Welcome to our last blog post of this section of the course on privacy and surveillance. First, a quick note on the Tufecki reading – as I mentioned earlier today, the course packet doesn’t correctly reproduce the images that go with Tufecki’s writing (those large black rectangles), so as you’re reading, take a look at the original article online: https://medium.com/matter/is-the-internet-good-or-bad-yes-76d9913c6011. They’re a pretty striking accompaniment to the things she’s discussing.
Tufecki’s article itself takes us further into our consideration of the social and political possibilities and dangers of digital media through surveillance. Many of the issues we’ve discussed recently come up here again—corporate and governmental surveillance in various forms, how that surveillance shapes our lives as consumers and citizens, and the differences between old and new media in relation to those processes, to name just a few—but Tufecki has something new to add to this conversation. She wants us to consider how digital media allows for new modes of social organization and new modes of political control, both of which are powerful and both of which we need to consider carefully as informed members of a digital culture.
So for this blog post, I’d like you to play out a specific connection between Tufecki and one of the other authors we’ve read for this section (Madrigal, Cohen, or Greenwald’s Ted talk). You should quote and integrate substantial passages from both authors into a paragraph of your own writing, and in doing so you should show how their arguments in those passages relate to one another and how you would respond to that conversation. This is our first try at putting authors in conversation with one another in our writing, something that we’ll work on a good bit over the course of the third paper.
Keep in mind that all of these authors are advancing complex perspectives about the politics of digital information and connection, so you need to make an argument of your own that’s aware of their ideas and the relation between them — instead of just siding with one author, for example, try to offer a closer, more specific response to his or her argument through conversation with the other. In your response, you should introduce, quote, cite, and analyze at least one substantial passage each from Tufecki’s article and from your other chosen author – not just a single small term or concept, but a fuller claim of the kind that you might quote in a paper.
This article reads a little more easily than some of what we’ve read recently, but Tufecki’s argument is a challenging one to wrestle with — I look forward to seeing what everyone has to say about it! Good luck and I’ll see you all Thursday.
Reminder: Your response should go in the comments section for this post. It is due by 10pm on Wednesday, March 23rd, the night before our Thursday class, and should be at least 200 words. Your response to a classmate’s post is then due by class time on Thursday.