Week Seven

Media and Law

This week I want to talk about censorship. Censorship can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some typical ones that people know of is “bad books” such as To Kill a Mockingbird or The Catcher in the Rye. But, censorship can be anywhere. It can be shown in social media to this day because Instagram, for example, has started a new algorithm to locate and analyze photos based on the amount of skin detected. This can apply to fitness gurus or perhaps athletes; and their photos are getting flagged. A person knows there is not a naked person in the photo but to Instagram it is deemed as inappropriate. The algorithm makes sure that less people see these posts once they’ve been analyzed by the algorithm.

Other forms of social media censorship is something that may actually happen in terms of the government and what they allow on social media. For example, if you go to China you might notice that there are certain things that do not come up on your social media or online search results. Because of these strict rules, even media found online can be blurred or blocked out entirely because it goes against their laws. If found posting this contraband, it can be punishable by jail time.

Another example would be Tumblr. This one has stirred up some headlines recently: Tumblr is censoring posts which contain female-presenting nipples. This was created to help keep pornography or inappropriate videos that people would report or find disturbing.  However, since this is affecting users who also do not post nude images. But, this change effected people who are trying to promote fitness, athletes, models, and even just regular people on vacation at the beach. There have been multiple times when this algorithm flagged post of people working out, doing yoga, and it kind of leads consumers and users of the platform to believe that even though its intentions are good, it is censoring their users.

Image result for female-presenting nipple
(via Google)

Due to the errors of these algorithms, posts that are G-rated have still been taken down. Memes have started to arise and bring some fun into the whole situation, though.

In the future, I probably will not make much change because I was not effected by this, however, I know one day I will be. When this day comes, I am going to fight back against the capitalistic-nature of companies deciding what I can and cannot say on my page. If that means that my account is banned, then that is when it is going to be my time to push harder. I believe that everyone should be free to speak their mind, even if it opposes someone else’s views.

I think it is weird how laws also effect what is put online. In a world where everyone can be in contact with anyone else, there should be some universal laws of the internet. These “laws” should not allow the voices to be oppressed, but instead, encourage those people to speak their minds. Nobody should be censored, be slandered, or put down in a place where knowledge should be shared and enjoyed for all.



Blogging Assignment #8- Law & Media

Before this module, I was aware of certain problems that made me hesitant on my own actions, but furthermore, put more stress on what will happen in the future as a result of these outcomes from topics such as censorship, net neutrality, copyright, privacy, and the concept of being erased from the internet. In a modern era, where a mass majority of consumers rely on internet websites to supply them with new information regarding innovations, social exchange, and ongoing problems across the world, it is no surprise that restrictions are to be discussed when discovering new sources.

It has been discussed that each country should conduct their own laws when concerning their nation’s priorities to their citizens. One that I feel would be a greater accomplishment, at least for the United States, would be the offer that Google can remove you from their search results. Unfortunately, the United States did not agree with Europe’s standpoint on the matter. When concerning Europe, the European union stated, “‘The balance between the right to privacy and the protection of personal data, on the one hand, and the freedom of information of internet users, on the other, is likely to vary significantly around the world.’” Given this statement, it seems far-fetched that we could come to a unanimous decision on the matter as a whole given its versatility across all nations. I see it as being more beneficial than detrimental to our situation, because people do make mistakes when they’re younger, and it’d be a greater loss to them to have one mistake define the rest of their future. I think if atonement was met, and there was a certain amount of years that have surpassed a threshold of relevancy, then it should be removed from servers, but archived for law enforcement for any future occurrences.

Given that we have seen law enforcement be an issue over the past few years, as videos have surfaced against their bias and judgement on people of color, it makes it hard to trust them. With their request for a back-end encryption key, I am in favor of the motion, but they must have stronger internal affairs working the situation in case a dirty cop decides to use this to their advantage. Government positions seem to be unaccounted for the same prosecutions when concerning regular citizens, since they are working with a higher agency, so I understand the hesitation to let this law pass for their benefit. As stated by Congress, “a telecommunications carrier shall not be responsible for decrypting, or ensuring the government’s ability to decrypt, any communication encrypted by a subscriber or customer, unless the encryption was provided by the carrier and the carrier possesses the information necessary to decrypt the communication.” Comparing this statement to the system in place now, it doesn’t seem to abstract from the current state of enforcement. Law enforcement are already granted access to information if there is probable cause or an ongoing investigation, which can be supplied with a warrant. I don’t seem the problem of having carriers having to release the information if it is against their will and have to comply with legal obligations. Their consumers should not hold them accountable in that circumstance. With enough security and supervision over the bill, it could be enforced with limitations that are in place for current investigations, in order to make it only usable in specific criminal situations.

I think I will modify my privacy settings to be more secure to just my friends and myself, without having information leak out of the system. I think beyond adjusting that, it is really out of my control as to what happens with the information I provide online. I accept the consequences that follow any action I produce online, with the hope it will not be used against me in the future. I am more conscious of the language I wish to use when speaking my opinion on a certain matter, without engaging in arguments that may defeat my overall purpose of getting the message across. I think I would like to keep a more vague presence in the face of social media, where my photographs dominate the space, with the least amount of words possible, in order to leave my opinion up for interpretation to each viewer without setting them off.