DIGC202- Hacktivism & Snowden

In the beginning of June 2013, a report was published by The Guardian that stated that the US National Security Agency  (NSA) was secretly accumulating phone records of millions of Americans. The individual responsible for the leak of information was later revealed to be former NSA employee Edward Snowden. This leak arrived only a few years after the equally controversial WikiLeaks publications by Julian Assange, which has just recently released documents of Hilary Clinton’s private speeches. So its interesting that people were as surprised as they were, when the Snowden leaks occurred.

The idea of hacktivism, represented by Snowden and Assange, is one that continues to split the public. Some would say, that Snowden and Assange are heroes and consider them to be the modern robin-hoods. Yet others would consider them to be traitors who endangered thousands of lives. The fact of the matter is that hacktivism is a rising form of protest, which has changed the way we consume the internet and how governments operate.

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DIGC202- The Dark Side of Citizen Journalism

In a society where we have instant internet access and high-quality cameras on phones, the journalism industry was always going to struggle. Now, we live in an age where the line between everyday journalism and professional journalism has become increasingly blurred. Citizen journalism, for all the good it does do, does have a very dark side.

For those of you who haven’t seen the excellent 2014 thriller “Nightcrawler”, there is a very real industry of people who literally ‘chase crimes’ and film said crime scenes, which they then sell to local television networks. Now, these crime-chasers often push moral boundaries, like arriving to a crime scene before police and taking shots rather than helping victims. It’s a very dark area of journalism and worryingly anyone with a camera can participate and in this age that would be almost anyone. Everyday, we see videos of public racism, abuse and violence. The question we always ask when seeing these videos is: why are you filming when you can be helping?

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