Every week, there is a new “high moral ground” for armchair commentators to climb to and new causes for checkbook activists to throw money at. Both groups pat themselves on the back, feeling secure in their position of social media self-righteousness. It’s easy enough to type words on a screen, to vent, curse and whip oneself into a frenzy over issues, real or imagined. Those words often prove empty when it comes time for action and the money soon dries up for causes, however worthy those causes may be. It is difficult not to be cynical at a time when major humanitarian agencies like the US division of the Red Cross can grossly misappropriate five hundred million dollars that was donated to help rebuild Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Outrage Inc. cares not for who or what it leaves in its wake and blindly marches on towards its next target, taking the crowd and their cash with it.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Social Media
We are the product Facebook’s selling, so why aren’t we getting paid? The New Yorker poses an excellent question:
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Not long ago, Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist who studies social media, wrote that she wanted to pay for Facebook. More precisely, she wants the company to offer a cash option (about twenty cents a month, she calculates) for people who value their privacy, but also want a rough idea of what their friends’ children look like. In return for Facebook agreeing not to record what she does—and to not show her targeted ads—she would give them roughly the amount of money that they make selling the ads that she sees right now. Not surprisingly, her request seems to have been ignored. But the question remains: just why doesn’t Facebook want Tufekci’s money? One reason, I think, is that it would expose the arbitrage scheme at the core of Facebook’s business model and the ridiculous degree to which people undervalue their personal data.
You may be “unbothered” by the rash of new words sweeping America, but just keeping up with the meaning, let alone the etymology, of words like boolin, baeless and on fleek is exhausting. Amirite or what? Quartz explains why it’s happening so fast:
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Words spread like weeds—seemingly at random but actually governed by invisible forces. Look away for too long, and suddenly new ones are emerging from who knows where.
The uncertain and gradual growth of words makes it nearly impossible to pinpoint where they started or how they caught on. But that is starting to change, as linguists draw on a wealth of data about word usage from social media services like Twitter.
Jack Grieve, a forensic linguist at Aston University in Birmingham, England, has been examining a dataset of nearly 9 billion tweeted words to identify the new American vocabulary. In a forthcoming study, he looked for words that were rarely used on Twitter in late 2013 but became common throughout 2014.
Peter Ross writes at the Good Men Project:
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We’ve all seen the stories online about men being falsely accused of being creeps and paedophiles. Stop me if any of these sound familiar:
I was sitting on a bench watching my granddaughter on the swings when the police show up to question me because someone reported that I was leering at the children.
I was asked to move seats on a plane because a child was seated next to me.
I was tapped on the shoulder by police while I was taking photos of the beach. Someone thought I was taking pictures of their children.
For most men, any of the above situations would not only be mortifying but would also make us extremely angry to be accused of such a heinous intention just because we have a Y chromosome. This is an awful phenomenon and one that has been written about a number of times, and recently on The Good Men Project, in an attempt to educate people that, surprise, most men aren’t predators.
Jay Caspian Kang tells the story of how ” the first 21st-century civil rights movement” was built by DeRay Mckesson, a 29-year-old former school administrator who has spent much of the past nine months attending and catalyzing civil rights protests such as those in Baltimore, for the New York Times Magazine:
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… Since Aug. 9, 2014, when Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department shot and killed Michael Brown, Mckesson and a core group of other activists have built the most formidable American protest movement of the 21st century to date. Their innovation has been to marry the strengths of social media — the swift, morally blunt consensus that can be created by hashtags; the personal connection that a charismatic online persona can make with followers; the broad networks that allow for the easy distribution of documentary photos and videos — with an effort to quickly mobilize protests in each new city where a police shooting occurs.
Just in case you all aren’t burned out on the satirical art (we’ve been posting quite a bit lately), I have another artist to showcase. Jean Jullien is a French-born artist who depicts our narcissistic obsessions with technology — one to which I am not particularly immune.
As if disinfonauts really needed reminding, be careful who you “friend” on Facebook or other social media platforms: they might be cops looking to arrest you and your associates, reports the Atlantic:
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In 2012, Brooklyn police officer Michael Rodrigues arrested a burglary gang, the Brower Boys, by adding gang members as friends on Facebook. The day of the arrest was like gathering the lowest-hanging fruit. “It’s break-in day on the avenue,” one gang member posted in his status message. Officer Rodrigues and colleagues tracked the gang members to the avenue in question. They photographed the young men committing the crime, and then arrested them.
For the past several years, police and prosecutors across the country have been quietly using social media to track criminal networks. Their methods have become more sophisticated: by combining social media APIs, databases, and network analysis tools, police can keep tabs on gang activity. In New York’s Harlem neighborhood, at-risk teens are identified as members of gangs based on their affiliations and are monitored on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Spanish artist Luis Quiles has a dark, disturbing vision of modern life, consumerism, social media and sexuality…but what’s easily the most shocking aspect of his bleak, erotically charged portrayal of our apathetic, narcissistic social decay is that it really isn’t that shocking at all to a culture numbed down by constant, instant corporate gratification. Swipe to the left:
There are many ways to take a stand when it comes to various social issues.
Luis Quiles, a Spanish artist… [who] does this by drawing pretty controversial cartoons, has spent the last few years creating hundreds of powerful drawings, showing a disturbingly accurate vision of our world.
And while most of his work can be rather disturbing, it’s also very eye-opening.Slaving to social media, child trafficking, dirty politics.
The following…images might make you feel kind of dirty, but they will also definitely make you think.
Aaron and Shawn explore our growing dependency on social media in light of the rise of the smartphone, the neurochemistry of compulsive behaviors, and their own detrimental habits.
Hey disinfonauts, are any of you Yik Yakkers? Did the New York Times do a good job of describing the service’s abuse problem:
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During a brief recess in an honors course at Eastern Michigan University last fall, a teaching assistant approached the class’s three female professors. “I think you need to see this,” she said, tapping the icon of a furry yak on her iPhone.
The app opened, and the assistant began scrolling through the feed. While the professors had been lecturing about post-apocalyptic culture, some of the 230 or so freshmen in the auditorium had been having a separate conversation about them on a social media site called Yik Yak. There were dozens of posts, most demeaning, many using crude, sexually explicit language and imagery.
After class, one of the professors, Margaret Crouch, sent off a flurry of emails — with screenshots of some of the worst messages attached — to various university officials, urging them to take some sort of action.