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My approach to Security

Having been in the Cronkite Digital Audience program for the last year, I began to look seriously at my online security.

First taking the course, my professor recommended looking into some small measures we could take to secure ourself online.

We started by looking at all our passwords, Embarrassingly, mine was prety much the same across the whole board, with some variance depending on the password requirements for the website.

So, having to change all that, it lead me to a password manager.

These companies store and auto-generate passwords that streamline having many different passwords.

They also make these password “strong” – a collection of jumbled words, numbers and symbols. While this looks stronger, me reasearch lead me to conclude the benefits are marginal. So, while the passwords manager lead me to get create variance for my many passwords, I didn’t feel secure enough.

This lead us to two factor authentication. This software adds an additional layer of security to our accounts. Using personal knowledge, such as lived experiene, possessions or something inherant about the user, two factor authentication adds an extra step to log in to your account.

The benefits include improved security, flexibility and productivity while also reducing fraud.

While this greatly increased my satisfaction on my online security, frankly some two factor authentications are burdensome. While working with ASU, the new duo mobile extension certainly provides greater security than apples fingerprint system. However, duo mobile relies on the user having their phone on them, which has lead me to be unable to log into my account. Apples fingerprint password system is secure and easily usable on mobile devices, but are rare to see on a laptop/desktop computer.

Fast forward to the end of this semester, to our current module on security.

I have come to actually be a supporter of corporations collecting our data. While I am not technologically literate, people I’ve trusted described the process like this:

“It’s not exactly spying. Unless an entity is looking specifically for you, an actual person isn’t filtering your information. Devices collect information and that’s ran through an algorithm which produced to sponsored content that people worry about.”

While I certainly understand why people might not like that, personally it still doesn’t trouble me. I liked when an ad on something I want to buy came directly to me with a discount added to it. I also didn’t find it troubling that someone had access to my information, nothing I had done online I was too embarrassing.

Working through this course, my ease gradually increased. Until I discussed buying a bike with my mom.

I had called her to tell my bike wasn’t in great shape and that I’d like to work on getting a new one. New searches on google, no searching for bikes on social media, this conversation was the only mention of buying a bike.

The next day, the first sponsored ad was for bikes in the range I wanted to spend.

While I believe certain access we should grant corporation to our data, a line ought to be drawn somewhere,

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students

Trying to Limit the Grandmother Problem – Extra Credit

Recently, I’ve accepted the role as the Public Relations Director of the Arizona Chapter for Yang2020 presidential campaign. With this, I will be handling an array of duties, one of which is to ensure quality information gets placed in the Yang 2020 presidential page.

With this mission in mind, I filter through popularly news article that dissimmnate into the campaign page. One struck my eye.

An article with the title: Millions Are Registering Democrat Just For Andrew Yang.

That would be great news! But it sounded way too good to be true, and the article had several misgivings.

One, the article was clearly an opinion piece but not labelled as such.

Two, it doesn’t provide any source that backs up the claim in the article. Even more so, it doesn’t even mention these millions that are registering once in the body of the article.

To me, this was enough to categorize it as misleading, if not totally fabricated. So, I sent the following message to Victoria Papaioannou, whom first shared the article.

“Hey Victoria, I love that you are sharing Yang content, and you seem to be sharing a lot of quality content about Andrew. However, I’d be cautious posting stories like the one from the Incomer. The article doesn’t link to sources that support the conclusion, and I think if this is true, we’ll find an article with better data for it! #Yang2020 #HumanityFirst”

I linking the approach from the Grandmother Problem and Yang’s message of Humanity First.

First, by approaching with respect and recognizing her worth as a member of our group.

Then, without placing blame on her, explaining the problem with this specific article she shared.

Lastly, ending with an opportunity to share better content.

I thought this message was well done, and usually the #YangGang responds aptly and with kindness in my experience. Yet, I never got a response back!

Searching through her feed again I couldn’t find the shared article, so maybe she deleted it without comment. Either way, I will be using the approaches described in the Grandmother Problem to help fight fake news for the #YangGang!

 

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students

Law and the Media

I’ve always wanted to go into law. The spirit of the rule of law was an essential societal revolution to propel of species into civilization (source). The law has evolved throughout generation of humanity, rising to meet new challenges and  contributed in oppressing  large amounts people.

The law can be used for evil. Slavery was legal under western ideals of freedom. Laws have restricted reproductive rights of half our population.

But the law can be used to promote the good. Laws have made children safer by making child abuse punishable. Laws have enfranchised minority populations and helped integrate those members into society.

Now, we are at another crucial question: How does the law interact with digital media? This question may be the laws most important challenge since the Civil Rights movement.

With the advent and explosion of the internet, it is critical to update the law to modern times with a clear understanding of its importance and the law’s limitations.

In the western tradition, we developed extensive protection of property rights, some even claiming that should be the laws only functions. In this pursuit, we have protected people’s intangible assets, like copyrights and trademarks. We have also developed protection of privacy, constitutionally given to American’s in the 4th amendment and instituted in most of the modern world. Increasingly, internet providers are trying to promote certain websites at the expense of others, causing issues with Net Neutrality and equity in digital spaces.

But these laws were deliberated without the internet. Now, legal experts, the media and tech corporations and the general public are now trying to figure out how these evolutions of property, privacy and equity rights apply in digital spaces.

The nature of the internet muddles the line of what is property and what can be publicly accessed. The internet is a space to promote products, sell merchandise and share information. This accessibility has also enables individuals to easily share copyright and trade marked information.

This creates a paradox for legislators. If they come down hard with strict regulation of pirated material, they also open the door for corporation to sue and economically intimidate people using their 1st amendment speech. If they allow hackers to continue to pirate material without punishment, this harms the economy and the economic viability of artistic and journalistic endeavors.

Privacy continues to be a source of juxtaposition as well. Traditional privacy rights are centers around not breaching anyone’s public information without consent. While this had been evolving before the internet, the advent of Big Data has troubling consequences and no clear solution.

It’s easy to say don’t put your information online. But that excludes the individual from using many of the services that are now essential economically, culturally and socially. Regulating Big Data comes at the expense of the rights of the corporation, which may seem fine, but allowing the government to control Big Data opens the door to warrantless searches of our devices.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the core aspect of equitable movement of information online has been under attack. While ending Net Neutrality doesn’t have many benefits to the overall society to weigh agains the cons, corporations have a very large incentive to end Net Neutrality and have been succeeding under the Trump Administration.

You might have noticed that I haven’t offered any solutions to any of the problems. That’s because I don’t have any. Approaches contradict eachother, solutions cause harmful externalities and lawmakers seem comically unarare of the sophistication of the problems. I fear trying to solve the problem will just trade one dystopian future for another.

However, the law is really the only means to regulate the internet. And while I don’t have answers right now, through this examination, I decided this is the type of law I want to practice and these are the issues I hope to help rectify in the coming future.

 

 

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students

Wikipedia Assignment


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I very much value Wikipedia. Learning more about the process enhanced my respect for the site and rebuffed some outdated teaching concerning the efficacy of wikipedia for research.

I will also say I am certainly not one who enjoys making wikipedia edits. I like dynamic debates with impassioned rhetoric that ends with a moral, logical and ethical arbitrator to make a human judgement. Wikipedia is none of that, but working within their guidelines is perspective changing.

The article I choose to edit was the BASIS Schools page. I attended BASIS Phoenix through high school and am still involved in the community. That lead me to the corporate entity, BASIS Schools, that incorporates the entirety of the basis education network.

I posted on Basis School’s talk page about updated their revenue from the 2015 numbers to the 2016 numbers, using the same source.

I waited for a response for a couple days before moving forward, not expecting much protest from the Wiki community.

After the weekend, no one had commented on my talk post. I felt it was apt to change it to reflect a more recent standard of revenue.

I also took note of the locations page. Two things struck me as off on this paragraph. A) The total locations was off by one. B) An author previously elected to mention a minimal amount of the actual schools but left out most of them.

Thus, I fixed both of the issues by correcting the number and adding the proper names that are all incorporated under BASIS Schools.

Noticing I was careless, I cleaned up the grammar and syntax and felt pretty proud of myself till I logged on the next day and saw it was changed.

User Jacona has been active Wikipedian on the Basis Schools page since 2014 and has repeatedly criticised the article to be too promotional. I disagree that listing the enterity of the schools is promotional. Including all the school’s specific location gives a holistic look at the prevalence of the schools. Yet, the main point in updating the location list was to update the amount of schools and clean it up aestically, which were still accomplished, so I let it be.

The Wikipedia process reminded me of math flash cards back in grade school. Tentivaly, I’d reach out with an answer, and either I experienced negative feedback for a wrong answer and a cold facade when something sticks. But that compotent of apathetic objectivity gives Wikipedia that credence it needs to be a trusted encyclopedic source.

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students

The Grandmother Problem

“Friends, family, country men, lend me your screen

I come to warn of misinformation, not to allow it to spread

The evil that trolls do outlives them

And must be approached with integrity if we wish our feeds to be pure.”

Hopefully that caught your attention. Brutus was warning his Republic of the growing danger a Tyrannical Caesar, who would subjugate the Roman populus and urged his conspirators to take action. I ask you the same today, but not with a knife to the back, but by bearing responsibility for your actions on what you share online.

Our online communities have increasingly become a space for misinformation of the worse kinds; political influence from foreign nationals, and  is riddled with misogyny and racism. Our social networks promote cyberbullying, aids in human trafficking and causes individuals to loose their livelihood overnight. The power of our social networks is unparalleled in human history. Its capacity for good is matched with its destructive capability.

One of the main contributors for the bad if the Grandmother problem. This phenomenon describes our willingness to share misinformation. This information permeates through close connections, transferring from node (an online user) to node, either normalizing inaccurate information (anti-vaccination movement) or causing chaos for certain groups (non-factual #MeToo movement allegations).

So from the Chaos, can Order be reestablished? The short answer is no. Social networking sights striking down trolls and groups that are not explicitly breaking laws cannot be governmentally or internally handled by these companies. Those policies strike directly against the First Amendment. So what can be done?

What I propose is much more difficult than supporting legizlation, protesting companies and/or arguing with trolls. I ask you to bear responsibilty for your own platforms, to see misinformation and be wise and courageous enough to hold from sharing until you are certain of its truthfulness.

I ask you to be thorough. Only put out into the world which you understand. This is essential to limit the spread of inaccurate information.

I ask you to be independent. You’re capability of a radical thinker is the greatest asset you have against misinformation. Go against the flow of social media when social media is wrong. This will help limit the spread of misinformation to your loved ones.

I ask you to be aware. Be aware of malicious movements and why these people act in the way they do. Know who you can have a civil discourse with and those whose agenda is detrimental to our social platforms.

I ask you to bear your own responsibility. If not to protect yourself, then to protect those close to you. Misinformation is a very tangible problem our society faces. These malicious forces will not subside, and our institutions are not the proper venue to address this problem. The individual must solve this for themselves, and the more individuals who build their platform strong, the stronger the network will become.

For more advice on how to act with integrity online, visit Mediactive, by Dan Gillmor.

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students

Best Sources for the Growing #YangGang

Hey #YangGang, today it is time to do a brief examinations of the news sources surrounding Mr. Yang’s presidential run. While I recognize the media struggled to understand the campaign in the beginning, the growing pains are easing. So keep an open mind on the mainstream sources.

We need to start highlighting which sources provide a fair representation of his candidacy, and it needs to be facilitated across the ideological spectrum to put the #YangGang in the best position come 2020.

Podcasts

Our bread and butter. The Joe Rogan Experience‘s podcast with Andrew Yang is largely credited to launching the campaign off its launch pad. Not all podcasts should be used for political commentary, but long form discussions, with a reasonable blend of debate, fact checking and earnest conversation will allow individuals to decide for themselves what they think of Yang2020.

The Atlantic

Mainstream media sources are pivotting away from general biographical/informative articles about Andrew Yang and are starting to transition to substantive reporting on the campaign. The Atlantic continues to provide its readers with thoughtful political commentary with well linked sources, like Peter Beinart’s, “Why Andrew Yang Matters.” (opinion piece)

New York Times

While the New York times dispositions for self grander might ruffle some feathers, their fierce commitment to journalistic ethics (their policy here)  keeps the core of the paper on solid ground. They arrived late on the Yang train in terms of coverage, but the reporting they do release can be reliable. Here, they provide an equitable coverage to Mr Yangs response to SNL comedian Shane Gillis.

CBS News

#YangGang is composed of members across the ideological spectrum. That is an important strength. Thus, news networks that provide balanced coverage are worth viewing to form common ground across the ideological aisle. Here, CBS covers the impacts of Andrew Yang’s Freedom Dividend lottery with his defense of the proposal.

 

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New York Times’ “Andrew Yang’s Quest to ‘Make America Think Harder'”

Ahead of the third democratic debate, New York Times’ Matt Stevens reports on the Yang2020 campaign, giving commentary on a major ideological goal, a fair breakdown of his policy proposals and reflects on Mr. Yang’s finances based off an interview conducted with the candidate.

The beginning of the article is a bit misleading though. Mainly the problem is the title. You’d expect a report entitled with an essential crux of his campaign would warrant a discussion about what Mr Yang means about, “Make America Think Harder,” why he feels that Americans must start critically evaluating themselves and their politics and how he is the candidate to initiate this. But the piece comes off as a narration of his campaign, devoting almost no space to evaluate the merit of his proposal.

I will say that based off the articles written about Mr. Yang, most tend to meld into bio piece about an underdog candidate instead of any substantive discussion on policy. Though that is a compelling and not a misleading story, it would be great if news outlets would begin to critically analyze his policy proposals.

That being said, we’ll analyze this article with the assumption that it is an examination of his run for presidency instead of his desire to “Make America Think Harder.”

Mr. Stevens begins with a narration of his campaign journey, narrating his rise and exams the underlying causes. He claims My Yang is still one of the lesser known candidates. This is true in a certain fashion, but his source makes his claim look misleading. While he polls in 6th place, this graphic has him located at the bottom of the pact; after several candidates that didn’t qualify for the third night of debates. While this isn’t overt misleading, it does seem to continue the narrative that the media isn’t treating the Yang202 campaign as equitably as it ought to.

However, Mr. Stevens provides astute observations of the source of Yang’s popularity and doesn’t tie his online supporters with notorious hate groups like the Vox Article we examined last week. Especially by highlighting his appeal to groups outside of traditional democratic voting blocks, like libertarians and disaffected Trump voters.

His coverage of Mr. Yang’s finances, both personal and apart of the campaign, were also an apt addition to his article.

Mr. Stevens reported on an array of potentially negative factoids surrounding the Yang campaign, including topics surrounding his personal wealth and finance mismanagement.

While his commentary surrounding Mr. Yang’s personal wealth seemed to be more of an off hand comment rather than something substantive potential supporters would need to be cautious of, he gives a fair and substantive analysis of the campaign contributors and the issue surrounding his paid speeches.

He began discussing the demographics of the #YangGang. He took aim at a popular Yang slogan about his donating a small sum to the campaign. While the number is still low, especially compared to the field, corrected against individuals who donated multiple time, the average is higher than what Yang leads his supporters believe.

So how does this article stand up against objective objectivity from the news? While his title could reflect the content of the article better, Mr. Stevens gives fair testimony to the Yang campaign and holds their feet to the fire when needed. If I was his professor at his Alma Mater, UCLA, I’d give him a A- and a refresher on focusing his title.

 

 

 

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The Media Vs. #YangGang

The overall interactions between 2020 democratic primary candidate, Andrew Yang, and mainstream news organizations have been contentious at best. Multiple online scuffles between his online supporters, #YangGang, have created a flurry of anger and frustration for his supporters and a fair share of grief for news outlets.

1. How a CNN Graphic Sparked the #YangMediaBlackout Controversy Online – Vox News

The first story we are going to work through is Vox’s article about the #YangMediaBlackout. Business and Politics reporter Emily Stewart has been working with Vox News for just shy of two year now and has 87 web pages filled with articles. Though this article in particular doesn’t display Vox’s patented liberal ideological bias, her Twitter demonstrated her ideologies line up with her employer. But that doesn’t mean the piece is hard news. With a surface level read, her offhand comments about Yang’s campaign leave a disheartening taste in a viewers mouth. She referred to his online supporters as the “so-called #YangGang” and presented his online supporters with a negative connotation gave at least an impression this piece could be opinionated. But the biggest two indicators to me was her conclusion and including a segment of her piece on the support Yang received from some white-supremacists. Yang did indeed get support from self-identifying white-supremacists. It is also a fact he renounced any support from white-supremacists. Ultimately it is not only besides the point of her article, its nowhere near the scope of relevant. As Vox has a strong liberal leaning, tying Yang’s campaign to the archetypal enemy of the left creates a strong bias in the viewer directly caused by an opinion shared with the author. Her conclusion further drives this point him, not by supporting the #YangMediaBlackout or backing up CNN’s stance, but by dismissing the controversy all together.

Check out my response to Vox and see if it gets any traction.

2. The Surprising Surge of Andrew Yang – Politico

Politico senior staff writer, Michael Kruse, follows the Yang Campaign throughout a day in Beaufort, South Carolina and gives commentary on the state of the campaign, Andrew Yang as an individual and provides reasoning to explain the campaign’s success. The article’s neutral stance on the campaign, the lack of opinionated statements and varying testimonies strengthen the validity of the article and makes it appear more like hard news than Vox’s article. Though his diction reads as more non-chalant than political articles are expected to read, he stays on the beaten path and plainly describes Andrew Yang’s campaign and personality.

3. Why Andrew Yang Matters – New York Times

The New York Times’ opinion columnists, David Leonhardt, gives his opinion on the “dark horse” candidate and why he believes Yang’s campaign for pushes substance based policy decisions onto the more prominent democratic figures. As to whether or not this piece is opinion, it clearly is earmarked for the practice. His conclusion is indeed of an opinion: one dismissive of Yang supporters yet grounded in pragmatism.

4. Andrew Yang “The American Dream is Dying by the Numbers.”

This piece is the most plain spoken news story out the four. Business and Economic journalist for CBS, Anthony Mason, reports on Yang’s assertion that the probability of living the American Dream, defined by him as the probability of having a better life than your parents, as a 50/50 shot, as well as other defining policy for the Yang campaign. His article reflects the interview the two sat down for, and encapsulates the core of their discussion without offering a supportive or negative assertion. At the same time, the key to this article’s objectivity is the way he questioned Yang on the merits of his Universal Basic Income plan, quoting and giving context to an economic institution that claimed the math behind his assertion didn’t add up. Then Mason doesn’t paraphrase Yang’s response, adding credence to his article.

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Blogging Topic: Andrew Yang’s 2020 Presidential Campaign

With 20 democrats running to contest President Trump in the 2020 election, the American people are overloaded with candidates. Varying between establishment politicians, new breed Democratic Socialists and an array of single issue campaigners. In November of 2017, entrepreneur Andrew Yang announced his campaign for the democratic nomination, with his platform focusing on a push for Universal Basic Income, job displacement and Medicare for All.

His campaign has been a series of interesting developments. Starting from unknown obscurity, Andrew Yang now is polling at 4% across multiple media outlets by focusing on an internet-based campaign, reaching across the political spectrum and taking voters from candidates across political ideologies. He sets himself as an evidence based pragmatic trying to achieve societal change on how Americans view Capitalism, government spending and our obligations to each other.

What I find especially interesting on his candidacy is the media coverage his campaign generates vs. what they receive. By focusing his efforts to the Internet, he has fostered a growing social media following, catalyzed by an appearance on the YouTube podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience“. Voters from across the political spectrum were able to find his message and now his coalition extends across the political spectrum. His treatment from traditional media sources have been contentious at best. His campaign and supporters have claimed several times the media has suppressed his campaign, from not including him in polling rankings where he has polled higher than other candidates featured to his mic being cutout during the presidential debates. Through this blog I hope to assess the validity of these claims while also exploring his policy plans how his candidacy effects the overall political landscape.

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A Reflection on my News

Friday the 23rd, the world woke up to the news of David Koch’s death and the flurry of news surrounding his departure. The Twitterverse exploded with the news, with his name trending consistently throughout the day. Both Fox News Business and CBS offered official reports and sent out push notifications. This news, along with the usual entertainment stories I skip on my Instagram feed and Snap Chat story, lead into the morning run of the Daily Show. While political satire is still looked down upon, the show displayed an array of primary sources, most notably C-SPAN, and less trustworthy but more accessible sources like MSNBC. After my courses for the day, I work as a debate coach for a local high school, in which one of my responsibilities is to research the topic of debate. This resolution focused on China’s One Road Initiative. Which lead me to more academic, less popularized and less traditional sources like Vox News and Wendover Productions, and foreign sources including China’s Shanghai Media Group. This bit of research concluded the news for me that day.

The main enhancement the media gives me is the ability to break away from my life perspective and rebuild it, more secure than ever. One way I change my perspective this is by watching the Vice Snap Chat story. Vice’s snap is not held to a high journalistic standard; mainly running highly specific, niche audience stories that appeal to youths. I, usually, find it shallow and unfulfilling. But viewing these stories teaches me patience and acceptance. Others help creatively. Others just make me laugh. To rebuild my perspective, I read more academic news. These range from more mainstream, classic journalism like the British Broadcasting Company,  to niche, cause based advocacy articles, like the World Health Organization. These hard-hitting pieces arm me with the necessary logical, ethical and factual aspects of a situation to accrue a half decent opinion on an issue.

The range of sites I trust within my day of observation vary wildly. First, I feel it necessary to define trust as not how much of the article is composed with factual or truthful aspects, but as how much faith I have in their integrity in their reporting, researching and dissemination of the information. With that, I wouldn’t place non-journalistic entertainment properties on social media, (E.I. Barstool Sport, Vice News, etc.) as journalistic pieces with trust as a foundational component of their mission. Expanding beyond that, My most trusted sources would begin with the more academic sources. Wendover Productions would score a nine on the trust scale with Vox closely trailing with an eight. Both organizations internalize the journalistic process and issue the necessary redactions on pieces on their work isn’t accurate, but Vox has an observable bias towards a liberal ideology. Media outlets such as CBS, MSNBC and Fox News score at a 5 for me. These organizations produce great works of journalism, but is buried under punditry, commercials and political divide. However, shows like The Daily Show also score highly with a six. As media progresses, I believe these political satire shows will increasingly become viewers first encounters with news topics, and the segments produced are largely researched in a similar manner as well as providing more primary sourcing in a more accessible manner than traditional news media. Yet, it is still an entertainment piece, and is burdened by the need for profits. Yet, is that so much different than other news shows without a live audience?

 

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