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Felipe Ramiro Carbonell
Instagram: F_E_P_S

Netanyahu takes White House Fight to Social Media

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Netanyahu takes White House Fight to Social Media

– For the last few days my Facebook and Twitter have been blowing up about Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his visit to the United States. The posts and comments I have seen in regards to the event have many sides to them, some would even classify as extreme. Now I know this event, both his visit and the related social media commotion can exemplify the polar opposite opinions that exist on social media outlets. Wether you are a supporter, a protester, or a bystander, there is no denying that this is popping up in everyones news feed and twitter logs.

Zeynep Tufekci’s article “What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson” had me pondering on what establishes and constitutes authority online. This article also brought up the idea that transmedia revolves around the idea of social movement identity. Now, Netanyahu, as a prime minister has quite a bit of authority in his local sphere and even in the broader global political sphere. Such a title has given him authority both on land, and in cyberspace and this has established his authority online. With a presence on both Facebook and Twitter, his political campaign can be both expressed and promoted to reach masses of people. This same authority also has the ability to restrict and even hide certain types of media. Now that so much of our communication and entertainment is found online, political entities has the ability, the ‘online authority,’ to censor what they want.

An example of online authority and how ‘What Happens in #Israel Affects Israel’:

Israel to Air Speech With 5-Minute Delay Over Campaigning Concers

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– This is clear example of how what happens on social media and news/entertainment outlets affects local spheres. The online is a direct window in to the spheres of politics, of censorship, of free speech, and of activism. When you participate online in the social issues and events, either as a supporter, protester, or bystander, you impact the course of history. Now I know one voice doesn’t reach far but tools such as hashtags, blog posts, tweets, and geotags can further benefit most if not every campaign out there. I have always been told that any publicity, even bad publicity, is free publicity and in the end is good publicity. When Netanyahu tweets for support and asks others to retweet, those who participate are providing him more publicity, good or bad.

If this weeks articles taught me anything its that I shouldn’t feel bad if I am a slacktivisit, at least I am aware of things going in the world. A retweet for a campaign I believe is good publicity, and overall affects the sphere of the campaign. So, to all of you retweeters and slakctivits, now that I believe your mention is practice and benefits.

– Felipe

Gamers Against Bigotry is hacked… by gamers in favour of bigotry

“A site which opposed racist, sexist language in online multiplayer is repeatedly taken down by hackers.”

 

I found an article related to bigotry in gaming. Posting below:

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/sci-tech/2012/07/gamers-against-bigotry-hacked-gamers-favour-bigotry

 

Below is what I got out of the articles:

This weeks reading really had me reflecting on the online communities I am both a part of and that I am researching for my project. As a gamer myself I have regularly witnessed bigotry when playing online. Be it in a first person online shooter like Destiny or in a fantasy world massive multiplayer game like World of Warcraft. I have never paid too much attention to it because I was so used to hearing the foul language that it came in one ear and out the other. Now that I’m spending time reading about it and considering bigotry online, particularly in games I am starting to see racism within my own online communities.

In one of the games that I am playing for my research project there is a big emphasis on playing with other people. I am currently playing Final Fantasy XIV Online, and as anyone familiar with the Final Fantasy series would know, playing in small group parties is vital to progress in game. Within the game there are different races to choose from, ranging form elves to cat-like people, to humans and much more. One thing I have noticed is that the human character is the most popular chosen race. I have playing for about three weeks now and in this time just about every character I see, regardless of race, is designed with fair light skin. With so many possibilities and character customizations, it baffles me that people go to the norm of playing as a generic white human in game. Even the elf characters and the cat people I see are light complected. Worse is that the NPC, the computer based non player characters are all light complected from what I have seen so far.

Another aspect in game where race comes in to play is in the linkshell/free party system. A linkshell or a free party as an in-game community in which players can have a separate and private chat log exclusive to members of the specific group. These groups are generally specific to certain interest group such as LGBT players or characters of a certain language or level group. Within these communities discrimination is now allowed and I have experienced people expelled and banned from such in game communities.

This idea of gold farming is definitely present in the game I play, from Final Fantasy Online to Grand Theft Auto 5 co-op. Micro transactions in game and the purchase of in game currency from third party sources is a big business. I have a friend who admits to having spent real money on in game money to further the abilities and overall stats of his character. This also takes me back to the post/discussion in regards to Chinese people being paid to improve app download rates and statistics.

Back to the question of bigotry within online games. Yes I believe it exists, I say this because I have witnessed it. The use of game headsets and keyboards further allows players to express themselves. Often I find these instances more so in action games, primarily first person shooter games. The competitiveness within games can lead to radical expressions of emotion. I can’t say that the language used is of innate negative nature, it is more so a burst of expression without thought of actual words used. I see this as a cultural trend where the expression of aggression is deemed acceptable in western cultures. Only now that race is being considered online are there more precautions and safety a to what is acceptable and appropriate to say. Unlike posts and statuses, words said out loud, as in over a headset, can’t be taken back. This had made me consider to be more aware of what I say both online and in my personal life.

The Bystander and The Cyberbully

In this weeks reading week focused on cyberbullying and this had me thinking about something I witnessed on Friday. To begin, Danah Boyd defines bullying as “a practice in which someone of differential physical or social power subjects another person to repeated psychological, physical or social aggression”. What I saw was definitely an act of aggression, so much so that I had to call the police to intervene. To put what I saw simply, I witnessed a fight in-front of Venice High School on Friday before I was leaving to work. The fight was very bad, with a couple of kids throwing punches and others throwing each other into oncoming traffic.

I witnessed an act of real physical bullying, an all out brawl. The time was around three thirty and I was getting ready for work when I heard screams from outside. I live across the street from Venice High School and my view of the school is quite possibly too good. You may be wondering how this real altercation involves cyberbullying so I will elaborate. Amongst the screams of kids both yelling for the fight to stop and others yelling for the fight to continue I saw the something the left me in shock. While I believe violence should not be used or considered, I do feel that fights are ultimately inevitable, especially among high school boys.

 

I watched a group of about four or five boys throwing punches at each other. Throwing each other on the ground and kicking each other. I even saw one kid almost get hit by a car. What left me the most scarred emotionally though, were the bystanders. I watched in a saddened awe as stampedes of kids were watching the fight. Not only watching but recording and taking pictures with their phones. I saw just about every kid pull out their phone to to record this fight in some way. It blew my mind that instead of trying to stop the fight, it seemed as though these kids were too busy trying to get the perfect video, or snapchat of the altercation to do anything about it.

I called the police and within a couple minutes they came and as soon as the sirens rang all of the kids ran in spearer directions. It was as if someone had poured liquid into an ant hill and all of the ants were rushing to escape. It was definitely a sight, but in the back of my mind I had this lingering feeling of despair. I was left feeling that these kids were too concerned about taking the perfect picture of the fight to do anything. I was left wondering if anyone else tried to stop the fight, if anyone else called the police. Worst of all I was left wondering how long the fight would have gone on had I not called.

So after reading this week I am left wondering. Would Danah Boyd classify a bystander as a bully. I ask this because I imagine plenty of these kids posted the fight videos on snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and even youtube. I believe that sharing and further exposing this fight online is a sign of bullying. In this weeks reading, hen cyberbullying is introduced, Boyd writes that the “persistence and visibility of bullying in networked publics” enables “larger audiences to witness acts of bullying”. Again, by posting this online these kids are only enabling more people to witness the fight, creating a larger audience.

I hope if anything, that because of the amount of potential footage available, justice will prevail. After that experience I feel more and more so that I am loosing faith in humanity. We live in a world where people are more concerned about taking a perfect snapchat than intervening and helping those in need. I am still left in awe. I wonder what Boyd would make of this situation.

– Felipe

Week 5: The Problem With Teens and Instagram

https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/the-problem-with-teens-and-instagram-109530386647.html

 

After reading Danah Boyd’s article regarding “super publics” I was left truly reflecting just how public social media outlets like Instagram are. By simply having your profile on public literally anyone around the world can look at what you posts and get an insider look at your perceived life. Now I don’t see this as a necessarily scary or new idea but in regards to the affects it has on teenagers, I will simply say I’m glad I’m at least of legal drinking age now as these outlets become larger and larger. I say this because I was reading an article on yahoo parenting that discussed some of the issues teenagers have when they post to Instagram. In the article we presented with a 6th grade boy who posts a selfie of himself on Instagram with his fathers empty beer bottle. Now you may think this kid is just trying to be funny, he probably thought so too. However, it is in instances like these that people take no consideration for the potential consequences that may come.

 

In the article we find out that within minutes of posting the beer selfie, the boys parents demand he take down the picture. Now I am all for privacy do I do believe that these kids need some adult supervision online because they are not yet adults themselves. Also, had the boy not taken down the picture the consequences may have been severe and affecting not only the boy, but his parents. A simple post like this has the potential to get the boy detention, suspension, and maybe even expulsion. Worse would be a visit from child protection services. I remember when I was in high school and myspace was the preferred social media outlet. Some members of my high school soccer team had posted pictures to myspace of a house party they threw that had underage drinking. Because myspace was relatively new and it was just expected that young people used it, there was yet no regard to the implications/rules for posting and tagging. Needless to say you can expect where this story leads…. Many of the team were disqualified for that season and had further punishment by the school and parents.

 

When people post online, they are posting for the world to see. Quite literally they are posting not for themselves, but for others, for strangers, sometimes intentionally. With an ever growing desire to be popular or to fit in with standard norms of what is cool, the constant need for followers and likes has taken precedent over self privacy. It appears to me that some people are more concerned with having a growing fan base then they are the risk of stalkers or social/family/legal problems. I have had my photos on facebook create family drama because there are pictures of me at gay bars and much of my family lives in conservative South America. This has all led me to post much less and truly consider what I post before I do. I know of “super publics” and of the social rules and standards of social media. More importantly, we need to educate our youth of this.

 

Week 4: How To Be Cool On Instagram, According To A Teen

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How To Be Cool On Instagram According To A Teen

In Jill Walker Rettberg’s Seeing Ourselves Through Technology, we are presented with a dilemma. The dilemma begins by Rettberg arguing that selfies are a form of self-reflection and self-creation (12). While I do agree with the statement and the ideas behind her argument, the application of filters to selfies is a trend that teens now see as faux pas.

I had always used filters on Instagram because I always assumed it was expected. Not only that, but to my understanding, filters are what made Instagram what it is today. The app itself started as a means of simple photo editing on ones phone and has now become a social media cornucopia in of itself. Filters are what set the app apart from beginning, even amongst all of the competition and imitators, Instagram always had the best filters. However, everything has changed, and after reading the above-posted article on Buzzfeed, I knew I had to do some further investigation.

In the article we learn that according to teens (the core subject of our class), there are rules for using Instagram.

  • Timing is EVERYTHING.
  • Also, don’t post too much.
  • BUT if it is a big week in your life, feel free to post more than usual.
  • Selfies have STRICT rules.
    • Be “spontaneous and fun.”
    • “Not all the time” aka DO THEM SPARINGLY. “If you think you look good in a selfie fine Instagram it but wait a while before you do it again.”
    • Selfies are “not to be taken seriously.”
    • “Selfies should only be when you have a GOOD one.”
  • Filters are for Brita pitchers, not Instagram.

I must point out that this is only the beginning of the list of Instagram rules. Of these rules, what stood out to me the most and had me reflecting on the reading was the fact that teenagers were adamantly against using filters. This was so hard for me to believe that I messaged my boyfriends niece (an 18 year old UCLA freshman) seeking the truth. Upon mentioning the list of Instagram rules to her she knew exactly what I was talking about. She mentioned that using filters is uncool and that any young person knows better. My mind is still recovering from this to be honest with you guys. What is shocking to me the most is that Instagram came out in 2010 and back then I was still a teenager at nineteen.

While I will continue to use filters on my Instagram, it was very interesting having read the Buzzfeed post after having read Rettberg’s work. As someone who posts mostly scenic photos on Instagram (filters included), I will stick to Rettberg’s idea that people subconsciously apply filters that they believe will meet the cultural expectations and norms. That being said, it was my expectation before having read any of this that Instagram was a means of creative expression, not of self reflexion, or even self idolization for that matter.

– Felipe Carbonell

 

The World Is Not Falling Apart

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2014/12/the_world_is_not_falling_apart_the_trend_lines_reveal_an_increasingly_peaceful.html?wpisrc=obnetwork

While reading I particularly enjoyed the section that focused on parents and their fears of the world children live in today. In the book there were excerpts from parents saying that they don’t let their children out of sight. One interesting statistic that was brought up in the book was also the change in transportation means in how children get to school. What was once the standard of walking or riding a bike to school has not turned into most kids being dropped off and picked up by a care provider. From my understanding of the reading, parents believe the world is a worse and more unsafe place than it was when they were teenagers but the reality is quite the opposite.

While many parents argue that they go to sometimes extreme measures to keep their children safe, the reality is that we are now living in a more safe world than ever. One of the reasons there is this constant perceived terror that the world is a bad and unsafe place is that our access to information is more than plentiful. With news and media available at our fingerprints we are able to read about what is happening all over the world at any minute. Not only that but our news feeds are updated to the minute as well. Breaking news alerts pop up on my phone moments after an event happens. When I wake up in the morning and turn my phone on my lock screen is filled with news alerts from around the world. We also have to be honest with ourselves though, the majority of the things we see, read, or hear on the news are usually negative events that spark fear, worry, sadness, and even terror. I believe that it is our easy access to news outlets that dominate this popular sentiment that the world is unsafe. Worst of all is that if parents feel this way now, imagine what they are distilling in their children.

I have posted some images in regards to how the world has improved in regards to safety. Though the popular perceived reality is not actually the truth, it is hard for me to imagine parents softening up anytime soon to the idea of their children being more independent about spending time “out of sight”.

Social Anxiety and Online Liberation: Men, Women, and Children

When I woke up this morning to write a post about the reading in relation to the movie I re-watched last night I was quite surprised to see that another classmate posted about the same film. I had thought, “oh no!, now I need to post about something else.” However, this film is just so spot on in regards to our class and our lives today that I truly believe that everyone would benefit from watching this film and that is why I chose to write about the film as well and have attached the trailer below.

I originally watched Men, Women, and Children while on a flight on New Years Eve just two weeks back and I knew I had to re-watch the film based on the discussions we have had in class and the readings this far. The reason I too chose to write about this film is because I believe it to be the most accurate visual depiction/representation of how the internet is evolving the ways in which we build relationships and communicate with others, both online and off.

Baym, in her work writes about social anxieties and states, “most anxieties around both digital media and their historical precursors stem from the fact that these media are interactive. Especially in combination with sparse social cues, interactivity raises issues about the authenticity and well-being of people, interactions, and relationships that use new media. Other anxieties arise out of the temporal structure of digital media, which seem to push us towards continuous interaction.”

I believe the above quote to really summarize this trailer and even the film as a whole. This notion of continuous interaction, in my opinion, is often the stem of this anxiety. We now have so means means of communicating, as explored in the film, from texts messages to social media websites, to blog posts like ours. This film challenged me to consider how emotion itself is affected by our continuous interaction online and how our dialogue authenticity on the web maybe more honest then our conversations face to face.

Lastly, Baym states that one reason for uncertainty in mediated environments is that, without visual and auditory social cues, people are not sure whether or not they can trust other people to be who they claim to be. This is the central problem of anonymity. However at the same time she challenges this by also adding that on a societal level, anonymity opens the possibility of liberation. As you’ll see from the trailer, the internet for some of the characters is their solace, their escape from the confines of their real life. I believe we can all relate to that.

I do hope that everyone in the course will at least watch the trailer to this film. One of the reasons being that I believe it will effect each person differently and raise questions that will be relatable in course discussions.