Showing posts from September, 2018

Reaction to: Instagram's "Self-Care" Scams

Instagram aesthetic is the overall "feel" of a user's Instagram channel. It's the selective facade the user puts forth into the public sphere. But more importantly, it's the cohesiveness of the content that determines how strong the aesthetic is.
Instagram started as a social app meant to promote in-the-moment photography with the ability to add filters on the fly to enhance the shot. Although other, quite popular, services allowed for the editing and posting of pictures already existed, Instagram's unbloated approach set them apart from the rest. To the average user, that seems to still be its main utility. 
Over the years, Instagram has faced a few changes: it now allows videos uploads, tagging, stories, as well as other small features. The most dramatic changes, though, happened when Facebook acquired the company. What was once a community of photography enthusiasts is now a goldmine for the monolith. For example, injecting advertisements into users' fee…

Response to: “The Secret Rules of the Internet”

The Verge’s 2016 long-form article, "The Secret Rules of the Internet," by Catherine Buni and Soraya Chemaly, provides a detailed glimpse into what they call "The murky history of moderation, and how it’s shaping the future of free speech." The article talks about the role of YouTube’s early moderators in 2006 – Julie Mora-Blanco and her team, referred to as The SQUAD. Their job was to scour the website’s content for offensive or malicious content, and remove it; thereby protecting the new company’s image in the public domain.
In order to understand where the need for moderation originated from, we have to backtrack to earlier years. In those days of the commercial web, the act of content regulation was minimally practiced among the blossoming tech industry. Of course, there were the then-mainstream websites with curated content; but websites on the forefront of social media’s initial boom were driven by user-content. This idea re-sparked what was formerly known a…