I think it is smart that he have his blackberry but be protected with the nation in mind.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The website features Obama's new campaign logo — 2012 with the rising sun in the background, a version of his 2008 campaign logo — and announces that the campaign is kicking off
New media has now taken its place in politics as well as every other aspect of life in our society. Politics strives with the popularity of society, and in our time the best way to reach out to our society is through new media. Obama's website was a very successful part of his last election and now he will use this form of social media once again. This opens up a new door in the world of political elections. This has been a positive and cheep way to promote Obama's election. Obama said himself that this online web campaign is more focused and innovative then anything we have ever used before, and he plans to use it once again.
It would be interesting to know what the President of the United States was texting or emailing. Better yet, it would be more interested as to who he was talking to. However, information that President sends out is probably important and secret. This information would be really bad if it got out to the public early. I think it definitely would be a good idea for Obama to have his blackberry protected and his internet connection more secure than the average person.
But, new new media can also be very damaging to a campaign. If some unknown truth about the candidate is revealed, it will spread like wildfire throughout the Internet. This would call for serious damage control both through the use of social media as well as conventional mass media. So, I see new new media as being extremely helpful for the public in terms of election. Not only do we have the potential to feel significantly more connected to our candidates, but there is also an ease with which the majority of society can learn about past scandals if they happen to come up during the election period (or after).
However, we must always be careful not to believe anything too quickly and always check stories against other sources. Although the truth has the ability to spread rapidly across the Internet, so do lies.
Obama and Digital Media for his 2008 Campaign
Many companies use new media and social media to attract interested people, and use their participation to spread messages by word of mouth. It happens all the time--"viral marketing" seems to be a big buzz word. Campaign managers or marketing firms put some kind of information, video, or image "out there," hoping it will get discovered. The fans do the rest of the work by actively sharing with friends, providing feedback, and building excitement. On Facebook, 19.5 million people "like" Obama, and regularly post thousands of comments on wall posts, effectively sharing the information with entire network of friends. On the other side of the spectrum, Sarah Palin has only mustered up around 3 million likes. While that number of likes is significantly less than Obama's, Palin's fans still offer their support and feedback, which creates a unified group of enthusiastic caribou hunters. Upon writing this post, a discussion was taking place among fans hoping for Sarah Palin's successful Presidential candidacy, and the question of whether or not Obama has a valid American birth certificate. Fan Jason Baldwin exclaimed, "PLEASE RUN! WE NEED YOU!"
I am curious to see how future candidates will use new media in different ways. Will they favor YouTube or Twitter over Facebook, or will something completely new lead the way? I think that Facebook likes are advantageous because when someone likes something, it is posted to the news feed for 400-600 other people to see. This gets people thinking about the information. As demonstrated by videos like Rebecca Black's "Friday," (which is now up to 120 million views) nothing spreads as quickly as a YouTube video. I don't think Obama's use of YouTube has been successful. His videos rarely feature more than a talking head or statistics. For example, I have embedded the most recent video from Obama's channel (posted April 25th).
If I am on YouTube, this is NOT the type of video I willingly watch. That type of video is better suited for an old medium like television. The YouTube comments do allow for discussion to take place in a pubic forum and people can post video responses, which is typical of the new media, however, the videos themselves are not tailored to the new medium of YouTube. If a new candidate can create a campaign using the potential of new media to the fullest, it will be interesting to see if it is successful.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Overall, I may be naive, but I feel as though these problems can be avoided. I do think new new media can be used for good especially in cases like those that Dr. Levinson referenced with Twitter and terrorism as well as using YouTube as a way to identify perpetrators. There is always a dark side to something, but if the people using the medium are smart and careful, their chances of being virtually or ultimately physically assaulted should be reduced.
Short debate about social media and society...
Paul Levinson focuses a lot on cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying, which I believe are two very serious issues in our fairly new cyber-culture. Another idea that I thought of while brainstorming about the Costs and Consequences of all the New, New Media that we have covered in class so far, is the topic of cyberporn. Specifically child cyberporn.
Here is a breif background of the law, taken directly from USLegal.com :
In the 1990s, lawmakers twice passed legislation targeting child porn online. The first was the Child Pornography Prevention Act (CPPA) of 1996, designed both to close loopholes in existing federal child pornography law and address new technological issues by the following:
- Criminalizing the act of knowingly possessing, selling, receiving, sending, or transmitting child pornography via the internet or email.
- Criminalizing so-called “virtual, or morphed” depictions of child pornography, those that appear to involve minors and those created by computer graphics software.
The law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that it was overbroad and would also have hurt artistic expression. Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, (2002).
This problem was specifically seen in Second Life. As we all learned in class, you can create Avatars to look however you want. The issue was, in this virtual reality, a user had created an avatar that looked like a child performing sexial acts on an adult avatar. Many people were outraged by this visual atrocity and expected legal action to be taken against this individual. Unfortunately, since the image of the child was not based on an actual, real life person, no legal action could be taken against this man that many felt was just as bad as a pedofile.
While this is an unfortuante consequence of having little control over virtual reality in Social Media, and while it is not a cost that should be taken lightly, what we must conclude in the end is that regardless of the technology or new things introduced into our culture, people will always find ways to abuse social outlets whether is is reality or virtual. I think the benefits of Social Media will greatly outweigh the few moral discrepancies we occasionally encounter on the Internet.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I was part of a program called peer mediation. Part of our role as "peer mediators" was go around to elementary schools and educate them about the dangers of bullying. My job was to cover cyberbullying. At the time, most of the cyberbullying occurred on AIM. Students would often times create a fake screen name to anonymously harass others. Although this was problematic at times and could lead to bigger issues, it was normally one-on-one harassment.
Trolling and flaming have become art forms that start wars. Facebook becomes a war zone with planned events to meet and fight real life battles, people take sides and load up on artillery in the form of insulting comments, and F-bombs are dropped without any restraint. Could it be that in-person communication forces humans into submission, whereas computer-mediated technology frees human nature from restraint? Many arguments start from simple misunderstandings. The sense of what is rude and polite is automatically understood in face-to-face interaction, but we lose this understanding in electronic communication--many willingly disregard etiquette all together. Luckily, the computer monitor acts as a shield to protect us from the flames. The problem is when online skirmishes migrate to real life, and real people--like Megan Meier--become victims.
Its hard to scroll through a comments section on a blog or website without seeing arguing or trolling. There are a lot of fanboys out there, and they spend a lot of time in their natural habitats; message boards and comment sections. Being an anonymous poster seems to remove the last remnants of courtesy. Its even worse in online gaming because you take on an anonymous body too. New media asks users for a lot of personal, or even private, information and it is common for people to misuse it. I've seen arguments begin on Facebook between friends and family, which then translate to real world arguments. So much of the discussion that takes place online is unnecessary and trivial, but still leads to anger. It makes me wonder, in spite of all the benefits new media provides, if the positives outweigh the many, many negatives.
Though I do understand that it's all in fun, I have seen several posts that I would call inappropriate. One post said something along the lines of: blonde girl, i am waiting to attack you on Hoffman. The blonde girl was no one in particular, but it was saying that someone will be attacked when leaving Fordham's campus. On another note, students may get called out by name saying that someone in their class is watching them because they are beautiful/handsome. I am aware that some of these are people's friends and they are aware of the post, however, some of them are actually real. If you knew that one of your friends didn't post about you, but someone else did, then a part of you feels a little creeped out by it. Overall, I don't think this is a great site due to all of the cyberbullying that some people may get carried away with.
When the Knicks secured a spot in this year's NBA playoffs, I felt the need to give their Wikipedia entry a little update. Unfortunately, Wikipedia didn't like what I had to say. I updated the information about their current season and added that they were scheduled to play the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.
Monday, April 18, 2011
For the Wikipedia assignment, I edited my high school page, Saint Joseph Hill Academy in Staten Island, New York. After checking up on my new revisions, it is safe to say that nobody disagreed with what I had to change. The information seemed quite old considering it spoke about the new laptop program that was recently launched, yet it was in full force when I was a student at Hill. I was able to take part in this program so I added personal detail to this section of Technology. It seemed so easy to do, almost too easy. While I did leave links to the sources of my information, I feel like almost anyone can write whatever they please. I thought this was a great assignment overall though because it showed us that we can express our opinions as if they were facts to the public. It can be anonymous and people may take our words as true simply because they are written out in front of their face. People tend to be lazy and believe anything they hear, so I would not doubt that people take Wikipedia at full face value, while they probably should not.
I found this last assignment to be very difficult. The most challenging part about this assignment however was finding a topic to write about. It took me a while just to come up with a few ideas and then after narrowing down those ideas I realized that not all pages on Wikipedia are open for anyone to edit. For example, My hometown and high school were restricted for only certain users to make sure only accurate information goes on the page. In the end I selected one of my favorite television shows called Modern Family to write about. Then I hit my next obstacle; what to write about. I honestly sat at the computer and stared at the screen blankly for 15 minutes, mainly because I didn't know what to say. Finally, after reading the page for another 15 minutes I realized that not much was said on the setting of the show. Not that the setting is all the important or interesting but I thought that maybe some people would appreciate the add in. Apparently, what I said wasn't liked by the person who looks over the page because just a day later the section on the setting was taken down. Although I am not surprised or really that upset about it, it does feel weird that someone can just go on the internet and take away my hard work. I found this assignment in every way to be challenging and difficult and I really do respect the people who musts constantly update the wiki pages because there is not a lot to say. Everything I know is pretty much already on Wikipedia and writing something worth keeping is a very hard thing to do.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Finally I remembered a conversation I had with my friend about old cartoon shows like Hey Arnold, Doug, Rocco's Modern Life, and more. I came across the entry for Courage the Cowardly Dog, and noticed that there was no mention of the music that can be heard in the show. My friend and I agreed that the music is a staple of the program, and is a huge part of what made it special. For us, it was definitely the single most memorable element. I recalled an interview I had read with the composers for the show, and together with the knowledge I already had, I wrote about the music. Even though I only added a single paragraph, it took a lot of time. I knew that plenty of people would reference this entry either to learn about the show, or reminisce about the old days. When people got to my paragraph about the music, I wanted to make sure they recalled the same warm feelings and memories that I did, so I tried to use plenty of examples.
I cited the interview at the end of my entry and submitted it. I was pretty proud to see it on the page, and I've been refreshing all week to see if it is still there. In the middle of the week I noticed that someone had inserted "citation needed" after a few sentences. Since all of the specific details I wrote about could be found in the article I cited, I added the citation after each sentence that called for it. I actually was a little annoyed about having to go through this extra step because I placed the citation at the end of the paragraph and if the person who changed it to "citation needed" had just read the interview, he would have seen that it was all coming from the same place. Nevertheless, I added the citations, and kept checking back in. A few days ago I noticed that someone removed all of the citations after the individual sentences, and now there is a single citation at the end of the paragraph. I think it looks much cleaner this way.