Tag Archive for Internet

Cyberstalking: towards an obsessive society

 

[source: https://www.lumas.com/pictures/andreas_kock/stalker_iii-1/]

How much is too much attention?

Stalking is defined by Pathé and Mullen as « a constellation of behaviors in which an individual inflicts upon another repeated unwanted intrusions and communications ». For a long time, talking about stalking meant pinpointing a serious psychological disorder; to stalk, one had to physically and repeatedly follow his object of obsession. Today however, the stalking phenomenon takes an entire new dimension, infiltrating a new platform; the internet. We are witnessing an expansion of what we call cyberstalking (or online stalking), now troubling an entire society; the excessive following and watching happens online.

The internet: the new binoculars

It is a secret to no one that with the emergence of the internet and of social media came a new definition of intimacy. We are willing, along millions of people on the planet, to open the windows that lead into our lives, exposing thoughts, emotions and pictures that were once carefully kept private. But our desire doesn’t stop here. We are also willing to peak into other people’s lives, which often leads to trespassing their privacy. Here lies the paradox of cyberstalking: we allow people to stalk us and they allow us to stalk them. However, if we knew how many people obsessed over our posts, would we be as happy to share with them our experiences? A “like” figures one time on our pictures, a “seen” once on our stories, but how many times people see them again? How much time do they spend lingering on our posts? How many people do they show them to? All this is unknown information. By accepting a friend or a follow request, we put our lives in their hands; literally. But do we really know how trustworthy they are?

Here are some confessions of young people regarding their use of social media.

Social media; feeding our obsession

When it comes to stalking, whether it’s online or in real life, one thing is sure: obsession is always involved, always. That said, social media not only allows us to obsess over other peoples’ lives, but also sometimes creates the obsession or feeds it, helping it grow. We can think of two categories of possible targets. The first one contains celebrities, famous people, some who even make money out of peoples’ obsession. However, another target is possibly you, me or any human being who shares information online. When I say information, I mean any information really. In fact, even when a person isn’t active in terms of posting pictures and texts, his only participation (likes, comments, etc.) can be stalking material. Platforms such as WhatsApp can help a stalker track what times we are online or not, and this alone can feed his obsession. Facebook and Instagram give similar information about the times we go online. The term itself “last seen” reveals a lot. Seen by who? That is the question. Research shows that 24% of cyber stalkers are ex-lovers. This isn’t surprising since stalking is obsession themed. Nevertheless, this means that many brokenhearted people lie secretly behind their phones, watching their ex-lovers’ every move. Is social media making the healing process impossible? Can we ever really get over the ones we used to love when their intimacy is still within arm’s reach?

 

Bitcoin : Currency of the Future or Drug Dealer’s Token?

 
Bitcoin … a dilemma

While the world is hyped with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, we are overlooking the dangers of the cryptocurrencies and how they are contributing to illegal markets and trade. Bitcoin was the first decentralized cryptocurrency that started in 2009, however it only gained the attention of the public in 2017 when the currency saw an increase in it price to 19000$ in December of 2017. This sudden increase in the price of Bitcoin led to a split in the audience’s opinion. Some thought that this would be the currency of the future, while others thought it to be only a bubble that would last for a limited amount of time. Since this event, there has been an increasing number of websites, places, and even countries that accept bitcoin as a method of payment, and one of the places where you can trade with bitcoins is the dark web.

 

Before we start

Before we go on with our topic, we need to define an essential term that will be repeated frequently in our paper: The dark market or dark web. The dark market is where trade between two people or two entities happens. Rather than meeting physically, the buyer and the seller can meet virtually and exchange the goods for money. A dark market is not necessarily illegal by itself, however it is the items that are being transferred through this website that make it illegal. But how is this related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies? These dark markets use the same technology that underpins bitcoin, and have recently been accepting payments in the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is the making the money exchange process on the dark web easier and contributing to illegal actions.

 

Silk road:  The first dark web

The dark web started with Silk Road. Silk road is a website that was created by Ross Ulbricht. This website was the place where illegal drugs were traded and exchanged. Vendors advertised their drugs through Silk Road, and potential buyers saw these advertisements and bought these drugs from the website. When you are buying these drugs from a dark website you usually do not trust the seller, so they wouldn’t send the money directly to the seller. To solve this problem, Silk Road acted as an intermediary between the buyer and the seller. When the buyer confirms the transaction, he sends the money the silk road, and when he confirms that he has received the products, silk road sends the money to the seller giving the seller a form of “letter of guarantee”.

 

Bitcoin is playing an important role in making these transactions harder to trace, it is being used as a tumbler on TOR and other platforms. But what is TOR? TOR is a software that allows anonymous communication, we will not go into the details of how the software works, but what we need to know is that many dark markets use TOR to hide the communication that is happening in illegal online markets. As we said bitcoin is being used as a tumbler, it is using a cryptocurrency mixing service to hide the trace of the original source, since bitcoin offers a public ledger of all the transactions.

How Bitcoin is involved ?

Bitcoin is also being used for money laundering services. This is because Bitcoin is not linked to a person’s account, however it is only linked to a key of the bitcoin account. Money laundering is the process of moving money around, however with the new regulations since 2008, the process has been getting more complicated. Now, tax evaders are looking for new ways to move their money around and Bitcoin has become the solution. Buying moving their money to Bitcoin, the person can have their own bank by holding their private key. To solve this problem, there has been many startups who attempt to track Bitcoin transaction to individual like Chainalysis, since Bitcoin only offers a public ledger.

Bitcoin is not the subject of specific regulations like other cryptocurrencies. There is still a division of opinion when it comes to regulating bitcoins. Some say that bitcoin should be subject to regulations while others say that banks should not be focusing on regulating these cryptocurrencies, but on how to incorporate them in their systems and to increase their transparency.

Trying to regulate bitcoin

One way to regulate bitcoins is for banks to monitor when the bitcoins are converted back to fiat money (local currency). When bitcoins are converted to fiat money they can track the history of the bitcoin transactions and how bitcoins have been used. But the real solution does not come until technologies such as Chainalysis are fully developed and are able to track the transactions of Bitcoins and increase transparency of these transactions.

Others say that before regulating bitcoins, we should first define the cryptocurrency consistently everywhere.

Is bitcoin a currency? Is it a commodity? Or is it a security? 

When it is classified, we can then regulate it according to the rules of the classification. The classification of Bitcoin and its regulation varies from country to country: in 2013, The U.S. Treasury classified bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency, while in 2015 The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC, classified bitcoin as a commodity. Bitcoin is completely banned in other countries for example Algeria, Bolivia and Ecuador have completely banned Bitcoin transactions.

Conclusion

Revolution and Evolution are often two sides of the same coin.

This is the case regarding bitcoin. It is a very promising technology that has the possibility to replace fiat money, in a world where people would not have to carry cash anymore. However, we also need to be careful where bitcoin is being used and not let it fall in the wrong hands, and open a new window for illegal trade. This can be done by imposing transparency regulations on bitcoin users, and the use of new technologies to trace transactions.

Regulations Vs Internet freedom

The millennial generation is a generation unlike any other. We have touch screen computers, and iPhones that listen to our every demand such as, ‘Siri, can you remind me to take out my laundry in ten minutes? We engage on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook that allow us to share any detail of our lives- at any given moment. We are in constant communication whether it’s watching the daily news, browsing the Internet, or sending out a tweet. Yet, we don’t always associate the media with the Federal Communications Commission. We barely hear of the FCC. How does the FCC protect the public when it comes to media-related regulations? Is it really needed?

The Federal Communications Commission is an agency that few people know about, or know what its sole purpose. The one responsibility the FCC has is to regulate communication networks within the public sphere. Congress has authorized the FCC with an official order that states that they shall regulate and control the country’s communications networks according to the best interest of the general public. Communications networks aren’t the only media subject to regulation. The FCC has power over other consumer technologies such as smartphones, cellular companies, and even Wi-Fi. Although all these outlets need regulation, is there such thing as too much regulation?

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President Obama has asked the FCC to regulate the Internet. The Internet is a virtual space that no one really owns, so what is net-neutrality? Net neutrality is the concept that Internet service providers should allow access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. The fear here is that Internet service providers (ISP) can take full of advantage by profiting over Internet speed. They can sell their service packages according to Internet access because they have the technology to increase and decrease speeds. This power can heavily interfere the media market.net-neutrality-1-620x400

Major media companies can essentially pay corporations a significantly higher amount of money for priority service. A company such as Zara, being the fashion mogul that it is, can pay for quality service whereas an online shopping startup such as Miss Guided for example, cannot. The issue of net neutrality supporters is not that major media outlets will find a new way to fight with each other for market share, but that everyone else—bloggers, niche news sources and small websites in general—will be priced out of the market for priority service and consigned to a much poorer internet experience.

In early 2015, the FCC ruled some heavy regulation on the Internet. They began with reclassifying broadband access as a telecommunication service. This works to their advantage because it is subject to more regulation than normal. They also made it illegal for ISP to charge for priority service so that wealthy content providers cannot take advantage. It is also now illegal for ISP to increase or decrease internet speed for a fee. Many agree with this notion, while others think it was unnecessary.Print

Advocators believed that these rulings would keep the Internet open and free’. Peter Gregory, Research Fellow at the Institute of Public affairs believes net neutrality to be a techno socialism, stating the following,

Net neutrality is simply techno socialism—the application of an economic system to an innovation it itself could never have created. Indeed, the FCC rulings betray the free and unbridled pioneer spirit of the internet itself

The Internet is an open and free space, and indeed it should be left as such.

 

Citation List
1. Skorup, B. Who Needs the FCC? National Affairs, 26, p36-51
2. Gregory, P. Net Neutrality is Techno Socialism. Institute of Public Affairs Review, 67(2), p32-35.

What The Internet WON’T Tell You About Social Consumer

the social consumer

In recent years, with the growth of Internet, social media have become a virtual space that enables people to communicate, interact, and share their experience. As the frequency of using internet increases, the rate of social media use has also increased (Dryer, 2010). Due to the increase of popularity of social media, people nowadays spend more time on the internet leading to a change in the commercial life. Furthermore, customers use social networks to search for information, post feedback, and share their ideas with other customers and businesses. For this reason, companies started to develop strategies and alter social platforms to improve their brand images, increase sales revenue, and build relationships with their customers. Companies have designed entire departments committed to the design and control of social media within their organizational structures (Miller, 2009; Kelsey, 2010). Hence, in a commercial perspective, « consumer purchases are influenced strongly by cultural, social, personal and psychological characteristics » (kolter & armstrong, 2014, p. 164). Therefore, social media, a fundamental factor of the social characteristics, has a large impact on consumers’ behaviors and decisions.

Social media transformed people into users, and users into customers. Where few years ago the usage of Internet was bounded, now customers using this innovation can give feedback and create content through blogs and podcasts, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Yelp,Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest and many others. The first step in the buying decision is awareness. Thus, customers before making a decision especially concerning high involvement products access information that they need concerning these products and services by means of social media. Indeed online social networks have profoundly changed the propagation of information by making it credibly and easy to share and digest on the internet (Akrimi & Khemakhem, 2012). As a result, social media provides an opportunity to promote and sell products. Undoubtedly, technology gives consumers the capability to explore products and judge them. Therefore, marketers work on offering social network platforms to add information about their products. These contents that contribute to the society should be designed to meet their needs. Mainly these contents posted through blogs, articles and wikis must be correct, accurate, easy and convenient. Many online consumers consider the social media sites as being beneficial and credible source for researching products. For example, customers search for store locations, compare prices, obtain product information, look for sales and offers. It is absolutely critical that companies display reliable and fresh information. Similarly, published contents must be up-to-date and guide targeted, current and potential customers to the right decisions by providing high quality information in order to meet their expectation and deliver the value proposition. When publishing valid and interesting content, customers will be attracted, delighted and satisfied. As a consequence consumers will trust valued information resources and they will become loyal customers in the future. These extra values help in increasing sales including online buying and in store shopping, maximizing profits, building image and strengthening reputation. Fuller et al. (2007) found that a favorable reputation can reduce customer concerns regarding a purchase, increase consumer trust and commitment toward the company and encourage online purchasing.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k64WvqbkVUM[/embedyt]

On the other hand, social media provides a platform for people to engage with their friends and share their experience with other users. Correspondingly, companies are utilizing these platforms as another tool to influence customers. Before making a decision many customers read what other people think about a particular product using social media. One of the advantages of internet is that it enables businesses to reach a worldwide customer population, so that customers can survey, select, and purchase products and services from business around the world (Al Kailani & Kumar, 2011). Most of the consumers search for reviews and comments from different sources to help them make their buying decision. Many online users trust what their friends, family and even strangers comment online about a product or brand. These users observe reviews and ratings to reinforce and facilitate their decisions. Accordingly, many people have gone into a store because of an online experience. Some people read different sites, yet others participate by jotting comments, rating sites, reporting satisfactions and dissatisfaction and liking or disliking products. The creation of content and assessment of products by consumers influence other buyers and the public opinion. This implies that marketers should respond to negative content in a responsible way, since a negative comment have a great impact on consumers’ behavior. Most customers tend to relate more to a company after identifying distinct replies. While positive reviews reduce risks and increase sales. Since social media networks allow users to share content and interact, it has changed how consumers and companies communicate. Moreover, using social media, companies convince users to adopt ideas by sharing appropriate information about the product. Promotions, advertisements and links posted on social media sites (Facebook and twitter) are shared by marketers are then shared or retweeted by users. Users are converted from fans to consumers because companies encourage these buyers to advertise their purchases among friends. Many users recommend a product to their friends after a previous experience with that brand. In that case many consumers who receive a recommendation from their friends have purchased the recommended product. This sharing of information, emotions and experiences among millions of users increase the market share of the company and strengthen the position that the brand occupies in the minds of consumers. In this way, manufacturer’s market their products by means of these networks and have the opportunity to reach the target mass immediately (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). Marketers should recognize the « ambassadors » of their products that mainly create buzz about the company. In addition, user-generated content have an important impact on consumers.

Social media websites provide an opportunity for businesses to engage and interact with potential consumers, encouraged and increased sense of intimacy with consumers, and build all important relationships with potential customers (Mersey, Malthouse, & Calder, 2010). Obviously, customers value organizations that discuss solutions with them using chat rooms, discussion forums, and live chats. Today companies are in constant contact with users to control and solve problems. These conversations increase positive attitudes and perceptions towards the company that help in building brand equity by linking many emotions, loyalties and experiences to the company. The unique aspects of social media and its immense popularity have revolutionized marketing practices such as advertising and promotion (Hanna, Rohn & Crittenden, 2011). People now open these ads more often which is a positive reaction to such a marketing instrument caused by an attraction of customers towards interesting offers and products that they desire to learn more about. With social media, word of mouth advertising can go to millions by a single click and the help of brand ambassadors that spread the world about a company’s product.

In conclusion, managers should be aware of the impact of social media on consumers. Social media affects the behavior of consumers from information acquirement to post-purchase behavior. Accordingly, a company using this innovation can evaluate current and potential consumers and determine their preferences from ideas, thoughts, shares, likes, complaints, reviews and conversations. Businesses must stay ahead of the game and utilize every opportunity to improve sales, marketing and customer loyalty (Bessi, 2013). Using social media platforms companies improve relationships with customers, build and sustain high levels of trust that influence their purchase decisions. Companies must be alert that users control the content on social media, so it is the brand responsibility to foresee how consumers will purchase the products and relate to them. A company that is aware of consumers’ reaction to different characteristics of goods, prices and advertisements tricks has advantage over its competitors (Kotler, 2009).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Une « Citoyenneté » sauvée par les Mass Medias

Citoyens - Solidarite

Citoyenneté: Citoyen ayant le statut de cité, ou plus généralement d’un État.

                La citoyenneté est le statut juridique qui permet à un individu de devenir citoyen. Elle donne accès à l’ensemble des droits politiques, tout en créant des devoirs, permettant de participer à la vie civique d’une société ou d’une communauté politique, par opposition au fait d’être simple résident.

Cette situation positive créée par la pleine reconnaissance aux personnes de leur statut de citoyen, et qui crée la solidarité entre les citoyens, est de plus en plus importante dans la société actuelle. Alors que nous devenons de plus en plus connectés et que nous interagissons avec de nombreuses personnes différentes, la citoyenneté apprend aux individus de tous âges non seulement à comprendre ces différences, mais aussi à les accepter.

La problématique majeure au Liban par exemple touche le lieu de naissance et l’emplacement géographique, comme determinants essentiels de la citoyenneté, le fait d’être né dans un lieu donné ne signifie pas nécessairement que l’on assume une citoyenneté correspondante, l’appartenance au lieu doit s’accompagner d’une contribution à la vitalité de ce lieu, par exemple quand on y paie ses impôts, et quand on y exerce ses droits et ses devoirs.

Nous ne pouvons pas parler de citoyenneté lorsqu’une personne ne contribute pas à la mise à jour des lois de son pays et à l’évolution de sa société

  • Education, Citoyenneté et le Quatrième pouvoir

Apprendre aux enfants à lire et écrire ne suffit plus. L’éducation nous aide à relever ces défis en favorisant l’attention et l’intérêt pour notre famille et cela couvre le respect des droits de l’Homme, de la justice sociale, de la diversité, de l’égalité des genres et de la durabilité environnementale. En essayant d’atteindre ces valeurs, nous aidons à former des citoyens responsables surtout à travers les medias qui jouent un rôle essential à ce niveau et sont un moyen essential pour promouvoir la citoyenneté. Leur accès est bon marché, aisé, équitable sur tout le territoire. Parfois, ces moyens jouent un rôle de transmission entre le pouvoir et le peuple et leur pluralisme aide au fonctionnement de la démocratie, dont il est une condition essentielle.

Les médias constituent donc un quatrième pouvoir, à côté des pouvoirs législatif, exécutif et judiciaire. Il faut bien expliquer que les Mass Medias de nos jours sont divisés en 2 catégories : classique et moderne qui couvre l’affichage, la presse écrite, la radio, la télévision… ainsi que l’internet ou les nouveaux réseaux sociaux comme Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat…

Les moyens de communication électroniques et les médias sociaux offrent de nouvelles avenues pour enrichir et mettre en valeur l’enseignement. D’ailleurs le conseil de l’ordre des enseignants et enseignantes recommandent l’utilisation des moyens de communication électroniques et des medias sociaux dans l’enseignement. Ainsi, l’éducation à la citoyenneté est devenue dépendante des medias.

Prenons l’exemple du conseil de l’Ordre des enseignantes et des enseignants de l’Ontario qui a approuvé la recommandation professionnelle de l’utilisation des moyens de communication électroniques et des medias sociaux dans l’enseignement : « La présente recommandation vise tous les membres de l’Ordre des enseignantes et des enseignants de l’Ontario dont, par exemple, les enseignantes et enseignants, les conseillères et conseillers pédagogiques, les directions d’école et directions adjointes, les agentes et agents de supervision, les directrices et directeurs de l’éducation, et les membres qui occupent un poste ailleurs qu’au sein d’un conseil scolaire ».

Media Signpost Showing Internet Television Newspapers Magazines And Radio

Pincipaux moyens de communication: Les Mass Médias.

 

  • Des Campagnes à travers les Réseaux Sociaux

Les réseaux sociaux, medias en ligne, et consultation libre des données offrent aux citoyens un accès à la vie publique plus direct que jamais. Les citations sur réputation numérique sont des moyens efficaces pour sensibiliser les gens et surtout les jeunes. Dans ce cadre, les citations sur l’e-réputation valent souvent mieux qu’un long discours et cela par leur caractère frappant, par l’expérience et le point de vue exprimé par leur auteur. D’où leur importance pour promouvoir des causes sociales, économiques, politiques…

Au Liban par exemple, Malheureusement, le système est communautaire, cela bloque le civisme et l’évolution de l’esprit de citoyenneté car les medias sont politisés. D’ailleurs le seul moyen d’expression pour les jeunes, qui n’est pas opprimé, est les réseaux sociaux à travers lesquels ils ont essayé de jouer leur rôle de citoyens et promouvoir leurs plans politiques, leurs idéologies ainsi que leurs rêves.

–  « Beirut Madinati » fut la plus forte campagne qui vise à promouvoir la citoyenneté au Liban. Les jeunes libanais ont joué un grand rôle dans cette campagne qui a prouvé que ces jeunes sont la vie et le futur du pays. Tout genre de Media fut utilisé dans cette campagne, classique et moderne mais les nouveaux réseaux sociaux comme Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… furent les plus efficaces.

La plupart des membres de la liste de « Beirut Madinati » disposent de vastes réseaux d’amis et de connaissances et grâce à ces réseaux, et en utilisant Facebook et Twitter comme clef, ils ont pu toucher, en peu de temps, un grand nombre de personnes. En un mois ils ont pu attirer plus de 44 000 supporters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ws6PA6DG50

 

Au niveau international, Plusieurs grandes campagnes efficaces ont été développées sur les réseaux sociaux. L’association ALS a reçu 62,5 millions de dollars de dons contre 2,4 millions l’an d’avant. Cette opération virale a permis de récolter des millions de dollars, et  grâce à ces fonds, des chercheurs ont annoncé avoir identifié un gène propre à cette maladie. Une corrélation directe existe entre la consommation du citoyen et les moyens de communication électroniques ou médias sociaux

  • Communautés virtuelles et consommation

De nouvelles communautés virtuelles ont vu le jour, et à travers les nouveaux réseaux de communications, plusieurs idées et initiatives se sont propagées d’une façon très rapide et direct, ayant comme but de redonner du pouvoir aux citoyens afin de créer des changements véritables au sein des institutions mise en place. Ces mêmes internautes possédant un centre d’intérêt commun ont trouvé des lieux d’expression communautaire en relation avec leurs centres d’intérêt.

En d’autre termes, si on prend l’effet de l’internet sur la consommation, les études récentes ont d’ailleurs prouvées  que de nos jours il faut  enfiler l’habit d’internaute, et d’adopter le langage du client. Au fait, les clients consomment plus sur internet que dans les magasins.        

       Pour conclure,  jouer son rôle de citoyen à travers les nouveaux les medias en genreal et réseaux sociaux specifiquement est l’un des moyens important et essentiel au niveau de la citoyenneté, permettant à chaque individu d’influencer sa société et contribuer à son  développement.