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Digital Security

Before reading through this module’s learning materials, I’d say that my digital security practices were less than thorough. There was a time in my life when I was allowing my web browser to remember all my passwords for me. The majority of my main and frequently used accounts shared the same password. My passwords were always on the weaker side. I didn’t regularly update my laptop’s software. The list goes on.

First and foremost on my list of digital security habits to improve is to start using a password manager. I’m actually surprised I’ve never considered or really ever heard of having a password manager until reading about it in this course. One of my biggest issues has been that I cannot possibly remember all the passwords I need to have while have them being different and unique from each other. My current password situation is as follows. My passwords for a small handful of social media sites I visit frequently are memorized by my web browser. Most other passwords for less frequently visited sites are accessible to me via my MacBook’s Keychain Access. In addition to that I have a password encrypted document on my laptop that contains a list of all the sites I have an active account with along with my username, the associated email address and a hint to myself to clue me in on what the password could be in the event I cannot access it in the aforementioned Keychain.

As far as using the same or similar passwords for a huge majority of my accounts goes, I’ve been working on making stronger and more unique passwords for each site after I recently received a notification in my Google Chrome browser letting me know passwords had been compromised. I’ve been prioritizing accounts that are linked to confidential information of mine and accounts that are linked to money payments in an effort to protect the most important information first.

Finally, one of my main goals is to work on updating my computers software whenever it prompts me to do so. I have this terrible habit of continuously clicking the “remind me later” button to put off the update. I actually just did so while typing up this post. I have what I believe to be a good reason as to why I don’t immediately update software when it’s available. About a year and a half ago I updated my brand new laptop to the new iOS. The problem however was that after the update, I no longer had admin access to my own laptop. I couldn’t figure out what had happened and I was panicking. I had online assignments due. Important documents that I had lost access to. It felt like my new laptop had grown sentient and was attempting to overthrow my reign. I eventually fixed it, but that situation left me scorned. I’m weary of updating right away, especially if it’s a large update for fear something like that will happen again. But ultimately this course has made me realize that I should just update.

What’s funny is that right before I began typing up this post, I came across this Twitter thread from Google’s verified account that echoed some of this module’s key points on internet/digital security. I liked and retweeted it and urged my followers to take their digital security seriously. Overall, I learned a lot from this module and took away a lot of great information that I’ll be sure to implement.

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Law & Media

After reading and watching all the material for this week’s module, it is very obvious that the law can have an immense amount of power when it comes to affecting the media. Some may say it’s too much power.

Even before taking this course, I was well aware of many of the issues that were mentioned in this module. Specifically network neutrality is a topic that has fairly recently been in the front of many daily internet users minds, including my own. Had you asked me or any common person who regularly used the internet five years ago what net neutrality was and why it’s important, I doubt any of us would have been able to speak to it at all, but within the past two to three years the concept of net neutrality and what that means was brought into a new light.

A specific topic that concerns me (and that I still have a hard time wrapping my head around) is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or the DMCA. The span of the DMCA is remarkable and unbelievable. The John Deere tractors discussed in this module was something unbeknownst to me, but I have long been intrigued and concerned with how the DMCA works and what it encompasses.

Some background on me, I’ve worked at Barnes & Noble for upwards of 7 years. I love books and I love reading. I’ve been a huge advocate of reading any way you can and while I do love the convenience of digital books, or ebooks, if you know anything about the DMCA and purchasing ebooks, you’d know that despite spending your money to own an ebook, you technically do not actually own the ebook. I want my customers to know that digital reading is a wonderful option, but I also want them to be aware that because of how the DMCA works in regards to digital content like ebooks, it’s very possible that one day they may not be able to access items they have purchased. How likely is that to happen? I would assume fairly unlikely, but I want to keep my customers informed never the less.

Another concern that I have is regarding copyright. This does not affect me so much as it affects many of the content creators that I closely follow. If you’re familiar with YouTube, I’m sure you’ve heard some YouTuber mention that they or someone they know have received a copyright strike on their channel for whatever reason. In the lecture it was mentioned that things get taken down from YouTube all the time due to content infringing upon copyrighted stuff, but that power is abused by Hollywood and the music industry, despite the fact that whoever issued the takedown notice doesn’t truly own the content. Some people make a living off of YouTube, but within the past few years, with videos being taken down left and right due to copyright infringement, many of my favorite YouTubers have left the platform because they can no longer make the money they once did and they were tired of their content being limited at times when it made no sense.

The way media is affected by the law is astounding and it’s not hard to imagine a future where the law enforcement gets out of hand. It reminds me a lot of an aspect in short story I read recently. The story was titled “City of Silence” and it was written by a Chinese author named Ma Boyong. A huge part of this story was the idea that laws around language and media had gotten so strict that only certain words were allowed to be used online and in person. So many words and concepts had been banned that it was easier for the government to issue a list of acceptable words for people to use instead of a list of unacceptable words. People have to go through an arduous process in order to gain access to the web and the only sites on there are forums where the language is just as limited.

The whole story seems far-fetched but who knows, maybe it’s not so far off from what we’ll be experiencing in the future.

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The Grandmother Problem


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I’ve had my fair share of moments where I’m scrolling through social media and come across a shared post from a friend or family member with “misleading information” written all over it, yet they believe it to be true so they’re arguing with someone else in the comments over it. This actually just happened a few days ago. One of my family members shared a politically charged image on Facebook and proceeded to get into an argument in the comments with someone over whether the information was true or false.

This is the image that my friend had shared on Facebook.

Interestingly enough, when I revisited my family member’s page yesterday to see if the post was still up (and if it was, how the argument had panned out), the image had a warning over it, labeling it as “False Information.”

This is the first time I’ve seen something like this on Facebook. Will it really stop people from spreading false information though?

I always try to make sure the people I care about know how to properly vet information they come across online before sharing it to their audience, but it’s hard to reinforce that when politics get involved. I reached out to the family member that shared that initial image and asked him why he didn’t look into it a little before posting. His answer was simply “I don’t like Bernie.”

I wasn’t about to try and convince him to change his political beliefs, but I felt the need to help him figure out why “I don’t like them” is not a good excuse to blindly share information about someone without checking to see if it’s credible. So what did I do? I took the politics out of it and put it into a different perspective for him. I asked him how he would feel if someone made a post claiming he was stealing from local businesses.

“I don’t though!” was his response.

I said “Right, but they don’t like you so they spread that post, and other people that don’t like you kept sharing it. That’s not fair to you, is it?”

I won’t walk you through the entire conversation I had with him but by the end of it, he realized why it’s important to not blindly share information he sees just because it backs up an idea that he already believes. Relating the situation to my family member on a more personal level helped in this situation, so next time I’m in a predicament where a friend or family member is sharing false or misleading information, I’ll probably try this same tactic.

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Becoming a Curator

Typically when I’m searching for news or information regarding the global spread of Korean culture (which more often than not focuses on popular Korean music, more commonly referred to as K-pop), there aren’t any specific websites I regularly check aside from Twitter and what shows up on my own timeline. Throughout this curation process, I’ve realized that the news I find on my Twitter timeline is already a personally curated conglomerate of news sources regarding Hallyu. So I reverse engineered my timeline and found the direct sources that make up my curated list here.

This subreddit is a one-stop shop for all news regarding K-pop and K-pop adjacent information. It’s noteworthy because it’s a moderated community made up of nearly 460,000 subscribers that contribute to the content of the subreddit so you get a variety of opinions and viewpoints as well as the bonus if being able to interact with the original posters as well as other commenters.

Their YouTube channel, 영국남자, (romanized as yeongguknamja) translates to english man. The Korean Englishman channel is notable due to the fact that Josh has been closely connected with Korean communities growing up and has a vast wealth of knowledge regarding K-culture and Hallyu that he shares with their channel subscribers through fun videos.

The now self-titled YouTube channel was previously known as “chonunmigooksaram” which is a romanized Korean statement meaning “I am a person from the United States.” Megan Bowen grew up in the United States but found she had a love for Korean culture that lead her to becoming an expatriate to live in South Korea. She makes videos to share her knowledge about Korean culture and the differences or similarities it has compared to America.

This forum, which has Hallyu right in the name is yet another user based news outlet that allows members of the forum to share pictures, videos and links to other news sites. Only approved members of the forum can make original posts on the Hallyu+ forums in order to minimize the number of click-bait articles and false information being shared.

This website is a great place to find news and information regarding Korean culture and its spread to other countries because it pulls its news stories and information from a variety of different sources. From their own “About Us” page they say “Korea.net is the Internet portal that represents the voice of the Korean government and which promotes Korea online.”

 

My Media Use This Week

A few weeks ago I made a post about my media use in the span of 24 hours. I’d say the day that I tracked was a moderately lighter day of media consumption than what I typically partake in so revisiting the idea of tracking what I’ve consumed was exciting. This week I was home a lot more than I would normally be because I was sick with the flu, so I had much more free time to read news, watch Netflix and browse through various applications and websites on my phone and laptop.

Much of my time was spent on Twitter and YouTube. I found myself regularly checking Twitter Moments more than I normally would. There I found a few politics related news bits that I thought were interesting and through that I came across a few verified accounts belonging to journalists and news reporters that I ended up following. this week I also watched a lot more news on television than what’s typical for me, but I attribute that to the upcoming elections and wanting to be knowledgable about the candidates in the primaries.

This course made me realize that I should bolster my news consumption by following reputable accounts on media that I regularly use for mindless entertainment. So I made a separate account on Twitter that I now use as a news source on the go. I followed verified accounts for sources such as The Guardian, BBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist (just to name a few) and have regularly read actual news articles instead of waiting for a coworker or family member to tell me about something newsworthy that had recently happened.

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Analyzing a News Story

The news story I chose to analyze for this blog post is this article published on December 28, 2019: Why the past decade saw the rise and rise of East Asian pop culture, written by Julia Hollingsworth of CNN.

As described on her CNN and LinkedIn profiles, Julia Hollingsworth joined the CNN news team in 2019 as a Digital News Producer. She is currently based in Hong Kong and has a number of accolades under her belt including a Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) award for her work. Based off the profiles made available on Julia Hollingsworth and who she currently works for (CNN, an established news media company), I believe it is safe to say that as a reporter on this topic, Julia Hollingsworth is definitely credible.

In the article, Julia Hollingsworth cited a variety of sources that she used to write the piece ranging from quotes taken from a Korean Studies associate professor at the University of Australia, an Asian Studies professor at the University of Oregon, and even a K-Popcentric YouTube channel co-host. In addition to quotes from reputable and relevant sources, Julia Hollingsworth also provides a number of hyperlinks throughout the piece to back up the facts that she states. By having numerous sources and using them well, Julia Hollingsworth cranks up the overall quality of her article. An article with no cited sources or linked websites makes it difficult for readers to verify the content of the article as accurate.

Julia even provided an embedded video demonstrating how South Korean culture is being spread in a small way on in-flight videos for airlines! However, I think the article may be lacking slightly when it comes to provided links to sources. There were a few areas in the piece where I was hoping a link would be provided so I could see a full study, or the video of an interview done with someone she quotes, but they were not there. A few of the quotes provided were attributed to people who had no additional background added on who they were or why they were credible as well.

As far as persuasive tactics or bias that lacks transparency about the writer’s view, I don’t believe that any are present. The article isn’t trying to persuade anyone that East Asian pop culture is on the rise throughout the globe, it’s merely presenting the facts as the Julia Hollingsworth and those she interviewed or quoted have seen to be true. There’s proof behind everything that Julia Hollingsworth states in the article and when opinions were presented, they were presented with good arguments as to why they were believed to be true.

If I were to give this story a letter grade as if I were teaching Julia Hollingsworth a course on Digital Media Literacy, I think I would give it a solid A. The article was well written, it used a variety of sources to compile information for the article and a decent amount of hyperlinks, embedded videos and pictures were added that were relevant to the topic and added substance to the story at large.

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Hallyu in the United States

It’s very likely that you’ve never heard or seen the word “Hallyu” before, but it’s even more likely that you’ve encountered what it is one way or another in your daily life. So what exactly is Hallyu and what does it mean?

To put it simply, Hallyu is a word used to describe the growing global popularity of South Korean culture since the mid to late 1990s. The common usage of the term itself is attributed to Chinese media when Korean television dramas first became popular on Chinese television. The word Hallyu literally translates to “Korean Wave” which perfectly describes how South Korean culture has taken the globe by storm in recent decades.

So why am I writing about this Korean Wave, you ask? Because it’s been a huge part of my life that I felt was lacking growing up. I’m a second generation Asian-American and being partially Korean, I have felt disconnected from my culture for a lot of my life. The rate at which Hallyu has been washing over the world, and North America specifically, within the last 10 years has helped me connect with a part of my heritage that I was never able to truly immerse myself in. Imagine growing up and not seeing people that look like you in the media or being made fun of for eating “foreign foods” that look and smell weird to the other kids. Because of Hallyu, South Korean culture, part of my culture, is being brought into the spotlight. Our music is gaining popularity, our foods are becoming staples in homes across the United States, our films are infiltrating the mainstream market, and our people are being represented in American media far more than we’ve ever been before.

The coverage of Hallyu in media brings me joy. The United States of America is a melting pot of races, cultures and traditions. To see my own culture being represented so prominently and in a positively trending light has helped me connect with a part of my heritage that I had always felt forcefully disconnected from. The media’s coverage of South Korean culture, whether it be news outlets like The New York Times reporting on Korean film directors and their success in the US, or websites like Reddit where the smaller communities focused on South Korean culture (like popular music in Korea, Korean food and language) within are gaining hundreds, if not thousands of subscribers, is exciting to see! Of course with all good comes bad though. I see a lot of negativity regarding Hallyu on Twitter, where discourse commonly happens between people who are fans of the South Korean culture trends. Despite the bad, I still think along the lines on the saying “all PR is good PR” when it comes to the Korean Wave. Getting coverage on media of all kinds exposes more people daily to the cultural trends and further integrates a culture I once felt was lost to myself, into something that I can share with so many people now.

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24 Hours of Media Consumption

Thursday, January 16th, I woke up earlier than usual (about 6AM) to meet my parents for breakfast before work. I typically wake up with just enough time to get ready before I have to leave the house, so like usual, I had no spare time to browse the web or read the news before I was out the door.

At the breakfast table my mom had her phone out, telling me about the latest gossip she read on Facebook. My dad was scrolling through his Instagram feed to show me a picture my grandmother posted of her new garden. I don’t use my phone when I’m eating with others, so I engaged my parents in conversation to pass the time as we ate. Once we finished breakfast & I was on my way to work.

I work at Barnes & Noble, your typical fast-paced retail job. I get to work at 8:45AM, 15 minutes before my shift starts. I sat in the back office & started scrolling through Twitter. Rarely do I browse Twitter Moments or Trending Tags, I usually keep to my own timeline on Twitter. I saw a few linked news articles that I bookmarked to read later & then put my phone away to start my shift.

Time really got away from me at work so I ended up taking my lunch & my first break back to back. So around 2PM I grabbed my phone & opened Twitter back up to read the articles I had bookmarked. One of the links took me to an article from The New York Times & the other took me to article from Slate. Both covered political news regarding Trump’s impeachment & I found myself a little uninterested so I ended up only quickly scanning them. I spent the remaining 30 minutes of my lunch reading a book.

The real media consumption didn’t start until I was home from work at 6PM. I opened up my laptop, quickly checked if I had ASU assignments to be done & then I immediately clicked to YouTube from my bookmarks bar. I opened up a filmed podcast I’d been meaning to listen to & started making dinner. I sat down to eat & as the podcast was going I simultaneously began to scroll through Twitter, this time on my laptop in a separate tab. I clicked between my Twitter & YouTube tabs for about an hour & a half before cleaning up & sitting on the couch to watch Jeopardy on television. After Jeopardy I started up Disney+ & watched the last 2 episode of The Mandalorian. While I was watching, a friend texted me a link to a silly Buzzfeed article on puns which I clicked on but couldn’t open because it required the Apple News app which I had removed from my phone. After The Mandalorian season finale I got up to take a shower & get ready for bed. I listened to music downloaded onto my laptop during the process.

Once in bed I try to avoid screen time so I opened up a book & read until I was too tired to keep my eyes open any longer.

Most of my media consumption this day, & most days, is more about entertainment than anything else. Considering all the crazy news circulating right now regarding current affairs & global happenings, I haven’t been seeking out news or lingering on news for long, as it becomes too overwhelming for me. I interact with many people throughout the day & if someone mentions something that they saw on the news that morning, I may go online & seek it out later if I remember to, otherwise at the moment news isn’t something I consume with regularity.

As far as trusted media, the only truly trusted media I consumed this day were from The New York Times & Slate. Every other media source I would rank low on the credibility scale because they are either entertainment based like Disney+, or the content is created by the general public & I have not curated my feeds or timelines to be news based.

 

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Alexis’s First MCO 425 Blog Post

It’s my first post!

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