Rugby League Troll Stoppers came across this article in the Sydney Morning Herald which offers advice to those in the public eye on how to handle social media trolls. Journalist Sam de Brito references the famous Mark Twain quote:

“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

Brito suggests that social media trolls behave in such a way because they are crying out for attention. Brito describes the thought process of social media trolls to be as follows:

“The worst feeling of all is not being rejected, it’s being ignored; when a person cannot even be bothered to dismiss you.”

This suggestion by Brito corresponds with our previous post referencing Dr Hardaker’s motives for trolling:

1. Boredom – too much free time after school, at work, or between jobs

2.Need for attention- crying out on a public level and at any cost.

3. Sense of disenfranchisement- with work and/or home life.

If social media trolls ‘troll’, because they find themselves with too much free time and are crying out for attention on a public level, maybe the best response is NO RESPONSE at all.

In our experience, we have found Brito’s advice to be most appropriate; IGNORE THEM.

Trolls exist because they want to be in the spotlight. While ignoring them may provoke them to post more ludicrous comments, it also makes them appear desperate. Eventually after no response, they will concede and wander away.

However the problem still remains, is that while they may not bother you anymore, they may simply just move along to someone else who may be more vulnerable. This is what Rugby League Troll Stoppers wants to address. Our preventative measure to reduce trolling amongst National Rugby League players and the public will outlined in tomorrow’s blog ‘#breakthebarriers’

Read more of what journalist Sam de Brito has to say by visiting here.

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How ‘open’ is open science?

Open science is the term given to “the movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society, amateur or professional. It encompasses practices such as publishing open research, campaigning for open access, encouraging scientists to practice open notebook science” (Wikipedia 2013).  Ultimately, the aims of open science are to make it easier to one, publish scientific knowledge and two, to  communicate it several audiences, thus striving to make it as “open” as possible.

An obvious advantage of open science is that it will allow scientists to communicate their knowledge with more ease to other science research teams, and in turn, allow them to collaborate with one another to supplement each other’s findings. Elizabeth Pisani, journalist from The Guardian, suggests, “shared data will mean more and faster progress. It will also mean better quality data” (Pisani 2011).

While this sounds so great, I think this is an utopian view of the effects of open science. For me, it makes me question what information we are receiving as an audience with access to open science.

When it comes to the publication of scientific knowledge and research, the media plays a vital role in transferring the study results and information to the audience. However, when journalists write a story, they are subject to “publication bias: the phenomenon where studies with boring, negative results are less likely to get written up or published” (Goldacre 2011).

This video adopts a satirical approach to address publication bias when examining which science stories make the news: 

* Video by Hansen &  Licciardello, 2011, ‘The Hamster Wheel: Science in the Media’.

The video uses the example of the popularity of cancer research stories. Using the case study of the way cancer stories are covered in the media, a negative connotation of open science is that it allows for the audience to be overwhelmed by particular scientific research studies and results about medical stories that are subject to publication bias. For instance, across various print and television news outlets in Australia, when a ‘new’ research study emerges about a ” new cancer scientific breakthrough”, this can hold certain implications. First, it can create false hope in the audience. It is important to remember that when this information is released, it is released via media platforms and subject to journalistic practices and aspects of story telling. When journalists report a story, they do so according to the story’s “newsworthiness.” Sometimes, they can sensationalize the story, and can hold negative connotations with health and science stories as it can suggest a cancer research or latest vaccine is available now and we have found a cure for cancer! This can not only instill false hope in the audience, but also question the reliability and validity of the scientific research and science field, as we are confronted with a mass swap of new ‘breakthroughs’ which I know makes me question “how do I know if this is actually true?”

So as the publication of scientific research is becoming more accessible, we must remember that it is subject to publication bias, and as an audience, we must be wary of the source and credibility of the researchers behind the study.

List of References

Goldacre, B., ‘Researches Don’t Mean to Exaggerate, But Lots of Things Can Distort Findings’, in The Guardian, 13 August 2011, < > , accessed 14 May 2013.

Hansen, A. &  Licciardello, C., 2011, ‘The Hamster Wheel: Science in the Media’, in The Chasers, < >, accessed 15 May 2013.

Pisani, E., ‘Medical Science Will Benefit From the Research of Crowds’, in The Guardian, 12 January 2011, < > , accessed 15 May 2013.

Wikipedia, 2013, ‘Open Science’, in Wikipedia, < > , accessed 14 May 2013.



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Participation is no longer a choice

Participation is vital in establishing and maintaining social organisation. Today, people engage with self-determining forms of participation, thanks to the breakdown in physical boundaries through globalisation, as well as technological advancements. These changes have now fostered distributed participation, as dispersed individuals are able to use temporal flows of media to interact with others.

In doing so, technological advancement has allowed individuals to cross space and time to allow social participation to reach wide communities. This allowance has fostered a rise as well as increased the effectiveness of social participation campaigns. For instance, the Kony 2012 campaign is an example of a social participation campaign that allowed self-determining participants to actively engage with the campaign despite their geographical location. The Kony 2012 campaign demonstrates a “native embrace of the virality of social media to get their message across,” as well as being indicative of social media harnessed as an effective tool in reach a wide and dispersed audience (Kosner 2012).

This trend of social organisation campaigns also attests to the rise of The New Groupthink (Cain 2012) – fostering team work,  collaboration as well as active self-determing participation. Susan Cain argues that organisational structure has evolved with “lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in” (Cain 2012). Therefore, making self-determining participation vital to ensuring organisational goals.

However, the Rise of the New Groupthink is also illustrative of the importance of group participation in maintaining new social order and social justice campaigns. Philospher Elinor Ostrom accounts that “a lot of communities have figured out subtle ways of making everyone contribute, because if they don’t, those people are noticeable” (Anon 2010). The Kony 2012 campaign “thrived on tugging at potential donors’ heartstrings” as millions of Facebook users shared the campaign video, urging their friends to share the video ‘to create more awareness and stop Kony’ (Suddath 2012).   Thus, new social order campaigns such as Kony 2012, make people accountable and have the ability to name and shame someone if they do not use self-determining participation and ‘share a video to stop Kony,’ guilting individuals into becoming  active in collaborative social organisation campaigns.

Therefore I question, whether new social order and collaborative campaigns really leave us with a choice whether to, or not engage in self-determining participation. Pondering the question, is participation still a self-determining choice?

List of References

Anon, 2010, ‘Elinor Ostrom’, in P2P Foundation, < > , accessed on 8 May 2013.

Cain, S., ‘The Rise of the New Groupthink’, in The New York Times, 13 Janauary 2012, < >, accessed on 8 May 2013.

Kosner, A.W., ’12 Lessons from Kony 2012 From Social Media Power Users’, in Forbes, 3 September 2012, < >,  accessed on 8 May 2013.

Suddath, C., ‘Five Reasons the Kony Video Went Viral’, in Business Week, 16 March 2012,  < >,

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Media and Politics- The Three Way Street

Throughout history, the media and government have held a tangible relationship and will continue to have an effect on the way each institution carries out their daily function in society. Both institutions rely on ‘framing’ events and issues so only partial aspects are captured and ‘given’ to the public. But how does framing connect media and politics?

Traditional media (print, radio and TV) use framing when they establish news item ordering. By placing news bulletins into an order on radio and television news, the media are prioritizing what the audience should consider most “newsworthy” and important, thus frame their attention to particular issues. Print media also frame when they publish their layout, for instance, by choosing to use a refugee story as a front cover makes the issue front and issue, prioritizing what the audience should pay attention to. So it can be see that the media through framing can use direct political involvement by campaigning a particular issue, which in effect may place pressure on the government to develop a news asylum seeker policy.

What about new media?

“For years politicians have searched for ways to go around the media – to avoid the so-called gatekeepers in the Parliamentary Press Gallery and elsewhere and present their message directly to voters. As we all know, John Howard used talkback radio with this in mind. But now the digital revolution has not only knocked down the gates. It has also provided a host of new ways for politicians to reach out to voters “(Oakes 2012 in Media Watch 2013 )

New (social) media has been harnessed as a new political battlefield, or “From Web 2.0 to Gov 2.0” (Ting 2011). Politicians now use social media to directly reach out to their audience without having to go through the process of doing a press conference, or an interview with a journalist who may “frame” the story.

So who wears the pants? While it seems that the media maintain the upper-hand through traditional media news framing, the government will never abandon this form of media. While new social media allows them to directly relay their message, they are not reaching the political movers, the voters who read the papers, the voters who will win them the election. This is why, media, government and politics, is a three way street. All three components rely on one another to carry out their function, thus feeding off each other in an unbalanced, constantly-changing environment.

List of References

Ting, P., 2011, ‘User Generated Government’, in San Francisco Government Fresh, < >, accessed 30 April 2013.

Media Watch, 2013, Bypassing the Gatekeepers’, in Australian Broadcasting Corporation,< > , accessed 30 April 2013.


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New Opportunities, New Horizons- Augmented Reality in Practice.

One of the key questions posed in the week’s lecture was whether the relationship between data and media was harmonious.  After exploring the concept of augmented reality, I believe a key factor in the relationship between data and media is that they compliment one another to make new “realities” possible.  This is achieved by the potential of new media to not only archive information, but also make information more accessible and readily available.  A way of looking at this is that we are now pushing to create a “writeable world where physical objects have virtual identities, which can be updated and called upon by any individual with access to the Internet” (Quilty-Harper 2010).

Augmented reality is an example of an overlay or substitution for actual “reality” which expands the possibilities of this reality. Augmented reality displays the increased activity between the virtual and the actual.  Smart phones facilitate augmented reality, making it more accessible and embedded into our everyday life as:

“ During the years that personal-data systems were making their rapid technical progress, many people started entering small reports about their lives into a phone” (Wolf 2010).

The below video is an example of augmented reality in practice and explains that the potential of new media is “making all day AR (Augmented Reality) possible”.  As users scan their surrounding with their smart phone, they are provided with information such as what the current temperature is, the geographical coordinates of a building, or whether or not that retailer has a sale on, you name it- as “we live in a mobile world where anything and everyone is connected”.

* Video by Metaio, 2013, ‘Introducing the Worlds First Augmented Realist Chip- Metaio & ST Ericsson’.

The possibilities that arise are countless.

What we know is that smart phones are the present, but what is the future? Take a look at this video to see what our world may look like in 2020 (How Stuff Works 2013).

List of References

How Stuff Works, 2013, ‘FW Thinking: Internet of Things’, in How Stuff Works, < > , accessed 10 April 2013.

Metaio, 2013, ‘Introducing the Worlds First Augmented Realist Chip- Metaio & ST Ericsson’, Youtube, < > , accessed on 10 April 2013.

Quilty-Harper, C..,  ’10 Ways Data is Changing the Way We Live’, in The Telegraph,  25 August 2010, < > , accessed on 10 April 2013.

Wolf, G., ‘The Data Driven Life’, in New York Times, April 28 2010, < > , accessed on 10 April 2013.

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Facebook-sharing memories through the click of a button

* Video by Mike Rugnetta, 2012, ‘Is Facebook Changing Our Identity’.

As Andrew pointed out in this week’s lecture, the “experience of memory is a dynamic relationship between remembering and forgetting, habit and conscious thought, as one pays attention to one’s movement through the world” (Murphie 2013).

Therefore, you can say human memory consists of conscious thought of what to and what not to remember (and then share). Memory is also enhanced by media, as media platforms such Facebook, or television news, allow us to “remix” our current experience via media (Murphie 2013). In turn, our memory is not only enhanced by media, but also complimented.

To take it further, not only does media enhance and compliment memory, but it also increases the scope of who our memories can be shared with (and how quickly). This is something that is drawn upon in the above video “Is Facebook Changing Our Identity”. In the video, Mike Rugnetta demonstrates how memory is stored “using timeline to use an ‘imagined’ alternate digital version of yourself, thus offloading the less pleasant parts of tendering to your own memory” and describes how in the past, ” making memories [was] really hard” (Rugnetta 2012). However, through the help of social media platforms such as Facebook, memories are not only easily stored, but also shared at a quicker rate. Instead of having to sit a friend or family member down and communicate with them face-to-face, we can now share our memories with all our 500 friends on Facebook through picture albums and uploading videos.

Personally, I think Facebook deserves a round of applause. Gone are the days we have to rummage through our cupboards to dig out the old family photo albums or scrapbooks. Now with the click of a button, we can entrain our friends with a virtual experience of our own memories (even from the comfort of their own bedroom).

Research conducted by Daniel Bajic, Ryan Darby and Vivian Hwe of UC San Diego, and Jill Warker of the University of Scranton, found  “Facebook status updates were one-and-a-half times more memorable than sentences from books and two-and-a-half times more memorable than faces” (Mielach 2013). In his article, Mielach describes his as the ‘Facebook Effect’ and suggests that ones of the reasons people are more likely to remember something published on Facebook is because digital communication, communication made on social media, quite often reflects communicative used in social settings and conversations (Mielach 2013).

What consequences does this hold?

Well, while it is easier to share our memories to a wider audience and at a faster rate, it is important to remember that these memories can have long-lasting impressions. So you may want to remember this the next day you post a Facebook status about your day at work.

List of References

Mielach, D, 2013, ‘How Facebook Affects Your Memory’, in Business News Daily, < >, accessed on 20 April 2013.

Murphie, A., 2013, Seminar on 27 March 2013, ‘Individual, Social and Global Memory’, Sydney.

Rugnetta, M., 2012, ‘Is Facebook Changing Our Identity’, PBS Idea Channel, < >, accessed on 25 March 2013.

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Media Ecology- Video gaming

Media Ecology- Video gaming

* Video by Julian Smith 2012, ‘Video Games and Violence.’

In Andrew’s lecture, we were challenged to question the way media ecologies interplay to alter or change cultural contexts (Murphie 2013). First it is imperative to define the term ‘media ecology’. Simply put, media ecology is the study of media environments and the way they interact and affect human perception, understanding, feeling and value (Media Ecology Association 2012). An example of media ecology in practice is the study of the effects of violent video games. The above video puts a satirical spin on the effects of video gaming. Through the use of irony, it demonstrates how violent video games are increasing, as well as encouraging violent behaviour. When examining video games as a form of digital media- it can be argued that like all other media objects, they have their own set of  “poetics; they make the world and take part in it; and at the same time, synthesize, block, or make possible other worlds” (Fuller 2005, p 2). Thus, attesting to how they can not only create ‘new virtual worlds of opportunity’, but also alter value systems, attitudes and behaviour. I do not believe there is enough study or research into the effects of video gaming on its users for myself to make a judgement on whether or not it is increasing violence. However, I do believe it has become quintessential for us to be able to identify the differences between reality and the virtual now more than ever. If we society can differentiate between the ‘gaming’ virtual world and the ‘real’ everyday physical world we are participating in, it will aid the audience in separating violent video gaming from everyday life.

List of References

Fuller, M., 2005, ‘Introduction: Media Ecologies’, in Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, pp. 1-12.

Murphie, A., 2013, Seminar on 20 March 2013, ‘Media Ecologies, Social Ecologies, Other Ecologies’, Sydney.

Media Ecology Association, 2012, ‘What is Media Ecology’, in Media Ecology, < >, accessed on 15 March 2013.

Smith, J, 2012, Video Games and Media Ecology,  < >, accessed on 15 March 2013.

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