The documentary that we watched in class about our freedom of speech and rights in the online world was genuinely eye opening to say the least.
One part that stood out to me was the story of how a father stormed into Target with coupons his daughter was receiving in the mail. They were ALL items to buy for a newborn child. He thought Target was insinuating that his daughter should be sexually active, meanwhile, she was pregnant and Target sent her those items based on her prior purchases. Not only did the father probably feel stupid for causing a scene– he was most likely annoyed that Target knew about his grandchild before he did.
Lately, ads and cookies have become more and more creepy. Websites such as Facebook seem to be ‘stalking’ us. For example, I remember searching for something on Instagram and then days later I checked my emails on Yahoo and the SAME ads were popping up. I swear sites can actually hear what we are saying out loud now.
In regards to our freedom of speech in the digital world, it is dwindling down. Rushkoff in the documentary even stated, “Anything that has been digitized is not private, and that is terrifying.” Now, some argue that if we didn’t have anything to hide, why are we posting it all over social medias? Personally, I believe that if we are setting our pages to private so that only the accepted users can see it, then there should be no reason that our lives are not kept private. However, there are some exceptions that should be made like the law and if someone is endangering themselves or someone else. But… I think it is absolutely wrong for employers to be lurking on interviewees profiles simply because people should be 1. given a right to their privacy and 2. allowed to have a separate life from work.
From watching this documentary, I have learned A LOT about how the corporate world impacts our “freedom” or lack of. For example, one man posted a joke on Facebook and immediately had a swat team at his door armed and ready to search and even shoot if necessary. The police force claimed that someone called 911 to report him, however, then they stated that someone came in person and they ‘don’t have records.’ The man even went further to explain that he just moved into a new apartment in which there were NO records of where he lived on paper or file yet. Seems sketchy to me…
Now I totally understand the aspect of protection and monitoring our information to find terrorists, murderers or any other bad guys that can put us in danger. HOWEVER, there should be better algorithms that genuinely process the situation and context of the posts, emails, searches etc. It honestly sucks that the good people are getting penalized and their privacy revoked. There needs to be more of a line between freedom and national security because these actions, laws, and policies are not cutting it and the people are pissed.