11.2 Summarizing Crawford’s “The Anxieties of Big Data”

For Thursday, read pp. 65-71 in Carrie Rentschler’s “Rape Culture and the Feminist Politics of Social Media.”  Also skip forward to the next passage in the Unit 2 Reader, “Templates for Explaining Quotations” by Gerald Graff, and read it.
For your blog post, please post your paragraph-long summary of Crawford’s article “The Anxieties of Big Data,” mentioning 3 different points she makes and using conjunctive adverbs to link your sentences (e.g., In addition, Furthermore, Similarly, By contrast, Indeed, Thus, etc.).  You might like to refer to the Summary Response Form on p. 49 of our Collective Notes document.

9 thoughts on “11.2 Summarizing Crawford’s “The Anxieties of Big Data””

  1. After reading “The Anxieties of Big Data”, Kate Crawford explains methods the government took and how surveillance played a role in society. Crawford states that the perfect example of future surveillance, look to poor communities. They’re using EBT (food stamp cards) to help track the spending of individuals. As if someone spending $50 in a supermarket is going to help you prevent a crime from happening. Crawford stated they’ve had planes disappear without a trace but you can track someone’s spending money on food. On the other hand, the bigger the data gets, the more small things can be overlooked. Crawford revealed it can become overwhelming on the on both the surveilled and surveillers that they share “surveillant anxiety”. Those being watched are unable to hide their personal thoughts and images they put out to the world as oppsed to the surveillers are able to redact information they want to hide. The government can cover up their mistake but you can never take back what you said or that image that haunts you online.

  2. In the article “The Anxieties of Big Data,” Kate Crawford portrays surveillance as something that can alter the way a person may behave. Crawford explains that with the idea of monitoring the online activity of civilians can lead to “surveillance anxiety.”In fact, surveillance anxiety to the watchers is the fear of being eagle eyed by others while the surveillers seem to think that no matter how much data the collect, its never enough(Talk about gluttony). Furthermore, she reveals a fashion statement near the end of the article as a way to combat surveillance. This fashion trend is called “normcore” which is the idea of wearing bland and basic clothing to ‘blend in” with the crowd. However, Crawford discloses that normcore is not for everybody “If you want to see the future of surveillance, look to our poor communities”. She implies that they are being monitored through the system of EBT cards in which normcore will not be effective at all since the organization could just enter your name or an id number and track you till God knows how long. Being constantly followed by watchful eyes and not knowing what they intend to do with the info they gather can leave anybody paranoid.

  3. In the article ” The Anxieties of Big Data,” Kate Crawford portrays surveillance have a big role in our society. Crawford stated that people struggle from surveillance anxiety. For instance, people feel fear from online surveillance. The idea of other people having information that can be use against us is fearful. In addition, Crawford also points out the program “Squeaky Dolphin” is another surveillance programs that can view your Facebook messages and Youtube views. Furthermore, presented in the end of the article Crawford points out a correlation between surveillance and a fashion trend “Normcore.” In which people wear plain, bland color to camouflage or blend in a crowd.

  4. After reading Crawford’s article, I am inclined to agree/disagree in part with her point that there are people who live in constant anxiety. She calls it “surveillant anxiety”. Which is basically someone having the fear that anything and everything they do online is being monitored by the authorities. The part that I disagree with Crawford on is when she goes on to explain how the “surveillant anxiety” does not only affect the people who think they are being watched but also, the watchers themselves. When I read about, the first thing that came to mind was “Why would the watchers be in fear?”. Were they afraid of getting caught? I understand the fear of the people who feel they are being watched but why would the watchers be in fear? After all, they are the ones invading the privacy of the online users. Rather than enduring a fear of anxiety, they should rather be ashamed. An example that came to mind was when my sister caught her boyfriend cheating on her. Well she hired a private investigator to follow him and see what he had been doing during his free time or when he was not home. When the investigator brought her all the evidence she confronted her boyfriend and when she did he was upset. To me that is totally hilarious because why was he upset? There was no possible way that he could be upset when he had committed the crime. His reason for being upset was not even a valid one; the fact that she had someone following him. My example may not be related to this topic but you could see the connection. In Crawford’s article she put the watchers in the same category as the ones being watched. I see it is the justified and unjustified. The justified ones are the ones who have every right to be in fear or feel any kind of way, just like my sister. The unjustified ones are the ones who would be trying to find every way to make themselves the justified ones, i.e. my sisters boyfriend.

  5. The idea of big data links to government groups like the NSA or GCHQ who monitor the lives of citizens through information they leave on the Internet. This causes anxiety for both the people being monitored and anxiety on how effective the surveillance is for the organizations. Kate Crawford’s article “The anxieties of big data” shows both of these anxieties and how they are dealing with it.
    Crawford states that “Normcore is an accurate model of cultural anxiety, but after the term was adopted by the fashion press, it became ‘the look of nothing’ “. it became a cultural idea to disappear/blend -in because of big data and its widespread
    surveillance.
    “the anxiety of the surveillers is generally hard to see; it’s hidden in classified documents and delivered in highly coded languages in front of Senate committees” the anxiety organizations have is “no matter how much data they have, it is always incomplete, and the sheer volume can overwhelm the critical signals in a fog of possible correlations” Which is another way of the saying the more you know the less you know.

  6. In “The Anxieties of Big Data”, writer Kate Crawford explains the ways in which Big Data impact our lives in both sociological terms and individual terms. Crawford describes the anxiety of both those surveilled and the surveillers. Crawford writes that there is an “enormous structural power asymmetry” between the two. The surveillers have more power, as the surveilled are often left with no voice when they are surveilled and how their data is used. On the other hand, Crawford declares an important counterpoint when she states that neither party is “free from being haunted” by data anxiety. In addition, Crawford also points out normcore, a recent fashion trend referring to how youth in especially are discovering freedom with being nothing special. She mentions that this became cool when big data made blending in impossible. Furthermore, Crawford observes how a program created by the British government called “Squeaky Dolphin” has been used to record online activity of social media users. For example, when companies use our shopping data or online activity to post advertisements towards our likings.

  7. This article called “the anxieties of big data ” by Kate Crawford talks about how data mining and surveillance can impact our lives . That there are tons of programs made from companies and what not that collect your data everyday to know how you use the internet. Such as the program called Squeaky dolphin ; a program she mentioned in the text made by the British government to monitor the online activities of social media users . She explains how when you’re data mining there’s never enough information, thus making you data mine even more for more information. Also , she writes about how anxiety is future oriented , indeed this is true because when you have anxiety you feel like you’re about to fail and you get nervous . Another point that internets me is that she mentioned this word named “normcore” something I never heard before and actually is when you wear something basic to blend in ; however I believe that everyone is different so not everyone is gonna go along with this normcore.

  8. with our society becoming more technologically advanced each day, it’s no surprise that online surveillance and data mining have become prevalent issues. Kate Crawford’s “The Anxieties of big data” brilliantly explains the topic of data surveillance and it’s effects. According to Crawford, fashion trend known as ‘normcore’ ensued from the public desire to blend in and be as inconspicuous as humanly possible, in an effort to curb surveillance and spying. Surveillance also gave way to a new form of anxiety—surveillance anxiety—which is comparable to persistent paranoia suffered by those watched. Crawford also describes ‘Squeaky Dolphin’, a tool used by the British government for surveillance of citizens’ internet activity, namely on YouTube and Facebook. “The Anxieties of Big Data” represents, well, the anxieties of big data, and also the desire of the public not be watched..

  9. In Kate Crawford’s article, “The Anxieties of Big Data” she talked about anxiety of being watched from surveillance. Crawford would like to call it this form of anxiety as “surveillance anxiety”. People have had this eerie feeling that their every move is being watched, this mainly goes with online use. Indeed, with this anxiety that people have of being watched makes people that more difficult to investigate in my opinion. If you have a feeling that you are being observed (for the sake of the public’s safety), you are willing to not become a suspect to authorities. Thus, people have participated in “normcore”- a fashion style. This is a bland & basic look worn by people. There is not other way to describe it, but that it is extremely boring and it sort of is society’s dress code. Furthermore, this is the way people cope with their “surveillance anxiety”- by wearing the most basic form of clothing and erase any suspicion.

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