The Power of Participation

Through the participation methods of sharing, commenting, and liking, this post about a student from guelph university who suddenly passed away recieved the attention of a famous singer she idolized, John Mayer. After her passing, a friend of Kayleigh’s created a post on Ellen Degeneres Facebook page, trying to get her attention to pass on a message to John Mayer about this young girl and how much of an impact he had on her life. She shared a special bonding with her father over one of his songs and last night at his concert in Toronto, John honoured her the song after he sang it. This all became possibly simply through the power of participation on the social networking site of Facebook. Recieving thousands of likes and comment, a dream came true that no one knew would!


“Facebook Partners With Craigslist’s Founder to Fight Fake News”

This recent article discusses an announcement made on Monday about Facebook being part of an $14 million dollar effort called the News Integrity Initiative with Craigslist.  It is going to be funding projects in improving news literacy and trust in journalism.  They are working together to try and fix issues related to fake news and clickbait.  Mark Zuckerberg has addressed fake news and misinformation and how they are taking it very seriously, finding ways to eliminate fake news.  Facebook wants to be a place where journalism can be successful and not misleading.  This initiative is important in having a head source of fake news like Facebook (where a lot of fake news is viewed) to be working together and trying to fix the problem and eliminate the issue.

This article relates to all the aspects of fake news we discussed in class and gives an good insight on how much fake is news impacting us.  It also demonstrates how major companies such as Facebook are working together and trying to fix a major online issue.


Virtual and Augmented reality working with Gameification

After talking about Gameification last lecture, I only thought that it had a place mainly in video game situations, and not everyday life. After reading Kevin Kelly’s The Inevitable, Gameification came up, but was talked about in a different way that was very interesting. To me, gameification is the encouraged engagement with a product or service. Just like how we talked about in class, the roll up the rim is an encouragement to purchase more Tim Horton’s coffee, or how McDonalds monopoly is another reason why to eat McDonalds. After seeing these examples, it guided the meaning of gameification in a way that I can only see it in a certain way, through games. However, a chapter from Kevin Kelly’s The Inevitable has changed that.

Within the chapter, Kelly talked about Gameification with the combination of the virtual world (VW) and how people who are wearing wearable technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality devices are prone to gameification. The reason for this is because Kelly states that the virtual world is under total surveillance, since nothing in the virtual world happens without being tracked first.

He states that because of this, it makes it easy to “gameify” behaviour, awarding points, or upping level, or scoring powers etc. The combination of gameification and the VW come into play during everyday life, where users can generate points for brushing their teeth properly, walking 10,000 steps, driving safe or picking up garbage from the street. This is all possible because everything is tracked and has the ability to be.

After learning about gameification and seeing how it can be combined with AR and VR in real world situation is very interesting and I thought that I would share it!

Article: Online Activism & Civil Rights

This 2015 New York Times article follows online activists DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie. They were innovators in utilizing the strengths of social media platforms to spread awareness of police violence against African Americans.

“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.”

From 2014-2015 McKesson and Elzie travelled to cities such as Baltimore, New York, and South Carolina to initiate and broadcast protests against the shootings of Eric Garner, Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray- just to name a few.

“…the activists have linked [the victim’s] fates together in our minds, despite their separation by many weeks and thousands of miles.”


It is a long article, yet provides insight into a successful example of online activism. Although institutionalized racism remains an issue in society, the coverage of these shootings and the subsequent protests, specifically the footage McKesson and Elzie captured through vine and Facebook live, was a vital component of spreading awareness on this issue.


Study: social media bubbles might not be making us more polarized after all

I came across this article and found that it was pretty interesting and that it related nicely to the course. The main focus of the article is the recent US election and it examines people’s shock about Trump’s victory. It mainly talks about the idea of social media bubbles, which are often thought of as things that distance groups of people with opposing beliefs. However, this article claims that internet users are actually far less polarized than non-internet users, making social media bubbles less significant than originally believed. Overall, it this article helps to dismiss the notion that social media acts as an ‘echo chamber’ where people only see things that support their own beliefs and that much of political polarization exists outside of the internet.

VSCO isn’t playing Instagram’s game, but it’s still thriving

While browsing my way through the depths of the internet, I recently stumbled across this article that speaks about the difference between the VSCO and Instagram culture. While Instagram relies heavily on a like-based system, VSCO differentiates itself by never providing the opportunity to like or comment on photos. What I’ve noticed from my own personal experience is that some people have become obsessed with how the number of likes that their photos will receive, and will go to an extreme of not even posting them because they are not deemed “Instagram-worthy”. Thus by creating a system in which displays a social hierarchy based on the ‘like culture’ truly provides limitations as many users are becoming more carefully about the content that they decide to share.

60Minutes Episode on Fake News

This is the link to the recent 60 minutes segment on March 26 about fake news.  When I watched this on TV it made a realize how many people are not familiar with fake news and the concept around it.  While watching it, my family was very intrigued about the topic as they are not very familiar with it and they found it very interesting but also pretty shocking.  I think this segment gave a good description of what fake news is.  In the interview they talk about bots and the way they look like real accounts retweeting to encourage actual people to retweet and start spreading the fake news.  They talked about how the fake stories are created and how the stories have to be outrageous enough for people to want to click on them but still believable that it is news.  Fake news is such an interesting topic as it continues to grow.  It really makes everything online questionable about its authenticity.