wikileak’s ‘unique’ transparency

“Transparency in a government leads to a reduced corruption,” Assange boldly states.

The founder of WikiLeaks is no-one extraordinary yet in December 2006, he released WikiLeaks first document, ‘Secret Decision’. It contained the15871516_1.JPG prompt of executing government officials by hiring criminals as hit men.

Assange is not a journalist nor a spy, he ‘emphasized that his mission is to expose injustice, not to prove an even-handed record of events.’ [Khatchadourian, 2010].

Assange himself doesn’t have a permanent home and WikiLeaks volunteers come from all over the world. Despite constantly receiving legal threats, removing content on WikiLeaks would be adjacent to dismantling the whole Internet so it’s almost ‘other-worldly’.

But its not. Timothy C. May’s 1992 screed, The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto, discusses ‘wacky data-obsessed subversives get(ting) up to all kinds of globalized mischief without any fear of repercussion from the blinkered authorities.’ [Sterling, 2013]. It reminds us that it’s more realistic to see WikiLeaks as a manifestation of something already growing before it.



A-Z Quotes. (n.d.). Julian Assange Quotes About Transparency | A-Z Quotes. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Sep. 2018].
Khatchadourian, R. (2010). What Does Julian Assange Want?. [online] The New Yorker. Available at: [Accessed 30 Sep. 2018].
Sterling, B. (2013). The Blast Shack – Bruce Sterling – Medium. [online] Medium. Available at: [Accessed 30 Sep. 2018].
TODAYonline. (2013). Assange pledges transparency. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Sep. 2018].


how is International students’ social media use different to domestic students’? [PITCH pt. 2]

A severe issue I’ve located within social media use amongst students is that its disproportionate use builds a huge barrier between the Domestic and International students.

Chen and Ross (2015) saw Chinese students as ‘meak, quiet or Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 11.03.59 pm.pngstandoffish’ and this is hugely due to the space provided by the online community they find on their mobile phones. Their constant need for instant communication also creates friction when response expectations are not met – it is a poor substitute for real world interactions [Robertson, cited in Hall and Sivakumaran, 2014].

Furthermore, other studies reported findings that International students maintained relationships among like-people (Lee & Ranta, 2014; Olding, 2013) and this was even bigger of a problem when students preferred to use platforms they were using back home, rather than learn and embrace the platforms that were trending in their host countries (Saw et al., 2012; Chang, Alzougool, Gomes, Berry, Smith & Reeders, 2012). To add on to this, according to Saw et al. (2013), ‘international students were (using) it to build new relationships with students of the same ethnicity.’


But too abundant was the research on the use of social media solely upon International students, for educational and socio-cultural purposes, and not enough comparisonal analysis were made.


  • How is social media use different from International students as compared to Domestic students?
  • How does it impact the relationship of the two in social situations and in the classroom?
When do they use it the most? Where are they most likely to be online? How do they use their social media?


My ethnographic approach:

I am very fortunate to be able to live on campus, Bangalay, as it gives me direct access to a lofty amount of approachable International students. The environment is also very different to the classroom as many people are often encouraged to socialise and I’ll use this opportunity to point out the differences between the two sceneries. Additionally, I will be able to talk to International students about their social media use in the classroom, at home or in social situations. I’ll contrast and analyse the results I have found with a similar discussion amongst domestic students.

I intend to embrace the concept of asking International students what they regard as issues within social media use amongst their community for further investigation. I chose to do this because ‘informants can identify urgent research more clearly than the ethnographer’ [Spradley, cited in Lassiter, 2005].

I’d take into consideration the grey area between offline and online worlds that are constantly decreasing due to technological improvements, [Garcia, et al 2009] and approach new world ideas through keeping to updated sources and millennial relevance. [Lange, 2010]

This ethnography practise will embody the Journalistic MEA code of ethics as participants’ permission will be vital and the’ll be informed about the research purpose beforehand. I will remind them that if they wish to step out, they are allowed to and that all raw data will be erased after submission of the task. I’ll avoid sensitive topics and keep in mind the individuality/differences of each participant.

Data found, stories heard, and the conclusion of possible positive will be recounted through a documentary-like video presentation that will include many illustrations/examples and a narration.

ISAASUOSM Consent Form


Garcia, A., Standlee, A., Bechkoff, J. and Yan Cui (2009). Ethnographic Approaches to the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 38(1), pp.52-84
Lange, D. (2010). Mc Vay Media Rocks. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Sep. 2018].
Lassiter, L. (2005). Defining Collaborative Ethnography, an excerpt from The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Sep. 2018].


international students and social media? [PITCH pt. 1]


Recently, I’ve been comparing blog posts among my colleagues and I’ve noticed that a lot of people told on their social media use while travelling. Thus, following onto that, I became very curious about how social media would differentiate in the case of International students – for they are here to study but they’re constantly away home, therefore, travelling.

I’ve found that my colleagues used social media when travelling for three main purposes:

  1. Sharing videos/photos
  2. Contacting family and friends back home
  3. For information and often, directions

I wondered if anyone had studied social media amongst International students and when I searched it up, I found many results backed up with sufficient data.



Researchers found social media beneficial for International students’ education and wellbeing. Purnima, (2012) pointed out a research finding: International students spent a Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 11.03.05 pm.pngthird of their time on social media [Zhao, 2016]. This was adjacent to their keeping in contact with people back home – increasing emotional support. Furthermore, many admitted to using social media for learning purposes, through sharing content and ideas, beginning discussions and communicating amongst groups. They are further given access to communicate with host families and the friends they made once they go back home – increasing a global mobility and interconnected networks. [Hall and Sivakumaran, 2014] The engagement between social media and student also allows a higher level of commitment to studies and students who interact regularly are more satisfied with their university experience [Yu et al, cited in Zhao, 2016].



Hall and Sivakumaran’s (2014) report on International students’ social media use showcased that ninety-six percent of students surveyed had reliable internet for social media access, ninety one stating that they used social media to contact with friends and family back home. Eighty three per cent agreed that social media was a means of contacting new friends and sixty three explained that it improved their English communication skills and vocabulary.



Regardless of the many positives, there are more losses and wastelands in regards to what social media can really be used for. International students reported an understanding of the capability of social media use for educational purposes and saw an influence on academic performances but too many reported not actually using them educationally. This outlook was tested correct as a study noted that five Saudi female International students were aware of the educational side of Facebook, but four of the five students have not actually used it for that purpose [Binsahl et al., cited in Hall and Sivakumaran].

Grey at al. (2010) and other critics also argued that the act of “assuming that social software is appropriate for educational purposes” is dangerous; that students’ excessive use of these technologies often result negatively on grades. Al Farhoud et al. (2016) further discovered that social media was used for reasons that were distractive, – communicative and entertaining, – amongst International students.Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 11.02.51 pm.png

Whilst a study showed high results of Facebook as a platform for gathering information, many Chinese students created an account upon arrival for a sense of belonging, but found that they prefered and eventually strayed to using Renren instead, as they identified with the platform better.


Hall, H. and Sivakumaran, T. (2014). Social media use among international students. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Sep. 2018].
Saw, G., Abbott, W. and Donaghey, J. (2013). Social media for international students – it’s not all about Facebook. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Sep. 2018].
Zhao, X. (2016). Social Media and the International Student Experience. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Sep. 2018].

internet = democracy

The millenial web has created a new world for protesting and social media has become key platforms for ‘coordinating protest activities and sharing information’. [Bohdanova, 2013] giphySocial media informs wider audiences and gives participants the ability to be involved with minimal effort. Despite Gladwill (see: Popova, 2010) arguing that it creates ‘slacktivism’ and provides ‘weak ties’, evidence shows a rise in awareness and action.

Social media allows for support to be given to protestors- often they are provided with food or medical support and entertainment through concerts and activities.9233812-3x2-940x627.jpg

The Internet is a powerful way to stand up as a community.

#MeToo movement spread as people started coming out of their quiet corners to be a voice of people who had dealt with sexual abuse. It continues to stand strongly but it ‘risks losing direction if social media sites and users become dominant as its megaphone to the masses.’ (Donlon, 2018)

Adding on to that, Morozov (2011) stated that researchers’ interest in the technology-controlled political change decreases because social media increased protest spontaneity and a neutral view is unlikely.

Bohdanova, T. (2013). How Internet Tools Turned Ukraine’s #Euromaidan Protests Into a Movement · Global Voices. [online] Global Voices. Available at: [Accessed 21 Sep. 2018].
Donlon, M. (2018). Is social media the right platform for #MeToo movement?. [online] The Irish Times. Available at: [Accessed 22 Sep. 2018].
Morozov, E. (2011). Facebook and Twitter are just places revolutionaries go | Evgeny Morozov. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 21 Sep. 2018].
Newman, R. (2018). #MeToo: The social media impact statement. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Sep. 2018].
Popova, M. (2010). Malcolm Gladwell Is #Wrong. [online] Design Observer. Available at: [Accessed 21 Sep. 2018].

140 characters to a political uprising

Users have gradually left traditional media behind for social media news, and ‘studies have shown, that Daily Show viewers are… better informed about the U.S. political process as those who continue to follow mainstream print or television news’. [Bruns, n.d] Journalists would undergo gatekeeping that filtered out unimportant, uninteresting or irrelevant content and controlled the high level of content to a coherent summary of important details.

Where traditional news outlets is one-to-many, social media passes news convergently from many-to-many – incorporating the theory of ‘one-to-many-to-many’. Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 5.51.14 pm.pngSocial media accentuates journalism, adding a layer of interaction and communication but it also leaks information before any newspaper can coherently create an article about it (e.g. Michael Jackson’s death broke out on social media before any major news outlet).

Twitter is a grand platform for discussions and providing information about others without the prompt of asking. Real-time discussions are often followed by hashtags that allowed the discussion to exceed time and place leading to a diverse polarisation; “we all started talking, and.. a shadow conversation unfolded on the screen.” (see: Johnson, 2009)

People will also start looking for their information from relevant Twitter users rather than using Google.

But Twitter’s ongoing issues include Facebook, a platform for personal sharing and connecting, gradually becoming a place to find news despite the 21% decline in personal sharing. (Hutchinson, 2016)


Bruns, A. (n.d.). New Directions for e-Journalism. News Blogs and Citizen Journalism.
Hutchinson, A. (2016). The Biggest Concern at Twitter: Where Does the Platform Go Next?. [online] Social Media Today. Available at: [Accessed 17 Sep. 2018].
Johnson, S. (2018). How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live. TIME.
Mason, E. (2017). Social Media vs. Traditional Journalism. [online] Medium. Available at: [Accessed 17 Sep. 2018].
Saxena, S. (2018). 7 key differences between Social Media and Traditional Media –. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Sep. 2018].


collaborative ethnography + social media use

Looking back to my first blog post on the #BCM241 train of thoughts,
I remember distinctly discussing the losses of documenting my travels. Only now looking at the concept of collaborative ethnography and joining to discuss a similar topic, had I considered looking to see if anyone related to my experience with social media overseas.

I sat back and realised I wasn’t alone!

In ‘The Cursed Blessings of a Thai Sim,’ Proust retells of her time in Thailand where
she buys herself a sim in order to keep in touch with people and show them what she was up to. I agreed with her stance as I found that I had done almost quite exactly the same thing. Winnie’s
‘Airport Instagram’ post similarly reflects on our need to take perfect photos and get a ‘higher country count’  rather than purely travelling, this thus robbed us of indulging the ultimate experience of the trip.

Screen Shot 2018-09-21 at 1.14.26 pm.png

Focusing solely on the public transport, Osberg also approached a topic that is true to many people. ‘The Unsocial Bus Ride’ talks about her need to listen to music while being on a bus ride. In my case, I need music on any form of transport!

Returning to perfect photos, I even found a blog that wrote on my issues with having the perfect feed. Smith’s ‘Instagram Experience’ touches base on how many of us have ‘a weird cycle of deleting and re-uploading posts and deleting all of my posts altogether because I couldn’t decide (our) ‘brand’, ‘theme’ or ‘online personality’ ‘

According to Lassiter (2005), collaborative ethnography is distinctive in that it ‘deliberately and explicitly emphasizes collaboration at every point in the ethnographic process, without veiling it’ because ethnography itself is already collaborative as ‘we cannot possibly carry out our unique craft without engaging others in the context of Culture-of-Learning.jpgtheir real, everyday lives’. Lassiter had found from studying Narcotics Anonymous that the best kind of ethnographies are the ones told with the intention of helping people’s ordinary lives through being able to detect where it can be improved.

“Informants can identify urgent research more clearly than the ethnographer,” [Spradley, cited in Lassiter, 2005]

If someone was to begin an ethnographic study of social media use amongst millennials, they would need to embrace Garcia et al (2009) explanation that the online and offline is increasingly merging due to convalescent technology, – transforming and interacting with each other, – and so (us) ethnographers need to adjust traditional modes of research and get (our) heads out of the 80s and welcome the new world.’ (see: Lange, 2010)

After looking at these blogs, I realised that what we all touched based on may be different areas but often a topic relates to another person. Every blog is woven into a web of a bigger underlying issue and my summary of our social media use as a group:

We’re all guilty but none of is going to stop.


Garcia, A., Standlee, A., Bechkoff, J. and Yan Cui (2009). Ethnographic Approaches to the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 38(1), pp.52-84.
Lange, D. (2010). Mc Vay Media Rocks. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].
Lassiter, L. (2005). Defining Collaborative Ethnography, an excerpt from The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].



preserving freedom of programming?

Apple’s controlled programming influenced hackers to begin running new apps, resulting in Apple alternating from disabling jailbroken phones to launching the App store in order to allow creation on the basis that it was reviewed by Apple first.

246x0w.pngBefore the gatekeeping began, ‘I Am Rich’ was a $999,99 app bought by eight people that shut down after press ridicule.
‘Freedom Time,’ an app counting down until Bush’s US presidency termination was also never released as it was a political injustice.

Android-and-Me10-630x342.jpgIn 2005, Andy Rubin had given Larry Page a collaboration pitch of creating a phone with Google as it’s main search engine. Google was bought for $50 million and thus began Android, ‘a free, open source mobile platform that any coder could write for and any handset maker could install.’ [Roth, 2008] Page didn’t care about the creation of individual models as long as the ‘Android DNA’ would maintain.  

Around then, Linus Torvalds had improved on a developer’s idea to create Linux and incorporated bazaar style programming (shallow bugs built on by eager co-developers), as he believed that once a developer lost interest, they should give their idea for someone else to continue the enhancing process. He ‘start(ed) from individual vision and brilliance, then amplif(ied) it through the selective construction of voluntary communities of interest,’ [Raymond, 2011] and it took him much farther than had he started from scratch.

Open-sources (see: link) permit geniuses that do not have access to closed-sources to create advanced programming to advance softwares.

My partner goes through Android and Apple:

Hill, S. (2018). Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?. [online] Digital Trends. Available at: [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].
Prakash, A. (2018). 6 Open Source Mobile OS Alternatives To Android in 2018 | It’s FOSS. [online] It’s FOSS. Available at: [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].
Raymond, E. (2001). The Cathedral and the Bazaar. pp.1-31.
Roth, D. (2008). Google’s Open Source Android OS Will Free the Wireless Web. [online] WIRED. Available at: [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].
Zittrain, J. (2010). A fight over freedom at Apple’s core | Financial Times. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].