Category: online

Why I Can’t Stop Watching Horrifying ISIS Deca…

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 condem…

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

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 Sto…

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…

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…

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

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…

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

Some Are Troubled By Online Shaming Of Charlot…

Some Are Troubled By Online Shaming Of Charlottesville Rally Participants:

“Yes, You’re Racist” is the name of a Twitter account that has been very active in posting pictures of white supremacists at the Charlottesville march and rally. Logan Smith, who runs the account, thinks other people should see the faces of white supremacists.

“They’re not wearing hoods anymore — they’re out in the open,” Smith says. “And if they’re proud to stand with KKK members and neo-Nazis and anti-government militias, then I think the community should know who they are.”

Smith says he didn’t attend the rally, but he has been getting pictures from activists who were there. They share them through social media. He reposts them on his Twitter account. And on Twitter, people are happy to help him make these individuals even more public.

“Immediately, as soon as I posted those photos people (were) saying ‘Oh! I went to high school with this person.’ ‘I had a class in college with that person.’ ‘I recognize this person as a prominent white supremacist in my area.’ ”

After getting more information, Smith would add names and places to the photos, leading to some consequences in the real world.

Cole White, who used to work at a hot dog restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., “voluntarily resigned” on Saturday after his employer confronted him about his participation in the rally.

The father of participant Jeff Tefft felt he needed to post a letter in a local newspaper disavowing his son. Pearce Tefft says that although he and his family are not racists, once his son’s face and name were posted on social media they became the targets of people upset with his son.

David Clinton Wills, a visiting professor at New York University who follows social media, says he is troubled by the way that anti-racist activists are using Twitter. “Never in my lifetime did I remotely think I would vaguely defend the rights of a possibly very hateful person,” says Wills, who is black and Jewish.

Nonetheless, he says, “It scares me to call that activism because it seems more like a certain condemnation and a certain judgment that ironically flies in the face of democracy itself.”

Wills sees a lynch mob mentality on both the left and the right when they try to use social media to shame people.

Just last week, Google was at the center of another social media storm when a memo by a company employee critical of diversity efforts at the company went viral. When Google fired the employee, websites on the right, critical of the company’s actions, released names of Google employees. Those employees were then harassed online.

… it seems more like a certain condemnation and a certain judgment that ironically flies in the face of democracy itself.“

David Clinton Wills, a visiting professor at NYU, on how anti-racist activists are using Twitter

For Wills, the historical parallel is Nazi Germany, in which the Third Reich encouraged citizens to name people they thought were enemies of the state. "When that became a power that your neighbor could execute or your neighbor could use against other people, the power became unchecked,” he says.

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 6 – Shame

Why You Should Think Twice Before Shaming Anyo…

Why You Should Think Twice Before Shaming Anyone on Social Media:

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Shaming, it seems, has become a core competency of the Internet, and it’s one that can destroy both lives and livelihoods. But the question of who’s responsible for the destruction — the person engaging in the behavior or the person revealing it — depends on whom you ask. At its best, social media has given a voice to the disenfranchised, allowing them to bypass the gatekeepers of power and publicize injustices that might otherwise remain invisible. At its worst, it’s a weapon of mass reputation destruction, capable of amplifying slander, bullying, and casual idiocy on a scale never before possible.

The fundamental problem is that many shamers, like Richards, don’t fully grasp the power of the medium. It’s a problem that lots of us need to reckon with: There are millions of Twitter accounts with more than 1,000 followers, and millions on Facebook with more than 500 friends. The owners of those accounts might think they’re just regular people, whispering to a small social circle. But in fact they’re talking through megaphones that can easily be turned up to a volume the entire world can hear.

Increasingly, our failure to grasp our online power has become a liability — personally, professionally, and morally. We need to think twice before we unleash it.

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 6 – Shame