Tag Archives: boyd

Is Equality Possible on the Web?

This week we are still reading boyd’s It’s Complicated. The chapter we read, “Inequality,” discusses the networked lives of young people and how technology can widen the division between races, and social classes. Let’s connect the boyd reading with some current events.

The points that boyd makes in her chapter, “Inequality,” are very relevant, and can be applied in many situations online, and in real life. The talk about race has been prominent in the news lately with the Ferguson trials, and the shooting of Trayvon Martin.  During these events, and other similar cases, there have been comments on social media that range from the extremes on both sides of the spectrum (supporting the officer, and supporting Michael Brown) and a variety of dialogue occurred on social media, both positive and negative.

**Disclaimer: this article does not represent my opinion on the matters discussed. It is merely an example used for analyzing how the Internet can cause increased levels of inequalities and prejudices in the youth’s networked lives.**

After the shooting an infamous tag was born #blacklivesmatter. Positive, peaceful protests have occurred using the hashtag.

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A very powerful photo.

 

Even photos that tugged your heartstrings appeared:

Much feels.

 

However, violent riots, and support for these violent acts also emerged:

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Does this make sense?

 

In response to this others have called for increased hostility towards them, and in turn, it incites a new kind of hate. (This point is made in boyd’s example of Alexandra Wallace and threats she faced after posting her video)

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Be careful about what you post on Twitter.

 

These type of tweets continue to reinforce structural divides, and encourages racial segregation. This cycle continues as the web allows for freedom of speech and thoughts to be heard:

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Otherwise, responses like this are surely going to follow.

 

 

However, it doesn’t stop there. I’m not saying that either side has a justifiable reason for their actions, however, the girl’s personal information was released, she received death threats, and was suspended from school. Is this type of response acceptable? Sure she said some hateful things, however, was her action so bad that it in turn requires death threats? This type of interactions online show that each side is doing what the other condemns, and a growing divide in social and racial classes.

But how can we fix social divide caused by the Internet? Racism has had a long history in our country, and it doesn’t just disappear overnight. Similarly with real life, it is hard to get rid of all prejudices as these are beliefs engrained into the minds of some people since they were young. As a result, I believe that the only way really combat this issue is through openness and awareness of other people from different backgrounds.

Sorry for such a heavy post this time, however, I feel that this is a very important topic that needs to be addressed. I hope ya’ll enjoyed it, and let me know what you think!

It’s Complicated

cyber-bullying-poster

When it comes to bullying we tend to agree that it is the act of intentionally harming others for attention, acceptance, etc. If you google “what is cyberbullying?” what kind of results would you get? You’ll get a lot of varying views on bullying in general, trust me, I just googled the question. This type of ambiguity that is present in many  abstract nouns, however, with the growing importance of identifying and preventing bullying in our society, it is important to clearly define the term. danah boyd discusses this in her book, It’s Complicated. She discusses the obstacles that are present when identifying bullying in the real and virtual world.

Her main points are about untangling the dynamics of a person to understand if they are being bullied. An example she includes is about the concept of “frenemies.” Think about it, have you ever had a friend who you had a rivalry with? Have you regretted treating that friend a certain way when you tried to compete with them?

Yes, you’re such a good friend Gretchen.


This is also portrayed in pop culture, such as in the Mean Girls film. Many would say that Regina definitely bullies the other plastics. However, the girls accept her criticisms willingly. So, does this in turn not make Regina a bully? boyd says that we need to understand the nooks and crannies of frenemies in order to understand if there is any bullying going on between them, or if it is just a friendly competition.

Even Justin Bieber doesn’t like it when his mom is in his business.

Another point she makes out is the dynamics at school, and online can be interpreted differently. Let’s face it, you don’t want your parents knowing your every move. As a result, parents are not aware of what interactions take place at school, or within a group of friends. By reading a comment on their child’s Facebook post there is no way to convey the tone, or know the background information (it is an inside joke, or an insult?). Additionally, cyberbullying is passive, there is no way to definitely know if it is going on. For example, if your child comes home with a black eye it’s obvious that someone punched them, or some type of accident happened at school. However, with cyberbullying there’s no way to tell if your child is feeling down because of a bad day, bad grades, or bullying (in short, it’s a guessing game).

I agree with boyd’s views as I see the media constantly categorizing acts as bullying. Also, when I think about bullying I find it hard to define. Often times I think “well if this happens this way,” “what is the context,” etc. Lastly, I believe that boyd’s main argument about what’s at stake is important. This is that the punishments bullies face can have adverse effects, and cause long-term harm. Studies have shown that positive reinforcements of good behavior is a much better approach to bullying. This article explains that in the last few paragraphs, it also covers the topic I will go over in my next few posts.

Are we easily “bully shaming” our kids today? What are your thoughts on categorizing bullying, the “real problem,” and how to deal with cyberbullying?

So this concludes my first post, I hoped you enjoyed it!

Leave some comments below on what you thought about my post, and any improvements, or new ideas you want to bring up 🙂