Researchers also found that fear of terrorism and having a history of violent victimization appear to draw individuals to this highly graphic coverage – and that watching such videos was associated with global distress and fear of the future about two years after they went viral. The report appears in American Psychologist, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association.
“Our study is the first to identify the motivations behind viewing a beheading video and the long-term consequences of doing so,” said senior author Roxane Cohen Silver, UCI professor of psychological science. “Our findings suggest that when individuals are afraid of horrific acts of cruelty occurring in the world, they may be curious to seek out graphic coverage of these types of events. But this may only exacerbate their distress and anxiety over time, locking them into a spiral of fear.”
Writer and Lawyer Christie Tate suffered the wrath of the social media mob when her article was originally published. Sadly, most of the angry people missed the point behind the provocative headline – that in telling stories that include other people, you have to make and respect one another’s boundaries.
…my plan is to chart a middle course, where together we negotiate the boundaries of the stories I write and the images I include. This will entail hard conversations and compromises. But I prefer the hard work of charting the middle course to giving up altogether — an impulse that comes, in part, from the cultural pressure for mothers to be endlessly self-sacrificing on behalf of their children. As a mother, I’m not supposed to do anything that upsets my children or that makes them uncomfortable, certainly not for something as culturally devalued as my own creative labor.
Writer Christine Organ has described how “we seem to be creating this unrealistic image of the mother as all-giving, all-knowing, selfless, superhuman who will gladly give up the last piece of apple pie to please her lip-smacking, big-eyed child.” Surely, there’s a way to cut the pie so that I can write about motherhood in a way that takes into account my daughter’s feelings and respects her boundaries. But if I simply cordoned off motherhood as a forbidden subject for my writing, we would never know.
My daughter didn’t ask to have a writer for a mother, but that’s who I am. Amputating parts of my experience feels as abusive to our relationship as writing about her without any consideration for her feelings and privacy.
For now, we have agreed that I will not submit a picture for a publication without her permission and that she has absolute veto rights on any image of herself. As for content, I have agreed to describe to her what I’m writing about, in advance of publication, and to keep the facts that involve her to a minimum. I have not yet promised that she can edit my work, but we acknowledged that is a future possibility. She also requested that instead of using her name, I call her by her self-selected pseudonym, Roshelle…
We had Professor Sonia Livingstone on this weeks episode talking about where the right to tell your own story ends, and the privacy rights of others begin. But you should check out her article on Sharenting in full, it’s a fascinating read 🙂
This article asks whether “sharenting” (sharing representations of one’s parenting or
children online) is a form of digital self-representation. Drawing on interviews with 17
parent bloggers, we explore how parents define the borders of their digital selves and
justify what is their “story to tell.” We find that bloggers grapple with profound ethical
dilemmas, as representing their identities as parents inevitably makes public aspects of
their children’s lives, introducing risks that they are, paradoxically, responsible for
safeguarding against. Parents thus evaluate what to share by juggling multiple obligations
– to themselves, their children in the present and imagined into the future, and to their
physical and virtual communities. The digital practices of representing the relational self
are impeded more than eased by the individualistic notion of identity instantiated by
digital platforms, thereby intensifying the ambivalence of both parents and the wider
society in judging emerging genres of blogging the self.
A survey of Italian mothers who engage in ‘sharenting’ suggests they are motivated by both a desire for external validation, as well as more communitarian goals such as sharing moments with distant relatives and seeking support. But while many mothers see it as their right to engage in sharenting, what implications does this have for children’s rights and privacy?
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.
What is truth is an oft asked question, especially online. This is a cool article digging into the plethora of made up stuff on Twitter, you should check it out 🙂
In his 1999 statement of principles known as the “Minnesota Declaration,” Werner Herzog gave an explanation of his theory of “ecstatic truth”. Cinema Verité, Herzog tells us, deals only with “superficial truth, the truth of accountants.” “One well-known representative of Cinema Verité declared publicly that truth can be easily found by taking a camera and trying to be honest. He resembles the night watchman at the Supreme Court who resents the amount of written law and legal procedures. ‘For me,’ he says, ‘there should be only one single law: the bad guys should go to jail.’”
In this, Herzog says, such realism “confounds facts and truth”: “Facts create norms, and truth illumination.” But luckily, against the realists, “There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.” In his work (most notably, his documentaries), Herzog seeks this “ecstatic truth”: to reflect reality not how it is on the surface, but how it is on a deep level, beyond the façade of what we merely perceive.
Of course this is difficult, and can go wrong — it can stray into a sort of dishonesty that it is impossible to even contest by means of verification. But when it works, it can tell us something we are unable to reach by means of engagement with surface reality alone — the essential truth, for instance, of engaging with British politics being like a posh teenager disinterestedly daring you to drink a big bucket of vomit and piss.
“Life in the oceans must be sheer hell,” Herzog concludes. “A vast, merciless hell of permanent and immediate danger. So much of a hell that during evolution some species — including man — crawled, fled onto some small continents of solid land, where the Lessons of Darkness continue.”
This what bothers me about those fake viral Twitter stories. They lack anything like ecstatic truth; they don’t reflect or reveal any reality deeper than what they describe. In this, they have only facts — and of course, as it turns out, they don’t even have that. If the stories had never posed as true, they would not have gone viral in the slightest. Like A Million Little Pieces or the hoax misery memoirs of JT Leroy, these stories need — regardless of any other formal accomplishments — to pose as true in order to make an impact on their audience. (Once you realize it’s not true, the Morris thread is literally just a guy saying: “Oh, and then this happened! And then hero (who I’ve made up) outwitted the drug dealers — wow! And he got away with it! Juh? How cool!”). Likewise, the Didn’t Happen lads seem determined to reduce all truth to mere facts, completely blind to the possibility that there could be more to the world than that — they don’t care about ecstatic truth at all.
The internet is causing more and more fake things to leak into our consciousness every day. But this is only really a problem if the fakes don’t contribute anything to our understanding of the world. We need to stop asking: is this true? We must instead ask: supposing this is true… what is its truth worth?
Age thirteen. At an audition downtown in a studio with floor to ceiling windows I empty out my heart at the barre and during center exercises, hoping for a spot in Boston Ballet’s summer workshop. When my name isn’t called, I cry in a too-bright dressing room that smells of sweaty bodies and Diet Coke. I’m naked and still sobbing when a woman with a dancer’s bun and street shoes sticks her head in to offer those of us not selected a chance to speak to the director. It’s a chance to learn what we should work on. A chance to strengthen our audition for next year.
I dress quickly and wipe my face with a paper towel. In the studio, the director pulls out my audition card. It’s blank as an asylum wall. Not a single box is checked. Not a single note scribbled. There’s nothing written on it but the number they assigned me at check-in. He flips it over and there are two letters written in pencil: “OW.” Ah, he says. We don’t process applications for dancers who are overweight.
My universe collapses under the weight of those two letters. Ballet is nothing more than a shimmering illusion. It’s just like home and all the other places where my body is Too Big, where I Don’t Fit In, where There’s No Place For Me.
A woman secretly photographed on a flight to Dallas has released a statement about how she has been shamed and harassed since a fictional romance about her went viral on social media.
Parts of a conversation she had with a fellow passenger on 3 July was overheard by actress and comedian Rosey Blair and her boyfriend, who documented their interpretation of it as an unfolding romance which became known online as #PlaneBae.
But the woman says she has been hounded and doxxed – internet terminology for revealing someone’s personal information without their consent.
I grew up on (500) Days of Summer, Love Actually, and all those romantic comedies that beat us over the head with the “love is persistent” trope. Usually it’s a guy who decides he’s going to go all out to win the girl of his dreams, even if she doesn’t seem at all interested or is already in a relationship. The main thing is that he never gives up.
I loved these movies and their handwritten letters, expensive chocolates, and gifts—a romcom hero could have called anything a grand gesture and I would have lapped it up. My hopelessly romantic adolescent brain thought that I would find The One when they dedicated their life to getting me like Noah in The Notebook and the 365 letters he sent his ex.
So that’s what I ended up with—and it’s exactly what I didn’t want.