Within broad discussions of media texts, issues of gender and power relationships are frequently considered. However, less frequent, but equally as important, is the issue of race. bell hooks’ “The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators” and Hye Seung Chung’s “The Audience Who Knew Too Much: Oriental Masquerade and Ethnic Recognition among Asian Americans” both directly … Continue reading bell hooks, Hye Sung Chung, and Stuart Hall
Just a few days ago, Nike unveiled the latest iteration of their "Just Do It" campaign. Over the course of the 2ish minute advertisement, multiple inspiring stories are shared–and dare the audience to set lofty goals, and dream ambitious dreams. The final voiceover at the end of the clip speaks directly and states, "don't ask … Continue reading Just Meme It
This week’s readings center around the notion of the spectator, and the process by which the spectator identifies with the characters that appear on the film screen. Much like Baudry’s work (and to the chagrin of Carroll), both Metz and Mulvey utilize psychoanalytic film theory to examine the unique relationship between spectator and film. Metz … Continue reading Laura Mulvey and Christian Metz
All film is political. All media is ideological. The texts that we read, watch, and otherwise consume all affect us in specific ways. These are general platitudes that seem to permeate all aspects of media theory. And this is no exception for scholars who were working in the mid-twentieth century, trying to make sense of … Continue reading Baudry’s Aparatus and Adorno’s Culture Industry
Many textbooks, online research guides, and other resources claim that a .org domain name is an indicator of credibility. The common explanation is that only non-profits, professional associations, and other organizations are able to register a .org domain name. Unfortunately, this simply isn't the case. The reality is that there are no restrictions on .org … Continue reading .org doesn’t mean credible!
It’s difficult to talk about 4chan without addressing the idea of Anonymous. Though the imageboard includes a name field for individual users, doing so is not required, and the feature is rarely used. This is a fundamental quality of the 4chan platform; you don’t have offer any form of identification whatsoever. Virtually every users posts … Continue reading Breaking Through 4chan’s Anonymity
Of course, researching and studying online communities can be incredibly difficult. Contrary to popular belief, once something is posted on the Internet, it isn't necessarily "there forever." When I was in elementary school, I was constantly told that once something was online, it was impossible for it to ever be removed. The reasoning behind this is sound—encouraging young people to be cognizant of what information they share is incredibly important. However, the truth is that there is plenty of online content that has simply disappeared. People stop paying their web hosting bills, links fail to get updated, or perhaps in the countless petabytes of data old content simply gets forgotten. And in the case of 4chan, threads are regularly pruned and "content is usually available for only a few hours or days before it is removed." This ephemerality, combined with the anonymity afforded by the website, challenge traditional conventions of research. It isn't necessarily possible for someone to visit the same URL and access the same content. Given these challenges, I decided to work on creating an automated system to scrape 4chan content and save a local copy.