Category: online

Not quite a lecture, but a really well down examination of Terry Davis’ life, well worth watching during lunch break.

Digital Human, Series 18, Episode 4: Devotion

What is the real impact social media is having on gang violence, turf warfare and youth identity?:

While spending time with gang members in the South Side of Chicago to conduct fieldwork for his forthcoming book, sociologist Forrest Stuart would regularly check Twitter and Instagram. He’d be surprised to find that the young men he was hanging out with, often in perfectly mundane situations, were posting pre-prepared images and videos of themselves wielding guns.

“I discovered all this flexing on social media,” he tells me over Skype. “I’d be standing right next to these guys and realise they were posting things that were nothing to do with what we were actually doing.” Some of the young men didn’t own and had never used a gun. They simply borrowed them to stockpile photos and videos of themselves holding weapons, later curating an intimidating social media profile that they would drip feed onto the internet over the coming days and weeks.

Drill artist Digga D has found a young, engaged audience through social media, despite some of his videos being banned

“I’d be driving them across town in my car, and when we’d pass a rival block they’d start taking selfies out the window, pretending they were on their way to do a drive-by,” Stuart continues. “Another time, in a cold Chicago winter, I was sat with a young man who was babysitting his little sisters. We were in his living room watching music videos on the television. But when I checked Instagram, he was on there posting photos pretending to be stood in the blizzard outside protecting his block.”

It is no secret that social media platforms are shifting human behaviours, habits and interactions all over the world. People are increasingly able to use digital profiles of themselves to extend or invert their physical realities, and thus manipulate their social, professional and moral worlds for all sorts of benefits and incentives: the prospect of meeting a new lover, the lure of branded money from sponsors, the endorphin-hit of likes and shares, and chase votes and political power.

Digital Human, Series 18, Episode 3 – Character Witness

Why I Can’t Stop Watching Horrifying ISIS Decapitation Videos:

I turn my laptop away from my husband, mute the volume, and let the horror make my head go dizzy and my stomach turn upside-down. Sometimes he catches me.

Last night he said, “What is wrong with your face? Why do you look like that?”

Journalist Brianna Snyder appeared on the podcast, speaking very frankly about how she used to be compelled to watch violent, extreme content on the internet after a crisis of her own mortality. 

Personally I was very moved reading her article, as it’s a rare thing to have someone speak to honestly about viewing such material, and the psychological toll it can have on people who have seen it. It’s well worth a read, but be warned it does deal with very dark subject matter.

Stream of download the podcast here Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 5 – Ghoul

Violent content online has rightly been condemned. Yet while we criticise those facilitating the supply we rarely talk about the demand. In episode 5 of this series of Digital Human, Aleks Krotoski asks who views it and why.

In this clip Journalist Brianna Snyder recalls an occasion when her curiosity got the better of her, and lead to her being compelled to view extreme content online.

Listen to the full episode here – Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 5 – Ghoul 

The artwork for the show is by the supremely talented Seonaid MacKay.

BBC Radio 4 – The Digital Human – Downloads:

Hey guys, all episodes of series 17 are available to download both from BBC Sounds and on iTunes. So if you’re the binging type when it comes to audio check it out. Especially check out our 100th episode special, the Analogue Human – we loved cutting that on tape.

BBC Radio 4 – Four Thought, Other People’s Stories:

Lunchtime listen for you guys, Dr Anna Derrig was on our show this week, but she goes in depth into the ethics of life writing in this episode of Four Thought. Well worth a listen if you’re going to write your life story.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

Desperate teens of anti-vaxxers are turning to Reddit for vaccination advice:

The infrastructure of social media can spread a lot of bad medical and scientific information but there are times when it can help cut through the quackery.

As a kid, Ethan wasn’t allowed to be vaccinated. Ethan’s parents are one of the up to 10 percent of Americans who are against some form of vaccination, often believing that preventing disease in children is a government conspiracy.

But Ethan is not his parents. When he turned 18, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn’t sure where else to begin, so he turned to Reddit.

“Where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?” Ethan asked his fellow redditors in December.

Ethan’s post flooded with over 1,000 comments from users offering their encouragement and support, along with practical advice.

“Good on you for getting your vaccinations,” one user responded. “It’s never too late and you’re not only protecting yourself but those around you who truly can’t get vaccinated.”

Ethan told the Daily Dot that some redditors even offered to give him money via GoFundMe or PayPal if insurance didn’t cover the shots. “People were really supportive, and that was really cool,” he said. “I had the blessing of Reddit. They were supporting me on a decision my mom freaked out about.”

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Desperate teens of anti-vaxxers are turning to Reddit for vaccination advice:

The infrastructure of social media can spread a lot of bad medical and scientific information but there are times when it can help cut through the quackery.

As a kid, Ethan wasn’t allowed to be vaccinated. Ethan’s parents are one of the up to 10 percent of Americans who are against some form of vaccination, often believing that preventing disease in children is a government conspiracy.

But Ethan is not his parents. When he turned 18, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn’t sure where else to begin, so he turned to Reddit.

“Where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?” Ethan asked his fellow redditors in December.

Ethan’s post flooded with over 1,000 comments from users offering their encouragement and support, along with practical advice.

“Good on you for getting your vaccinations,” one user responded. “It’s never too late and you’re not only protecting yourself but those around you who truly can’t get vaccinated.”

Ethan told the Daily Dot that some redditors even offered to give him money via GoFundMe or PayPal if insurance didn’t cover the shots. “People were really supportive, and that was really cool,” he said. “I had the blessing of Reddit. They were supporting me on a decision my mom freaked out about.”

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

My Stealthy Freedom:

In Iran women have to cover their hair in public according to the dress rule enforced after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. My Stealthy Freedom is an online social movement where Iranian women share photos of themselves without wearing the hijab.

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

Online Shaming Gives Creeps the Spotlight They Deserve:

When Lucky Strike server Laura Ramadei reportedly felt a male customer touch her ass “ever so gently” as he told her that he’d like to take her “to go,” she knew exactly what to do. Not only did she rebuff his awkward advance in person, she went home and did some sleuthing. By plugging the name on the receipt—Brian H. Lederman—into Google, she found her harasser right away: Lederman is a hedge-fund manager who works with Swiss Performance Management and Truehand AG.

Ramadei posted Lederman’s receipt to Facebook along with her story, eventually drawing widespread media attention to his alleged misdeed. For his part, Lederman denied the accusation but didn’t do himself any favors by telling the New York Post that he has nonetheless “grabbed plenty of girls’ asses in [his] life.” In this same interview, he also called Ramadei a “cunt” and threatened to destroy her chances of employment in New York City. Now, when you Google “Brian Lederman” the first result describes him as someone who “grabs a lot of asses.”

Revenge, it seems, is a dish best served through search engine optimization.

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 6 – Shame