Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Our midterm exam is on Thurs, Oct 17th.

• It will have some multiple choice, some "fill in the blank," some essay answer.
• You will NOT need a blue (examination) book.
• Please bring a pen only.
• The exam will only take around 90-120 minutes.


[Not all of these materials will be on the exam, but if you have a fair understanding of the below materials, you should do fine on the exam. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO DO ALL OF THE READINGS ASSIGNED TO DATE]

PEOPLE TO KNOWPark Dae-Sung ("Minerva") • Tyler Clementi (and his room mate Dharun Ravi) • Gae-Ttong Nyue ("Dog Poo Girl") • Thomas Sawyer vs. Amir Tofangsazan • Jason Fortuny ("Craigslist Experiment") • Jessica Rose Lee ("Lonelygirl15") • Maru (the cat) • Al Gore ("The Gore Bill") • Sen. Ted Stevens ("A Series of Tubes") • Tim Berners-Lee • Megan Meier (and Lori Drew) • Aaron Barr and HBGary • MistahX (Luis Mijangos) • Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi

TERMS AND CONCEPTS TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND:  419 Scams • Scambaiting • Jokeman/Guyman • Mugu • Anonymous (the group) • Project Chanology • Guy Fawkes Mask = "Epic Fail Guy" • "web log" (Jorn Barger - 1997) "blog" (Peter Merholz - 1999) • DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) • "The Internet" vs. "The World Wide Web" • ARPAnet (the origins of the modern Internet) • "Web 1.0" vs. "Web 2.0" • L337 • NSFW (and why people use this) • "Darknet" • "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" • troll • DNFTT • lurker • sockpuppet • bacn • googlewashing • black hat SEO • chu(bou) (Japanese) • emoticons (and why we are now using them) • "The Runescape Mugging" • "The Habbo Hotel Robbery" • "The SIM Mafia" • Goldfarming • “Expressions Given” and “Expressions Given Off” • “Impression Management” • Cherryblossoming • Astroturfing • Crowdturfing • “Front Stage” vs. “Back Stage” • Cooley’s “Looking-Glass Self” • Dunbar’s Number and “Strong” and “Weak” social ties • Defining “Public” and “Private” • Oversharing • Gatekeeping (Institutional, Traditional Publishing, Personal Information) • The “Streisand Effect” (Reactance) • 8-Bit Culture • Chiptunes • Gameboy Music

GENERAL CONCEPTS TO UNDERSTAND "Visual Anonymity" vs. "Source Anonymity" • pseudonymity • "groups" • assessment • collective action • collective behavior • groupthink • the need for emoticons in text-based communication (need to communicate emotion in our writing system) • mass publication as a means of public shaming • social sanctions and the inability to implement social sanctions on the Internet (anonymity = difficulty in identifying the culprit) • anonymity provides an arena for deception (419 Scams and "scambaiting") • "assessment signals" vs. "conventional signals" • assessment/probing cost • Dunbar's Number • "strong ties" and "weak ties" and why we keep "weak ties" around • the diffusion of responsibility (in groups) • disinhibition (and the Internet) • Charles Cooley's "Looking Glass Self" • our sense of "self" requires social interaction • "expressions given" vs. "expressions given off" • impression management • "front stage" vs. "back stage" 


Ray Maratea, “The e-Rise and Fall of Social Problems: The Blogosphere as a Public Arena
            Public problems are brought to the attention of the public by individuals or groups (“claims-makers”); however, in older/traditional media types, problems brought to public attention by claims-makers compete for the public’s attention and interest, because traditional media types were a very limited arena (limited time and publishing space to address all social problems).  In essence, public attention is a scarce resource and thus not all public problems get broadly recognized. 
            The issues most likely to become publicly recognized have certain characteristics in common, and effective bloggers have been found to utilize these characteristics : 1). Drama - they are presented by claims-makers in a “dramatic and persuasive manner” 2). Novelty and Saturation - the claims-makers need to remind the public of the importance of a problem, while simultaneously avoiding over-saturation of the media and redundancy (repeating the same message over and over in the same way) 3). Political and Economic Interests - when the problems have political and economic importance 4). Organizational Characteristics - the specific nature of each publication arena affects what is deemed as an important problem to address 5). Cultural Preoccupations - problems which relate to (and are compatible with) cultural concerns are often more likely to become recognized. 
             Audiences (public attention) now has an exponentially great volume of news information at their disposal; information can now be rapidly published to the audience, and at any time of day – on-demand news, and in great volume. 
            Blogging may aid in public problem “claims-making” because they have several attributes that are different than traditional news media: the hierarchical nature of blogs (some have large readerships – providing new media arenas for attracting public attention to social problems), the ability to publish information at any time of the day (compared to traditional media types, which publish perhaps once a day), an increased ability (compared to traditional media) to support problem claims (longer time can be dedicated to addressing a problem), the bloggers’ ability to legitimate their claims through outside verification (bloggers can and do cite and refer to legitimate authorities regarding certain facts and issues), and the “circulation of claims through personalized narratives. . .suited for the audiences of tight-knit blogging communities” (this can stimulate discussion among readers).  

John Suler, “The Online Disinhibition Effect
The points which Suler states as motivating factors in “Online Disinhibition” are: Asynchronicity, Dissociative Anonymity, Dissociative Imagination, Invisibility, Minimization of Status, and Solipsistic Introjection.

Adam Hyde, et al.What is Collaboration Anyway?
            “Shared” content is associated with a single author or source, and stands alone.  “Collaboration” is content contributed and modified by multiple authors or sources, in a coordinated effort.  The individual contributions which compose a collaborative work cannot and do not stand alone, but when together constitute a single work.  Collaborative works have a single goal (examples given are Wikipedia entries, where each contributor adds to or edits a given Wikipedia entry for the goal of improving the given entry).
            Some cautions: the example of Stephen Colbert’s campaign to intentionally contribute misinformation to Wikipedia’s entry on “elephant” (a large group, working in collaboration, can also generate an incorrect perception that because enough people contribute to a work, that the information they produce must be correct); musician Kutiman created a “mash-up” of several musicians’ music videos, however this does not constitute “collaboration” because each musician was not knowingly contributing to a common goal.  This article also includes a detailed list of criteria for assessing the “strength” of a collaboration.  

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