By taking part in a blog-creating assignment like this one, we have done more than what was required for a university course. We have further contributed to the information overflow of today by providing new research, ideas, experiences and insight into a topic which is sure to continue stirring up interest and curiosity in many people. Members of our group have definitely been influenced by the conducted research and came to see online interactions and personalities in a new light. There is no doubt that websites such as Facbook and YouTube will continue to grow in popularity and it will be extremely interesting to see how we continue to use these resources and what the advencements and repercussions will be.

-Pablo Zysman


Understanding personal identities however, is a complicated task. We all share personality traits that are almost common in everyone, and even the personnas som people portray socially might seem almost identical. The fact of the matter is that even though some individuals might seem extremly identical, at the end of the day they are NOT the same person. Even identical twins will not share 100% of the same personality traits. Even though they might look the same, they will still individually be interested in some different things like foods, activities, music, people, and more. They are both still individually unique. Every one is, and that’s the thing; some people might just be the loner type, new in town, have a very busy life or simply have trouble meeting people with whom they can share a wide range of interests with. Therefore creating an online version of themselves might easily open up the possibility of enhancing their lives in one way or another by meeting people with the same interests.

Facebook isn’t really used to meet people in this manner, but the possibility of being used in such a way is still there. One for example could type in the name of a television show, and the name of a bunch of people would come up who have that as one of their favourite shows in their profile. The same can be done with political views, religion, interests, favorite books, and so on.

There are two issues at hand. One – is the fact that creating a virtual identity of oneself doesen’t always have to be viewed as a negative and fake creation. For a lot of people it is a very good manner of opening up and gaining self confidence, where in the real world they perhaps would have been lacking. Two – what would happen if people did utilize resources like Facebook to meet people in the way mentioned before? Would it be viewed more or less as a dating site or something? I believe people don’t use it in such a manner because the majority of people on Facebook are young adults, and we would percieve it as awkward or weird if someone asked to be our friend just because we had a thing in common on our profiles; but if this was the case there is no doubt that we would see the website in a diferent way. The results of websites such as Facebok depend on the ways we wish to interact with it and put it to use.

-Pablo Zysman

Another thing that Facebook and YouTube have in common is the clashing of different opinions and therefore part of people’s personalities. On Facebook, one could be seeing the posted picture of someone’s beautiful baby, a beautiful work of art, or just anything that the creator feels is beautiful and very meaningful until some moron comes along and comments “that sucks” right underneath it. The same thing can easily happen on YouTube, and to even a larger extent! On facebook, its somewhat more of a personal environment where one can easily click on your name and see who you are. However on YouTube, offensive comments are made like its nothing! I have to admit, I have made an offensive comment or two about videos in the past. And why did I do this? Honestly I just loved the fact that I had the freedom to say absolutely anything I wanted and no one was going to do anything to stop me! So is it possible that people’s real personalities are somewhat shown through what they express in picture or video comments? Perhaps its not a full indicator of their full personality, but actions like these show us the extent to which people are willing to express themselves in an environment where thier identity is kind of blurry such as cyberspace. Some people can even really let go and show their true beliefs against certain groups, pictures, videos, etc of the big corporate businesses that post information on social networking sites. Now all of the comments posted on the sites are not all negative. Positive feedback and compliements are posted all the time as well. It all just further develops the idea of community building online and creating cultures within these communities. If people would rather post nice comments on people’s videos, they will stay away from offensive or idiotic videos, and simply comment on the happy, beautiful or meaningful ones, because they feel it would be nice to interact and have some sort of connection with the nice people that posted the video or picture. The rest, will stick their finger and opinions whereever they please.

-Pablo Zysman

In the past, one would use the home as a sanctuary, a place of privacy. It used to be considered a place where you could test the social boundaries in a safe place where no prying eyes would see. You could swear, burp, fart, get drunk and swear and it would be no body’s business because, well, you were in the privacy of your own home.

With the growing popularity of amateur culture and converging medias, the internet has allowed us to achieve different levels of “fame” through blogging and now, through youtube (which has introduced the visual side of communication on the internet). This form of media communication on the internet has done something special as it allowed us to have access to the “screen” (which is considered to be the highest alter upon which we can worship – media-wise) and be in complete control of it. This is especially true because our activity in amateur videography is important because it is taking place during a time that is being focused almost entirely on the silver screen. In order to understand why we are so in love with seeing ourselves on youtube, though, we have to get a better understanding of the old media version’s use.

Home movies are filmed “simple situations”. They often had a staged feeling to them because of the economics, technology and conditions of what was being shot. The audiences were obviously highly localized and the content was supposed to be comparable to a “slice” of everyday life. Although this last metaphor is true, these films were still often stereotypical. These movies are special because they are said to be, as stated by Dr. Strangelove, “the closest to the scene”. They have a documentary feel and the aesthetics of these types of films have been used in other forms of media, (i.e. The Kids in the Hall opening credits).

Home movies today today aren’t as positive as they used to be. The role of filmmaker has switched from the parent to the child, and now parents are the victims of these new films. Examples of these films today would be videos containing a drunk parent, a sibling getting in trouble or freaking out, a parent freaking out or doing something that would be considered obscure in society, but the parent thinks they are safe as they are in their home. The parent not being in control of what is being seen gives these movies a completely different feel, and this feel is breaking social rules.

Not only are the rules being broken, but no consequences are happening after these breaches of privacy! Norm violations are happening domestically, and the idea of what happens at home stays at home is being erased from our society. This is happening because teenagers are getting ahold of the camera, and are videotaping parts of family-life that are supposed to be private; these videos are becoming normative.

In the “butt-rape girl” video, a brother records his sister getting in trouble for making a potentially dangerous choice to go out and meet someone she found over the internet. The boy interrupts in the middle of his mother’s lecture and starts teasing his sister while she is freaking out and breaking down. Instead of stepping in and intervening, the mother started laughing, even though it was quite obvious that the boy’s intentions were to exploit his sister over the internet. The boy received no consequence, but his sister’s consequence for the video will be permanent/lifelong. Although it may be humorous for us an audience to think about, I highly doubt that this girl is happy with the fact that if her identity is found out, she will forever be known as “butt rape girl”.

Youtube is, again, destroying people’s identity thhttps://pabloandgillian.wordpress.com/wp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=151&TB_iframe=true&width=640&height=475rough exposing them at their most vulnerable, when their at home under the assumption that they are away from public eyes. They are breaking interpersonal trust through these rule breaking videos and behaviour.

Here are some examples:

My Mom Drunk – 34, 220 views

Man on Myspace!! (raped in the butt) – 50, 074 views

Greatest Freakout Ever – 20, 900, 895 views

– Gillian Holloway

The internet, let alone social networking sites, automatically creates new communities. In the billion year history of our planet, there has been nothing like it that allows for the coming together of people, cultures, religions, ideas, opinions, and even the meshing of other techologies. The content expressed online can be offensive, beautiful, inspiring, or just simply mundane. Many believe that an online identity is exactly that, mundane and meaningless, but some would think extremely different.

Even though Britney has cleaned up her act, could she still be her old self online?

To explore the growing trend of persuing an online identity, we can look back in time. Karl Marx argued that capitalist societies are clearly identified and divided into social classes; the bourgeois upper class who obviously has always controlled the means of produciton, and then everyone else, who fell under the “average citizen” category. Without the opportunity to ever have such a large share of content creation power, the “average citizen” would always stay in-line with capitalist ideologies of the upper class. However, whatever bourgeois it was that created the internet, could have made the mistake of a lifetime, because as we know now, the “average citizen” has a never before seen power in their hands, shifting the balance of power of content creation more and more every day, providing a new perspective on life.
Possibly one of the most inviting and interesting aspects of this power the average citizen holds is that for the most part it is all free. Uploading videos on YouTube or creating an account on Facebook asks for nothing from you but your interest in the possibilities that these websites can open up to you, and the world.

The degree of free speech and ease of ways of achieving even the illegal prove to be of intrigue to a lot of people like hackers, identity thieves, piracy promoters and many others; but the fact of the matter is exactly this one – that some people just take it too far, especially by doing things such as the ones aforementioned. As for people with a fake Facebook profile, fake information, fake names, and so on, its almost the same thing as with hackers, except they are not taking it as far as doing something illegal. They both want to have an even bigger share of that power over content that they really should not be allowed to have. We all know there aren’t fifty Britney Spears living with the same face, but we do know that there is one, and if she is on Facebook, one of the search results will be her, and the rest…well, those will be people sadly looking for a certain power they wish they had.

Mr. Dan Brown below makes some extremely interesting points, check out his video!

-Pablo Zysman

“Dr Himanshu Tyagi, a psychiatrist at West London Mental Health Trust, said that people born after 1990, who were just five-years-old or younger when the use of Internet became mainstream in 1995, have grown up in a world dominated by online social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.” It is said later on in the article on http://www.medicalnewstoday.com (called ‘Facebook Generation’ Faces Identity Crisis), that these children tend to act more impulsively, erratically and that the risk of suicide is increased.

Dr. Tyagi goes on to explain that not only are these children at risk for social disorders, but they are also at risk for losing the real meaning of interpersonal relationships which we as people use to build our identities. This is done through feedback on how much we disclose about ourselves and how we act around people in real life, with the internet we have a screen as a barrier and can put on facades which could lead to alterations in our personalities, (and by could I mean usually leads to alterations in our personalities). Dr. Tyagi goes on to say “A session in front of the computer was also likely to create ‘an altered perception, a dream-like state, an unnatural blending of their mind with the other person – something that rarely happens in real life. The new generation raised alongside internet is attaching an entirely different meaning to friendship and relations, something we are largely failing to notice’.”

With all this negativity, it is hard to see how the internet and these websites could even be looked at in a positive way, ruining kids’ identities and being tied to suicide? Redefining friendship? Perhaps parents should step in and introduce some old fashioned communication skills into their children’s lives.

– Gillian Holloway

Social networking sites have been increasingly their popularity everyday! According to Leyla Bilge, Thorsten Strufe, Davide Balzarotti, and Engin Kirda from Eurocom state that “Well-known sites such as Facebook have been reporting growth rates as high as 3% per week”.Many social networking sites have millions of registered users who use these sites to share photographs, contact long-lost friends, establish new business contacts and to keep in touch.

Since technology is always increasing, how easy it would be for a potential attacker to launch identity theft attacks against a number of popular social networking sites in order to gain access to a large volume of personal user information.

According to Bilge, Strufe, Balzarotti, and Kirda there are two types of attacks that occur in identity thefton Facebook.The first type of attack is the automated identity theft of existing user profiles and sending of friend requests to the contacts of the cloned victim. The hope, from the attacker’s point of view, is that the contacted users simply trust and accept the friend request. By establishing a friendship relationship with the contacts of a victim, the attacker is able to access the sensitive personal information provided by them.

The second, more advanced type of attack they show is that it is more effective and feasible to launch an automated, cross-site profile cloning attack. In this attack, attackers are able to automatically create a forged profile in a network where the victim is not registered yet and contact the victim’s friends who are registered on both networks. Bilge, Strufe, Balzarotti, and Kirda’s experimental results with real users show that the automated attacks they present are effective in identity theft.

People today are so open with sharing their personal information and even with adding strangers onto their profile page. There needs to be a point where people need to realize everything should not be put online. The more you share with the world, the easier it is for an attacker to to take over your identity. So as a mother would say ” Be Careful out there! The world is indeed a scary place and I don’t want to see you get hurt”.

– Lyara Brine