Online stardom: how people worry about reputation in the silliest of circumstances

As a society, we’re always so concerned about what other people think of us. Even, or perhaps especially, when we reach celebrity level. One of my classmates posted on our “Tweets from everywhere but Twitter” (#tfebt) tag an article about accidental internet stardom. It gives accounts from the subjects of popular memes, such as Success Kid’s mother and Doge’s owner.

What I found most fascinating is that even when someone’s picture is used for harmless jokes, that person is worried about how it reflects on them. Success Kid, actually named Sam Griner, started after his mother, Laney, posted his picture on Flickr, a popular photo sharing website. The photo features Sam on a beach with a fist clenched by his chest, like he is pumping it up and down. According to the article, someone originally photoshopped another child in the background and captioned it, “I hate sandcastles.” Laney Griner said that she didn’t like how that portrayed Sam as mean-spirited and aggressive. Even when Sam was a baby, she was worried about his reputation as an internet star. Fortunately for her and Sam, the meme eventually evolved into one with a positive connotation.

The meme is commonly used to express different everyday "successes" that creators experience. (Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

The meme is commonly used to express different everyday “successes” that creators experience.
(Photo: Mashable.com)

Another internet celebrity discussed in the article is Doge, also known as “dumb shiba.” The original photo features a shiba inu sitting on a couch with a peculiar look on her face. The dog is named Kabosu, and she lives in Japan with her owner, Atsuko Sato. Sato rescued Kabosu, and enjoyed posting pictures of her online when this photo was taken.

The original photograph. (Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

The original photograph.
(Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

Sato says that at first, she was scared of how the picture took off, because she didn’t find the picture particularly cute. However, she has since come to see it as a good thing. According to the article, Kabosu’s story and fame are inspiring people to adopt rescue dogs like her.

Seriously, how could you not love this? (Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

Seriously, how could you not love this?
(Photo: Knowyourmeme.com)

It’s definitely strange how people worry about reputations even at such harmless stages. Nobody today would recognize Sam Griner as Success Kid, and Kabosu is a dog, and dogs don’t usually have reputations to uphold. However, we live in a world where the internet can make or break you, and therefore have to be wary even when the circumstances seem silly.

Post Filter App Proposal

Liz Ditzel: Post Filter App Overview

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Our app is called Post-Filter. It connects to other apps to keep you from posting anything that could get you in trouble with future bosses, current bosses, friends, teachers, etc. You open the app and it gives you filter options for different apps; you largely wouldn’t use the app’s home page itself. It’s entirely run through Web 2.0 apps.
Basically, what happens is you can toggle certain filter functions for your social media accounts. There would be a multitude of app-specific options depending on what sites you have accounts for, and how “public” those profiles are.
poster filter 2post filter 4Some examples of filters would be marking red cups and alcoholic beverages in photos, spelling and grammar checks, blocking posts with swear words or other keywords that you set yourself, and turning off texting or messaging, and calling for certain phone numbers or social media profiles.

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When activated, these filters reduce the risk that you’ll screw up on your social media accounts.
Once you set your filters, the app will be able to send you notifications and warnings whenever one of the rules is breached.

post filter 5      You’ll always know when a post is blocked by a filter, and can turn these filters on and off at any point, so that everything is clear and accessible. The user will always have full control over the app and its effects.
Say a post doesn’t make it through a filter. You’ll be notified with this pop-up, as well as the reasoning behind the notification. After tapping on the pop-up, you can go back and edit or delete the post.

Sammi Sugarman: How Post Filter works in conjunction with Facebook

Post- Filter will have the ability to detect the filters shown in the previous slide, such as red cups, swear words and many of the other filters on any social media site, such as Facebook, before being posted for everyone to see.

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For example, when on Facebook, if you attempt to post a photo with you and your friends holding red cups; Post-Filter will automatically detect the filter and stop you from making a big mistake.

“Post- Filter” will show up in your apps section on Facebook and you can set it Now that everyone is on social media, employers are able to see what we post and this can give us a disadvantage in getting the job.

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Electronic communication is now becoming more popular and influential than ever. Its so easy to have the world at your fingertips, and post anything you want, whether it may affect you positively or negatively. “The printed word is part of a vestigial orders that we are moving away from- by choice and by societal compulsion… This shift is happening throughout our culture, away from patterns and habits of the printed page and toward a new world distinguished by its reliance on electronic communication” (Botler 5).

Another thing that people do not realize when posting on social media sites, such as Facebook, is the delivery of the message and who there audience is. Every message is now delivered electronically to a wide range of audiences; and this can be dangerous, especially for college students trying to land a job after graduation.”

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According to DeVoss and Porter in their article, “… ill- understood view of writing as weaving digital media for distribution across networked spaces for various audiences engaged in different types of reading” (DeVoss & Porter 2). We all interpret and read messages differently, and depending on who our audience is, the outcome can be positive or negative.

Laura Stilts: How Post Filter works in conjunction with Twitter

Bolter quotes Priest Follo in a passage that Victor Hugo wrote in 1482 where he says “human thought would change its mode of expression that the principal idea of each generation would no longer write itself with the same material in the same way”. Just as books changed the way generations then expressed themselves, the internet has changed the way in which generations express themselves in the 21st century.

The number one way the younger generation expresses themselves today is through social media, especially Twitter. For this reason alone, we felt that an app like Post Filter was needed.

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When one posts a tweet to twitter everyone that uses Twitter can see that tweet including bosses, parents, and peers exc. Just as DeVoss and Porter point out “Writing is no longer just alphabetic text: And writing is also hypertext and the delivery of multimedia content via the Internet”. Text is now delivered via social media, and Post Filter will make sure user are thinking logically before they post.

Often, when tweeting users just tweet what pops into their mind without taking into consideration that their posts can be seen by the whole world. Post Filter will save users from posting text, pictures, or hypertext that could get them in a lot of trouble. Post Filter connected with Twitter will be able to pick up on red cups in Twit pic, curse words, racial slurs, sexual content, grammar errors and so on.

post filter 13post filter 14

The app takes into consideration that things that happen in the digital world have real life effects on internet users. This fact is proven in the virtual rape in cyberspace Dibbell writes about. Users weren’t actually raped but the notion of playing a game where a creepy person raped their avatar freaked the users out. The point of the app is to avoid things like this happening, so that no user will get offended by the tweets that users post.

The point of connecting the app with Twitter is to allow the tweeter to express his or her thoughts and feelings through 21st century writing without offending anyone or getting themselves in trouble. Younger teens may not think about the negative affect posting profane tweets or pictures could have on getting into a school or getting a job and Post Filter is there to remind them what is and is not socially acceptable.

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Twitter and other social media apps and websites are great ways for young and experienced writers to get their thoughts and ideas heard and receive feedback. Post Filter is an app that ensures that writers tweets or any other writing they post via social media will never get them in trouble.

Lindsey Romoff: How Post Filter works in conjunction with Instagram:

On the popular social media app Instagram, our app Post-Filter would work with it to filter out inappropriate posts. After installing Post-Filter, it will appear in the Instagram options page as demonstrated.

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Bolter speaks of how digital media refashioned the printed book. Our app, post filter takes this another step in realizing how new digital media requires new measures in security & censoring.

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For example, in this sketch  you have a picture about to be posted to Instagram for all your followers to see, including red cups, middle fingers, and a girl puking in the background. For obvious reasons, this is not an appropriate picture to post. With our app Post-Filter, it will not allow you to post the picture.

Another thing that has become popular on Instagram is screenshotting a text post on either on Tumblr or twitter and posting it as an Instagram photo.

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In this example, it included offensive language and although it is text in a photo, the advanced technology of post-filter will still read it and block it. In Devoss & Porter, they refer to file sharing as a practice having to do with the impact of the computer revolution on digital delivery and publishing.

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I believe this to be true for picture sharing as well, because publishing a reputation damaging photo to social media has affected the computer revolution in the same way. In Axelrod & Cooper, they discuss how important it is to read critically meaning not just comprehending passively but remembering what you read and making thoughtful judgements about what you’re reading. This being said, on cities its not always the photo that is offensive but the caption of the photo.

Works Cited:

1. Dibbell, J. (Dec 1993). A rape in cyberspace; Or, how an evil clown, a Haitian trickster spirit, two wizzards, and a cast of dozens turned a database into a society. Village Voice.

2. Bolter, J.D. (2001). Writing as technology. Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, NJ: LEA. 14 – 26. [pdf]

3. DeVoss, D.N., and Porter, J.E. (2006). Why Napster matters to writing: Filesharing as a new ethic of digital delivery. Computers & Composition, 23, 178 – 210.

4. Alexrod & Cooper. (2006). Strategies for Reading Critically

People will do crazy things when their reputations are threatened

Last week, I tweeted an article from one of my favorite websites that I found funny, yet strangely relevant to this blog’s theme.

Cracked’s article, written by contributor C. Coville, highlighted some of the strangest and most absurd things people will do when a threat to their reputations online arises. These reactions range from arguing back on the website the review is posted to showing up at the reviewer’s house.

That’s right, I said showing up at a reviewer’s house. Coville cites not one, but two cases of authors going to a reader’s house after that reader gave their work a bad review. One decided to turn around on the front step and walk away, while the other was not so wise. He ended up in a physical confrontation with the reader.

Two restaurant owners severely overreacted to bad reviews when they decided to attempt to ruin a person’s real life reputation. One woman, after her restaurant was spoken ill of online, sent the reviewer’s coworkers an email regarding outlandish sexual preferences under a fake account with the reviewer’s real name. Another restauranteur created a fake blog with the reviewer’s name and wrote posts “confessing” to several illegal activities.

Ironically, these acts of revenge only furthered the bad reputations of those being reviewed. Rather than having a few accounts of a single bad experience that they could easily shrug off, they are now featured in an extremely sarcastic article on a comedy site and being spread around the internet over and over again. That brings back the point I made in my last post, that people who draw negative attention on the web tend to be remembered better. When it comes down to it, sometimes the easiest way to protect your webutation is to stay calm and classy, and roll with the punches.

How the internet changed popularity

Student and Twitter user Christian DiPonziano shared on the “tweets from everywhere but Twitter” (#tfebt) tag a fascinating article from Teen Ink about how technology might be negatively affecting our society.

The article, written by Teen Ink contributor Nables, raises a fascinating point. How do we define popularity in the age of Web 2.0?

“It has become incredibly easy with the rise of the internet to become popular just by making the biggest impression,” Nables writes.

Popularity for me, when I was in grade school, was defined by how many friends a person had. Reputation, by how teachers and other students felt about you. It didn’t extend into environments beyond that.

Now, however, it’s common for someone to have hundreds upon hundreds of Facebook friends, and your reputation can be made or broken by a few misinterpreted status updates. How exactly do we redefine reputation and popularity to accommodate those factors? We make the biggest impression.

Now, popularity is defined by who is the most memorable, and reputation is defined by why they’re that memorable. Often, negative impressions will gain a person more popularity than positive ones. Our definition of celebrity has been rewritten to include anyone who can make the most outlandish statements or gather the most hate. Take, for example, Justin Bieber. He was discovered on YouTube, skyrocketed to fame because of his talent, and was talked about even after he burned out because of his obnoxious and disrespectful behavior. In today’s world, that’s just how former child stars tend to keep the attention on them.

Prepubescent "dreamboat" or arrogant toolbag? It's your choice! (Photo: Posh24.com)

Prepubescent “dreamboat” or arrogant toolbag? It’s your choice!
(Photo: Posh24.com)

Technology, overall, has caused us to put negative connotations on “popularity.” Instead of going by who is actually the most likable, we go by who can make the biggest splash in the internet gossip pool. It’s both strange and a little disconcerting how we’ve come to this point, but who am I to judge?

Reputations are Precious

It does not matter who you are or what your profession is, everyone has a reputation.  You could be a high- school student, a lawyer, a doctor, a pilot or even a stay at home parent.  No matter who you are or what you do, your reputation is sacred.  Your reputation is something that you build who the type of person you are, and how you want your professional and personal community to view you.  Reputations can easily be ruined and tarnished in the blink of an eye, and we see this happen everyday in the news, because of some type of scandal that has happened.  This is exactly what happened in Cheshire, England.

We hear about a different “school- sex” story every other day in the news.  How teachers and faculty members are being charged with sexual assault of their students.  Even if these accusations are not always so true, once someone is accused, their reputation is slowly being ruined and influenced, by the school community and also when the local media gets involved.  Schools are supposed to be there for their teachers and faculty when something like this happens, to protect them when falsely accused, but they are always going to take the student’s word first.  As a future educator, I will always believe my student in order to ensure their safety and protection while in their classroom and school community.  The facts of the matter are sorted out in a way that tries to be hidden, but the school should never hide the wrong doing of a teacher, if they know the person is guilty of a crime to save the school’s reputation.

Making Research Easier

I will always be the first to say, when it comes to anything having to deal with technology, whether it be my iPhone, laptop, or even some social media sites, I am not the best.  I would even say at times that I am “technologically challenged”.  This can be extremely frustrating, especially when using various databases to do research for a big assignment.  I always find someway to make more work for myself when researching.  When I am finding my scholarly sources, I find myself opening ten different tabs, with all of my sources and search engines, because I am afraid of losing them, and never finding them again.  That problem is now a thing of the past, thanks to this new app, “Start.me“.

“Start. me” is an app that allows you to save your scholarly articles and links as you are researching.  This is a great tool to use so you do not have to have ten different tabs open, and make researching more complicated than it needs to be.  With the utilization of “Start.me”, you are able to go back to all of your sources and easily compile a works cited page.  Also included in this app, is the ability to embed any webpage/source into the program by pasting the url.  Saving sources for research just became that much easier with “Smart.com”, especially for individuals, such as myself who are “technologically challenged”.

Are Students Digitally Writing?

Before today, there was a time where writing could only be done with a pen or pencil and a piece of paper.  The art of writing has changed drastically, and can now be done with such ease on a computer or any other device.  This process of writing has not only become evident in many home environment’s, but it has also made its way into our local school communities and environments.  In Nancie Atwell’s own blog post, responding to Troy Hick’s article, “Inquiry Live in the Classroom“, students are now able to use and experience word processors and the resources that come with it, such as dictionaries and thesauruses.  This a great aspect of how technology can be used in a positive manner in the classroom.  This article is related to an article that one of my classmates tweeted about how technology is being used in the classroom to teach and expand learning.

The word “technology” does not only refer to computers and other electronic devices.  Technology has been around for centuries and one of the first pieces of technology that were introduced into the classrooms were typewriters.  Technology is also apart of professional development.  In order for the piece of technology, such as the typewriter or computer, to be used properly in order to portray lessons, teachers and other educators need to be properly educated on how to utilize these pieces of technology in order to guide their students’ overall success inside and outside the classroom.