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Week Eight

Security

As I approach the final few assignments in this class, I realize I have learned so much about smart internet practices. One aspect that I believe I have changed my views on is cyber security. Although I had believe I was doing every right prior to this class, I learned that there are always new ways that you can better protect yourself online.

After reading the article “The Best Password Managers“, I learned that there were password managers. At first, I immediately thought that this was a really cool idea. Having a platform that can safely house all of your passwords is a useful tool. I also thought that this might be so easy for someone to hack and get all of your data. I realize now that using a password manager actually can protect you much better and is something I plan to research and implement after this class.

Another article that opened my eyes to something I want to look into further was “Top 10 Security Basics Everyone Should Follow“. I knew prior to this class that you should never do anything on public wifi that is super important but I didn’t know you could get a VPN to best protect yourself. A VPN is basically a virtual private network and allows you to have a private network while you are out in public. This was a great thing for me to stumble across because I love to do work in places like Starbucks which has public wifi. With a VPN, I can really protect myself and what I’m doing online.

With all of these security tips, I wasn’t that shocked with the article “What Facebook Knows About You”. I think everyone is pretty aware these days that Facebook tracks literally every move we make. I do believe that when we sign those agreements we give them that right however I just find it really interesting that they feel the need to have that much information on their users, when they’re only a social media platforms.

All of these practices really gave me a different perspective on security. Prior to this class, I definitely was cautious online but not very concerned. With all of the articles and research I have done because of this class, I realize that protecting myself online is just as important as protecting myself in real life. The internet can be a scary place but there are currently so many tools out there to make it a safer place for everyone.

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students

The Law and Media

After looking through the material for this week, I have learned much more about the laws effects on blogging and the media than I knew before. It’s so interesting to me that with this new online platform, our laws have needed to update in order to be up to date with the times. The internet and online platforms have really taken over our day to day lives so it is no surprise that laws and policies have started to be put in place to govern this new landscape.

One aspect of online platforms that I feel is most important to be protected by laws is privacy. It is so important the online consumers have their personal information protected. In this week’s “The Four Kinds of Privacy” article, it breaks down the types of privacy that have to be protected. With personal, defensive, human rights, and contextual privacy, there is a lot to be discussed. Privacy in all four of these categories is something that need to be guarded to ensure all people can use the internet without fear that their information or content they create is taken away.

Another really interesting article this week on law was “Bloggers’ Rights“. As I sit here and type on a blog, it was interesting to see the rights that are in place to protect bloggers. One thing that really stood out to me was when the article discussed how blogger’s have the right to free speech. I guess in my mind I had just assumed that bloggers could say or do what they wanted on their own websites or posts, but people have tried to challenge that if it is something they don’t agree with. Another point that this article made was that bloggers could stay anonymous. I think this is probably the most important right because if your blog revolves around controversial topics, then I think it should be at the blogger’s discretion to put their name on their posts and out there for everyone to see.

The final point I want to make on the topics this week is jailbreaking and encryption of devices. I found the article “Law Enforcement has Declared War on Encryption It Can’t Break” really eye opening. Call me naive, but I never thought how hard encryption could be for law enforcement when trying to break into devices for crimes. After reading through this article, I feel like more needs to be done from manufacturers to try to combat this problem. Whether its software that can’t be jailbroken or encrypted or some sort of device that can break these encryptions, I think it is so important to handle this situation so that law enforcement can do their jobs.

Because the internet is so vast and constantly changing, I realize how hard it can be to keep laws accurate and up to date. I believe though that laws are so crucial to ensuring that the media is a place that everyone can use and use without fear of what may happen to the data you create. When people start to get too worried about their privacy and the online footprints they leave, it takes away from how helpful and great that the internet can be.

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Week Six

Wiki Assignment on Forever 21


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In keeping with the topic of my blog for this class, I chose to edit the Forever 21 wiki page. Forever 21 is infamous for fast fashion so I thought it would be perfect to chose not only for that but also because it did seem like it was missing some important information. I usually am not one to make corrections or really speak out on mistakes using a platform like Wikipedia so I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with this assignment.

I did find that using the Wikipedia Education Training, I felt more confident it making a change. I was able to essentially try out all of the sections of making an edit prior to actually making the change on a real page. One thing I loved about the training was how organized it was. It really walked you through each step in this process and showed you how to use all of the necessary tools to make edits. This helped to make the very daunting task of making a change a little less scary. I also loved that we basically got to start the assignment in the training session in the sense that we chose are articles and starting thinking about what to say about them.

After doing more research on Forever 21’s bankruptcy outside of the training session, I found out that they are currently in court to be sold for $81 million dollars to 3 different companies, something that is not up to date in the “Downfall Section” of the wiki page. Before making the changes to the page, I did check out the Talk page to see what was being discussed. I found that it seemed like there really was not anything being talked about but I did post my suggested edit to see if anyone would respond or have any other insight to add. In this image here, you can see my comment at the bottom of the page. I did update the date accessed because for some reason I wrote 2010 and not 2020 so the red portion went away.

My comment on Talk Page

After waiting about 2 days, I did not receive any type of feedback on my suggested edit. I  decided to take this as an okay to make the change and so I did. From first looking at the talk page, it didn’t seem like anyone really used the talk page for this topic so I felt that I was okay to go ahead I checked my spelling and grammar about a million times before I actually hit publish changes. I will not lie, I was pretty nervous as I typed out my edit because I just was worried I would break wikipedia or something like that. In this image below you can see my edit that I wrote and then cited at the very bottom of this section.  I found it to be so important to add because if someone were writing an article or a paper on the downfall of Forever 21, they should have an updated timeline of what is going on with the brand.

My official edit!

Even after having my edit on the page for a few days, there did not seem to be any feedback from it. I guess that either I did a good job or no one really cared to look.  I think it is pretty cool that if you go to the Forever 21 page, you will see my edit and my work. All of the things that I learned from the training that we did helped me to be able to make my edit and format it properly. Without the training, I would definitely have been lost and even more worried then I already was about making this change on the page.

Although I was very nervous stepping out of my comfort zone to do something like this, I see how important it is to have the power to make changes and to correct things that might not be accurate. Websites like Wikipedia are so important because of how much information they provide. Wikipedia provides access to information for all people as long as they have a device that is able to get on the internet. Knowledge is power and site like Wikipedia gives that power to everyone.

I am really glad that this was an assignment for this class because I feel like everyone might have a fact or some information that could be really useful to Wikipedia. I know that I was so nervous about making the change but I just added a small fact. I thought to myself, imagine there was some sort of false information that needed to be changed, I shouldn’t be so nervous to correct that. With Wikipedia being a source of information for everyone, I would hope that it only could provide factual things. I really enjoyed this assignment even though it was definitely very out of my comfort zone!

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students

Extra Credit Module 6- The Grandmother Approach

After my initial blog post on this subject, I decided to put my action plan to the test. I have a friend from high school who is a huge culprit of sharing news stories of a political party that are not always fully true. I decided to private message this person and just start a simple conversation on one of his posts. After some time, I very nicely stated that some things in this particular article are not necessarily true. Of course I was met with backlash but then I sent the article from Forbes that I discussed in my other post. Although the article was not about proving him wrong, he did state that it opened his eyes to the idea that fake news being spread could be dangerous. This person did not take down the post that seemed to have some fake aspects to it but we were able to have a really great conversation on fake news and why its so dangerous.

I’m not sure if I have cured this person from his fake news sharing tendencies but I do believe I opened his eyes to why fake news is dangerous. He and I had a great conversation about the topic and I got to see his perspective on things. Although I don’t agree with has previous posts, he hasn’t reposted anything fake since the discussion so I will be interested to see if the content he shares now will have been somewhat fact checked.

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Week Six

The Grandmother Approach

After taking a deep dive into media literacy, I know the importance of thinking be you share something. Although I have this great knowledge on how things might not be always as they seem online, others may not but it most definitely is my job to tell them the importance of sharing only real news.

There are different types of social media users. There are the lurkers who just check in but never post, the people who share and are active, and then there are the over sharers. These are often the people who do need a little extra help in the media literacy department. I find that these are the friends or followers who tend to just share whatever they agree with regardless of what is true.

To help guide them, I find it important to sit them down and make sure they realize what it means to spread fake news. Because of the world we live in today, more and more people are using social media platforms to get their news. Whether this is a good idea or not, we’ll never know but it is only worsened by having people share fake news.

With that in mind, I think everyone should read the article “The More We See Fake News, The Less Fake It Becomes” by Forbes. Just the title alone says it all. The more we give fake news stories the ability to be see, the more people will start to believe it. I love this article because it discusses exactly why I feel fake news can turn into real news. People are more likely to believe something when they’ve seen it over and over again and so if you share a fake news story and then your friend shares it too, someone that follows you might believe it and make it “fact” in their mind.

To the over sharers on Facebook, I would share this article with them. I think a lot of these people who may share fake stories do it unintentionally but if they do it intentionally, I think through education they may change their mind. I do not think anyone wants to have fake news stories become facts because of them so simply sharing an article like this with statistics that back up my beliefs may help the person who shares these stories to realize the damage they can create with just a simple share.

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students

A Week in the News of Affordable Fashion

The fashion industry is more than just glitz and glamour. For some, fashion is an outlet for expression. That expression often becomes stifled by the rising costs of fashion pieces. The following articles discussion affordable fashion with the good, the bad, and the awful. Each article tells a different perspective of affordable fashion from celebrities to major brands trying something new to make fashion more affordable and accessible for all.

  1. “How Kmart made the Jump into Luxe Fashion” – This article discusses how Kmart stores have made affordable fashion, high fashion. Kmart is making their own high end looks cheaper and more accessible for all. Kmart is “aiming to provide shoppers with trendier products at a lower price point than upmarket competitors”. (Aiesha Saunders, 2020)

2. “Retailers Try Clothing Rental”– This is a super cool article about retailers like Bloomingdale’s and Urban Outfitters who are offering a rental program for their shoppers. This helps to reduce the waste associated with clothes because more people can reuse the same pieces. “A growing number of them are now offering customers the option to rent clothes for a monthly fee instead of buying them.” (Associated Press, 2020)

  1. “More Affordable Trendy Items”– This article highlights brands that are making similar products to what you would see on the runway during fashion week but for much more affordable prices. Stores like Zara and Artizia are taking affordable fashion literally by making these high end pieces, affordable for all. Zara is “even more affordable takes on the most sought-after runway trends from fashion week” (Dale Arden Chong, 2020)

4. “Celebrities Love this Affordable Jewelry Brand”– This is the ultimate culmination of affordable fashion because it demonstrates that everyone is seeking to have less expensive pieces, even celebrities. “Jennifer Lopez has previously worn $33 earrings that would have worked nicely with her bedazzled Versace Super Bowl halftime look.” (Tara Gonzalez, 2020

  1. “Kaitlyn Denver paired $47 Aldo Heels with Oscars Gown” – This was interesting to read because not only did she opt for an affordable shoe brand, she also chose a sustainable and affordable dress. This shows that affordable fashion can be made ethically and sustainably. “Dever’s Glyndwr heels are currently just $47 on Aldo.” (Kate Mendoca, 2020)

6. “Clothing Designed to become Garbage” – This article is not as positive as the others because it points out exactly what is wrong with affordable fashion. “The $2.5 trillion fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters and the second-biggest consumer of water.” (Emma Newburger, 2020)

After completing this curation, I realized that affordable fashion and fashion in general is not really reported on. I had to visit a different category of websites then I would have for regular news. This week, the New York Times and CNN were just not going to cut it because they didn’t have much on this topic. I was shocked because this was Oscars week which is often called fashions biggest night but there just wasn’t a lot of stories about affordable fashion aside from how to style it or where to shop for it. This was eye opening because I really had to step out of my comfort zone and look for credible news sites about my topic. I think it’s often easy for us to see the major news networks and say that they’re credible but to look at sites that might not be your normal sources it was much harder to decide what was fact and something I should include in my post. I also found myself lingering more on social media platforms for links to websites which is something I did not do in my initial media use exercise because I just knew those sites don’t always have the most accurate information.

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Week Four

Is Affordable Fashion Accurately Reported On?

In the Washington Post Magazine Article “The Troubling Ethics of Fashion in the Age of Climate Change” written by Robin Givhanin November 2019, affordable fashion is called out for not being made in ways that promote the environment. Givhan used the term sustainability to discuss the waste that is evident in many fashion brands. The first step in deciding if this article is credible is looking at who wrote, Because Givhan is a fashion critic for this outlet, she herself gives this article a sense of credibility because she has experience on this topic. In looking deeper into her background, she received a Pulitzer Prize award for criticism in 2006 which gives me some the impression that she is qualified to speak on this matter and write a non bias piece.

Another important step to deciphering this article is to look for sources or other pieces of information that back up the main argument in this article. Because this piece seeks to answer the question of affordable fashion and ethics, the author spoke to numerous people both in the fashion industry and involved with climate change. This gave readers a look at both sides of this topic and a look at what is really going on, not just what the author thinks is happening. She used and cited her sources through links to other publications which really can help readers who want to know more about a topic the ability to decide for themselves. One example of her source was this article of the designer Gabriela Hearst from the beginning of the year titled “Gabriela Hearst is Dressing Women for a New Era of Political Power”.  The use of sources only adds to the believability of an author and their article.

Aside from sources and the author’s background, the author’s tone should be assessed when determining what the article is really saying. After reading this entire article, once for context and the second for clues, I did not feel like Robin Givhan placed emphasis on her own opinion. This article presented facts and information about the topic of affordable fashion and how its made but did not tell me what to think about it. For an article to be deemed accurate and credible, I believe it should give you information about the topic but not an opinion to believe about it to be seen as transparent. Opinions should be formed not told based on what you are reading and I found this article to do just that.

Through topics like the author, sources, and tone, a reader can determine the transparency and agenda behind a story. Some articles may be written to deceive or tell a single perspective on a story and others could be written so that readers can determine their own views on the topics. Although all should be written free of biases and opinions, that is not always the case so readers need to remain vigilant in deciding what to think.

For this article, I would give it an A- as an overall grade in transparency, believability and accuracy. I did not feel like an agenda was being set or a specific opinion had to be formed. This article laid out numerous statistics from sources about how affordable fashion can damage our climate but also showed how important affordable fashion is in the world we live today. Based on these two views, I was able to decide for myself what I felt on the topic. Robin Givhan did a great review on this. The only thing that stopped me from giving her a better grade was that I felt she could’ve elaborated more on the sources she used. I had to do a lot of digging to come to the conclusion that they were credible on my own and if she had just said why she chose these people or articles, I would’ve been able to decide by reading just her article alone that they were credible.

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students

What’s the Buzz Around Affordable Fashion?

Fashion plays such an important role in the society we live in today. Fashion trends are constantly changing. As a person who likes to keep up with those changes, it often can become expensive trying to have the latest pieces. Because of this most people are looking for affordable and easily accessible fashion. Without affordable fashion and stores that provide it, a lot of people would be unable to keep up with the trends they see on their social media platforms. When the media reports on affordable fashion, often it can be hard to determine what is news and what is opinion. This blog post will break down four articles and concepts surrounding affordable fashion.

One store that caters to affordable fashion is Forever 21. Forever 21 is known for its cheaper pieces and the concept of “fast-fashion”.  Unfortunately for Forever 21, its rise to fame met a pretty hard fall when the brand had to file for bankruptcy. In this NBC news article title “Forever 21’s Business Model Was Way out of Fashion“, the author reports on things that led to the demise of Forever 21. One major aspect to the fall of Forever 21 was that it expanded it’s physical stores at a time when people were much more interested in online and smaller stores. This article provides a look into the business model Forever 21 used and the reasons it caused the store to have to file for bankruptcy. Because of this, this is a news article. It is in the NBC News section and the report is free from “advice” or “opinions” on the store itself. The author Martha C. White, was able to provide an unbiased look at the store which helps the reader to know that this was based on facts and not feelings.

Another aspect to affordable fashion is how its made. With stores like Forever 21 and Zara who are constantly pumping out new pieces, its hard to not wonder how much waste a company is contributing or whether they’re ethically creating their clothes. In the article “Zara’s Fast-Fashion Problems in Focus“, it highlights just that. Zara is similar to Forever 21 with the concept of fast fashion but climate activists have constantly pointed out that Zara has become extremely wasteful. This article written by Stephanie Müller again demonstrates reporting without bias. The facts about Zara are clearly laid out without any opinion or fluff. This article gets right to the point of showing the statistics as to why Zara is a pretty wasteful brand.

Opposite to news articles about affordable fashion are opinion articles. A BBC article title “Fast Fashion: Can it ever be ethical and cheap?” is similar to the previous article mentioned however it is clearly an opinion piece because in it, two people sit down to share their thoughts on the topic. This conversation is between a menswear fashion designer and a person who runs a fast fashion factory. They are in the business and are basically sharing their opinions on why they are right and what they are doing is right.  This article has no statistics or facts, its just an article about opinions.

A different way that affordable fashion is portrayed in media is through lists. Articles like “The 19 Best Affordable Fashion Finds Under $100” is a great representation of an all opinion based article. The author of this article put together their 19 favorite affordable pieces but they might not be yours. Articles like these help to highlight affordable fashion pieces and normalize them but with little to no real facts or statistics. It is all about how the author feels about pieces and what they want you to wear. I actually struggled with finding articles that were real news stories on affordable fashion because most were like this. A lot of fashion articles in the media are often dictating what you should wear or how you should dress. This opinion article demonstrates just that.

After looking at how affordable fashion is portrayed in the news, it’s easy to see that you need to think critically when reading articles about this topic. If I were to rank these articles on their reliability, I would put the Forever 21 article first. Second would be the article about Zara and I would put the BBC article in third. In last place I would put the opinion list on affordable fashion finds. The first two articles actually provide me with factual insight into the affordable fashion brands that might help me decide whether or not I would patronize them. The BBC article was interesting and I learned a lot but it was based on two people who are in the industry’s opinions. The final article was just way too opinion based to take anything away from.

My biggest take away from writing this blog post is that affordable fashion can have many aspects to it in the news. Affordable fashion is something that is most likely not going anywhere any time soon. With these articles, they all help the reader to make more informed decisions on the topics they cover and open your eyes to how important affordable fashion is.

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Week Two

Affordable Fashion and the Media

If you were to take one look at any of my social media accounts, you’ll see I’ve either posted a picture of a new outfit or re-posted another account’s latest fashion trends. Growing up, fashion was an outlet for expression. I went to a private school that required a uniform and when everyone is dressed the same, it’s hard to feel like yourself. On weekends and even after school, I was free to wear whatever I wanted no matter simple or out there. The freedom of expression that fashion gave me is something still so important to me which is why fashion has become a huge part of my life. I love trying out new style ideas and somewhat following the latest trends, which I get a lot of inspiration from my social media platforms.

Fashion is the one topic that I consistently follow on all of my social medias. There are so many fashion accounts out there but my favorite are the ones who post affordable fashion.  I follow fashion bloggers like @styledwandering on Instagram and am constantly pinning new outfit ideas on my Pinterest to my style inspiration board. I love looking at people’s OOTDs, or Outfit of the Days. Prior to the internet, people only really could get their outfit inspiration from magazines or TV that often did not share affordable style. Many expensive, higher end designer would be highlighted as opposed to brands that the everyday person could afford and want to wear. I love affordable fashion because I believe you shouldn’t have to spend a fortune to feel and look your best. 

       With social media, affordable fashion ideas have become easily accessible to all people.  Social media is such a cool concept in a sense that it allows so many different ideas and opinions but as a user, you have the ability to pick and choose what you want to follow and like. I believe that through social media, it has helped to make people realize that affordable fashion isn’t just cheap, ugly , non designer clothes. Affordable fashion just means its the same style ideas but with inexpensive clothing pieces. With accounts that soley post “dupes” or cheaper versions of expensive items like @retailcheapskate, affordable fashion is present in the media and is there for everyone to use regardless of your price point for fashion. 

Affordable fashion is a topic that I am so passionate about on social media. I think about all of the younger girls on these platforms who look at all of these designer accounts and think that fashion means expensive. With affordable fashion, these girls get the tools to put together really fashion forward outfits but with more inexpensive pieces. I am a proud supporter of affordable fashion on social media and am very glad that it has gained a huge following.

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students

A Sunday in My Life

If you’ve heard the weather reports lately, New York just had its hottest January weekend on record in awhile. It was beautiful, spring weather but after looking back at my media usage, I spent most of the gorgeous Sunday on my phone. Yikes!

As with most days, I woke up around 7:30 am and started the day going through my social medias. I bounced between Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, just trying to catch up on all the drama from the night before. After I’ve had enough on my phone, at around 8am I put on the TV to watch Good Morning America. I got up, fed, and walked my dog and then got back in to bed to catch up on some Youtube Videos from around 10am -11am. Now between this time, I was also bouncing around on my phone from social media platforms to the addictive IOS Mario Kart game.

At around 12pm, I went out to lunch with my mom and we took a nice photo of us. She also showed me a New York Times article  on her phone and we discussed it for a little while. Once lunch was over at 2:30pm, I had to turn on the Waze app to get home because a road on my usual route was blocked off. Once I got home, I turned on CNN in an attempt to get my life on track after a pretty lazy morning. By 4pm, I was back on my phone uploading a blog post to my personal website and answering a few emails for clients that I am working with.

At 5pm I made a Hello Fresh meal and I took my puppy on another walk around our neighborhood. I watched World News with David Muir on TV at 6:30 and then I shut off my phone for the night but only after checking socials one more time. One of my new year’s resolutions was to turn off my phone at night, except for emergency phone calls and so far that goal is going pretty well.

After looking back at my Sunday, I definitely let myself have more time on my devices then I do during the week. I did look at some news websites and shows which I feel like can be seen as an important media that should be looked at each day. The most credible new program I watched that day I feel like was World News. There’s not usually any opinion in his reporting, it is just the news so I believe it should be ranked 10. For me, I believe that 9 should be given to the New York Times. I often look to it for 24/7 news and I believe that it does report honestly but sometimes with an opinion. I think CNN should be ranked as 9 also because sometimes it can be diluted with personal opinions based on what show you are watching. Finally, I would not necessarily rank Good Morning America as a credible news source only because they do news and a bunch of other things but I will place them as 6 only because they do report on what is currently happening but I do not consider them in the same category of the other news sources I watched that day.

Overall, I did spend a lot of that gorgeous Sunday on my phone and TV but I think that’s what Sundays are for. They are a day for relaxing and letting yourself indulge a little before the week starts. I am proud that I actually did look at a few actual news sources because I wasn’t sure that I would look at anything other than social media platforms for news and entertainment!

 

 

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