An example of trolling that comes to mind is someone that created a Facebook account called Customer Service and will go around and respond to people who leave complaints on real customer service accounts. They tend to respond in a rather humorous manner but one that is rather insulting or sarcastic towards the person who left the comment. However, the person who left the comment usually deserves the trolling as they have some rather ridiculous complaints. For example, one of the comments was asking for the removal of auto flushing toilets because it scares their child to which the troll replied that they will and they hope that the next time they take their child to the bathroom that the child won’t be afraid of whatever disgusting they find left by the a previous user.
At least, this troll is being rather playful as opposed to someone who is actively trying to cause harm to others. Reading through his troll comments can be rather funny since it is harmless, especially when the person who comments starts responding and they being to have a “conversation.”
For an imagined future, I decided to go with the video game, Mirror’s Edge. In this future, the city in which the game takes place is completely under a totalitarian rule. Within this city, all information is controlled by the government and this is accepted by the public. One of the main questions that game proposes is “How much of your privacy are willing to give up to be protected?”
With this, the protagonist works with a group of people called runners to spread certain information even though this is considered to be illegal and the government is after their group. Information in this world isn’t easily accessible as it is for us. Information in this world can be extremely dangerous and can cause chaos depending on what is spread.
Vaidhyanathan says “we trust google with our personal info and preferences and without access to knowledge because we trust technology that satisfies our prejudices” and I would say that I agree with his argument to a certain extent. Google has become synonymous with the internet as we, for the most part, will have it as our default search engine and if not, we change it so that it is, we even have an expression dedicated to Google, “Just Google it” which shows just much we have come to trust in Google. I know I am one who doesn’t like using other search engines because they aren’t as tailored to my preferences as I’ve grown accustomed to.
However, that is not to say that we should simply trust Google wholeheartedly. Even though, we know how Google will track and sell our information, save our data, create customized searches and advertisements of their own and of other sites, this doesn’t mean they should get a free pass. If Google is compromised, then, millions of people’s data would be liable to be stolen. Plus, the fact they store and collect so much information could even be seen as an invasion of one’s privacy, especially, when you take into consideration how Google will “read” your emails.
While Google seems to be a mainstay when it comes to the internet, we need to remember at the end of the day, they are not always looking for our best interests.
The concept of “Questioning Authority” from the Mezaros article refers to how we view and accept authority. Within the confines of a school setting, we tend to view certain people in positions of authority as opposed to others. For example, we may believe that going to the professor would be more applicable in a situation as opposed to a classmate because the professor is the “authority” in the case. They have this authority when we are in the classroom because they have knowledge or experience we are trying to learn or gain. At the same time, we may listen to them because we know that, at the end of the semester, they are the ones who will be giving us our grades, that affect our GPA, and any potential eligibility for scholarships or future work.
However, there are people who do not adhere to the idea of authority. They believe that we are all the same or equal and nobody should be able to wield authority over others. Either way, everyone seems to have some sort of authority in different situations and we shouldn’t be locked in to believing that there is only a singular person in “authority” we can go to for a problem or question.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the law that allows American citizens to be informed of actions conducted by the government. This allows people to access records from federal agencies unless it it falls under some exemption. The FOIA is is overseen by the Department of Justice and the president.
The FOIA is an incredibly important and essential part of our society and government. Being able to know what is going on within government and federal agencies should be standard. It is a method in which the government can stay trustworthy to the public and the public do not have to be fearful or wary of any suspicious activity. Sure, not everything being done by the government is being revealed but, what the FOIA does allow is better than nothing at all.
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Martin’s book is available in PDF format online due to the way he views information and knowledge. He doesn’t want this type of information to be reserved for certain people or organizations, rather, it should be available to everyone so they can pursue their acquisition of knowledge. Through this, knowledge will be able to evolve and change based on our needs at the time; knowledge shouldn’t become stagnant and kept from the public.
Its availability online further exemplifies his ideals as it is being made available to all without the need to pay, which many people may not be able to do, or be a part of some type of organization which can obviously afford to pay the entry point.
David Weinberger discusses the term “the infrastructure of knowledge” in his book, Too Big to Know. With this term he says that when it comes to finding and gaining knowledge we must first sift through a ton of data that could possibly be meaningless to us at that particular time. There is an order when conducting research, which starts with figuring out what one is trying to gain by conducting research, beginning said research, refining that search, filtering out data or information we do not need, especially in this day and age where we can get too much information, before finding what we wanted to know. There is a difference between information and knowledge.
With so much information being at our fingertips, it would be easy to get or find irrelevant information. As well as, not being able to find accurate information on the subject we may be researching. By understanding how this infrastructure of knowledge works, we can be able to crucial information faster and more efficiently while making sure that whatever we find will be useful to us and our projects. We can put this information to better use and garner more knowledge from it.
Classification is a way in which we can associate different topics or materials in order to make our lives easier. Just look at the classification system in Biology, without it trying to comprehend and search for a certain species would be downright impossible. There are so many things we have to keep track of that simply would not be possible without a system in place that allows for simple access or navigation.
Of course, the act of classification can be rather tricky. There are so many things to keep track of and so many similar products that putting each into their own category is not a simple task. This why we need things like metadata or having people dedicated to solely working with classification. Imagine if keywords did not exist when trying to search for something online, you could probably find a lot of information but how much of it would actually be relevant to what you are specifically searching for?
Think of how we look at other people, we classify them by gender, by race, by residency, by physical features, by personality traits. Classification is important because it is something basic and ingrained into us, it makes our life simpler and we do it with everything.
A digital identity is a way a person is perceived online through the information posted about them. We can usually create our online identity by being aware and mindful of the things we post or do on social media. If you work for a company, for example, you may need to adjust your online identity in order to better fit the standards of the company’s guidelines, which would mean less miscellaneous pictures and more of a professional online identity. However, we cannot control everything that is posted online about us.
Sometimes others, be it friends or strangers, can affect our digital identity. Perhaps a friend tagged you in a rather scandalous picture that goes viral or you may have a police record from when you were young and did something stupid. In the event that something we may not want to be online actually is, we can try to take it down or removed, this is called the right to be forgotten. This should be a fundamental right in this day and age. We cannot control every single thing that is posted about us online, some of these things are untrue or outdated but can still have a negative affect on our daily lives.
Some people may say that the right to be forgotten is in direct contrast to our first amendment. However, someone could easily slander another and that person would be in the wrong, thus, we have the right to fight that. This would simply be another case of this, if something is online that can negatively affect us we should be able to take it down, or, at least, try to. As much as we want to, we will not be able to control everything online about us, the world wide web is much too large for that. We can try to find solace in the fact that, at least, we can try to maintain our digital identity and that we sometimes may be able to erase certain things off the web.
Questions for What the “Right to be Forgotten” Means for Privacy in a Digital Age?
- Should corporations be involved in the regulation process?
- Do you believe that in this digital age there is a way to keep, if not all, most of our information private?
Questions for Learning From Gawker’s Attempt to Erase the Past
- Should executives or journalists have the final say on whether an article should be removed?
- According to the article, less than half of newsrooms have a policy for unpublishing articles, why do you think that is?
- Are there any news sources or journalists that you trust? That you don’t trust?