Comment on Privacy Is A Privilege? by karelnavyblue

Yes,

I agree with you in that ‘privacy (of personal data, mainly)’ in today’s evolved form of technology (internet access) is not as easy to maintain these days. But what could have been expected otherwise? It’s almost as if we have become vulnerable to the powerful dark side of the internet; especially since we have such great demand and use of it everyday. This is probably one of the main reasons to why it is so hard for there to be a more friendly web towards the user’s privacy. At this point, only time, and some efforts from groups of active individuals (or leaders), can bring some chance to the table. And even so, it would be kinda stretching it a bit. Until then, I have to say is L-O-L.

Nice post here! Thanks for sharing!

Like

The Best Lure When You’re Hunting for Clicks is…

A bait! (Is this title considered a “clickbait? I wonder…)

In my other blog post, I’ve briefly talked about the concept of clickbait. It’s something of a “hot topic” these days. I figured that maybe I could find something useful to share for our Field Guide. Thus, I decided to do a search on google (talk about enthusiasm). The first source I’ve stumbled upon was this intricate and intelligent (sounding?) PDF file:

https://vaibhav4595.github.io/files/Multimodal_Clickbait.pdf

It was very constructive. It also short-circuited my brain, if I may be honest. I’m not so sure if we need this complex of an approach to identify clickbait titles online.

So, I trudged on. Almost all of the search results consisted of articles that suggested ways to identify and fight clickbait —all except one! I found a blog post that actually defended the concept and use of it. Here’s the link:

https://neilpatel.com/blog/why-clickbait-works/

After reading the post, I got the feeling that there is a bit of a misunderstanding. The author seems to believe that the concept of clickbait is simply an advertisement tactic, and it has an undeserved negative connotation to it. I do not believe that most people are upset with the concept just because it’s a sales tactic of sort being used on them. It’s more complex than that. Clickbait is basically lying to the audience —Ok, apparently it’s not that complex. The underlying issue is not simply drawing the attention of people but rather drawing the attention by a false promise. Especially on video streaming websites; so many videos do not offer what they promise in their titles. Of course, by the time you realize that, it’s too late. The video got viewed and you contributed to the revenue which the video owner is going to get. You’re tricked, and that’s the upsetting part. Imagine buying a ticket to a movie that you think is informative but instead you get an awful rom-com (no offence), and there is a “no refund” policy. I get the feeling that you’d want to have a (very heated) talk with the manager.

All that being said though, I’m glad I found that blog post because I actually had an epiphany afterwards. What if —Now, stay with me here… What if, instead of trying to find some sort of technique or trick to identify clickbait titles, we study how to create them perfectly. Why? Well, someone who is an expert liar would be able to tell if someone is actually lying or not, right? So, perhaps we should revisit some of those “interesting” examples given on that blog post and try to replicate them. Clever, isn’t it? I’m quite certain that I’m not the very first person who came up with this idea, but if I am… I’m definitely getting a patent for it! I’m calling it “Reversing the Impact of Clickbait Known for Relentlessly Offering Legendary Letdown”. Or, R.I.C.K.R.O.L.L. for short —Are we in 2009?

Diving in the Deep End of Digital Alchemy: Studio Visit

“We shape the representation of self, but our behaviors become packaged representations that are for sale tactics.” -Studio Visit 2/12/2019

I am pleased to announce that I had my first Studio Visit last Tuesday! I don’t like being on camera or other people seeing me on camera unless it’s my family and friends. (So this was a huge step for me). The topics of conversation that we had during the Studio Visit was exciting, and I love that every week I can take away bits and pieces of new information and use it for things beyond this class.

We had the pleasure to have a Studio Visit with Anne-Marie Scott from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. (Which is a great place to visit by the way.) She was able to shine a light on this rather dark platform that social media tends to be on. The question, “How do you see the internet right now?” was asked for her to answer. I was curious to know her answer since everyone can have such broad answers to a question like this. She pointed out that, “there are relatively positive social media and there are good examples online as well.” (Scott). She even stated there is a positive side to Wikipedia! Throughout my life in school, I was always told how “bad” Wikipedia was and how unreliable it was. Even though Wikipedia may not be seen as a credible source, it’s not all terrible. So then, where does public access fit? If you don’t already know by now, Wikipedia is an information site that the public can add, take away, or change the content displayed on the page. Wikipedia is not just black and white, as Scott realized. The public awareness is what makes something like Wikipedia on both ends of the light and dark spectrum.

We moved on to the topic of the representation of our online selves. My classmate was able to chime in since this is what her thesis surrounds. We began this conversation of talking about the images of different social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and even Blogging. Which one is the “real you”? My classmate was able to articulate why having multiple “identities” or different representations on social media is a good thing. “Representation on social media allows people to express how they’re feeling and that’s the space for it. It’s becoming a space to be who you are” (Kelli H.) However, does having these multiple identities lead to trouble? Well, as well talked about the difference between formal identity and these platform identities, many opportunities could open up because of this. Even being anonymous on the internet has its perks.

What I found fascinating about one of the parts of the conversation was the idea of being part of a crowd online compared to standing out online. There are even positive and negative aspects to this as well. An example would be changing the name of your phone’s hotspot to something different. You become part of that great anonymous world, but at the same time, you stand out from the other phones on the cloud. There are specific data protection differences fro America and Europe. “Data privacy impact assessment” is something that the United States does not have. There’s work that still needs to be done in the U.S. when it comes to awareness. Inserting my own opinion with this, I agree with that idea that the U.S. needs to do a better job when it comes to data privacy and internet awareness. I believe we are too connected. (But is it like that everywhere?)

My last point will circle back around to the beginning of the Studio Visit where Dr. Zamora brought up the point of “overload.” There was a time where the internet and social media didn’t bombard our iPhones and Androids with notifications. It seems as if this overload throws everything at us at once. The key to controlling this is having a balance.

Along with the other awesome discussion points mentioned above, what I took away from this Studio Visit is having a balance when it comes to social awareness, public internet access, and social media identity. Maybe turning off the notifications to my social media apps will help balance out what is coming at me. Putting my Do Not Disturb setting on at night is not enough. Yes, there are still positive lights on the internet, but it’s just not allowing the dark side to overcome the light. (But is there a way to stop the dark side?)

DDAs

*Disclaimer: I have tried a million ways to paste my Twitter DDAs the way I was recommended to my one of my professors. For some reason, it will not work, and I have no idea why! It worked on my first blog post, but I have been having some technical difficulties with my blogs. So, I will continue to simply paste them with a link of each one. (Sorry y’all!)

DDA263

 

DDA264

DDA260

Funny Meme! 

Screen Shot 2019-02-17 at 9.46.10 PM

See you all next week! (Hopefully no more snow.)

What Color Duct Tape Should Go On My Webcam? 🤔

I Actually Really Do Feel like Someone is Always Watching Me…👀

Privacy Is A Privilege?

“We are paying for everything right now. The currency we’re trading is data.” ~ Anne-Marie Scott

So, this week the polar vortex finally descended upon us and swallowed us whole in a show of might that only emphasized how insignificant we are–

Actually, class just got snowed out cause global warming is a thing and it’s screwing with the weather. What are you gonna do??? Pass Ocasi0-Cortez’s Green Deal???

Anyway, despite this week’s unfortunate weather, some of us were still able to meet online and continue shedding some light on the dark practices and conjurings happening just below the web’s  seemingly glossy surface. To help guide our discussion on the increasingly complex issues of privacy online, data tracking, real vs. fake, etc., we had Anne-Marie Scott (@ammienoot) and her insight and expertise.

Don’t You Forget About Me The Light

In this week’s Studio Visit with Anne-Marie, a lot of discussion revolved around data protection and privacy in online spaces. In the European Union, where Anne-Marie is located, there are specific regulations put in place that decide what information about you can be collected or used by entities that wish to use the Internet as a platform for their content. These regulations are known as the GDPR (Global Data Protection Regulation) and control the flow and collection of data in the EU. There must be transparency if an entity is tracking your data for any reason and entities are not allowed to target specific persons with the data collected or else there could be severe penalties. Essentially, privacy online in the EU is being valued as a right rather than this private information being valued for financial gain. It’s an entirely different ideology than the one in America, where regulations are often viewed as hindrances to innovation and capital.

This contrast of belief is a highly contentious subject (as are most subjects where $$$ is involved). To be honest, I can understand both sides of the issue. Like, I get that it is through a lot of this data tracking and targeted advertising that many platforms we consider “free” make the revenue necessary to keep the sites accessible. If that revenue were to disappear or be severely cut, these site could no longer operate as virtually free entities. To a degree, I’m sympathetic. When my data is not being used for inherently questionable purposes, I admittedly don’t have a problem with its collection. Especially if it is providing the funding necessary to keep news organizations in circulation or to help creators online make the profit they need to continue making cool things. But, unfortunately, this kind of control over my data is not guaranteed in the current system in the US. Right now, it’s the “wild west” out here. A consumer free-for-all. A Capitalist wet-dream.

Apart from a complete and utter paradigm shift, I’m not sure what actions could be taken to change this system in the US. Especially under the current administration (that killed net neutrality ’cause this whole “everyone has equal and equitable access to the Internet” sounds a lot like Communism >.>). Something suggested was paying extra for additional security that could ensure privacy; this is something many users seem willing to do, especially as they learn more about just how much of their data is being collected and used for less-than-what-should-be-legal purposes. That said, this brings into questions difficult issues such as privilege and access. As Anne-Marie so eloquently put it, “Privacy is a privilege.” I think it’s hard for many people, myself included, to understand what a privilege it is just to be able to discuss a subject like privacy. As we learned in our last Studio Visit with Chris Gilliard (@hypervisible), surveillance is nothing new to so many persons from marginalized or vulnerable groups of the population. And, I wonder if it would still be a big deal in big tech organizations if it were only affecting certain consumers. Also, as Anne-Marie noted, making privacy a privilege one has to pay for may only further segment the population, not only along social lines but also along class lines. Again, the most vulnerable would be the victims.

If anything, this discussion highlighted how privacy and online data tracking are not issues exclusive to themselves; instead there is much intersection. Many complex issues such as class, access, race, etc. intersect with privacy and data tracking. There is no simple solution for the problem–because there is not only one problem. There are many.

That said, Anne-Marie did suggest the GDPR could bode well for the future of many online services. Since these different services already have to alter their operations for implementation in the EU, why not implement these altered operations worldwide? They’re already going through all the effort, right? I’m a bit pessimistic about this suggestion, tbh. But, I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised. Also, Anne-Marie mentioned that some of these data collecting practices can be used for the creation of very helpful platforms–such as Wikipedia. An open-source platform like Wikipedia allows for conversation and community to develop around information which can allow for better information in the end. As many of us stated this week, it is the sense of community online spaces allow to develop that really redeems the Internet and makes endeavors to better and more fairly facilitate community and collaboration online worthwhile.

Ultimately, I believe the Internet is a clusterf*ck of #problematic issues to say the least but I also want to believe cue the X-Files theme that it can be this place for free and creative enterprise and interchange to occur. There is so much potential for such a space to exist if we are able to elect people into positions of power and influence who believe the Internet’s best qualities are community, collaboration, and creative enterprise. In America, at least, action like this needs to be taken or else change will not occur. I firmly believe that. It’s going to take an invigorated and self-actualized public to have meaningful impact on these issues. I think that privacy and data tracking are, of course, issues of personal responsibility as well. But, also, I don’t think it’s right that the burden to protect data and privacy should fall fully on individuals. The truth of the matter is that the general person is not informed of nor educated about these issues–which is another aspect of this that is important: education. In fact, it may be the first step that needs to be taken before others actions can be carried out. In this digital age, digital literacy should be as important as any other subject in school. When not “up-to-par”, this lack of education has a real-world, measurable impact on individuals. As I’ve stated before, I truly believe that education is what will always light the way. If anything, our efforts should be focused on how we can provide everyone with both access to such essential information and thorough explanation of that information so that informed decisions can be made.

I think classes like ours are igniting the spark.

match

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Bonus Post

This week, in an extra post, I shared a resource I think could be helpful in developing digital literacy skills. The resource is a series on Youtube made by Crash Course. The series explores Media Literacy which intersects with many of the issues we explore in our own course. How to navigate a post-truth world is a focus of the series as well as how to become more informed about these unseen practices going on behind our screens. I think it’s a great tool to have in our library.

Daily Digital Alchemies

(So, full disclosure, these were kind of done between posting weeks but I’m putting them towards this post because I’m having a busy life this week and I need to do this >.< I’ll work on managing this!)

In my first DDA, I posted a screenshot of my screen use which my phone has been tracking since an update or two ago???. I’m a little horrified at myself but I also think it could be worse–and has been. I’m either getting better at managing my screen time or I’m too busy to even look at my phone these :)))))) #gradlife #illcompletethisthesisordietrying

For my second DDA, I put my good ol’ giphy skills to use and giffed the first few sentences of my thesis. One copy is “disemvoweled”. I used a different site than the one suggested on the DDA though because I couldn’t access that site due to Adblocker??? Anyway, I hope you enjoy my avant-garbage~ There will be more to come.

~Till Next Time~

Your Fave Pyro