(They)’ll be watching you

If I were to rewrite the iconic 1983 Police hit song “I’ll be watching you” for the information age, it might go something like this:

Black and white video image of a bass player from the music video for "Every Breath You Take" by the Police.
Sing it, Sting! Screen Capture from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOGaugKpzs

Every pic you take,
Every move you make,
Every post you make,
Every word you say,
They’ll be watching you.

Oh can’t you see,
They’re using more than cookies.
They’re with you on every road,
On every app you download.

You clicked “I agree”,
And now they see what you see,
They’re tracking you,
And all your pictures too,
They’re always watching you.

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(They)’ll be watching you

Online Influencers: An Old Idea in a New Medium

This post is some thoughts pulled from a talk that I gave this week at Ryerson’s Start Up School. For more great resources for entrepreneurs, and to see the slide presentation that I gave, check out ryersonstartupschool.com

Since the dawn of PR, influencers have been an important tool for those people and organizations who want to reach others with their message. This is not an exaggeration. The practice of public relations was basically invented when Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, hired women to march in the 1929 Easter Sunday Parade smoking cigarettes that they called their “torches of freedom“. Why did Bernays do this? Before this moment, smoking for women was considered taboo, dirty. Bernays effectively linked the act of smoking with the women’s equality movement, and changed public perception for decades to come.

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Online Influencers: An Old Idea in a New Medium

Social Media, the Separation of Time and Space, and a Plea for a Critical Look at Technology

Considered by James Carey to be the first medium of electronic communication, the telegraph was a revolutionary development, since it was the first communication medium to separate time and space for the purposes of communication. Before the invention of the telegraph, message speed was bound to how fast a messenger could travel: by foot, horse, or railroad. After the invention of the telegraph, messages could travel faster than a messenger ever could. This development thus had ripple effects on markets, democratic participation and community.

A picture of a telegraph machine
Telegraph by SparkFun Electronics. Available on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/fCs2oC (CC by 2.0)

 

 

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Social Media, the Separation of Time and Space, and a Plea for a Critical Look at Technology

Celebrity “trumps” truth: The key difference between the liberal press and Twitter

Today, The Verge published an article stating that Twitter has drawn a small line in the sand with respect to the tweeting habits of the 45 president of the United States. Adi Robertson reports that Twitter has suggested that while it is important not to censor or remove important public figures like the president from the platform, it will draw the line at “tweets that reveal a private address or phone number”. Of course, not all people agree with this stand. For example, Sam Harris clearly stated in a recent podcast that he thinks Trump should be banned from Twitter, since the damage he can do via a Tweet is just so great. Twitter’s response though, is one worth considering. When is it appropriate to silence a public figure on a platform like Twitter? And when is it actually in the public interest to support a person’s right to make even crazy or patently false claims on the site?

A tweet made my Donald Trump in which he complains about fake news
A tweet made by Donald Trump: Picture from “Mother Jones” http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/02/donald-trump-edits-tweet/

 

 

 

 

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Celebrity “trumps” truth: The key difference between the liberal press and Twitter