Elastic Privacy: The Progression of SSNs

Preston C. Russett’s A Contemporary Portrait of Information Privacy: Collective Communicative Consequences of Being Digital presents a rather bleak, dystopian view of the future. Russett even begins his argument by referencing George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. He claims that Orwell would be smirking if he were to see todays world in which is book has become…

Censorship: Who Holds the Reigns?

Censorship is hardly a new concept. Socrates was supposedly forced to drink poison after denying censors and continuing to teach his own philosophies, partly because they were “corrupting youth” (Newth). Sound familiar? Well, Justin Timberlake may not have been poisoned for exposing Janet Jackson, but the media censorship still tends to takes the guise of…

4chan and Fox News: Trolls and Corporate Media

The 4chan website states that it “is a simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images”. Uploading content onto a 4chan board does not require a user to register; in fact, registration is not even an option. A key feature of the sight is its insistence on anonymity. The hacktivist group…

Marketing in a User-Created World

YouTube was created by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim in February of 2005. The site gave users the ability to upload, share, and view videos. In Exploiting YouTube: Contradictions of User-Generated Labor, Mark Andrejevic refers to the site as a “convergent medium”, one in which “familiar music videos and copyrighted movie clips rub…

Convergence Culture in the Whedonverse

When a work of art, most notably film, acquires a dedicated (cult) following it is often referred to as a ‘cult classic’; however, being loved is not enough to truly qualify. Umbert Eco explains that a work “must provide a completely furnished world so that its fans can quote characters and episodes as if they…

Media to Culture: The Rise of Phatic Communication

The technological affordances of modern society have led to a drastic shift from narrative forms of communication to a database structure. The transition in website formats from blogging, to social networking, and finally to microblogging (i.e. Twitter) is given by Vincent Miller as a clear illustration of the move towards phatic communication. ‘Phatic culture’, as…