Wetenschapscafe Rotterdam

18 June 2018

Social media: A blessing or a curse?

Dr. Daniel Trottier

Let op: dit Wetenschapscafé zal in het Engels zijn! Daarnaast is de locatie anders dan anders, namelijk het Mart Café op de Grote Markt 4&6, Rotterdam en is het niet op de laatste maandag van de maand, maar op maandag 18 juni.
Pay attention: this Science Cafe will be in English! In addition, the cafe will be held at another location, the Mart Café, Grote Markt 4&6, Rotterdam, and not at the last Monday of the month, but on Monday June 18th.

Social media platforms and mobile devices allow people to monitor their peers. This can be used to keep in contact with friends, but social media can also be misused. In response to illegal or uncivil behavior, footage can be recorded and uploaded of the offending act. Others may share information about the targeted suspect, whle a larger audience joins in on the accusation through offensive or even hate speech. While citzens may believe they are achieving some form of justice, their actions may compromise investigations, and undermine commonly known assumptions of privacy, proportionality and dignity.

During this Science Cafe, dr. Daniel Trottier will address digital wachtfulness as a crowdsourced practice that is both a form of active citizenship and coordinated harassment. By discussing examples in and beyond the Dutch context, the challenges facing citizens, but also states, the press and digital media platforms will be considered.

Daniel Trottier started his career obtaining a bachelor of arts in Psychology and Sociology at McGill University and a master of arts in Sociology at Concordia University, both in Montreal, Canada. He completed a PhD in Sociology at Gueen's University in Kingston, Canada. After researching and teaching in Sweden and the United Kingdom, he is currently working at the Department of Media and Communication of the Erasmus University as an Associate Professor of Global Digital Media.


Mariana Hirschfeld

Fixated on our selfish selfies 
We tend to forget that the only company 
we have are ourselves, even looking 
through that lens won’t get us focused 
on the bigger picture, your connection 
to the worldwideweb got you disconnect 
to the wholewideworld, some of us display 
anything but the truth, some of us won’t find a way 
without being seen just to sooth the pain
like there’d be time to gain while wasting it away 
on pointless opinions, false rumours and filters 
though it was manmade some of us thought it 
could make you more of man, what we created 
now takes the best of the worst of us and puts 
it on display, for the next one to say and send 
however he feels about it in the end 
we tend to forget that possessions can possess you 

In this age of information, privacy has been simplified 
to agreements most of us don’t even read through 
Giving away bits and pieces that should only belong to you
What was once manmade can now be used against man 
One slip and you’ll be put on blast by cameras, cellphones
a digital inquisition, no one will ask you for your permission 
It’s what you agreed to, right? 
Governments won’t have to ask they can just tell by everything 
we put out there, what we like and what we browse for 
search histories, calling it cookies when it’s just a bitter pill to swallow 
When did we get so shallow? missing moments just to capture them 
Judging people by captions and pictures like they could literally speak 
a thousand words 
Presidents tweeting alternative facts, followed by the herds 

So can it be a blessing in disguise? 
Can it be used to rectify lies 
To seek truth, to spread real news
You choose. What you spread into the world 
is up to you. Whether you use it for gossip 
or justice, lies in your hands 
What you choose to be vocal about 
should only be led by the heart and the brain 
not by what’s to gain from internet popularity 
The digital world could never replace the outside reality 


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