Media Lecture 2 - Ja.. - University of Alberta

globestupendousSecurity

Dec 3, 2013 (3 years and 4 months ago)

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The
Internets



Why are they so awesome?

The Internet



Well, Mr. Stevens, it’s definitely not a big truck.



The Internet is basically three things together:


Computers (many, many computers)


Some method of connecting the computers (phone, optical, wireless..)


The shared language they speak over that connection (
Internet Protocols
)


Wait, what is it, actually?

The Internet



In some ways! Mostly in how hard it is to keep the Web
out
of somewhere, or get rid of it.



Compatibility



Reliability



Size

Is that important?

Online Communication



Hard media


from punch cards to floppy disks




Bulletin board systems


precursor to the modern Internet


Basically the original social network


So many adolescents who are famous hackers today got started with these!

Before the “Online”

Online Communication



The original purpose of the Internet was rapid communication (military, of course


the
ARPANET)




Once computers could ‘talk’ to each other, data transfer can actually begin!



But the original intent of the system remains its primary use for most Internet users.

The Internet

Online Communication



Original forms were basically fancy telegraphs


computer
-
to
-
computer direct messages.




E
-
mail: killer app of the Internet




USENET: Ever wonder who thought of ‘
lol
’?




Bulletin boards & mailing lists




IRC and chat rooms




Web applications and social networks


Forms of Communication

Online Communication



Original Internet communication (and, in many ways, today’s Internet communication) lacks
almost all the stimuli of face
-
to
-
face communication


Socially challenging to handle


“Impoverished social environment”


Think of sarcasm online, for example.





Some researchers call the anonymous Internet “impersonal”, but Walther (1996) termed the
idea of '
hyperpersonal

interaction'




Trying to explain why online communication was so popular with e.g. socially anxious
people


If
the Internet is 'impoverished communication', wouldn't it be more difficult for people
who are socially unskilled?

Hyperpersonal

Interaction

Online Communication



People can conceal socially undesirable traits (e.g. picking their nose), and the people they
meet are likewise presented as more desirable (e.g., can't see them pick their nose)


Positive feedback loop


both more likeable and easier to like others


People develop more intimate relations more quickly with online friends than
offline ones!



CMC lends an (arguably false) feeling of safety, anonymity, and ease in accomplishing
interpersonal goals


No nonverbal cues = more resources for the remaining social tasks


Asynchronicity

provides time to carefully parse messages and construct responses

Hyperpersonal Interaction

Online Communication



E
VERYDAY USERS on the Internet

as well as clinicians



and researchers1

7

have noted how people



say and do things in cyberspace that they



wouldn’t ordinarily say and do in the face
-
to
-
face



world. They loosen up, feel less restrained, and express



themselves more openly. (Suler, 2004)






Basically, people do and say things online they wouldn't do in real life.


Especially U.S. Politicians.




Suler further separates this into
benign
and
toxic
disinhibition

Disinhibition Effect

Online Communication



Benign disinhibition



on the Internet, people are more willing to share, be emotionally
honest, and are more likely to show kindness, generosity, or altruism.




Think of things like online fundraisers or charities, popular social movements, etc.

Benign vs. Toxic Disinhibition

Online Communication



Toxic disinhibition

is pretty much exactly what you're thinking of.



Why? Punishments on the internet are (ostensibly) pretty mild for most people.


But sometimes not. See: U.S. politicians.

Benign vs. Toxic Disinhibition

Online Communication



Suler‘s

article
lists 6 major reasons.


Dissociative anonymity


Invisibility


Asynchronicity


Solipsistic
Introjection


Dissociative Imagination


Minimization of Status and Authority

Why Disinhibit?

Virtual Communities



“…groups
of people with common interests and practices that communicate regularly and
for some duration in an organized way over the Internet through a common location or
mechanism.” (Ridings,
Gefen
, &
Arinze
, 2002).




Message boards, social networks, YouTube channels, IRC (anybody old enough for this?),
WoW

guilds...




Might be organized around a particular hobby, group/identity (e.g., GLBT, people of
colour
,
etc.),
belief
(e.g., political affiliation
), or real
-
life connection (club, clique, team, etc.)

Virtual Communities




Provides a unique social outlet that provides incredibly rich communication


rivaling face
-
to
-
face communication in many ways!



Also an excellent way to see the entire spectrum of human horribleness, from 'banal' to
'outright repulsive'


Virtual Communities

The Good

Why do people like online communities? (Ridings & Gefen, 2006)



Information support:


Current events, gossip, opinions & reviews, downloads, general interest...


Reddit, 4chan, etc.




Social support:


Online communities can provide support for disenfranchised (e.g., young mothers) or
rare (e.g., congenital disorders) communities by putting them in touch with each other
where it would otherwise be impossible




Friendship:


Spending time with people you like is, itself, rewarding! Strange idea.



Recreation:



People find online communities a fun and enjoyable way to spend time.


Virtual Communities

The Bad



Misinformation


People are wrong. Sometimes, they're very wrong. Usually, they're online.


e.g.,
Gold standard,
Bitcoins




Tenuousness:


The ease by which you can enter a virtual community is matched only by how easy it
is to leave
again.




Abnegation:


You can't tell me you've never seen someone looking at
Facebook

in class.


Virtual Communities



The Internet is a safe haven for any number of horrible opinions.


Racism, sexism,

jingoism
...




Children are not particularly good at critically appraising online opinions.


Or teenagers...


Or adults...


Or even doctors and teachers!




Even ordinary users can find themselves using reprehensible material 'ironically'.

The Ugly

Virtual Communities



Example: Ana/Mia support groups



Eating disorders: a lifestyle?




Example: HIV
-
>AIDS denial.



Think of how much money we spend on health education.

The Ugly

Virtual Communities



The Internet changes its face so quickly that research is almost always a step behind.




Even so, the Internet has enough power that it’s captured the eye of politicians, news
media, scientists…




By the time our research on
Facebook

and Twitter finishes, where will the Internet be?

Now what?

Cyberbullying



Traditional definition of bullying (Hurst, 2005):


“…an imbalance of power that exists over a long period of time between two
individuals, two groups, or a group and an individual in which the more powerful
intimidate or belittle others.”




Initial research on bullying and the Internet attempted to port the same definition over, but
online.


Bill
Belsey
:


"
Cyberbullying

involves the use of information and communication technologies to
support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that
is intended to harm others."

Cyberbullying



Research Kristen Welker in our lab is doing (right now!) on
cyberbullying

to see if it’s
perceived as such by actual children




It’s not! Some factors are more or less important:



Imbalance of power


Period of time


Method of attack

A New Beast

Cyberbullying



Cyberbullying

has become a hot topic in the news and in politics with some high
-
profile
cases


e.g., Tyler
Clementi
.




But

does it
need
new laws and policies? Are the old policies just bad at handling all
bullying?

A…New…Beast?

Video Games



Video games have been a bogeyman in the mass media (and, promptly afterwards, the
literature) for about 15 years now.




They’ve done pretty much everything: incited violence, failed children out of school, given
people heart attacks, and otherwise tormented mothers everywhere. Right?

The Old New Beast?

Video Games



The link between violent media and violent behaviour is
extraordinarily
well studied (50+
years). The conclusions: not very clear (Ferguson & Ferguson, 2009)



There is a causal link between violent media and short
-
term violent behaviour


This link is of very low
power
. Anybody here remember their statistics?



There is little to no evidence for long
-
term violent behaviour and violent video games.




Additionally, there is a heavy
publication bias
in violent media research.

The Violent Beast?

Video Games




An article by Gentile, Lynch, Linder, & Walsh (2004) found that game
-
playing 13
-
14 year
-
old
boys in argued more with teachers, got in more fights in school, and had worse grades.




They interpreted this through the
General Aggression Model
:


“…a multi
-
stage process
by which
personological

(e.g. aggressive personality) and

situational
(e.g. video game
play and
provocation) input variables lead to
aggressive

behavior
by influencing several
related internal
states and the outcomes of automatic

and
controlled appraisal (or decision)
processes.” (Anderson & Dill, 2000)”




But more recent research (e.g., Ferguson, 2010) says no


effect!





The Stupid Beast?

Video Games




Lots of horror stories about people playing
Starcraft

in LAN cafes for two weeks and dying
of caffeine overdose.




Has been treated in the literature like other addictive behaviours, e.g., drinking, gambling..


e.g., 2010 study of 9
th

grade German students measured
preoccupation, conflict, loss
of control, withdrawal,
and
tolerance
for video games (
Rehbein

&
Rehbein
, 2010)




People have even tried treating it with drugs (
buproprion
)! (Han, Hwang, &
Renshaw
, 2010)



That said, disorder was proposed and rejected for DSM
-
V in 2007



Addiction
(to overusing jokes)
?

Wikipedia



Scourge (or saviour) of lab reports, writing
assignments, and open book exams...right?



Wikipedia

The Technology



Anonymous, open, and free encyclopedia.




Well, mostly open.


Locking vandalism
-
prone pages


Vandalism
-
scanning bots


Account control
-

esteemed contributors and moderators




And almost anonymous.



Wikipedia Scanner: tracks IP addresses of people who edit Wiki articles


Democratic National Party headquarters editing Rush Limbaugh


CIA editing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad




And pretty much free.


See above.

Wikipedia

The Pedagogy



Jim
Giles, Nature (2005)



Wikipedia errors comparable to Encyclopedia Britannica



But there are problems with:


Readability and organization


Prominence of radical scientific theories (Fill the atmosphere with ash to stop global
warming!)



On the other hand, a Wikipedia article can be made for pretty much any topic of interest
(no space concerns)


Errors can be corrected as soon as an error is found, not in the next edition of a book!


Wikipedia

The Community



Almost all scientists
know about
Wikipedia, and many of them
read
Wikipedia, but...


Only 10% have ever
edited

a Wikipedia article, even to make a correction.




Most prolific Wiki editors are middle
-
aged IT
employees,
regardless of topic.




There have been several high
-
profile Wikipedia contributors with false credentials exposed


e.g., “
Essjay
”, professed Ph. D. at private university, actual chump


This guy was interviewed by The New Yorker!


Jimmy Wales: "I regard it as a pseudonym and I don't

really have a problem with it."


Later
retracted &
Essjay

“fired”.


WikiLeaks



Originally a Wikipedia for leaked confidential documents.


Now, it's a more traditional publishing outlet.




Based of Wikipedia's technology, but now...



Information all sent to a central source (the WikiLeaks group)


Information is sent encrypted (PGP, etc.)


Central source decrypts, then publishes the information for the whistleblower to

protect their anonymity


Whistleblower's identity is never known

WikiLeaks





Most famous documents published by
WikiLeaks

(2009, 2010):


“Collateral Murder”
-

about a dozen people, including 2 Reuters journalists,

being shot by a US helicopter


Cablegate



inter
-
embassy messages by US embassies for decades


Guantanamo Bay prisoner dossiers


Afghan and Iraq “War Logs”
-

massive amounts of military documentation




Most of these are allegedly from
PFC.
Bradley Manning.

Published Documents

WikiLeaks





Adrian
Lamo
, a computer hacker, fingered Bradley Manning as
WikiLeaks's

source, citing
AOL
chatlogs




Manning was arrested in Iraq on May 26, 2010




Manning has been in military prison for almost two years, and only in February was ordered
to stand trial (date not set)


Fallout

WikiLeaks





Modern encryption still requires a ludicrous amount of computing power to break


it’s much
easier for a computer to make a lock than break a lock




The U.S. government is constructing a
huge
computer center ($2 billion dollars!) in Utah for
the express purpose of having a computer network strong enough to break encryptions …



And a database to store so much data off the Internet that
they haven’t made up the name
for that unit of byte yet
(highest one is 10
24
, the
yottabyte
).


Internet Security in 2012

WikiLeaks



Holy crap! 2 billion dollars!



Holy crap! Encrypted data broken! That means banking information, health and
education, even online shopping and bills!



Holy crap! All that data, stored forever in some bunker in Utah!



Holy crap! 2 billion dollars!

Internet Security in 2012