Probe on How Indigenous communities are using social media to stay connected.
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INSTRUCTIONS-You must focus on a contemporary object that allows you to think through the readings and the issues they raise. The objects should be related to social media and communication. Be sure you choose a specific object (e.g., a social media site, case study, project, study, analysis, or other). It isn’t specific to focus on a smart phone, a website, or social media platform. Length: 500 words Style: Don’t write your probes in formal, academic style. Use an informed, conversational style. How many sources do I need? You are required to connect the thoughts in your probe at least two credible sources (i.e., newspapers, magazine or online articles, books, research articles, podcasts, or other). i would like to give an example ONE OF MY FRIEND YOU WILL KNOW what i am looking for- Topic: Social Media and Surveillance Object: RCMP Spying via Social Media Date: June 14, 2020 By Kris Eckland Introduction Social media is plentiful. There is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many more platforms with the alleged goal of keeping us connected with our friends and families. And while it may be true that the public uses these platforms to connect, there have also been underhanded practices associated with social media. We are now experiencing a time where citizens are under surveillance by police using software that analyzes information posted to social media platforms. This policing program has very little supervision to make sure that it is not infringing on privacy rights, or any others. I chose this topic because I support Indigenous rights and environmental activism and feel threatened by the thought that I could be targeted due to what I post, or follow, on social media. This subject relates to the weekly readings because it is one aspect of how social media is allowing surveillance on citizens. RCMP Spying The RCMP in Canada have been spying on Canadians social media accounts, and in approximately 2017, launched “Project Wide Awake” (Carney, 2019). Software from the company, Carahsoft, analyzes data based on searches for key words on the sites people post on in order to find out if persons have committed a crime or look like they have the intention to commit a crime (Carney, 2019). Some may think that this is a good procedure because it looks like the objective is to keep Canadians safe. However, this type of police behaviour can be detrimental because of differing opinions of what could be potentially threatening behaviour. As well, if people know they could be watched, and profiled by the police, it limits the amount of social influence a cause or special interest, like climate change or anti-oil protests, may generate. Potential allies may fear becoming a police target if they look at, share, or comment on feeds that deal with hot topics. Example of Concern Concerns have arisen from Indigenous and environmental groups in Canada who organize and engage in public protests (Craig, 2016). It has been found that RCMP do surveillance on activists, without just cause. Police attain information gathered from social media to build a derogatory profile on activists they view as capable of committing crimes. These surveillance profiles make activists targets to RCMP and military personnel and may lead them to be harassed, or worse, even if they have done nothing illegal. This is particularly alarming when you consider that RCMP have shown up to peaceful protests “heavily armed” (Doherty, 2019). Questions Do you think unwarranted police surveillance on civilian social media accounts, could be construed as a breach of our privacy, or a limitation on other rights and freedoms? Should ventures like “Project Wide Awake” be shut down or just monitored by an independent committee? Or should social media platforms have regulations in place to protect users from these types of threats? Sources Cited Carney, Bryan. (2019, March 25). ‘Project wide awake’: How the RCMP watches you on social media. The Tyee (online). Craig, Sean. (2016, November 13). RCMP tracked 89 indigenous activists considered ‘threats’ for participating in protests. The National Post (online). Doherty, Brennan. (2019, June 29). Trans Mountain protesters warned they may already be under surveillance. The Toronto Star (online).