BCM322 Assessment 3 Reflection

My aim for this video is to express how young people – especially teenagers – are underrepresented in the news media when there is a debate surrounding gun control in the US. Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors took to social media, namely Twitter, to organise protests which led to The March for Our Lives movement. This took place across the United States following the shooting in Parkland and was a rally to protest gun violence. It was organised primarily through social media. On 24 March 2018, millions participated in school walkouts across the nation, where students demanded tougher action on gun violence. (Deng 2018) These protests gained strong media interest, as well as interest from police and Congress.

I am linking this assessment loosely to the Week 6 topic – policy intervention. More specifically, I am linking it to a lack of policy intervention in terms of US gun control. I am not necessarily making a pro-gun control statement with this video, as I do respect the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans, however, I am focusing on the shooting at Marjory Stoneman as a prime example of how American youth are not being given an equal opportunity to comment on policy intervention. As a result, they have been forced to establish their own voice on social media – which can be a positive thing in terms of generating interest in their political arguments, such as The March for Our Lives walkouts across the country. Word-of-mouth is also something that is becoming increasingly easier to achieve through social media. Interventionists such as Emma González have rapidly developed an online following and fan base on Twitter, something that would have taken much longer to achieve through traditional media channels such as television.

In the video, I have utilised various editing techniques to show this throughout the clip. I have used split-screen to juxtapose video from March for Our Lives walkouts against videos of various pro-gun personalities making passionate statements on US national television. I have also superimposed several screenshots of Tweets by the surviving students at the end of the video in an effort to show how social media has been imperative to aiding the students taking action. My video is attempting to make the point that despite these students’ voices being small, social media is giving them the ability to share what they want to say without having to go through traditional media channels.

My research process involved watching videos and reading news articles about the shooting in Parkland. This is where I noticed that young people weren’t being given an equal amount of time on television programs to discuss the issues surrounding the gun control debate. There seemed to be an inequality in representation, with TV time reserved mainly for politicians and NRA spokespeople. Due to the digital divide and growing popularity of social media platforms, traditional/legacy media such as television is a medium becoming less important for young people. Younger people tend to be voicing their opinions namely through social media channels now, such as Facebook and Twitter. Fakhoury 2017 says that social media, as a collaborative and participatory tool, plays a key role in delivering public service value to citizens. And this is true in terms of people like Emma González and fellow Parkland shooting survivors taking to social media to organise March for Our Lives.

 

References:

Deng, O 2018, March for Our Lives was Born on Social Media, Crimson Hexagon, accessed 12 August 2018, <https://www.crimsonhexagon.com/blog/march-for-our-lives-was-born-on-social-media/>.

Fakhoury, R 2017, Can social media, loud and inclusive, fix world politics?, The Conversation, accessed 12 August 2018, <https://theconversation.com/can-social-media-loud-and-inclusive-fix-world-politics-74287>.

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IoT Smart Cities

Following this week’s lecture, I became fascinated with Ericsson’s smart home. After some research, I have discovered another aspect of Internet of Things – smart cities. McLaren & Agyeman 2015 define the smart city concept as an urban area that uses different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. Smart cities use new technologies and data management to achieve sustainable development and adapt to the rise in urbanization. Smart city spending worldwide is estimated to reach about $81 billion globally in 2018. (Newman 2018)

Please watch this video I have created, which explains the smart city concept further, using Seoul, South Korea as an example:

 

References:

McLaren, D & Agyeman, J 2015, Sharing cities, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Newman L 2018, The Sensors That Power Smart Cities Are a Hacker’s Dream, Wired, <https://www.wired.com/story/sensor-hubs-smart-cities-vulnerabilities-hacks/>.

The Internet Remembers

https://imgur.com/gallery/VQLZSqW

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The internet doesn’t like deletion, its default setting is to record – and keep. Erasing yourself completely from the Internet is nearly impossible.

Signing up for a social media account is basically giving the Internet permission to learn more about you. In particular, Facebook is very good at tracking what you do across the rest of the Web. And this applies even when you’re not actively using Facebook.

You can delete all unnecessary content from your social media accounts, essentially giving them a ‘clean up’. However it is almost impossible to delete yourself from the Internet.

This article provides further insight.

Who are Anonymous?

Davis 2014 defines hacktivism as “the use of computers and computer networks to promote political ends, chiefly free speech, human rights, and information ethics”. Hacktivism can be used for good or evil, as with any technology.

Anonymous are considered the most famous/infamous hacktivist group in the world. The group is composed of a loosely organized international network of hacktivists, and is used by people all over the world. Anonymous originates from the online image-based bulletin board 4chan, which started in 2003. (Stanek 2015) The name “Anonymous” was inspired by the perceived anonymity under which users posted on 4chan and this is also depicted in the group’s two symbols: the Guy Fawkes mask and the “man without head” image. These symbols also highlight the group’s inscrutability and lack of any formal leadership, which has spawned the saying ““we are all the same, this is why you can’t defeat us”.

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https://imgur.com/gallery/hGwCaGW

 

References:

Davis D. 2014, Hacktivism: good or evil?, Computer Weekly, <https://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/Hacktivism-Good-or-Evil>.

Stanek B. 2015, How Did Anonymous Start? The History Of The Mysterious “Hacktivist” Group Began Quite Some Time Ago, Bustle, <https://www.bustle.com/articles/65444-how-did-anonymous-start-the-history-of-the-mysterious-hacktivist-group-began-quite-some-time-ago>.

Social Media Activism and the Case of Tunisia

Please listen to this podcast:

For more information regarding the use of social media in the Tunisian Revolution, please check out the following sources:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/tunisia-protests-the-facebook-revolution

http://www.epolitics.com/2011/02/10/how-social-media-accelerated-tunisias-revolution-an-inside-view/

https://www.adweek.com/digital/how-facebook-kept-the-tunisian-revolution-alive/

Everything That’s Fit To Download

Bill Gates once said that we systematically overestimate the change that will occur in two years, while underestimating the change that will come in the next ten. Increasingly, newspapers, magazines, and radio stations are becoming more and more obsolete. Ken Lerer, co-founder of The Huffington Post and current chairman for Buzzfeed, described the challenges of traditional media as “You have to fix the plane while you’re flying it.” (Desjardins 2016)

Web 2.0 and the rise of ‘produsage’ has fuelled the new paradigm where digital is the focus. Desjardins 2016 further mentions that digital will become the largest channel for ad revenue globally by 2019. He also notes that investors and companies that believe in the media business should position themselves accordingly.

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https://imgur.com/gallery/Pg01dEn

 

References:

Desjardins, J 2016, The slow death of legacy media, Business Insider, <https://www.businessinsider.com/the-slow-death-of-legacy-media-2016-10?IR=T>.

 

#Occupy Everywhere

Occupy Everywhere, also known as The ’99 Percent’ Movement, was an international, socio-political movement against social and economic inequality. In 2011, Adbusters magazine sent out an email to around 90,000 people sharing a Twitter hashtag #OccupyWallStreet. (Schneider 2011) The movement’s main concern was how large corporations, including the global financial system, control the world in a way that disproportionately benefited a minority. Thompson 2011 notes that the first protests took place in Wall Street, and began on 17 September 2011. By 9 October, the protests had taken place in over 951 cities across 82 countries, and received widespread media attention. Schneider 2011 mentions, “In three months, an idea and a hashtag became a worldwide movement.” In Australia, demonstrations as part of this movement took place in major cities such as Canberra, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, and… even our very own Wollongong.

So how has global media served as a tool for social intervention here? Well, through the use of tools like Facebook and Twitter, individuals are able to build networks and take action. Change.org founder Ben Rattray argues that social media is used for “supporting, not supplanting, existing strategies”, and at the same time “spark something that wouldn’t exist”. (Kanalley 2011) Social media was also pivotal in other socio-political events in 2011, such as The Arab Spring. Individuals who gather on social network sites are creating social change and grabbing the attention of the mainstream media. Everything is now connected in this digital age, and social media is the paradigm shift that allows individuals and groups to have instant communication with like-minded peers across almost anywhere in the world.

You may be asking, what are the lasting effects of Occupy Everywhere and what exactly did it achieve? Many of the protestors had substantial levels of student debt (relatable?), and Dr. Theda Skocpol, a sociologist and political scientist at Harvard University who has analysed the movement, says “It’s [an] issue that Occupy spotlighted and as a result has continued to be a focus”. As a result, project Rolling Jubilee was started, which has abolished over $31 million in student debt so far in the United States. (Leonhardt 2016)

At the start of the Occupy Movement, there was a strong reliance on social media for the dispersal of information. There was a heavy production of Occupy-related content during peak activity of the movement, however, it was not sustained over the following year/s, and as a result social media’s importance to the movement has slowly decreased. It is important to note however, that social media was used as a tool for initially generating international interest in a socio-political movement against inequality. And without it, the movement would not have developed so rapidly, and probably would not have make such an impact on news media. That’s one positive effect of social media; it is hard to ignore. Sharma 2013 emphasises that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn “have become a serious force in the globalized world, making it hard for any company to ignore their power.”

References:

Kanalley, C 2011, Occupy Wall Street: Social Media’s Role In Social Change, Huffington Post, accessed 07 September 2018, <https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/occupy-wall-street-social-media_n_999178>.

Leonhardt, M 2016, The Lasting Effects of Occupy Wall Street, Five Years Later, Time, accessed 07 September 2018, <http://time.com/money/4495707/occupy-wall-street-anniversary-effects/>.

Schneider, N 2011, From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Everywhere, The Nation, accessed 07 September 2018, <https://www.thenation.com/article/occupy-wall-street-occupy-everywhere/>.

Sharma, M 2013, Social media’s power difficult to ignore, Iskon Times, accessed 07 September 2018, <http://www.iskcontimes.com/archive/social-medias-power-difficult-to-ignore%20>.

Thompson, D 2011, Occupy the World: The ’99 Percent’ Movement Goes Global, The Atlantic, accessed 07 September 2018, <https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/10/occupy-the-world-the-99-percent-movement-goes-global/246757/>.