Tag Archives: Process Post

Process Post 10

I wasn’t surprised too much by the results coming from google analytic. I’m currently focusing this website more on completing assignments in order to get a good mark if I’m being honest. A majority of the traffic coming through my website was mainly coming from myself while the rest I’m assuming is coming from Professors, Ta’s, and fellow students. However, if I was looking to focus mainly on drawing on viewers. I would probably cut out my process post while at the same time focusing on mainly just food or views. The only problem that I would have with this though is that I’m already on such a tight schedule with a tight budget. I would only have a finite amount of data that I could post before I would run out of articles to produce. Overall, I wasn’t surprised by my google analytic response as I don’t see even someone like myself looking for a college persons blog when there already exist websites like Reddit and Facebook.

Process Post 10

I wasn’t surprised too much by the results coming from google analytic. I’m currently focusing this website more on completing assignments in order to get a good mark if I’m being honest. A majority of the traffic coming through my website was mainly coming from myself while the rest I’m assuming is coming from Professors, Ta’s, and fellow students. However, if I was looking to focus mainly on drawing on viewers. I would probably cut out my process post while at the same time focusing on mainly just food or views. The only problem that I would have with this though is that I’m already on such a tight schedule with a tight budget. I would only have a finite amount of data that I could post before I would run out of articles to produce. Overall, I wasn’t surprised by my google analytic response as I don’t see even someone like myself looking for a college persons blog when there already exist websites like Reddit and Facebook.

Process Post 9

This week, guest speaker Juan Pablo Alperin posed several interesting questions to the class. First, he asked us to envision a future that sees the decline of Facebook and to elaborate on what kind of changes or shifts would lead to this decline. Next, he asked us to reflect on the constraints that Facebook imposes on us as users and to consider how these constraints influence our behaviour online. In this response, I will address the initial question.

Imagining A Future Without Facebook

Professor Alperin started off by addressing the common misconception that the Internet and the Web are the same things. To my dismay, they are two distinct concepts. I have been using the terms interchangeably for years. The shame. The embarrassment. I will address this question with the newfound knowledge that there is, in fact, a distinction between the Internet and the Web. The “Internet” refers to the physical structures that connect the online world, while the “Web” describes things like HTML and hyperlinks that comprise the core technology of the web. Therefore, Facebook is an application that uses the Internet’s infrastructure.

Every empire falls eventually. Social media platforms and applications are no exception. At one point, Nexopia was the leading social networking platform. Today, most people would give you a funny look if you told them you were on Nexopia. Eventually, the next best thing comes along. Old social media platforms are replaced by new ones that do the same as the last and more. Some applications even integrate popular features from existing applications, such as how Instagram has implemented “Stories” that were initially seen on Snapchat.

Keeping Users Within The Application 

Ultimately, all social media giants will fall, but for different reasons than the last. We all learn from our mistakes, and sometimes, we learn from the mistakes of others. Again, social media platforms are no exception. Current platforms have looked to the mistakes of former giants and quietly avoided making the same mistakes. For example, Nexopia failed to consider that hyperlinks would re-direct users to external websites and in turn, decrease its amount of traffic. Now, applications like Facebook and Instagram redirect users to pages that are opened by the app rather than a separate browser – a subtle ploy to keep the user within the app. At this point, Facebook has avoided some of the problems that other networks have encountered. So what will lead to Facebook’s demise?

Will Privacy Concerns Lead to Facebook’s Demise? 

Giving up personal information is a requirement of using Facebook. But at what point does this become an issue?

Today, Facebook fell as much as 8.1% to $170.06 in New York (Time, 2018). This decline comes after reports that users may have had their data used improperly. Cambridge Analytica, the data-analysis firm that helped Donald Trump win the presidency, was able to obtain and misuse personal information from more than 50 million Facebook users. The company’s shares show that users are not happy.

Facebook stock, March 19th, 2018. Source: Google.

It is evident that privacy concerns can be detrimental to a social networking site, even one as large as Facebook. I think that if privacy concerns arise in the future and users become aware of any misuse of personal information, then individuals may become wary of using Facebook. As a result, Facebook may be replaced by a social networking site that is more transparent about users’ privacy.

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Week 9: What Google Analytics Has to Say

My findings in Google Analytics allowed me to see that most, if not all of my website’s audience is North American. This means that even though I’m an international student, I have to cater to my audience who are most likely North American and may not be able to relate to International student related content. The audiences were from Canada, America and Peru. To me this is quite surprising because I am Tanzanian and I know for a fact that I’ve asked some individuals in Tanzania to take a look at my sight and give me feedback. This does not seem to have been recorded by Google Analytics and therefore makes me feel as though I should not trust all the data Google Analytics is providing to me. Does Google Analytics only record data from activity taking place in North America? It does not feel like a credible source.

Also, according to Google Analytics, readers mostly go to the site on days that I post. This means that in order to drive traffic to my site more frequently throughout the week, I need to spread out my posts throughout the week. I can post on Mondays and Wednesdays if I’m only putting two posts out or Monday, Wednesday and Friday when I have a third post to put up. Furthermore, it seems as though when I mention the posting on Instagram, it seems as though more individuals come from there. Therefore I should keep promoting posts on my Instagram account as well as on Facebook because it seems as though despite me not posting on that platform, readers are also being driven from there. This could allow me to get more visitors and views to my site, allowing me to be able to activate my Google AdSense.

Process Post #9

I am not sure how I feel about Google Analytics – it is incredibly helpful to me as a website owner but, at the same time, it is extremely creepy. Looking at my Google Analytics, I learned a lot about my readers… probably a lot more than they would ever think.

That said, I was super surprised about the activities of my users. Of particular interest for me were: a) how my site was accessed and how much time was spent on my site; b) which site pages were most viewed; and c) the activity flow of my readers.

How the Site was Accessed/Time Spent on Site

I was a bit surprised about how my readers were reaching my website! I was not too surprised about my site being accessed directly because, when I tell people about my blog, they usually just type in the URL themselves. However, I was surprised at the Social categories because I have only advertised my blog through Instagram.

In terms of the bounce rates, I was surprised that people who have accessed the site through a social networking site spent the most time on it. I suppose that this is because those who do click on the link in my Instagram bio (I am assuming that this is where people are coming from) are the most interested in actually cooking and thus, will spend more time on the site.

In the future, I think I will advertise my website on my social networking platforms (probably just Facebook) more and see if that increases traffic to my site. Also, to decrease bounce rate (and thus increase the amount of time that people spend on my site!), I think I will change up my homepage in a way that the user would want to stay on my site for longer. One idea I have to do this is to have a pop-up of some sort that says something along the lines of: “What are you craving?” or something and then having the user be redirected to the recipe that they are craving, or a recipe similar to that craving. Hm, that sounds complicated but I think it would be effective.

Screenshot of how users are getting to my site, as well as the bounce rates.

The Most Viewed Pages 

I was a bit surprised that only two of my recipes even made it to the top 10! I think that the sour cream banana bread post is the most popular recipe because I personally think that its featured photo is the best looking.

Thus, I think I will work on improving my featured photos. I only really like three of the featured photos that I have taken (the banana bread one, the smoothie one and the oatmeal one) and I want to replace the rest. I think having more attractive photos will increase the likelihood that users will visit other pages.

Screenshot of pages most viewed.

User Flow

User flow was the most interesting to look at, as I could see which pages my readers visited, and in what order. I found it interesting (rather than surprising, per se) to see how users reached certain pages.

I think having the banner on my homepage helps to gain readers’ attention to certain recipes (and thus leading them directly to these recipes, rather than having them click through my site), as well as the sidebar on each of my posts. I will pay better attention to user flow and add more links onto my homepage and/or sidebar and see if I see any differences!

Screenshot of user flow.

 In conclusion…

Google Analytics has provided me with great insight that I would otherwise not know. That said, it is up to me to implement the changes I mentioned above and see if it helps my site grow.

Process Post #7

I don’t have much interest in monetizing my blog at all. This is very much a personal blog to me and it doesn’t feel right to me to monetize my content (at the moment anyway).

However, if I were to monetize my blog, I suppose I would make quite a few changes. I would probably try to come up with a lot more original content, not just my thoughts and opinions. As well, I would probably shorten all links to different products that I mention in my blog posts with an ad shortener link or something of the like. Right now though, I have no interest in it. I feel like it’s extremely tiresome to want to click a link and have it redirect to an ad page first, and since my current content (opinion posts) probably aren’t worth having readers click those links, they would get tired and turned off of reading my blog.

I have neutral feelings towards data trails. My dad who is a tech security designer always stressed to me and my siblings that ‘nothing we ever do is private on the internet‘ and I’ve grown up with that sentiment. I am used to the idea that there is data tracking on whatever I do on the internet, so that thought does not bother me, although maybe it should. But I’ve always thought about it like ‘if they are tracking billions of user’s data trails every day, why would my information specifically be important to them?‘ I’m not special and there’s got to be an information overload from the sheer amount of information tracked on the internet daily. Most of the information tracking that happens just goes towards targeted ads which don’t bother me because I have Adblock on (sorry! I do turn it off on some websites so they can make a profit).

Another extension I have installed in my browser is called “Ghostery” and with this extension, you can hide your data trails to some extent! Ghostery shows you which companies are tracking your data on website pages and allows you the option to hide your data from certain trackers. You need to manually turn them off though. It can make your page load faster if the page has a ton of trackers that slow down your browser. With this extension, I am able to minimize what little worries I have about my data trails being tracked by third parties. If you are worried about your activity being tracked, you might want to try downloading this extension!

Process Post Week 5

The Public refers to individual people as well as a community of individual people. Our ideas about publics is that nothing is private and some things are looked at as being acceptable or not acceptable. The definitions of public can differ. Technology takes private things and makes them public because they think they can. Find the community that fits your goals and objectives ( one you can relate too). Join this community, become conscious of how you can improve this information with your community and you will grow. By sharing information with your community brings growth and this is done on social media where this may be explored.

Process Post 9

I’m not currently looking towards monetizing my site. The reason being that I’m not likely to continue using this website post class. In addition, I don’t believe this website currently has enough or shows any potential to have any positive revenue in the future. If i wanted to monetize my website I would probably post far more often and also go out a lot more in order to discover new places and content that I could share with my blog. Furthermore, I’m also quite a private person and am not a huge fan in sharing information about myself nor finding about others people thoughts who I’m not acquainted with. I believe that data trails can be very helpful in giving consumers the best experience possible. However, at the same time I feel as if people lose a bit of privacy in exchange for these benefits. This may be a controversial issue as some people may not enjoy having there history or internet usage being monitored. Although, as an aspiring policeman I feel that people shouldn’t have any worries about these data trails as long as they aren’t doing anything illegal or deviant.

Process Post: Awkward Girl, The Persona.

Who am I? Who am I online? Who is Awkward Girl?

Well so far, I am known as awkward girl. As I see it, awkward girl is not an “it” girl but more of an “every” girl. I imagine my reader as anyone who is looking for an online connection with someone that they can easily relate to. Someone who inspires others to embrace their authentic selves instead of feeling forced into marginalized boxes. While reading my site, I want more than anything for readers to feel inspired to embrace a little bit more of who they are in a world that is constantly trying to determine that for us.

If you’re looking for quantifiable characteristics of who my audience represents, I would say that my reader is probably around my age or a bit younger, most likely female (since it’s probably easier to relate to an online persona who most resembles yourself) as well as someone who lives in North America (since realistically this is the audience that would most likely come across my website). Although these would be the characteristics I would use to describe my most realistic and probable reader, this blog is not restricted to this limited audience. I really want anyone from any background, gender or sexual orientation to feel like they can relate to my content in some way.

I think the great thing about awkward girl is that she is anonymous (sort of, since you can read a little blurb about my actual self on my about page but still). I don’t want to reveal my real name, maybe ever, (in my blog posts) because I feel like it takes away from one of the most charming aspects of awkward girl and one that makes her the most relatable. Because the readers have to put their own face to awkward girl, she is truly who they imagine her to be. One of the best parts of reading in my opinion is trying to envision characters from books and novels in real life and what they would be like. Once a movie adaptation of that story is released, the illusion of who you’ve made them up to be is chattered and you are forced to comply with the envisioned character of someone else. I know this seems a little far fetched or overthought but that is truly why I believe that the anonymity of awkward girl is so important to who she is as a blogger, not only for herself (myself) but for her readers. They personalize awkward girl to be the most relatable to themselves which transforms her into more than just an unknown identity behind a computer screen, but more of a friend.

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Process Post #8

I really admired Trevor Battye’s guest lecture last week. I was pretty amazed at how money-oriented his thinking is – he seems to always be thinking about how he can profit. I don’t think like that at all.

That said, I do want to eventually monetize KIM KIND OF COOKS. I will do so by adding ads on my blog, once I figure out how Google AdSense actually works. I think that incorporating advertisements will force me to make some design changes. I don’t want to have my site clogged with obnoxious ads, so I’ll have to strategically placed my ads around my site in a way that is effective (i.e. my readers will click on the ads) but non-invasive (i.e. don’t take away from my content or overall experience that I want my readers to have). In addition, I will also have to think carefully about the types of ads that I want to host on my site. Considering that this is a cooking/food blog, I’d want to keep the ads on this site relevant.

An additional reason that I’m holding off on monetizing my blog (besides figuring out how Google Adsense works) is that I really want to make sure that I know my audience, which I can do by looking at my Google Analytics. I have a love-hate relationship with Google Analytics. As the owner of a blog, it provides me valuable data about my audience so that I can create content geared towards them. However, as a user, I really dislike the amount of information that one can gather about me! I think data trails are creepy. I personally try to minimize my data trail as much as possible because I’m aware of just how much information I’m actually providing websites. I’m sure that the average Internet user is quite unaware of all of the data that they’re making available just by accessing certain websites or by providing information on social media platforms. Call me paranoid, but what I’ve learned through my cybercrime course has only solidified my decision to keep my data trail as small as possible.

Process Post 8

Initially, I was against the idea of monetizing my website. My website provides me with an outlet and the idea of making money off of my personal posts makes me a little uncomfortable. I want to share posts that other people can relate to and monetizing my content seems to be at odds with the aim of my work. In my mind, it feels disingenuous to be posting content that is meant to be for others but also benefits myself.

I wanted to say that I didn’t care about money, but I realized that doing so would be a disservice to myself. As much as I want to deny it, money is necessary to satisfy a number of the things I value in life: an education, food and shelter, and even some of my hobbies. If I want to post about my hobbies, I will need the funds to do so. This is where monetization comes in.

Google Adsense                                          

Although I installed Google Adsense, I have refrained from implementing any ads on my blog. I like how Google Adsense allows users to regulate what ads are posted and I think that a lot of bloggers can effectively use Google Adsense to incorporate advertisements. In my own experience, I tend to question the credibility of websites that feature too many advertisements. I find that an excessive number of ads detracts from the purpose of a website. Overall, I think that a few strategically placed advertisements can be beneficial for individuals looking to monetize their website. I don’t like the look of advertisements

If I were to monetize my website in the future, I would do it via affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing would allow me to promote products that I have personally tried and that are relevant to my blog. In order to enhance transparency with my readers, I would ensure that my audience knows that certain posts may result in monetary compensation.

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Week 8: Monetization

According to Ad Sense, this blog needs to have posts with more words so that they can get a gist of the type of ads that would be appropriate for it. Apparently multi media posts are not considered when Google ads decide to approve a blog for monetization. This means that I am going to have to produce more wordy posts, which I am okay with doing, even though in my opinion I find them to be quite boring and I probably won’t re read ever. Do I want to monetize this blog? Of course I do. Nobody puts in effort into something without expecting a beneficial outcome. I should also put up posts more frequently if I expect to make more than a cent if even that.

Personally I think blogs are dying out in the same way as magazines are dying out. I’m taking a course – PUB 375, which is about magazines. Designing it, the costs of publishing it etc. The most important thing I’ve learnt from this course so far is that I do not want to work for a magazine. I once wanted to become an editor for some magazine, any magazine after I wrote a post for the SFU OLC/ Engage blog. People do not want to read if they don’t have to. I too hate reading after taking all the communication courses I’ve taken so far. Approximately 30 pages for 2-3 reading per week per course are no joke and no fun. I would much rather watch a 60-minute video per week for each course. This is why I believe that blogs are dying out, just like magazines.

-Shazia xx

Week #7: Remixing Blair Waldorf

For this week’s process post, the task was to remix something. I decided to remix a character from one of my all time favourite TV shows – Gossip Girl! It recently got put onto Netflix and I binge watched the whole show in less then two weeks! I love Blair Waldorf because she’s such an iconic character. Her confidence and sense of style are things I look up to.

I found this image of Leighton Meester, who plays the character of Blair Waldorf in Gossip girl using the Creative Commons web page. The web page took me to alien_artifacts’ Flickr page, where this image was located. I then downloaded it and uploaded it to befunky.com where I was able to change the lighting and tones of the image. I then exported it to an app called PhotoWonder where I replaced her original mouth with the the blue lips and crown. Here I also mirrored the image to give me two identical Leighton Meester’s. I also added a Gossip Girl quote that I found on Pinterest in the centre.

Let me know who your favourite character is from Gossip girl. I’d love to know!

-Shazia xx

Vol. 9: Process Post

Copyright – “the sole right to reproduce the work in any material.”

What I was immediately fascinated by, about the definition, is that it does not say ownership. As a current business student, concepts like copyright, ownership, patents are all so important. We learn time and time again that patents are a crucial concept in the way businesses run; they need patents in order to continue to innovate.

So how does this translate into the fashion industry? As a current fashion blogger, I’ve definitely paid attention to the concept of how designer’s are protected. But then again, I always knew that designs were never copyrighted or protected. It’s also interesting to find that no one will ever do it like the other, even though they technically can. A copy is never the same as the original, or nowadays, a copy does not look like any other copy.

Every store, brand, retail brings its own creative take to a particular trend. Let’s say flared black jeans are the new trend. It’s actually interesting to see that there are so many selections of these out there, and that they’re actually all quite different in some way. For me, I actually never buy into brand name, and I think there is a huge distinction between brand name and design.

Inherently, there does exit a total difference: brands/logos can be patented but ultimately, designs can not be. This is interesting as it opposes the notion that people need patents in order to innovate or continue to be creative in the industry. It is because FOR the fact that people can copy your designs, you must continue to innovate, and you don’t want to copy because trends come and go. Fashion is essentially revolutionizing the way we think we ought to be creative: we ultimately don’t do unless we get true recognition or protection for it.

Back to my point about the distinction between brand name and design, I ultimately buy the design. I found that it just so happens that the brand name offers the exact design of the garment that I wanted. It’s not the fact that I, as well, go for more expensive brands. I am someone who loves a good deal–so I’m not looking to buy expensive clothing to flex. It just so happens that these brands have intricate designs, which I care about, about a specific garment. For example, I want oversized pants. But, I care about how much it is oversized, how it looks, it fits, and if ultimately if it was designed differently then others. There is much to say about the fact that niche and small designers have the HUGE incentive to be innovative. As consumers, we want to be creative as much as possible, and we want to stand out. For me personally, I don’t want to be exactly like anyone in terms of my style. This means, I have the same kind of mindset as those smaller and niche clothing retailers and designers. I put more value in it, so this reflects in their price points as well.

Everyone’s also been talking about a “capsule wardrobe” to withstand time. I’ll probably talk about this in a future post, but for now I will simply say it is probably too hard to do so if you are someone who admires new trends all the time. It’s weird to see how my mind has been so different than 3 years ago about choosing clothing–this means too that I experience trends in my lifetime, and possibly it wasn’t due to the fact that the world of fashion has been changing.

I am excited, and will continue to be excited, for new designs to come!

’till net time, homies!

Process Post #7

This week’s process post assignment was pretty vague: “Remix something.” Okay, sure.

To be completely honest, this remix post was not entirely planned. This past week, I decided to finally pick up the ukulele that I bought three years ago and learn how to play a song. I found this tutorial video and within a few minutes, learned how to play Elvis Presley’s, Can’t Help Falling in Love.

I sang the actual lyrics a few times and recorded myself so that I could share with some friends. As I like to do with other songs, I decided to change up the lyrics. Without really thinking about it, I sang the following:

Kim kind of cooks
She doesn’t use a cookbook
She really should
She isn’t that good.

If you care to hurt your ears a bit, this video is essentially just audio of me SINGING (Kim kind of sings?) the song. AHHHHH!

So, I accomplished three things with this: 1) I finally learned how to play a song on my ukulele; 2) I inadvertently came up with a theme song for my blog; and 3) I now have content for this remix post. Win, win, win.

Quick shout-out to Jasmine for being the first person I shared the raw footage of this with (I only used the audio in the video above because I looked like an actual potato).

Essay #1

The way news is disseminated in today’s media landscape is increasingly important to consider and understand as it has drastically changed the way society receives and reacts to news information. Arguably, one of the biggest changes to our media landscape has been the integral inclusion of social media. It’s presence in the digital world is monstrous and has managed to incrust itself into most parts of social life with news being no exception. Individuals are no longer subscribing to the same traditional forms of news as social media has brought on a less intimidating and more “entertainment” style of news programming. One of the mediums that have seemed from this more casual form of receiving news is parody or satire news programming. Although there are many negatives one must consider while examining these new forms of news information, there is also something to be said for way it has made traditional forms of news a lot more accessible by including it into a platforms which most individuals use everyday. This great attraction is unfortunately also one of the reasons news media can often times result in being unreliable or falsified. Because of it’s easy accessibility to the public, a lot more information and sources can be shared which can make it difficult to decipher what is trustworthy and non-trustworthy information. But specifically regarding the propagation of false news in the media, it is important to consider the role news parodies play. Although they are being transparent about not sharing truthful information, the content can often times be taken seriously and with the power of social media can be shared across a vast audience propagating the information even further. In this paper, I will be looking at the effect fake news through news parodies, such as Saturday Night live or Steven Colbert, can have on audiences and ultimately the actual political sphere of society.

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Essay 1

Medias Exploitation of Moral Panic

News companies are using moral panic to increase their views and exploit the lower class. Moral panic is spreading fear over an issue and making the problem appear much larger than it is. I will be applying this theory towards youth crime and how news companies are exploiting certain groups to push their own agendas ahead. I will discuss how this type of news is created, spread, and managed by news outlets.
Moral panic has been used by media to gain a widespread attention as it’s issues directly attack the viewer’s emotion. Examples of this includes society moral panic on African American crime during the 70’s (Farmer,2010). But, moral panic actually goes as far back as witch hunts “which depicted an us versus them scenario” (Altheide,2009). The issue with these new releases is that they spread false news which can have a very negative affect on minorities in society (Erich, 2017). A popular topic that the media portrays as an issue is youth crime and how violence by them is on the rise. The effects of this can negatively affect younger members of the community as they are seen as troublemakers by the rest of society and untrustworthy scoundrels(Critcher,2008). This can have negative effects on youth in the community as they are portrayed as deviant outcasts from society. The usage of moral panic by the media is simply a way for news companies to gain more attention which comes with more revenue.
The creation of moral panic is mainly spread from news reporters and are based on recent events that have happened in the community. A famous scenario would be the mods and rockers were society became afraid of local group gangs which politicians used to their advantage in creating a tough on crime approach (Cohen, 1967). While in reality there was actually no such issue and the problem of a few skateboarders was blown out of proportion. However, the negative effects of this can cause high incarceration rates due to a tough on crime legislation being introduced. Thus, introducing minor offenders with major offenders such as gang, which would create even more violent crime when they’re released (Crithcer, 2008). Furthermore, youth members who become labeled may start to see themselves as deviant due to society giving them this label (Critcher, 2008). Youth would then start to commit crime due to themselves self-fulfilling their own label (Cohen, 1967). Creating moral panic has negative effects on targeted members of the community due to labeling and self-fulfilling prophecies.
Mass panic is mainly spread through any available news source with a large shift now heading towards online media. Examples of this include large platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat which boast billions of users. A huge issue with platforms such as these are that many viewers aren’t interested in the real statistics and are more concerned with getting their news quickly instead of looking deeper into it (Hunt, 1997). When media sources are saying that youth crime is increasing in Canada, their information is incorrect as current data from Stats Canada show that youth crime has been decreasing since 2006 (Youth Crime In Canada, 2014″. 2018). Furthermore, media are much more likely to bring up violent youth crime in their news as this quickly insinuates moral panic and grabs the attention of viewers. However, this cannot be further from the truth as statistics show that violent crimes are rare with youth in proportion to what the media sources are claiming (Youth Crime In Canada, 2014″. 2018). Spreading of moral panic can wrongfully educate the viewers and falsely lead them from seeing the correct statistics.
The media can maintain these constant moral panics through media waves and the constant reoccurrence of violent themes and certain groups in their news. Possible amends to this solution are government regulation that prevents the media from portraying certain groups as deviants. This is not to say that I’m in support of banning what Trump calls “Fake News.” I’m simply saying that the media shouldn’t be allowed to blow up issues while ignoring the true statistics of the situation. Furthermore, we should also be cautious of how moral panic is spread as government parties may take advantage of these situations and use it push forward their campaign (Ratner,1999). Examples of this are governments such as Stephen Harper and his push towards a penal system in Canada. We should be cautious of the news we intake and research the topic and political views of the news station before forming an opinion ourselves.
The exploitation of certain groups to spread moral panic is unethical as it uses mainly members of the lower class to gain more revenue. I’m largely in disagreement with the fact that most of those that moral panic is constantly targeting members of the lower class or certain minority groups (Welch, 1997). A certain type of moral panic that consistently comes up today is the stereotyping of all brown people as terrorists. As soon as even a little attention is given to terrorism, news companies are quick to pounce on the topic of Muslim and say that the killings was a terrorist attack. In fact, terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims receive 5 times the amount of news coverage compared to any other ethnicity (Kentish, 2018). This is increasingly unreasonable due to Muslims carrying out only 12.4% of the attacks which means they receive 41.4% of the news coverage (Kentish, 2018). These types of dangerous news reporting can create dangerous racist radical groups out of fear and pressure governments into creating racist oppressive laws. An example of this would be in France, recently after the November terrorist attacks, many citizens pushed for the removal of hijabs, a religious Muslim requirement for woman. Racist views can get in the way of politics due to moral panic created by the media.
The medias usage of moral panic serves no purpose other than to attract large audiences and spread fear on a subject that is unnecessary. This moral panic can not only create a bad image for the group being targeted, but result in certain ethnic groups being treated unfairly due to the way the media portrays them. New items of technology such as Snapchat and Facebook have allowed news companies to spread moral panic to an even wider audience since many people have access to it. Laws should be made to prevent moral panic from being used as it can function as subliminal racism and outcast certain minorities from the rest of society.

Altheide, David L. 2009. “Moral Panic: From Sociological Concept To Public Discourse”. Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal 5 (1): 79-99. doi:10.1177/1741659008102063.
Cohen, Stanley. 1967. “MODS, ROCKERS AND THE REST: COMMUNITY REACTIONS TO JUVENILE DELINQUENCY”. The Howard Journal Of Criminal Justice 12 (2): 121-130. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2311.1967.tb00231.x.

Critcher, Chas. 2008. “Moral Panic Analysis: Past, Present And Future”. Sociology Compass 2 (4): 1127-1144. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9020.2008.00122.x.
Farmer, Sarah. 2010. “Criminality Of Black Youth In Inner‐City Schools: ‘Moral Panic’, Moral Imagination, And Moral Formation”. Race Ethnicity And Education 13 (3): 367-381. doi:10.1080/13613324.2010.500845.
Goode, Erich. 2017. Deviant Behavior. [Place of publication not identified]: Routledge.
Hunt, Arnold. 1997. “‘Moral Panic’ And Moral Language In The Media”. The British Journal Of Sociology 48 (4): 629. doi:10.2307/591600.
Kentish, Benjamin. 2018. “Terror Attacks Receive Five Times More Media Coverage If Perpetrator Is Muslim, Finds Study”. The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world-0/terror-attacks-media-coverage-muslim-islamist-white-racism-islamophobia-study-georgia-state-a7820726.html.
Ratner, R. S., and Bernard Schissel. 1999. “Blaming Children: Youth Crime, Model Panics, And the Politics Of Hate”. Canadian Journal Of Sociology / Cahiers Canadiens De Sociologie 24 (4): 569. doi:10.2307/3341797.
WELCH, MICHAEL, MELISSA FENWICK, and MEREDITH ROBERTS. 1997. “Primary Definitions Of Crime And Moral Panic: A Content Analysis Of Experts’ Quotes In Feature Newspaper Articles On Crime”. Journal Of Research In Crime And Delinquency 34 (4): 474-494. doi:10.1177/0022427897034004004.
“Youth Crime In Canada, 2014”. 2018. Statcan.Gc.Ca. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14309-eng.htm.

Essay 1: False News in the Age of the Internet

One of the most exciting things that came about with the turn of the century was the ability to communicate quickly and efficiently online. With the dawn of the internet, and particularly of Web 2.0, the way people communicated began to change, and with the invention of Facebook in the mid-aughts, social networking websites like it became the norm in day-to-day communications. Recently, however, Facebook and others like it have begun to stray from the “poking” and “wall posts of the past” and moving into a realm heretofore unchartered: the world of false news. Also called fake news, the false news is an alarming new trend that has begun to sweep our social media landscapes. One can hardly scroll down their newsfeed without coming across a news source that is questionable, or even blatantly false. Fake news has become so prevalent to our society today, that Kucharski even goes so far as to compare it to an infectious disease (Kucharski, 2016).

The problem stems with a (mostly American) problem with trusting the news as a legitimate source. Most news corporations have taken a political stance (usually right or left, sometimes seemingly in outer space) and report from that viewpoint. As Bill Maher reported on his television show, “Real Time with Bill Maher”, Americans polled said that while 45% of them trusted Donald Trump, the president with the lowest approval ratings in modern American history (Harwood, 2017) and who has been caught in numerous troubling lies, to tell the truth, but a mere 42% said they trusted the news media to tell the public the truth (Maher, 2017). Thus, the turn of the general public to other sources of information rather than traditional news media, and that is where fake news is able to creep into the mainstream and become a part of the social media landscape.

Unlike so-called fake news websites like The Onion, or television shows like The Colbert Report, the fake news prevalent in the media today has no satirical influence. Those satirical websites exist for the entertainment of many, as well as the confusion of others. Fake news used to be a joke, however, in the past couple of years, fake news has managed to find a spot in the world of online news. Facebook, or other social networking website users, can really be split into two groups of people: those who are “digitally literate” and those are not. In the past, when fake news was there for entertainment, the digitally literate were able to enjoy a good chuckle to themselves as those who were not, shared news stories from sources that were known to be satirical in nature. However, recently, with a new onslaught of news websites, many who truly to appear to be legitimate, it becomes more and more difficult to discern fake news from the real thing, and even those who would consider themselves to be digitally literate have difficulty distinguishing between the two.

While Mark Zuckerberg said claims that Facebook posts had the potential to influence the results of the 2016 election was a “pretty crazy idea” (Berghal, 2017) the world of online sharing has made the spread of fake news easy and unnervingly speedy, and because of this was able to shape people’s perceptions of the candidates at hand without ever expressing facts. Instead of statistics and real information, people voted with their feelings, because that was being targeted through social media. People click on things that upset or trigger them in some way, much more so than to valid information.

So, where do we go from here? Berghal lists a number of things that people can do to help avoid spreading fake news, which are outlined in his piece, quoting Washington Post Journalist Glen Kessler:

“1. authenticate the source (host),

2. check out the bona fides of the “contact us” page, and

3. vet the author.” (Berghal, 2017).

Following these steps seems like the logical thing to do, however, when people are quick to jump to conclusions and take action based on false news sources, they are unlikely to adequately vet their sources. Alternatively, he proposes technologies that block fake news websites from being shared on social media sites like Facebook. In general, though, I don’t believe we can stop the easily swayed from being easily swayed. Bill Maher proposes another alternative: that news corporations stop treating the news like a business endeavor, and regard it instead as a public service: something that their citizens need and deserve. Perhaps if everyone were to treat real news with the respect it deserves, it would be easy to distinguish the real from the ridiculous.

In conclusion, it looks as though people will be using social media as a platform for their news sources for a long time to come. While it is unlikely fake news sites will stop posting fake news, and even less likely that the majority of consumers will properly vet their sources before believing them or reposting, there is hope for the future of the news media. This lies with the news networks that bring the world reputable news, and hopefully, these corporations will be able to step up to the plate and bring people the news that they deserve to hear.



Berghel, H. (2017). “Lies, Damn Lies, and Fake News”. Computer 5:2, 80-85. DOI: 10.1109/MC.2017.56

Harwood, J. (2017). “Trump to address nation saddled with record low approval rating: NBC/WSJ poll”. CNBC.http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/26/trump-to-address-nation-sandbagged-by-record-low-approval-rating-nbcwsj-poll.html

Kucharski, A. (2016). “Post-truth: Study epidemiology of fake news”. Nature 500:525.  DOI: 10.1038/540525a

Maher, B. (2017). “Alt-News”. Real Time with Bill Maher. https://www.facebook.com/Maher/videos/vb.62507427296/10154470954107297/?type=2&theater

Week 6: Changes in design

I received some really great feedback from Theona about my website. She mentioned that she would like to see some variety in the mediums I use in my posts. I decided to make a post using gifs – 5 Things Only International Students Can Relate To. I found that it was a lot of fun picking the gifs and I plan to make more posts with only gifs.

As for my social media only appearing on the ‘about’ page, I have now changed it to appear on the side bar of every post. It will however not be on the homepage as I have yet to figure out whether I want it to appear there or not. I was also thinking of adding my Pinterest page to my blog as this could allow readers to see the various things I’m interested in and get to know me better that way.

I am currently working on changing my main page picture as Theona mentioned that it does not fit well with what my blog it about. I originally selected it because I thought it gave off a cozy feel and described me as a person, however I would agree that I could pick a better picture that is clearer and stands out.

Theona also mentioned that I should have pictures on all the posts or have none at all on the homepage. I am currently trying to add pictures to all of them. I want to see what it will look like with pictures; I may consider removing all these pictures, as I want to keep the homepage as simple as possible.


Essay 1 – Is Social Media the Enemy?

Is Social Media the Enemy?

The argument of whether social media provides credible information or news to its users has been a debated question for many. Social media platforms such as Facebook have provided individuals the outlet to share news and stories with their friends instantly whilst Twitter allows individuals to report live from one’s own perspective. Social media has also had negative impacts on users as articles that are shared often appear to be credible, but in reality are fake news and have no credible sources to prove that their information is real. Unfortunately not everyone who reads the news from these platforms go to the extent of source checking to verify whether what they are reading is true or not.

Social media has had a huge impact on young individuals as it allows them to take part in conversations regarding social issues. It has allowed them to become aware of global issues that mainstream media choose not to reveal to the world, such as people of colour being harassed by people in power positions in America. Posting in “real time” has allowed millennials to spread news quickly and effectively while also being able to be a part of the process of informing others of what is going on around the world. According to the article – New Study Finds Social Media Shapes Millennial Political Involvement And Engagement, millennials are interested in getting involved in spreading awareness of various social issues across the world. They feel the need to be a part of the process of being able to spread important news instantly (Fromm, 2016). Social media platforms allow them to feel more involved in politics and this encourages them to take a stand in the conversations taking place. Millennials believe that it is important to work together with others online and have collaborative conversations about social issues in order to overcome them (Fromm, 2016).

Unfortunately seeing news stories that are upsetting or worrying to some individuals on social media appear to have negative impacts on their well-being. According to an article by the Pew Research Centre, news articles often portray individuals such as political leaders or candidates in a negative manner. This causes readers to either change their perspectives about the individuals or angers them because the articles portray them in a way they believe to be false (Anderson, 2016).

Seeing unsettling news frequently appears to be taking a toll on social media users and therefore many are limiting the time they spend on these platforms. According to the article – ‘Post-election stress disorder’ strikes on both sides by CNN, the number of individuals seeking therapy to talk about political issues in the United Stated has increased significantly, especially within minority groups. Since Donald Trump became president of the United States, all media outlets have been reporting concerning news about the policies Trump has put into place and his future plans for the country. The Muslim ban was extremely scary for many individuals, as they could not get back to their country or their lives. The President’s open discrimination towards minority groups has created anxiety, as their safety is uncertain in a country they consider to be their own (Gold, 2017). Seeing headlines about Donald Trump on social media is extremely stressful for many as it is uncertain as to what new threatening policies he will implement on his citizens next.

According to Gold (2017), individuals reported that they find it difficult to maintain social relationships with those whose opinions differ to their own ones. Social media users often share news stories or comment on news articles they agree with or disagree with, which allows their friends and family to see what their point of view is about certain issues. Those who see Donald Trump as being a fit President also report on having negative experiences when supporting him on social media (Gold, 2017). They experience harassment because their opinions threaten and offend individuals whose opinions differ to theirs. Conflicting opinions about serious cases such as banning individuals from entering their own country are leading individuals to end relations because they feel discriminated by people they know and thought cared about them.

Despite the negative impacts of using social media as a news source, users believe that social media is allowing them to communicate with political leaders more effectively. According to an article by The Washington Times on How social media gives public opinion wings, the reporter mentions that individuals from across the world can reach political leaders through Twitter regarding specific issues. Political leaders are also able to post about certain topics and review the responses from users instantly, without having to hire individuals to run polls which can be time consuming and expensive (Weissmann, 2016).

In conclusion, social media proves to have both negative and positive impacts on users regarding news consumption. Seeing negative stories about what is going on around the world constantly on social media is unsettling for many. Fake news circulating on users profiles also makes individuals question what the truth really is and where to find it. Despite all the negativity, there have been some positive outcomes from information that is spread through social media. Individuals are able to share stories more easily and efficiently. Awareness is being created about topics that may not have been discussed otherwise and individuals are coming together from all over the world to seek the truth behind stories that may have otherwise been buried by news outlets.



Anderson, M. (2016, November 7). Social media causes some users to rethink their views on an issue. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/07/social-media-causes-some-users-to-rethink-their-views-on-an-issue/

Fromm, J. (2016, June 22). News Study Finds Social Media Shapes Millennial Political Involvement And Engagement. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefffromm/2016/06/22/new-study-finds-social-media-shapes-millennial-political-involvement-and-engagement/#6724df1e2618

Gold, J. (2017, February 20). ‘Post-election stress disorder’ strikes on both sides. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/20/health/post-election-stress-partner/index.html

Weissmann, S. (2016, September 12). How social media gives public opinion wings. Retrieved from https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/12/how-social-media-gives-public-opinion-wings/