48 hour news blackout- Massiel Castillo

Massiel Castillo

Team 13

IDS 3309

Thesis: Solitude is necessary to develop informed thoughts using the critical perspective. (good thesis!)

Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message.” Today’s medium of communication and information is digital and is available to anyone with Internet access. The solitary act of reading newspapers is no longer popular. Because we are so connected by to the digital arena and because everyone can contribute to the digital information space, there is a shift in the inclination of “self.”


Instead of simply consuming media in a one way dynamic,(I don’t exactly what you mean there?) the digital arena has opened to allow consumers to become producers or contributors. People are more inclined to expose and express themselves online often with the hopes of going viral. Going viral means the poster gets significant attention and potentially becomes a mini-celebrity.


In “The End of Solitude” William Deresiewicz says the quality that validates the contemporary self is to be seen by others. Reverting to McLuhan, the reason for this is because of the nature of our medium of communication. People as close in time as as recently in the 80’s couldn’t contribute to content online because the technology was not set up to have that kind of interface. People read, which is a solitary act, to get information. Today, people watch YouTube videos and have teleconferences they can post online for the world to see. The medium of communication has changed what society values. If the Internet and the digital landscape did not exist, the search for validation in celebrity simply wouldn’t be as accessible to the masses as it is today. Therefore, the fear of anonymity wouldn’t exist because there would be no platform for celebrity in the first place. (good point!)


I consume news from television and newspaper apps on my phone. The 48-hour news blackout made me realize how attached I am to what Deresiewicz calls “the electronic hive.” I watch late night T.V like Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. I admit that I sometimes to get news from them. and I also follow them on Twitter. The isolation made me both anxious and thoughtful. At first, I was anxious because I wasn’t connected to what was happening. But after a day, I felt a calm. I really thought about the news that I had consumed before and began analyzing it. There was enough silence in my head without the intrusion of news commentators and satirists for me to think about events for myself. It was an invigorating experience. (nice)


I realized that without solitude, one can’t employ the critical perspective. As Deresiewicz said, loneliness and solitude are different. Loneliness is the grief of absence of company. Solitude is the opportunity for introspection without outside influence. News and solitude work together. To be conducive? (not sure what you mean with that word?) citizens it’s important to be informed (news) but solitude(I think you mean thinking about the news when alone) is what makes the news impactful. One needs to analyze news and interpret it in order to understand what is occurring in society and to understand how one can improve society. The critical perspective is what keeps people grounded and well informed. The critical perspective is synonymous with freedom and without solitude, spiritual/intellectual freedom cannot be achieved.

Overall, pretty good analysis, but I’m not clear what you intended to mean in a few sections.  You had a nice balance between observation of your experience and the actual reading.



48-hour news blackout

Velvario Faulkner

Velvario, great description and detail. However, there were a lot of little mistakes–grammar, etc. So I revised your entire essay in blue. My advice is that you compare the original (in black) word by word and sentence by sentence to check to see how you can improve your writing. Also, Prof. Pearson was looking for more analysis (all this stuff that was happening to you–what does it all mean, how can you explain it).

I’m not going to lie. When I was first presented with this assignment, I chuckled inside. Forty-eight hours of non-communication on social media or technology would be a breeze. I said to myself, this has to be a joke. Then I observed people who were immediately affected by this assignment. One girl in my class asked, “So, when does this forty-eight hours take effect because the NBA finals are tonight?” Discussing the assignment, I was kind of glad for the numerous ideas classmates had for getting through the forty-eight-hour total blackout. This really let me know that they were for-real Floridians. Because being stuck in a  hurricane is exactly the same thing. Just loads of sleep, billiards, and reading biographies. Only thing was that it was a forced deterrent because of no electrical power.

I’m not going to lie, when i was first presented this assignment i chuckled inside. Forty-eight hours of non communication of social media and or technology would be a breeze. I said to my elf this has to be a joke, then i observe people who were immediately affected from this assignment. One girl in  my class asked ” Sooo, when does this forty-eight hour take in affect because the NBA Finals are tonight!” Discussing the assignment i was kind of glad of the numerous ideas they had as to how to get through forty-eight hours of total blackout. This really let me know that they were foreal Floridans. Because being stuck in a hurricane is exactly the same thing. Just loads of sleep, billiards, and reading Biographies. Only thing was that was a forced deterant as to not having no power.

I used the countdown clock that I got from a pawn shop earlier that evening. I decided to use the forty-eight hours on the last two days of the week, Thursday and Friday. Thursday morning, time to go to class. I woke up and did my usual essentials: blasted my music, brushed my teeth, and contemplated my outfit. By then it was time to leave. While driving, I skipped the radio news and just put on a J Coles ” Forest Hill Drive” album in my CD player and bumped all the way to school. Since I live almost a complete hour away from the Biscayne Bay Campus, I bumped the whole album. Internally I kept uttering to myself this was going to be a breeze. I got to school and went to chemistry first. My mind went elsewhere, thinking about poly atomic ions, molecular masses and double dispersion. After class it was my class with Professor Pearson. Finally the day let out and I went to the library to start on chem homework. I noticed as soon as I got to the first floor common room three TV monitors showing CNN, NBC, and ESPN. I shielded my eyes thinking it was not cheating if I took a millisecond glance. So I went to the next floor up, that being the quiet floor. All I saw was literally every student looking down, not at their textbooks or journals, but their mini TV screens in their hands. I just reminisced about the article “Solitude” . We really have no peace of mind because of all the social media in our life. Social media are almost like a drug. So I got home and the countdown clock had 28 hours left.

I used the countdown clock that i got from a pawn shop earlier that evening. I decided to use the forty-eight hours on the last two days of the week, Thursday and Friday. Thursday morning, time to go to class. I wake up and do my usually essentials; brush my blast my music, brush my teeth, and contemplate my outfit. By then its time to leave. While driving I skip the radio news and just put on a J Coles ” Forest Hill Drive” album in my CD player and bump all the way to school. Since i live almost a complete hour away from Biscayne Bay campus i bumped the whole album. Internally i keep uttering to my self this is going to be a breeze. Get to school and go to Chemistry first. My mind goes else where, taking about poly atomic ions, molecular masses and double dispersion. After Class its My Class with professor Pearson. Finally the day is let out and i got to the library to start on chem homework. I notice as soon as i get to the first floor common room i see three Tv monitors showing CNN, NBC, and Espn. I shield my eyes thinking its not cheating if took a millisecond glance. So i go to the next floor up, that being the quiet floor. and all i see is literally every student looking down. but not in there textbooks or journals but their mini Tv screens in their hands. I just reminisce to myself from the article ” To end Solitude” we really are deterring ourselves to a peace of mind in including social media in our life. I looked at it almost like a drug.  So I get home and the countdown clock has 28 hours left.

Friday came, and that’s the day I don’t have class. But I have to work later in the day. So I thought to myself, I’ll be OK. I was wrong. That whole morning and evening I looked at my phone. I looked at is so much that my brother had to hide it from me. I played a total of 25 games of pool until my shift started for work. Once I got there my coworkers asked me if I saw what had happened on social media. I did not realize how much I had missed from just two days of on-communication.

Friday comes and that the day i don’t have class but i have work later in the day. So i think to myself ill be OK. I was wrong. That whole morning leading to the evening i always looked at my phone, looked at it so much i took my brother to hide it from me. I play a total of 25 games of pool until my shift started for work. Once i got there my coworkers asked me if i saw what happened on social media. I did not realize how much i missed just from two days of non communication.

McLuhan Critical Perspective

Your thesis is good but needs to be just one sentence. I would need to know what you intend to discuss in the body of your essay. What point is the one you want to support or prove. Nice effort though!

Also, I believe you went way over the 250 word limit. Be more succinct in your points. I also don’t quite understand the one or two sentence paragraphs?  If you could combine these sentences into one paragraph (250 words) it could be greatly improved. You have good writing style and make good points overall.  I’d be happy to work with you on your writing. Perhaps try reading your essays aloud and think about joining these disparate points into a cohesive whole?

Massiel Castillo

Team 13

Thesis: Marshall McLuhan was a man with a vision and is the embodiment of the critical perspective. His radical ideas were novel and beyond the scope of understanding for the people of his time. This is why he was interviewed often.  “Marshal McLuhan’s radical ideas were beyond the accepted norms in understanding media.”  (this isn’t perfect either, but the idea is sound)

At the beginning of the Playboy interview, McLuhan says that the purpose of his work is to “understand our technological environment and its psychic and social consequences.” He continues on this statement adds ing that he is an investigator with no fixed point of view nor or commitment to theory. He says that he is willing to contradict any statement he makes if it isn’t contributing to understanding the problem.

This statement in itself shows that McLuhan is interested in expanding the bounds of debate by questioning assumptions with the purpose of making individuals intensely aware of the effects of media in daily life. good point!

McLuhan is one of the only social observers to study the media through which information travels. People usually study content but overlook the effect of the medium on the message. (again, good point)

Link to video about McLuhan

Throughout the interview, McLuhan enlightens the interviewer with intricate, deep observations about electric media as an extension of the human nervous system.

The interview was fantastic because the interviewer was intrigued and asked interesting questions. McLuhan’s answers are thought-provoking and backed by history and evidence. The debate about media is taken beyond what people perceived it to be at the time.

A noteworthy point McLuhan made is that the participatory nature of TV is what makes it important rather than the content itself.

TV makes people feel involved and up-to-date. TV makes people relate to information more easily than print. He provides evidence by asserting Castro’s success in Cuba to his strong presence in television. He incorporates the rise of a tribal chieftain in political systems due to changing media technologies.

He adds that the most influential leaders (although some had nefarious intentions) like Hitler, Mussolini, and FDR were successful because they were masters of their media. These leaders used the radio and television to en-trance their people. The electric media was used to manipulate the nervous system of humans and to motivate people to believe or act on behalf of the media masters.

A modern-day figure that uses media to govern is Vladimir Putin.

McLuhan’s points of argument were way ahead of his time and ahead of existing technology. The observer’s work is based on the principles of the critical perspective.

link to McLuhan website:


McLuhan Critical Perspective

Hi Wesley,

Again, watch your use of first person. Don’t end a paragraph or essay with a quote! Well-written otherwise. fairly good analysis, be original in your writing!

You have an image, a video, but no hyperlink? Read assignment carefully.

Wesley Verdier


Prof Pearson


Team 11


Thesis: The medium has always been the message, it alters the mind of people which causes them to become ignorant of what’s being published.

As I read Marshall McLuhan, the interview I realized that the medium is the message, and McLuhan uses the critical perspective approach in various ways. He expands the bounds of debate, question held assumptions, and aim for the betterment of society. I will consider McLuhan to be a thinker because of his assumptions, questioning the now famous phrase “the medium is the message.” McLuhan meaning behind the statement is the way the message is received, can have a huge impact on the world than the message itself. McLuhan expands the bounds of debate, as he believes that all media even computers are bits and pieces of man, which is something to debate about because our minds are like a computer hard drive storing and transforming information. In addition, to our minds is like a hard drive he challenges people to do their own research. Lastly, McLuhan aimed for the betterment of society. By educating children in a different way than how the school system is teaching them. The school system is the intellectual prison institution. For example, McLuhan states “The only way to make the schools other than prisons without bars is to start fresh with new techniques and values.”


Image result for marshall mcluhan meme


Don’t Panic! SpaceX & Its Ongoing Mission to Launch A Thousand Ships

Very impressive report. Very well done. I have made

some edits in red. You will do well on the final.

writing quality is very good.

visual quality is excellent.

logical argument is very good.

analysis of event is  excellent

use of class lectures, readings and concepts could have been stronger, really the bulk of the report, but I realize that  you are seeing this from an engineering viewpoint

how one person influenced the event is excellent

use of sources is good (format is not MLA style). You have many excellent sources, however.

Quiana Major ,07/16/2018 |Team02

Related image


“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”-Elon Musk

February 06, 2018; Cape Canaveral, Florida; fifteen hundred hours EST: a mixture of silent anticipation only broken by the occasional verbal confirmation, outbursts of vital health and mechanical status updates, and the ultimate Godlike exposition of the launch countdown. Eighty people in mission headquarters huddle over computer screens and keyboards awaiting with great fear and titillation. Every eye fixed, every number accounted for, every little contention has been checked and rechecked and checked again. To ensure that the launch of Falcon9 into Earth’s exosphere, successfully to delivering and the successful delivery of much welcomed supplies to the international space station (ISS).

Image result for spacex phoneImage result for spacex phone







The world was watching through streaming apps like Youtube and Instagram, and on major and local news channels, and listening on radio broadcasts and podcasts covering this now seemingly widely normalized occurrence of successful space travel. I sat patiently on a bus to university that day in Florida watching a piece a history on my Android cellular device; one of twenty-two million Youtubers looking up at the stars through the medium of technology. Understanding the deeper message of technology being a window to our future worlds beyond our own rock.

Image result for spacex rockets

“Launching rockets to space is a high-stakes, unforgiving business, with razor-thin margins between success and failure and catastrophic consequences when things go wrong. Sometimes the smallest problems can doom a payload—and in the most tragic circumstances, an entire crew.”Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics(2018)

The Falcon9 has the advantage of reusing the same rocket for multiple mission launches due to proprietary advances in remote navigation, jet propulsion gyroscopic stabilizing systems, and aerospace materials and design sciences. the Falcon9 has the capability to, once reaching Once it reaches the mesosphere and detaches from the cargo vessel, the Falcon9 has the capability to return to Earth through the SpaceX guidance system and can land safely on seas. It can land depending on angle of trajectory or location of the ISS at time of launch to save as much fuel as possible.

With the advent of the reusable and affordable vertical takeoff and landing (VTOFL) rockets like the Falcon9 mentioned above, SpaceX is charting the endeavour of endeavoring to lay the foundations for the market of space tourism, extraterrestrial planetary colonization, and the exploration of minerals and other resources to propagate life and commerce beyond the stars. For one company to have such a pivotal role in the future of human society begs prompts the questions: what is SpaceX intrinsically, who is Elon Musk, and what does today’s pop culture think about one private American aerospace company shaping so much of what’s to come? These questions can be answered through socratic methods of rhetorical analysis of world media coverage and scientific acknowledgment of some common canonized beliefs on the sociological implications of space travel on world culture.

I was introduced to SpaceX through my studies at university as a Mechanical Engineering senior, but I have been aware of Elon Musk through his youthful ventures of Tesla and Paypal since my tender primary school days. Other than SpaceX, Tesla, and Paypal, Mr.Musk created Deepmind Technologies and The Boring Company, all of which are companies on the cutting edge of personal technology, commerce, weapons, and travel.

According to its website, SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. Headquartered in southern California, SpaceX self-promotes its role as one of the world’s fastest growing providers of launch services, securing hundreds of missions that include commercial and US government missions and, by the end of 2018, ferrying NASA’s Commercial Space Crew into the cosmos, according to NASA’s 2018 Audit.

Related imageSpaceX was the wet dream brainchild from South African-American founder Elon Reeve Musk. Elon Musk is comparable to Marvel’s Tony Stark: a boy genius who grew up to use his intellect to save people. Musk is credited with having an INTJ personality type, meaning that he is one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types there is, according to 16 personalities physiological behavioral trait testing website. People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious but they do not squander their energy. Most of what the general public knows about SpaceX is the information released by the company itself on its SpaceX website: allowing for free and open streaming of launches, tests and tours of mission facilities virtual and in person; such as the preliminary crashes of the Falcon9 and all NTSB findings that were released on what caused the crashes and what actions were recommended to prevent them in the future.  There is little manipulation of information released on SpaceX’s direct site in regards to both its triumphs and failures.

Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian professor, philosopher, and public intellectual, was most notably known for his research and publications into study of media theory. His ideas of a global village are what dictate our tech-heavy web-based pop culture today. Our popular culture offers both pathos and logos arguments to sway public opinion and influence governmental policy and economic intrigue. With the ISS having billions of Twitter followers, millions of Instagram followers as well as Facebook Page likes, space travel has become a popular topic reminiscent of the space race of the 1950’s and 60’s, when the moon was once a stepping stone to the human race expanding beyond our solar system and colonizing other planets. The development of social media platforms along with SpaceX‘s success rate has revitalized passion in exploratory space travel. SpaceX within popular culture is held in close regard to expanding the world debate on what is possible in the coming years of space travel; as we can see, the conversation has shifted from the moon to talks of settling Mars. Coupled with SpaceX’s release of detailed plots, ideas, visuals, mechanics, and government operations, pop culture gave us movies like The Martian, TV shows like Mars, and memes like America’s Creation of a dedicated Space Force military branch in early 2018.

Image result for elon musk memesRelated imageImage may contain: 2 peopleDisplaying Screenshot_2018-06-24-12-21-45.png

Although there’s much speculation and backlash in regards to the announcement made by President Donald Trump in his June 18th, 2018 press conference about the creation of the US Space Force, my personal hope is that it could function like a real world Starfleet.

The February 6th Falcon9 launch is a huge testament to how SpaceX is leading the debate on space travel. With major news circulating positive headlines of intrigue like :

Image result“SpaceX launches world’s most powerful rocket: Live updates”
By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Amanda Wills, CNN February 6, 2018
“Mission to Mars: NASA Ames Shows New Technology Being Developed”
By NBC Bay Area staff Jul 13, 2018
“SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launches successfully”
By Chris Ciaccia, Fox News
The negative media coverage also plates SpaceX as the standard for Aerospace Companies with head lines like:
“China plans ‘megarocket’ that could outperform NASA, SpaceX, expert says”
By Chris Ciaccia,Fox News
“Elon Musk: SpaceX and Tesla alive ‘by skin of their teeth”
BBC staff, 2018


Elon Musk has been portrayed as a crazed, megalomaniac dogooder (such as in this report). Although within popular culture Mr. Musk is a controversial figure, his adoration of knowledge, perfectionism, and sure will, causes for the occasional conflict and public romantic challenges. An example is the recent public Twitter controversy in which he was labeled a petulant instigator after the rescue mission of the team of boys found trapped in a cave in Thailand. Not only did the rescue mission not use the sub that Mr.Musk specifically designed for the safe removal of the boys but they discredited the capability of remote rescue vehicles. This led to accusations of pedophilia from Musk directed at the British  rescue team leading the effort at the time.

Image result for spacex mars“Our Earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing.”(Stephen Hawkings)

There are mixed feelings on ethos arguments within the scientific and entrepreneurial worlds. On one had there are scientists such as Stephen Hawking who has said “Space travel, having achieved a lunar landing, our sights are now set on our neighbor Mars. With private companies like SpaceX, as well as government aerospace programs, taking an interest in the Red Planet, along with increased public interest, it would seem that we are entering a new space age.” To business leaders like Bill Gates publicly disagreeing with Elon Musk claiming a sense of paranoia from the SpaceX founder.  As well as the public feud between American president Donald Trump and Elon, there is much to be said about the scientific community butting heads with industry. Even on the scientific side Elon faces criticisms from Dr. Tyson who says “We (as a people) need to reconsider the space time continuum before we start colonizing other planets.” However, I am in agreement with retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly who stated in a CNBC interview stated that “I’m not going to ever doubt” Elon Musk.

Image result for spacex mars“With exploration comes colonization and with colonization comes exploration”-Adam Rutherford


SpaceX and Elon Musk are making and have made global impacts that, as theorized by physicist Ian Crawford, would sociologically redefine the human dilemma and expand it into the universe. In Crawford‘s case, faster than light (FTL) space travel would lead to the creation of galactic empires and political or religious scrimmages based on who develops the technology to colonize the fastest. With the negative aspect of space exploration causing wars, it would also have positive economical, cultural and philosophical impacts. Economically, space travel in itself would be a new market, and the real estate industry would have an endless supply of land as long as technology can sustain life; and the mining of precious metals, known and unknown,  would make creating goods even cheaper. Culturally, space travel would unify entire planets, and skin deep racial prejudices would be replaced by planet of origin. The catalyst of all these cultural shifts are rocket launches like the February 6th SpaceX Falcon 9 launch. It is the launch that launched a thousand ships. Not going gentle into that good night, Elon Musk uses his technological medium to rage into the that good night of space exploration and pop culture.

Related image


Works Cited

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBr2kKAHN6M StarMan
https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-tompkins-8528b621 (Pual)
https://www.16personalities.com/intj-personality (16 personalities)
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj7-raW_6vcAhXCp1kKHQc4CfUQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.inc.com%2Ferik-sherman%2Felon-musk-lashes-out-at-thai-cave-diver-ruins-good-will-he-could-have-had.html&psig=AOvVaw2_nN6oLHkOqIKm2J33_joE&ust=1532118191892993 (Twitter fued)
https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-18-016.pdf (Nasa Audit)
https://futurism.com/stephen-hawking-new-space-age/ (stephen)
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/25/bill-gates-disagrees-with-elon-musk-we-shouldnt-panic-about-a-i.html( Bill gates)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyeuiFNG2Tg ( Neil Degrass Tyson Elon Musk interview)
Crawford, Ian Andrew .Some Thoughts On The Implications of Faster-Than-Light Interstellar Space Travel. London,UK , Journal Article of Royal Astronomical Society & NASA Astrophysics Data System,[1995], 2018
Bort,Ryan.Trump’s Space Force Is Almost a Real Thing. The Rolling Stone Magazine. New York,New York .18/06/2018. Web.https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/trump-space-force-w521659
Vance, Ashlee. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.New York, NY Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/17/astronaut-scott-kelly-says-dont-doubt-elon-musk.html (kelly)



Visual Media

Sautman, Barry. “Colonialism, Genocide, and Tibet.” In Asian Ethnicity, 7:3, p. 243-265.

Jia, Mang. “The Transformation of Tibetan Identity.” Senior Theses, 2015. Paper 11. Linfield College.

Below you will find my attached images for the assignment.

China vs. Tibet


Image result

Facebook Scandal Second Draft

Henry, this is about as good as it gets. SK



By Henry Antenor

Team Fantastic Four

Since the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been under constant pressure from government and the public. Facebook’s security compromise raises worries about user privacy, user information, and mass manipulation during key national events such as the presidential elections. The media have expressed a range of opinions about Facebook, both for and against. The public has not been entirely accepting of Facebook’s wavering reaction to the pressure.

To begin with, the scandal happened when Facebook allowed a third-party researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, a Russian-American at Cambridge University, to develop a program, or an app, to quiz users on the Facebook site. The researcher took advantage of a loophole in the Facebook application programming interface whereby users taking the quiz did not only had their personal data exposed, but the personal data of their friends as well. Kogan took this information and sold it to Cambridge Analytica, which is part of a social consulting firm in Britain that uses personal information to change public opinions through media propaganda. Steve Bannon was vice president of Cambridge Analytica and later Trump’s advisor, and the information mined from Facebook could’ve had an influence on the election.

The Facebook scandal has further far-reaching ramifications. In the book Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy, Robert W. McChesney argues that celebrants, skeptics, and plain users of the internet are not aware of the effects the internet has on capitalism and what effects capitalism has on the internet and its users. Additionally, there’s democracy being called into question in the turmoil. McChesney is an American professor at the University of Illinois and a Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication, so his positions provide certainty in that he has the authority to speak about such an issue. To understand the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal, a consideration of McChesney’s book for logical key points helps explain the motivations of the researcher and the political machine using personal information.

The Facebook scandal also pointed out that social media users need more adequate awareness of their privacy, and the tools available to them designed to protect their personal data (Nyoni and Velempini). The article uses research information based on the population in South Africa and its current Facebook users.  It studies a sample group by evaluating observations of their regular online activities. The writers discern how users release too much personal information in apps on Facebook belonging to third parties. Their information was sold to online marketers and others with intentions to use their data.

Though ignorant users can be at fault, Facebook has been largely blamed and in the center of a backlash following the event. Included in the public outcry against Facebook are journalists such as Matt Taibbi. He denounces it as a dark and insidious force comparable to an evil empire. In his, “The Facebook Menace,” Taibbi rips into the social media giant, hailing it as a monster swallowing free press, and an indomitable machine spying on people with the effectiveness of a George Orwellian novel. The article hits on emotional beats without adding anything new to the conversation since other media sites are doing the same. His statements are long and sometimes insulting. “But even Fox couldn’t compete with future titans like Facebook when it came to delivering news tailored strictly for the laziest, meanest, least intellectually tolerant version of you,” said Taibbi.

David Kirkpatrick reasons that the problem with Facebook isn’t its massive power, its social media popularity, or its ability to replace old news media outlets, but its ambiguity towards business in the beginning of its creation. This is a critical perspective expounding upon the controversy sounding Facebook, and it’s ethically sound since Kirkpatrick covered Facebook as a journalist since it started. He claims Facebook is trying to be both a humanitarian effort and the fastest growing capitalistic business model simultaneously, which ambition can lead to trouble. There’s lots of money to be made if Facebook focused solely on advertising.

“The data they created turned out to be eminently exploitable—particularly if you wish to target specific groups of people to sell products, ideas or political candidates. It was better than anything advertisers had ever seen,” said Kirkpatrick. The problem lies with how far stretching Facebook can reach in the political sphere and in the privacy of users. “Facebook’s crisis is one of governance. The company faces excruciating choices in how to manage itself, what to communicate with users, what content to allow or ban and how to deal with governments. In many ways, it is more powerful than those governments, in that its reach expands beyond borders to take in the entire world.”  Kirkpatrick statements are measured, reasonable, and neutral, and his proximity to Mark Zuckerberg adds to the logic of what he’s saying.

When Zuckerberg faced Congress, the climactic match up was played over television and online through YouTube. Multiple online commenters posted on various platforms, from blog sites, to official news channels, to Twitter, and many others. Zuckerberg responded to Congress’s questions ranging from rights to privacy to exploitation by Russians. He made efforts to clear up misconceptions about the company, such as how Facebook does not sell users’ private information. They allow third party advertisers to request a position on their platform. Zuckerberg’s concerns adhere to the reality of regulating aggressive forms of fake news, privacy attacking programs, and exploiters of Facebook’s media site, while also trying to maintain a level of freedom where friends can connect and share content around the world. As of now, Facebook has striven to protect users’ information, and had prompted understandable policy regulations on their users’ feeds when they log on to Facebook.

In conclusion, the media and the government are not in favor of the power Facebook wields, especially with the possibilities of how it affected the election and squandered users’ information. Since then, Facebook has changed its policies and continued tried to bring back the trust it lost. It remains to be seen whether the public will ever again be as trusting.

Works Cited

Facebook, 2004, http://www.Facebook.com. Accessed 17 Jun. 2018.

Kirkpatrick, David. “The Facebook Defect.” Time, vol. 191, no. 15, 23 Apr. 2018, pp. 38-44. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.fiu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=129021680&site=eds-live.

McChesney, Robert Waterman. Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet against Democracy. The New Press, 2013.

Nyoni, Phillip and Mthulisi, Velempini. “Privacy and User Awareness on Facebook.” South African Journal of Science, vol. 114, no. 5/6, May/Jun2018, pp. 27-31.

Taibbi, Matt. “The Facebook Menace.” Rolling Stone, no. 1311/1312, 19 Apr. 2018, pp. 42-57. ezproxy.fiu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=128798954&site=eds-live.

Watson, Chloe. “The Key Moments from Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony to Congress.” The Guardian, 11 Apr. 2018, theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/11/mark-zuckerbergs-testimony-to-congress-the-key-moments.




















Maria, this is a great story. Did you want to make this your final essay for HOW WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW class?

Or is this for another class? For HOW WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW you need 1,000 words, pictures, and 5 library sources. The absolute last day to turn in the final essay is Friday, July 27 at noon.

It is worth 400 points. 




Maria Tortolero

Assignment 3: Off Campus Feature Story

World Soccer Cup: Uniting People

            While there are many things that can unite people, sport is a power that brings diverse personalities together regardless of their cultural background, gender, age, and nationality, especially during the World Cup. While attending to Carolina Ale House Sports Bar in Miami and watching the World Soccer Cup game between Germany and South Korea, I witnessed the joy and mutual respect between the opponents of each team as they united during such an unexpected game. There was an environment of friendliness and a team spirit as the older audience willingly helped younger viewers to appreciate the event. Without a doubt, the majority of attendees spoke in favor of Germany as an expected winner.            As many of the fans said, World Soccer Cup made them appreciate the game more as they could learn of world cultures and see how the entire world plays and competes on their way to the final game.

One of the most surprising aspects that I have instantly noticed was that the teams’ fans were not born in none either of those countries Most of them were Latin but you could still feel the passion that they had when using their teams jerseys. The Germans were considered furious tigers while South Koreans were compared to “restless puppies” who fought against the grand and famous. To my surprise, people did not mention that the event took place in Russia and there was no hostility. On the contrary, one young student mentioned that “Russians organized a fine event” and that “it is obvious that foreigners do have fun and feel safe”. After all, the event could break down certain clichés and stereotypes as the sports international event allows people of true spirit to fight for victory. It was a moment of time I witnessed when the sports event shown on TV at the Sports Bar has changed the way people think and percept perceive other nations and cultures.

As the game continued, South Korea scored the first goal, which came as a surprise for many, bringing unexpected joy to the audience. Curious about what to expect, most people decided to watch the game on their feet as South Koreans scored the second goal and finally won the match. Since no one expected such an outcome It turned out to be a lively discussion where people started talking of other sports from baseball and golf to basketball discussing how the less known teams won and made a difference for their supporters. Asking one young lady about her feelings, I found that she was most surprised by the way how South Korea fought and how one of the German players smiled at the end and shook a hand with a South Korean who had an apologetic look. Seeing her excited eyes, I realized how sport unites people, indeed, making them more empathic, kinder, caring, and capable of appreciating diversity in a society.







Danay Fernandez                                                                     Group 5

A scam on Facebook that affected many supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement

By Danay Fernandez


Danay, Excellent analysis of this topic. You have really explored “the insides” of this scam and provided an intelligent commentary on the truths and lies behind the story. On the final essay, please include the bibliography at the end.

Yes, I agree that the pictures will help. So if you can do it on WordPress, fine. If  not, you can email me a Word document if you can. If not, don’t worry about the pictures.



It is not news to anyone that we are living in a technological world dominated by technology. But This world we are living in has its pros and cons. Taking the example of social media into consideration, whileOn the pro side, social media allows some to be connected to friends and share with them how their day is going and what they think about current events; however, it also allows others to create fake profiles and accounts with no good aspirations. For instance, Newton Lee discusses in his book Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness several examples and provides some statistical information on the creation of fake profiles with different purposes, not only in Facebook but also in Twitter and YouTube, over the years. According to Newton’s book there were “83 million Facebook profiles [that] were fake” (Lee) in 2012.

We are living in a sad world where not only “thousands of companies” (Security) and individuals are victims of phishing’s attacks because of their economic status but also ordinary individuals face the dangers of being when online because social media platforms are not always secure. A clear example is the Black Lives Matter page on Facebook, which purported to support the movement with of the same name but in reality was administered by an Australian man who had no connection with the movement. Almost 700,000 people followed the page. They were all victims of this online scam while all they ever wanted was to support the Black Lives Matter movement. According to the CNN’s report, “only after almost a week of emails and calls between CNN and Facebook … [did] Facebook suspend the page” (O’Sullivan).

Facebook has also been heavily criticized for the way it handled users’ personal information after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Therefore, people were not surprised to find out that the biggest page on Facebook purporting to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement was a scam. As a result of this discovery, social media and Black Lives Matter activists opened a whole new social media debate targeting Facebook’s commitment to change.

The first source of information about what happened and how it happened was a report by CNN. Several other sources based their articles, blogs and posts on the information provided by this report, which means that if CNN had lied or manipulated information, we might never have been able to tell. Ian Mackay, the Australian man who supposedly ran the page, wrote to CNN:  “What is the point in speaking to you given that you are going to run your story either way” (O’Sullivan). Mackay’s words imply that there is a chance this information we are basing ourselves off that CNN was disseminating was not completely accurate either.

Facebook was the perfect place for this huge social media debate to take place. The ABC News’ post and the Black Lives Matter real page post were the main ways of spreading the news about the event, reaching more than 200 shares in the social platform. While Facebook stayed at the center of the credibility debate after CNN’s discovery, the movement itself and the union formed also part of it. As a medium where freedom of speech reigns, Facebook became the witness of “BLM is a scam itself”, “this person’s actions are representatives of the union as a whole”, and other similar comments by mad or sarcastic people scrolling down their Facebook feeds.

The comment by Rick HR in the Black Lives Matter’s statement seems to be an accurate one. According to CNN’s report, when CNN initially contacted Facebook with proof that the page was fraudulent, Facebook’s response was that there was no need to take down the page because they had not found anything suspicious about it. It was not until Facebook suspended BP Parker’s profile that they suspended the page. BP Parker is believed to be Ian Mackay’s accomplice. Additionally, and most importantly, in the Black Lives Matter movement’s statement the movement’s activists mentioned how they had contacted Facebook and Twitter for several months but “received no adequate response and many supporters continued to be misled” (Statement). Patrisse Cullors’ tweet (Hsu) and Josie Crawford’s response are just other examples of Facebook’s weakened credibility. Could this be happening because Facebook is doing what Rick HR is accusing the platform to be doing?

It is impossible not to mention the first person that realized the page was a scam, Jeremy Massler. Massler, according to the article by Amy Wang, in the Washington Post, called the page a “sham” (Wang) in his blog and established connections between the donations to the page and Ian Mackay. However, Massler is not getting the appreciation he deserves. If he had not contacted CNN about his findings, the page would probably still be active now.

It seems that the International Business Times is either not a reliable source of information or the only source that it is not lying, hiding or manipulating information. CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times agree on what the donations that the page raised were at least or around $100,000. However, Dan Perez, of the International Business Times,  affirms that the page “raised more than $130,000 in donations”. Another curious thing about Perez’s article is that he innocently mentions how Facebook “investigated the situation as soon as it was brought to their attention” without mentioning anything about how long and how many people’s effort it took the platform to take the page down.

Draft #2

Very good job, Juan. I especially like the way you have incorporated course principles (ethos, logos, pathos, etc.) into the essay.

Your thesis is very persuasive. Now you need to illustrate the essay with pictures, videos, links, etc., and include your bibliography at the end. 



Juan Galvis

Team 6


Plastic In The Ocean

13 million tons of plastic is estimated to enter the ocean each year according to previous scientific studies. Being a material that does not naturally degrade,  plastic sits on the surface of the ocean allowing marine animals to be tricked into thinking it’s food. Many marine animals have suffered accidents such that their lives are endangered or taken away due to the plastic in the ocean. The latest accident occurred on the shores of Thailand, where a whale was found with 18 pounds of plastic in its stomach. The death of these innocent animals has created a state of emergency message about our environment, thus causing researchers to explore the problems even more, and people to be even more outspoken about the issue via social media and news articles.

In the New York Times’ article, “Whale’s Death in Thailand Points to Global Scourge,” the author Mike Ives talks about the critical stage at which the whale was found by veterinarians and explores the events that have led to the death of many marine animals. To express the gravity of this issue with credibility, Ives used a mix of Aristotle’s rhetorical concepts of logos and ethos. Logos was used to discuss the amount of plastic produced worldwide since the 1950s according to a 2017 study in the journal Science Advances. On the other hand, ethos was used when the author cited other studies that discuss statistical analyses of topics like how many marine animals are endangered in Thailand every year, and which are the six countries with the most mismanaged plastic waste. These facts are referenced by the author to build higher awareness to the readers.

After the story was released about the whale which died after swallowing 80 plastic bags in Thailand, many went on social media to express their anguish and anger about the tragic issue. Websites like Facebook and Twitter were filled with messages from users sharing their thoughts. Facebook’s user Nichapa Samranrat wrote, “I feel so sorry for this poor thing. Why are some people so lacking in common sense?” Other users used hashtags like #PlasticOcean and #TrashInOcean to group their thoughts altogether. Some users posted graphic pictures of other marine animals that have experienced the same destiny as the whale found in Thailand. While others shared their own personal encounters with trash in the ocean and beach shores.

In another article from The New York Times writer Tatiana Schlossberg explores the powerful impact that plastic has in today’s society by stating that our era could be referred to as the Plastocene Epoch era by future generations. Schlossberg uses ethos and logos when she references studies and researchers to speak freely about how quickly plastic has overtaken our ecosystems. It was estimated that by 2050 about 12 billion metric tons of plastic will be accumulated in landfills or in the environment. A study suggests that the primary explanation for the over pollution of plastic is its use in packaging. It’s estimated that packaging made up 54 percent of the non-fiber plastic that was thrown away back in 2015. We, the consumers of the products being packaged in plastic, have a great responsibility when disposing of plastic correctly. In the United States, about 9 percent of plastic is being recycled, while in Europe 30 percent is recycled. Littering is an issue that many countries are experiencing currently. Beaches are the primary location where visitors do not pick up after themselves, and that allows the trash to be pushed towards the ocean.

Corrine Henn, a graduate of Delaware Valley College with a degree in Conservation and Wildlife management, conducted a research study where she observed the top five marine animals that are being the most affected by plastic in the ocean. Among this list are seals, sea turtles, seabirds, fish, and whales. Henn mentioned that whales are a marine species that are the most affected by plastic due to the size of their mouth. Unknowingly, whales are mistaking marine debris for a potential food source. Like the whale found in Thailand, these animals are consuming garbage that is tearing their stomach lining, leading to starvation and death.

In 2011 Captain Charles Moore published “Plastic Ocean” a book in which he talks about how his own personal encounter with ocean plastic changed the way he viewed the situation. In the book, Moore mentioned that in 1997 he was sailing from Hawaii to California, when he noticed his ship was skimming its way through a plastic soup. From this day on Moore has dedicated his time to researching the properties of plastic and how it can affect the planet we live on. Moore emphasizes that plastic poses a potent threat to vanishing marine species and their fragile habitats. He also mentions that plastic in our oceans can soon be a threat to human health and well-being.

In today’s society, the topics of pollution and littering are being covered even in politics. However, how much of what we are being told is true?