Boyd: Final Draft Essay

Because teens grew up in a world in which the Internet has always existed, many adults assume that youth automatically understand new technologies.  In reality, the youth still has much that they could improve on when it comes to using technology. A chapter from Danah Boyd’s book titled, “Are Today’s Youth Digital Natives?” criticizes on the ideas of how the youth today are digital natives and their parents are digital immigrants.  She goes one to demonstrate how this divide in society that many think is actually a damaging way of understanding digital literacy. There are many instances where the older generation are actually digital literate and do not fit this stereotype of being digital immigrants, while on the other hand, there are many times where youth are not very digital literate and struggle with the use of technology.  These stereotypes do not apply to everyone, and therefore is a damaging way in understanding digital literacy. There is that common misconception that all youth are able to work technology easily and with no issues, while their parents struggle greatly with the use of technology. Boyd goes on to say how really the youth needs to work on developing better critical digital literacy. The youth need to learn how to use proper website analysis, that there are algorithms with search engines, and websites like Wikipedia are not as bad as said to be.  If they are able to learn these different techniques on the Internet, then they will develop better critical digital literacy. In this paper, I will present Boyd’s main claims and the ways that outside sources extend the main claims that Boyd makes.

One of Boyd’s main claims shows how the youth today are not taught proper website analysis.  They are not taught the proper ways to distinguish useful information and real information, from all the false things that could be presented to them over the Internet.  Boyd proposes questions like, “What biases are embedded in the artifact? How did the creator intend for an audience to interpret that artifact, and what are the consequences of that interpretation?” (Boyd).  These questions that she gives us are questions that the youth should be asking themselves while searching on different websites for information. They need to have the skills to ask questions and challenge these “media artifacts” in order to insure that they are getting all the correct and factual stuff from their research.  Boyd also goes on to state that, “they need to be able to understand the biases in advertising, whether the ads are disseminated online or through more traditional media,” (Boyd). There are many useful skills that the youth could still learn today about the Internet. Even though they are considered “digital natives,” this does not mean that they are automatically familiar with everything on the Internet.  Overall, the youth needs to still learn what is right and factual on the Internet, since there is a great amount of stuff out there that is bad. A chapter from a book by Mike Caulfield titled “Four Strategies” extends on this idea of critical digital literacy by offering ways for the youth to use proper website analysis. For example, he says to follow four moves which are to “check for previous work, go upstream to the source, read laterally, and circle back,” (Caulfield).  This is to help with web analysis and show the youth the proper way of analyzing a website to make sure it is what they want. These four strategies are a great thing for youth to look for every time they are on a website. They are a great way for someone to look for whether or not the website that they are using for a school assignment is reliable or not, and good enough for the topic presented. This directly extends on the idea of the youth needing to be equipped with the important skill of website analysis because Caulfield demonstrates how the youth should work the websites they are using and what they should look to do while on these websites.  Another outside source is by Caulfield which is titled “Using Google Reverse Image Search”, which maps out perfectly how to tell the background of a picture and the source for where it came from. This also extends on the idea of web analysis which helps for the youth to understand where the pictures they see are coming from and what they should do to tell if they are legit or not. This helps the youth to make sure the pictures are credible and not a version of fake news. These two articles presented by Mike Caulfield fit perfectly with the idea of website analysis for youth, since they both present multiple ways of how the youth could really work to become digital literate.  Of course these are just steps to start out with, but it is definitely a great start for them and a good way to further develop their own skills. Mike Caulfield extends on Boyd’s argument of critical digital literacy.

Another claim by Boyd is that algorithms effect search engines, and not everything that is viewed on the Internet through these search engines is correct.  Google is a major search engine used by many. Google is a for-profit company and is monetized through advertising. People who search on Google expect the top search results to be the best websites and answers, but this is not true.  For example, Boyd states that, “Google is not in the business of verifying content or assessing content’s quality,” (Boyd). This means that the websites that the youth are always relying on as their search engines are not always the best choice.  They need to be able to learn how to work around these algorithms and find actual sites that could be useful to them, rather than focusing on just the top results off of Google. Also, Boyd says that, “although the pages that Google offers are highly likely to be topically relevant with regard to the query, the company’s employees do not try to assess the quality of a given page,” (Boyd).  Sites like conspiracy theory and celebrity gossip sites are given high rankings, which shows how anything that is relevant to a search is provided. It is not always useful information and these website show how the quality of a given page is not taken into account. The youth are the ones who need to assess the quality of these websites and decide what contains the information that is necessary to them.  A source titled “Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer,” by Robyn Caplan, extends this idea of Boyd’s that algorithms effect search engines, which in turn affect people’s lives. She states that, “big decisions about people’s lives are increasingly made by software systems and algorithms,” (Caplan). Some things that people decide in their lives are based off of stuff that they find off the Internet. People want reassurance with things in their lives, and a way to do this is by using search engines like Google to see how they should perform certain tasks.  This extends the idea of how algorithms affect the thinking of the youth and the decisions that they make on a regular basis through what they search up on search engines. Besides just the idea of decision-making due to algorithms presented by Caplan, she also presents other problems and issues caused by these algorithms. For example, she states that, “algorithms can unfairly limit opportunities, restrict services, and produce ‘technological redlining.’” She goes on to say how, “algorithmic systems can make decisions on the basis of protected attributes like race, income, or gender, even when those attributes are not referenced explicitly,” (Caplan).  Technological redlining is a form of digital data discrimination that uses digital identities and activities to bolster inequality and oppression. These algorithms also have the capability to make decisions for people using them through their race, income, and gender, which is extremely unfair to many. Everyone who uses the Internet should have fair opportunity and treatment to find what they are looking for, and should not have to worry about something like their own race and how that could affect a little thing like a Google search. This just goes to show how the algorithms are not a positive aspect of the Internet. They could go as far as to cause discrimination to people based off of how or who people are on the Internet.  The algorithms, besides just affecting people’s lives as a whole, also have an overall impact on what certain people can and cannot search for. This idea of technological redlining and unfair algorithms extends Boyd’s argument by showing how algorithms could affect the Internet, which in turn affect the people who use the Internet and what they search for.

A claim by Boyd is also that Wikipedia is actually a site of knowledge production.  Wikipedia is not considered extremely reliable to many educators who claim that Wikipedia is in fact not trustworthy and not a good site to use for research.  She states that, “Wikipedia can be a phenomenal educational tool, but few educators I met knew how to use it constructively,” (Boyd). Wikipedia could help the youth rather than just hurt them educationally, like taught by their teachers.  The entire history of a page on Wikipedia is visible and the youth could see the sources of where people have gathered their information. This is useful and allows them to further their critical thinking. Also, Boyd states that, “no one taught them to think of Wikipedia as an evolving document that reveals how people produce knowledge,” (Boyd).  Youth could do their own research on whether a site like Wikipedia is trustworthy, but instead determine the good or bad based off of what their teachers thought could be trusted. It actually could provide an ideal context for engaging the youth to interrogate their sources and understand how information is produced. An article by Roy Rosenzweig titled, “Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future Past,” goes into depth about how Wikipedia could actually be a good resource for research, with Rosenzweig focusing specifically on the subject of history.  He states that, “Wikipedia is surprisingly accurate in reporting names, dates, and events in U.S. history. In the 25 biographies I read closely, I found clear-cut factual errors in only 4. Most were small and inconsequential,” (Rosenzweig). This extends Boyd’s argument of how Wikipedia is a site of knowledge production because this goes to show how there is a lot of reliable information through Wikipedia, and that you could still find information that is comparable to major research websites like Encarta and Encyclopedia Britannica. Wikipedia showed to have very minor errors in its information, but this is not too important because many other websites that you find on the Internet and use for research has the possibility of not being 100% correct all the time.  Wikipedia is supposed to be considered bad in school, yet it is able to “compete” with these other websites that are considered to be good sources for research in school. This shows that Wikipedia should be considered as useful in school as these other websites are since it is proven to provide accurate information. The youth could benefit from the use of Wikipedia in school. The only thing is that the teachers are against it, even though Wikipedia could really be useful for students and used for knowledge production.

Boyd presents the argument that the youth today are not quite yet critical digital literate, but there are many things that they could do to improve this quality.  Outside sources are used to extend Boyd’s argument and further help the persuasion of her argument. I feel as if Boyd’s argument is valid and that there should really be something done to improve the digital literacy for our youth.  Website analysis, learning about the idea behind algorithms, and Wikipedia as a site of knowledge production are just examples as a start to creating a change for critical digital literacy amongst the youth. Me personally, I feel as if the Internet and technology in general is a big part of my life, and yet I feel as if there is many different techniques that I could learn to improve my experience with technology.  Becoming more digital literate for me could really help to improve my online work. Everyone could become more digital literate no matter what point you are at. Critical digital literacy is a very useful tool to have at any point in your life. The youth today have much to work on when it comes to technology, and a big portion of this is developing critical digital literacy.

Boyd Rough Draft

Because teens grew up in a world in which the Internet has always existed, many adults assume that youth automatically understand new technologies.  In reality, the youth still has much that they could improve on when it comes to using technology. A chapter from Danah Boyd’s book titled, “Are Today’s Youth Digital Natives?” expands on the ideas of how the youth today are digital natives and their parents are digital immigrants.  There is a common misconception that all youth are able to work technology easily and with no issues, while their parents struggle greatly with the use of technology. Boyd goes on to say how really the youth needs to work on developing better critical digital literacy. The youth need to learn how to use proper website analysis, that there are algorithms with search engines, and websites like Wikipedia are not as bad as said to be.  If they are able to learn these different techniques on the Internet, then they will develop better critical digital literacy. In this paper, I will present Boyd’s main claims and the ways that outside sources extend the main claims that Boyd makes.

One of Boyd’s main claims shows how the youth today are not taught proper website analysis.  They are not taught the proper ways to distinguish useful information and real information, from all the false things that could be presented to them over the Internet.  Boyd proposes questions like, “What biases are embedded in the artifact? How did the creator intend for an audience to interpret that artifact, and what are the consequences of that interpretation?”  These questions that she gives us are questions that the youth should be asking themselves while searching on different websites for information. They need to have the skills to ask questions and challenge these “media artifacts” in order to insure that they are getting all the correct and factual stuff from their research.  Boyd also goes on to state that, “they need to be able to understand the biases in advertising, whether the ads are disseminated online or through more traditional media.” There are many useful skills that the youth could still learn today about the Internet. Even though they are considered “digital natives,” this does not mean that they are automatically familiar with everything on the Internet.  Overall, the youth needs to still learn what is right and factual on the Internet, since there is a great amount of stuff out there that is bad. A chapter from a book by Mike Caulfield titled “Four Strategies” extends on this idea of critical digital literacy by offering ways for the youth to use proper website analysis. For example, he says to follow four moves which are to “check for previous work, go upstream to the source, read laterally, and circle back.”  This is to help with web analysis and show the youth the proper way of analyzing a website to make sure it is what they want. This directly extends on the idea of the youth not being equipped with critical digital literacy because Caulfield extends on how the youth should work the websites they are using. Another outside source is by Caulfield which is titled “Using Google Reverse Image Search”, which maps out perfectly how to tell the background of a picture and the source for where it came from.  This also extends on the idea of web analysis which helps for the youth to understand where the pictures they see are coming from and what they should do to tell if they are legit or not. This helps the youth to make sure the pictures are credible and not a version of fake news. Mike Caulfield extends on Boyd’s argument of critical digital literacy.

Another claim by Boyd is that algorithms effect search engines, and not everything that is viewed on the Internet through these search engines is correct.  Google is a major search engine used by many. Google is a for-profit company and is monetized through advertising. People who search on Google expect the top search results to be the best websites and answers, but this is not true.  For example, Boyd states that, “Google is not in the business of verifying content or assessing content’s quality.” This means that the websites that the youth are always relying on as their search engines are not always the best choice.  They need to be able to learn how to work around these algorithms and find actual sites that could be useful to them, rather than focusing on just the top results off of Google. Also, Boyd says that, “although the pages that Google offers are highly likely to be topically relevant with regard to the query, the company’s employees do not try to assess the quality of a given page.”  Sites like conspiracy theory and celebrity gossip sites are given high rankings, which shows how anything that is relevant to a search is provided. It is not always useful information and these website show how the quality of a given page is not taken into account. The youth are the ones who need to assess the quality of these websites and decide what contains the information that is necessary to them.  A source titled “Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer,” by Robyn Caplan, extends this idea of Boyd’s that algorithms effect search engines, which in turn affect people’s lives. She states that, “big decisions about people’s lives are increasingly made by software systems and algorithms.” Some things that people decide in their lives are based off of stuff that they find off the Internet. People want reassurance with things in their lives, and a way to do this is by using search engines like Google to see how they should perform certain tasks.  This extends the idea of how algorithms affect the thinking of the youth and the decisions that they make on a regular basis through what they search up on search engines.

A claim by Boyd is also that Wikipedia is actually a site of knowledge production.  Wikipedia gets a bad look from many educators who claim that Wikipedia is not trustworthy and not a good site to use for research.  She states that, “Wikipedia can be a phenomenal educational tool, but few educators I met knew how to use it constructively.” Wikipedia could help the youth rather than just hurt them educationally, like taught by their teachers.  The entire history of a page on Wikipedia is visible and the youth could see the sources of where people have gathered their information. This is useful and allows them to further their critical thinking. Also, Boyd states that, “no one taught them to think of Wikipedia as an evolving document that reveals how people produce knowledge.”  Youth could do their own research on whether a site like Wikipedia is trustworthy, but instead determine the good or bad based off of what their teachers thought could be trusted. It actually could provide an ideal context for engaging the youth to interrogate their sources and understand how information is produced. An article by Adam Coomer titled, “Should university students use Wikipedia?” extends this claim by showing the greatest strength of a site like Wikipedia.  He states that, “its contributors can choose which area they want to write about, which, in theory, means they only produce content where they are most qualified to do so.” This shows how Wikipedia could actually have a lot of factual, useful information that puts out good content. This is good for teens, especially in school, because Wikipedia could be used during research. The only thing is that teachers are against it. Wikipedia could be useful for students and used for knowledge production.

Boyd presents the argument that the youth today are not quite yet critical digital literate, but there are many things that they could do to improve this quality.  Outside are used to extend Boyd’s argument and further help the persuasion of her argument. The youth today have much to work on when it comes to technology, and a big portion of this is developing critical digital literacy.

Boyd Essay: 11/29

One of Boyd’s main claims shows how the youth today are not taught proper website analysis.  They are not taught the proper ways to distinct useful information and real information, from all the false things that could be presented to them over the Internet.  Boyd proposes questions like, “What biases are embedded in the artifact? How did the creator intend for an audience to interpret that artifact, and what are the consequences of that interpretation?”  These questions that she gives us are questions that the youth should be asking themselves while searching on different websites for information. They need to have the skills to ask questions and challenge these “media artifacts” in order to insure that they are getting all the correct and factual stuff from their research.  Boyd also goes on to state that, “they need to be able to understand the biases in advertising, whether the ads are disseminated online or through more traditional media.” There are many useful skills that the youth could still learn today about the Internet. Even though they are considered “digital natives,” this does not mean that they are automatically familiar with everything on the Internet.  Overall, the youth needs to still learn what is right and factual on the Internet, since there is a great amount of stuff out there that is bad. A chapter from a book by Mike Caulfield titled “Four Strategies” extends on this idea of critical digital literacy by offering ways for the youth to use proper website analysis. For example, he says to follow four moves which are to “check for previous work, go upstream to the source, read laterally, and circle back.”  This is to help with web analysis and show the youth the proper way of analyzing a website to make sure it is what they want. This directly extends on the idea of the youth not being equipped with critical digital literacy because Caulfield extends on how the youth should work the websites they are using. Another outside source is by Caulfield which is titled “Using Google Reverse Image Search”, which maps out perfectly how to tell the background of a picture and the source for where it came from.  This also extends on the idea of web analysis which helps for the youth to understand where the pictures they see are coming from and what they should do to tell if they are legit or not. This helps the youth to make sure the pictures are credible and not a version of fake news. Mike Caulfield extends on Boyd’s argument of critical digital literacy.

Another claim by Boyd is that algorithms effect search engines, and not everything that is viewed on the Internet through these search engines is correct.  Google is a major search engine used by many. Google is a for-profit company and is monetized through advertising. People who search on Google expect the top search results to be the best websites and answers, but this is not true.  For example, Boyd states that, “Google is not in the business of verifying content or assessing content’s quality.” This means that the websites that the youth are always relying on as their search engines are not always the best choice.  They need to be able to learn how to work around these algorithms and find actual sites that could be useful to them, rather than focusing on just the top results off of Google. Also, Boyd says that, “although the pages that Google offers are highly likely to be topically relevant with regard to the query, the company’s employees do not try to assess the quality of a given page.”  Sites like conspiracy theory and celebrity gossip sites are given high rankings, which shows how anything that is relevant to a search is provided. It is not always useful information and these website show how the quality of a given page is not taken into account. The youth are the ones who need to assess the quality of these websites and decide what contains the information that is necessary to them.  A source titled “Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer,” by Robyn Caplan, extends this idea of Boyd’s that algorithms effect search engines, which in turn affect people’s lives. She states that, “big decisions about people’s lives are increasingly made by software systems and algorithms.” Some things that people decide in their lives are based off of stuff that they find off the Internet. People want reassurance with things in their lives, and a way to do this is by using search engines like Google to see how they should perform certain tasks.  This extends the idea of how algorithms affect the thinking of the youth and the decisions that they make on a regular basis through what they search up on search engines.

A claim by Boyd is also that Wikipedia is actually a site of knowledge production.  Wikipedia gets a bad look from many educators who claim that Wikipedia is not trustworthy and not a good site to use for research.  She states that, “Wikipedia can be a phenomenal educational tool, but few educators I met knew how to use it constructively.” Wikipedia could help the youth rather than just hurt them educationally, like taught by their teachers.  The entire history of a page on Wikipedia is visible and the youth could see the sources of where people have gathered their information. This is useful and allows them to further their critical thinking. Also, Boyd states that, “no one taught them to think of Wikipedia as an evolving document that reveals how people produce knowledge.”  Youth could do their own research on whether a site like Wikipedia is trustworthy, but instead determine the good or bad based off of what their teachers thought could be trusted. It actually could provide an ideal context for engaging the youth to interrogate their sources and understand how information is produced. An article by Adam Coomer titled, “Should university students use Wikipedia?” extends this claim by showing the greatest strength of a site like Wikipedia.  He states that, “its contributors can choose which area they want to write about, which, in theory, means they only produce content where they are most qualified to do so.” This shows how Wikipedia could actually have a lot of factual, useful information that puts out good content. This is good for teens, especially in school, because Wikipedia could be used during research. The only thing is that teachers are against it. Wikipedia could be useful for students and used for knowledge production.

Body Paragraph: 11/13

Boyd’s argument shows how the youth today are not equipped with critical digital literacy.  They are not taught search literacy, web site analysis, and are told to avoid websites like Wikipedia which could actually end up being useful.  A chapter from a book by Mike Caulfield titled “Four Strategies” extends on this idea of critical digital literacy by offering ways for the youth to use proper website analysis.  For example, he says to follow four moves which are to “check for previous work, go upstream to the source, read laterally, and circle back.”  This is to help with web analysis and show the youth the proper way of analyzing a website to make sure it is what they want.  This directly extends on the idea of the youth not being equipped with critical digital literacy because Caulfield extends on how the youth should work the websites they are using.  Another outside source is by Caulfield which is titled “Using Google Reverse Image Search”, which maps out perfectly how to tell the background of a picture and the source for where it came from.  This also extends on the idea of web analysis which helps for the youth to understand where the pictures they see are coming from and what they should do to tell if they are legit or not.  This helps the youth to make sure the pictures are credible and not a version of fake news.  Mike Caulfield extends on Boyd’s argument of critical digital literacy.

Boyd: Argument/Claims

Overview of the argument: How adults assume that youth automatically know and understand new technologies.  The youth is looked at as “digital natives” while adults are looked at as the “digital immigrants”, creating a generational gap.

Two main claims: 1. Youth must become media literate.  They need to be able to analyze and ask questions about certain things that they may find through the Internet.

2. The notion of digital natives has political roots.  Native against the immigrant.  Parents are terrified of their children since they are natives in a world where the parent will always be an immigrant.

A passage I would like to learn more about is the section on digital inequality, and more specifically digital divide.  It is interesting to me how the digital divide was used in late 1990’s to describe the gap in access between rich and poor.

Boyd’s: “Literacy; Are Today’s Youth Digital Natives?”

Main claims: the “natives” and “immigrants” when it comes to the digital divide, the youth must become media literate, the way algorithms work (specifically search engines), Wikipedia as a site of knowledge production, degree of comfort and access to emerging technologies experienced by different youth (digital inequality), and the topic of “digital natives” should be reclaimed and made more precise.

The passage about the emergence of digital natives stuck out to me, specifically the part that talked about how parents are terrified of their children since they are immigrants in their native world.  This is very interesting to me because many parents have to adapt their way of living to that of their children always being on electronics, or their lives surrounded by media.

I feel as if this idea of how parents, or the “immigrants”, always feel as if their child is automatically tech savvy due to the generation that we have grown up with.  My parents will always ask me for help working certain feature on their phones and they always expect me to know what to do since I am a “native.”

Essay on McNamee

‘Brain hacking’ Internet monopolies menace public health, democracy, writes Roger McNamee.  Roger McNamee is a man who invested early in Google and Facebook and actually profited enormously off of it.  He was also an early adviser to Facebook’s team. Despite all this, McNamee still believes that these large Internet monopolies are ‘brain hacking’ their users.  He believes that these Internet monopolies are causing more bad than they are good. People should be terrified to the damage that these platforms could create for them.  McNamee firmly believes that these major platforms like Google and Facebook are exploiting human nature, and creating addictive behaviors that compel consumers and whose only goal is to generate profit.  In this paper I will be discussing two strategies used by McNamee in his writing, one source he used, assumptions, and a weakness in his work.

One strategy used was the idea of logos to show how social media outlets like Google and Facebook exploit human nature, creating addictive behaviors.  For example, McNamee states that, “A 2013 study found that average consumers check their smartphones 150 times a day. And that number has probably grown. People spend 50 minutes a day on Facebook. Other social apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter combine to take up still more time.”  This strategy of logos works here because it sets up the idea of how harmful this could be, and allows for the audience to become aware as to how this could be a bad part of social media.  The big Internet companies are more so able to influence since they keep a personal profile on you due to your use of their platforms. After realizing a fact like this as a reader who uses social media, you are now more easily convinced to believe what McNamee has to say.  The use of logos in this article is an excellent choice because the audience will always be more easily persuaded when what the author has to say is backed up by facts. Since most of us in today’s society use social media, these facts will be more personal and relatable, and will actually have an impact on our ways of thinking.  Logos for McNamee’s argument is well used and establishes a great amount of compelling evidence as to why social media is not always a good thing, and will actually create addictive behaviors in humans.

Another strategy used by McNamee throughout the text was the use of analogies when it came to the idea presented that human beings have many natural tendencies that need to be monitored in the context of modern life.  For example, McNamee uses the analogy that, “our craving for fat, salt and sugar, which served us well when food was scarce, can lead us astray in an environment in which fat, salt and sugar are all too plentiful and heavily marketed to us. So too our natural curiosity about the unknown can lead us astray on a website that leads us too much in the direction of lies, hoaxes and misinformation.”  McNamee is comparing the craving of fat, salt, and sugar in our society due to how it is presented to us to the idea that we will be curious while on the Internet and will stumble across a wide area that we are not too familiar with. This analogy works here in the text because everyone is familiar with how good salt and sugar is, yet how bad it could be to your health. This will help the audience to understand how websites use this same thinking.  Once your curiosity takes over, you will be drawn to the unknown that you feel is a good idea to look at, when in reality could be bad due to how many lies and misinformation there are all over the Internet. After looking at this analogy and realizing that this analogy is something you relate to as a reader, you will now be more easily persuaded to agree with McNamee and think about if you have ever been in this situation, which many of us could say we have.  Also, McNamee states that, “YouTube has created a restaurant that serves us increasingly sugary, fatty foods, loading up our plates as soon as we are finished with the last meal. Over time, our tastes adjust, and we seek even more sugary, fatty foods, which the restaurant dutifully provides. When confronted about this by the health department and concerned citizens, the restaurant managers reply that they are merely serving us what we want.”  This is another example of an analogy used in the text.  This analogy relates directly with the last one, both having to do with sugar and fat.  Websites that are used by many in our society today, like Youtube, use this thought that it is good to continue to feed their community with the things that they feel will draw them to come back to their site, no matter if it is good or bad.  Again this is an analogy that us as an audience could relate to, and actually is a bit scary how easy it is for these large websites, that are a go-to for many, to radicalize billions of people. Analogies in this text work great to help persuade and clarify the argument McNamee is attempting to make.

A source that is used by McNamee in his text is one about brain hacking.  This source comes from CBS, specifically 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper, and is title, “What is ‘brain hacking’? Tech insiders on why you should care.”  McNamee uses this source to describe what brain hacking actually is and the meaning behind it.  In this source, a former Google product manager is interviewed about brain hacking and reveals all of what he knows.  He discusses how a phone is like a slot machine and how major platforms online use certain techniques to continuously get people to return to their app, “programming” these people in a way.  This source is an incredibly reliable one since it comes from CBS and uses an interview from a man who worked for one of these major platforms who use “brain hacking” their advantage. McNamee uses this source in his favor to strengthen his overall argument and allow readers to understand a little more of what brain hacking actually is without going into great detail in his own writing.  It creates more credibility for McNamee and shows another viewpoint into how these Internet monopolies are creating addictive behaviors in humans to get them to continue to return to their platforms. This source about “brain hacking” works well for McNamee in his writing.

An assumption made by McNamee occurs early on in his text where he begins with stating how technology has transformed our lives.  McNamee states that, “While the convenience of smartphones has many benefits, the unintended consequences of well-intentioned product choices have become a menace to public health and to democracy.”  Alone in this statement, McNamee is already assuming that all smartphones are a menace to public health and to democracy. Although many people in our society spend countless hours on their electronics, this does not mean that everyone does this.  There are many people out there who only use smartphones for simple things like texting and calling, and this does not result in the idea of smartphones being a “menace to public health and to democracy” for these people. Not everyone in his audience will be on the same level with technology.  There is a wide variety of uses for smartphones, and many actually use them in different ways. It is not always just all social media platforms, not everyone has experienced social media like McNamee assumes they have. This is one of many assumptions made by McNamee throughout his text.

A weakness in McNamee’s article is when he talks about and relates what Internet monopolies do to something as crazy as alcohol and heroin.  He does this when he says, “Like gambling, nicotine, alcohol or heroin, Facebook and Google — most importantly through its YouTube subsidiary — produce short-term happiness with serious negative consequences in the long term. Users fail to recognize the warning signs of addiction until it is too late.”  This is considered a weakness because what these major platforms do online is nowhere near as bad as something like nicotine, alcohol, or heroin. This analogy made by McNamee is very extreme and actually lowers his credibility. Many people will look at this and think it is crazy to ever compare Internet monopolies to something people struggle with real addiction to.  I understand that he was making an attempt at strengthening his argument, but using these kinds of examples just ends up having people think it was too far and will not be persuaded as easily into believing that everything he is saying is not over exaggerated. McNamee could have went without using crazy comparisons like drugs and alcohol in an attempt to strengthen his argument.

McNamee believed that Internet monopolies were brain hacking their users and exploiting human nature, creating addictive behavior.  He creates a compelling argument through his use of facts and analogies to real world, relatable things to persuade his audience to believe his point of view.  Overall, McNamee does a good job with drawing in his audience and establishing himself as an extremely credible person in the topic of brain hacking with Internet monopolies.