Does anonymity cultivate dishonesty?

I believe this statement is true.The pursuit of authenticity is creeping into the heart of most social media models and in the current internet landscape is playing an important role in how we engage with one another and with web content. I read a disturbing article the other day where a 41 year old father posed as a teen boy in order to catfish his own daughter into sending nude photos. The father created an entire online persona just to catfish his daughter (which is super creepy). The man created an Instagram account with pictures of a random young teenage boy, an AOL account as well as an account for a texting app. He started to chat with his daughter through these apps and the two essentially started a “romantic relationship”. The young girl had no real idea of who this person was and was completely under the impression that it was a sixteen year old boy from New York when in fact it was her father.

Because there’s so many apps and websites that people can use and pull pictures and information from, it’s difficult to know if anyone is who they say they are online. If someone presents to us an intact, detailed identity, we immediately trust it. If we recognize just the outline of the individual – online or in the real world – we assume that that is real, with no verification. So identity equals trust, even if it’s not real. If someone looks like a person, we think they are a person.

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Hardcore Henry – Video Games becoming Movies?

I am sure many of you have seen the commercials or heard some of the buzz surrounding the new movie “Hardcore Henry.” It is an action adventure movie about a man fighting the people who made him into cyborg and kidnapped his wife, but the kicker is that the film is shot all in the first person perspective, making it feel like you are the main character. Many have compared it to essentially living a video game. I found this very interesting because it is the first movie to have ever done this and it crosses that line that we are accustomed too. There used to be a concrete theme of how things were done but the lines have become blurred and video games are becoming movies and movies become video games. There are examples like Defiance or Quantum Break which are video games, but have TV shows that play alongside them and help further the story. As we become more advanced, where will the next step of blurring the lines between different mediums be?

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/hardcore-henry-inside-the-insane-first-person-shooter-movie-20160408

Mercedes-Benz Marketing on Instagram

Today, a lot of car manufacturers have their global Instagram accounts for marketing purpose. Mercedes reveals 5 tips that get superb engagement on the platform.

I think Mercedes is getting both absolute and relative surplus value from marketing on Instagram.

The full article is available on http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/5-instagram-tips-mercedes-benz-which-gets-superb-engagement-platform-170485

Opt-out of Google’s AdSense

Through the concept of targeted advertising, Google commodifies and exploits users through tracking their data.  A person’s data is extremely valuable to Google, as it provides descriptions of its users and subsequent answers they are seeking.  This data is then sold by Google in order to generate profit through the use of this type of monitoring and advertising. Typically, content uploaded by the user to the web acts as a “meta exploiter” of user-generated content producers (Fuchs 134). The consumers are inevitably commoditized because production of the World Wide Web content is exploited “through the motivations of the capital”. Google AdSense allows web operators to include Google advertisements on their websites and to collect revenue for each “click” on an advertisement. The use of the services provided by Google on the internet can be interpreted as the “commons” since Google has the right to use anyone’s data.  This policy is clearly set out in their terms of service and privacy “fine print”, the legal foundation of economic user surveillance . Google has the right to share user-generated data “between different services, such as Gmail, Calendar, and YouTube” (Crystal 272). The “capital”, in this case, Google, constantly strives to reduce costs, hence by taking advantage of user information and commoditizing it, it allows them to attain profit through the means of an antagonistic relationship. The nature of technology has changed under capitalism as the “human brain is augmented by Google”, meaning that all human thoughts are directly transformed into commodities that are sold as data to advertising clients (Fuchs 134).  New technology is acquiring a “biological character” in which all user information is stored in code in order to provide the user targeted information, news and advertising. Society is now living in a world of surveillance, not only by the government but also through these corporations operating on the ideology of self interest.  The option to opt-out of Google’s mass form of surveillance on Internet Explorer and Firefox is a good start to kill this form of targeted-advertising and ensure privacy is an option, even though we are living in a panopticon society in which people are aware of today.

Here’s the link for more info:)

http://lifehacker.com/5171050/opt-out-of-googles-targeted-ads

Latest Encryption News

The White House made a pretty significant move today declining to support encryption legislation. The Apple-FBI feud has certainly created ripples in the ongoing dichotomy between privacy and security. No matter where you stand on the issue, the White House seems to have made their position clear. My assumption is that the feud will not end here, and we’re going to be seeing a whole lot more of this in the news.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-encryption-legislation-idUSKCN0X32M4

Foxconn worker working condition

The Foxconn suicides occurred at the Foxconn City industrial park in China. Foxconn was the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer at the time. The suicides drew media attention, but what is the reason that causing these young workers to commit suicide? The video below showing what kind of working condition are Foxconn workers dealing with.

#StayMadAbby

I watched a video from “NowThis” on Facebook yesterday that made me absolutely furious. It was about a girl, Abby, who decided to file a suit against The University of Texas because she believed that she was being discriminated against for being white. She claimed that minorities who were less qualified than here were being accepted. Somehow her case was brought to the Supreme Court where Justice Scalia seemed to agree with her and he even went as far to say that black students “tend to do better at easier schools” implying that they are not good enough for an institution such as the University of Texas.

What I believe is the best part of this entire story is that Abby did not even have the grades to get in–she was basically complaining about absolutely nothing.

In response to all of this many black students went to social media to express their anger by sharing the hashtag #StayMadAbby. There were tweets that read things such as: “#StayMadAbby is for the white chicks who swear minorities get more scholarships than them, when really your 2.5 GPA ain’t cutting it”, and “What level of white privilege is thinking someone ‘took your spot’ as if you were inherently entitled to it by birth? #StayMadAbby”, and many more were tweeted with the same amount of anger and frustration.

This story reminded me of when we talked about the #BlackLivesMatter movement and how so many people will now use social media outlets as a way to start activism and social movements.

It just amazes me how one white girl can complain about now meeting the requirements for a school and gets her case take to the Supreme Court, but when a whole African American community protests for rights they get attacked by the police. It truly makes no sense to me.