Filters have never been more prevalent – and it’s leading some people to have fillers, Botox and other procedures. What’s behind the obsessive pursuit of a flawless look?
The phenomenon of people requesting procedures to resemble their digital image has been referred to – sometimes flippantly, sometimes as a harbinger of end times – as “Snapchat dysmorphia”. The term was coined by the cosmetic doctor Tijion Esho, founder of the Esho clinics in London and Newcastle.
A recent report in the US medical journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery suggested that filtered images’ “blurring the line of reality and fantasy” could be triggering body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a mental health condition where people become fixated on imagined defects in their appearance.
A 2017 study into “selfitis”, as the obsessive taking of selfies has been called, found a range of motivations, from seeking social status to shaking off depressive thoughts and – of course – capturing a memorable moment. Another study suggested that selfies served “a private and internal purpose”, with the majority never shared with anyone or posted anywhere – terabytes, even petabytes of photographs never to be seen by anyone other than their subject.
However, a 2017 study in the journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications found that people only recognised manipulated images 60%-65% of the time.
more on social media in this IMS blog
LinkedIn launches its own Snapchat Stories. Here’s why it shouldn’t have
No app is safe from the Stories plague
LinkedIn confirms to TechCrunch that it plans to build Stories for more sets of users, but first it’s launching “Student Voices” just for university students in the U.S. The feature appears atop the LinkedIn home screen and lets students post short videos to their Campus Playlist.
My note: Since 2012, I unsuccessfully tried to convince two library directors to approve similar video “channel” on the SCSU library web page with students’ testimonies and ability for students to comment / provide feedback regarding the issues raised in the videos. Can you guess the outcome of such proposal?
A LinkedIn spokesperson tells us the motive behind the feature is to get students sharing their academic experiences like internships, career fairs and class projects that they’d want to show off to recruiters as part of their personal brand.
more on LinkedIn in this IMS blog
How to Craft Useful, Student-Centered Social Media Policies
08/09/18 Tanner Higgin
Whether your school or district has officially adopted social media or not, conversations are happening in and around your school on everything from Facebook to Snapchat.
Use policy creation as an opportunity to take inventory of your students’ needs, how social media is already being used by your teachers, and how policy can support both responsibly.
1. Create parent opt-out forms that specifically address social media use.
2. Establish baseline guidelines for protecting and respecting student privacy.
3. Make social media use transparent to students
4. Most important: As with any technology, attach social media use to clearly articulated goals for student learning
Moving from Policy to Practice
Social media isn’t a novel phenomenon requiring separate attention. Ed tech, and the tech world in general, wants to tout every new development as a revolution. Most, however, are an iteration. While we get caught up re-inventing everything to wrestle with a perceived social media sea change, our students see it simply as a part of school life.
more on social media in education in this IMS blog
Snapchat joins EU Code of Conduct against hate speech
The EU’s code of conduct on countering illegal online hate speech was first presented in 2016 and initially had four major internet platforms that participated – Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube. Snapchat is the seventh major IT platform to join the EU’s non-binding ethics regulations to fight illegal online hate speech.
more on Snapchat in this IMS blog
Are your phone camera and microphone spying on you?
Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viber
Felix Krause described in 2017 that when a user grants an app access to their camera and microphone, the app could do the following:
- Access both the front and the back camera.
- Record you at any time the app is in the foreground.
- Take pictures and videos without telling you.
- Upload the pictures and videos without telling you.
- Upload the pictures/videos it takes immediately.
- Run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions.
- Livestream the camera on to the internet.
- Detect if the user is on their phone alone, or watching together with a second person.
- Upload random frames of the video stream to your web service and run a proper face recognition software which can find existing photos of you on the internet and create a 3D model based on your face.
For instance, here’s a Find my Phone application which a documentary maker installed on a phone, then let someone steal it. After the person stole it, the original owner spied on every moment of the thief’s life through the phone’s camera and microphone.
- Edward Snowden revealed an NSA program called Optic Nerves. The operation was a bulk surveillance program under which they captured webcam images every five minutes from Yahoo users’ video chats and then stored them for future use. It is estimated that between 3% and 11% of the images captured contained “undesirable nudity”.
- Government security agencies like the NSA can also have access to your devices through in-built backdoors. This means that these security agencies can tune in to your phone calls, read your messages, capture pictures of you, stream videos of you, read your emails, steal your files … at any moment they please.
Hackers can also gain access to your device with extraordinary ease via apps, PDF files, multimedia messages and even emojis.
An application called Metasploit on the ethical hacking platform Kali uses an Adobe Reader 9 (which over 60% of users still use) exploit to open a listener (rootkit) on the user’s computer. You alter the PDF with the program, send the user the malicious file, they open it, and hey presto – you have total control over their device remotely.
Once a user opens this PDF file, the hacker can then:
- Install whatever software/app they like on the user’s device.
- Use a keylogger to grab all of their passwords.
- Steal all documents from the device.
- Take pictures and stream videos from their camera.
- Capture past or live audio from the microphone.
- Upload incriminating images/documents to their PC, and notify the police.
And, if it’s not enough that your phone is tracking you – surveillance cameras in shops and streets are tracking you, too
- You might even be on this website, InSeCam, which allows ordinary people online to watch surveillance cameras free of charge. It even allows you to search cameras by location, city, time zone, device manufacturer, and specify whether you want to see a kitchen, bar, restaurant or bedroom.
more on privacy in this IMS blog
more on surveillance in this IMS blog
Howard, H. A. (2018). Academic Libraries on Social Media: Finding the Students and the Information They Want. Information Technology and Libraries
(1), 8–18. https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i1.10160
In his book Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters, Alfred Hermida states, “People are not hooked on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook but on each other. Tools and services come and go; what is constant is our human urge to share.”1 Libraries are places of connection, where people connect with information, technologies, ideas, and each other. As such, libraries look for ways to increase this connection through communication.
Academic libraries have been slow to accept social media as a venue for either promoting their services or academic purposes. A 2007 study of 126 academic librarians found that only 12 percent of those surveyed “identified academic potential or possible benefits” of Facebook while 54 percent saw absolutely no value in social media.2 However, the mission of academic libraries has shifted in the last decade from being a repository of knowledge to being a conduit for information literacy; new roles include being a catalyst for on-campus collaboration and a facilitator for scholarly publication within contemporary academic librarianship.3 Academic librarians have responded to this change, with many now believing that “social media, which empowers libraries to connect with and engage its diverse stakeholder groups, has a vital role to play in moving academic libraries beyond their traditional borders and helping them engage new stakeholder groups.”4
The project focused on three research questions:
1. What social media platforms are students using?
2. What social media platforms do students want the library to use?
3. What kind of content do students want from the library on each of these platforms?
survey using the web-based Qualtrics
The social media platforms included were Facebook, Flickr, G+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Qzone, Renren, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, and Yik Yak
The second survey also lasted for three weeks starting in mid-April of the spring 2017 semester. As a participation incentive, students who completed the initial survey and the second survey had an opportunity to enter a drawing for a $25 Visa gift card.
we intend to develop better communication channels, a clear social media presence, and a more cohesive message across the Purdue libraries. Under the direction of our new director of strategic communication, a social media committee was formed with representatives from each of the libraries to contribute content for social media. The committee will consider expanding the Purdue Libraries’ social media presence to communication channels where students have said they are and would like us to be.
Good news, Snap investors. By
- Some 79 percent of U.S. 13- to 18-year-olds surveyed said they have a Snapchat account, more than any other type of social media. Of that age group, 73 percent have an Instagram account and just 57 percent say they are on Facebook.
- Respondents had to choose only one social network they could keep if they were “trapped on a deserted island.” This time, 44 percent of teens picked Snapchat, ahead of Instagram (24 percent) and Facebook (14 percent). One year ago, for RBC’s same survey question, the percentage of teens who insisted on keeping Snapchat on a desert island led with 28 percent — suggesting the app is still growing in necessity/popularity among young people.
more on Snapchat for education in this IMS blog
more on social media in this IMS blog