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Are you conscious about unconscious framing in the media?

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Since the beginning of human history, whether intentionally or unconsciously we have framed events and experiences in certain ways, influencing how we view our reality. Arguably, it is human nature to let our thoughts and emotions influence how we view and retell situations. But, if we aren’t aware if this, it can have significant effects on how we allow information to affect ourselves and others.

“Media framing can simply be described as the angle or perspective from which a news story is told.”

You could argue that every type of media has a frame, from videos, to books to news broadcasts or songs. Often in media, companies will manipulate a story or event to fulfill a pre-determined agenda like you can see in the images below.

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Where we see framing particularly clearly is when we look at politics.

Although it seems most people have accepted that politicians will manipulate the truth to further their cause. You could even say that it is in the nature of the political sphere to use framing to whatever advantage they can. After all, politics is all about persuading the public to support a particular side/ party.

For example, take a look at this video about how Scott Morison (the current Australian Prime Minister) re-branded (re-framed) himself.

We can also see framing in action in pretty much all of Donald Trump’s tweets.

However, it seems impossible for the media to exist without framing or the influence of bias. There is no such thing as an objective view- because that is just another type of frame. As such, to combat the effects of framing we need to be aware of it and question the intentions of content creators and continuously consider how information may have been affected by their individual opinons, emotions or intentions.

What do you think? Do you think it’s possible to receive information without a frame? Let me know in the comment section!


Social media content control- and what it means for you

I think it’s safe to say most of us are guilty when it comes to accepting the terms and conditions of something without reading the entire document.

But did you know that by accepting the terms of social media platforms you may be giving away your copyright rights for your own content?

For Facebook, its a “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide licence”, for Instagram it’s “a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide licence” and for Twitter it’s a “worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence “. (David Neild, 2017)

The terms are seemingly vague on purpose, allowing these platforms to have room to argue when it comes to legal matters.

This “means Facebook can post one of your pictures in the news feed, or Twitter can let someone retweet your photo, or Instagram can display one of your posts in a hashtag search, without paying you or infringing your copyright.”
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So whilst you own your content in most cases, once you accept those terms and conditions and share that content on social media in most instances you have given up your claim to copyright and have granted the platform permission to use that content without having to pay for licensing.

Keep that in mind next time you skip reading the terms and conditions!

Collective Intelligence and how you benefit from it:

The rise of the internet has enabled people all over the world to be share information and connect with each other in ways that were previously impossible.

This is called Collective Intelligence and it allows us to do some pretty cool things. Like solve crimes, mysteries and locate places.

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Check this link out, if you want to know more.

I think one of the best things about the internet and social media is that if you have a question, someone, somewhere will know the answer (most questions that is).

My favourite example of this is the reddit group r/whatisthis, where reddit users can post questions and pictures of objects and other users help them figure it out/ tell them the answer.

Isn’t cool that we are able to share our knowledge and experiences with one another? I think we all benefit from this system and I can’t wait to see how it will develop in the future.

So, next time you have a general question why don’t you try asking the internet after all somewhere there is a Monica waiting to tell you what they know.

Do you know the reality of hyper-reality?

Isn’t crazy how easy it is becoming to fake reality?

By that I am talking about the concept of people sharing a version of the world that simply isn’t real, this can be known as creating a ‘hyper-reality’.

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(Lil’ Miquela)

During the last couple decades, technology has developed and progressed at an incredible rate, to the point where we now how AI intelligence and technology that is so smart it can create considerably realistic looking people like Lil’ Miquela and Bermuda.

These CGI Influencers, have over 1.5 million and 140k followers, respectively.

They are computer generated images that are meant to look and seem like real girls.

(Bermuda) Source:

The photos they share on their Instagram accounts present a reality that does not exist.

In fact they, are not even a ‘they’. They aren’t people, they are just a series of images created by a group of people who have also developed a persona to go with them.

Am I the only one that thinks that this is a little more weird than it is cool?

If we continue to humanize CGI characters where will the road lead?

Media proffesionals have raised concern over these CGI accounts being framed as and treated as influencers, especially when it comes to product endorsements.

“Why should followers trust the opinion of someone who doesn’t exist? “Virtual influencers aren’t trying on a clothing brand,” “They can’t tell you, ‘This shirt is softer than another and that’s one of the reasons you should buy it.’ They’re not real people, so they can’t give a totally authentic endorsement.”

It’s easy to eye-roll at a headline about two feuding CGI celebs. But they won’t be the last—and their successors might not be so immediately easy to spot as fakes.

Whilst it’s fairly easy to spot these CGI ‘people’ now, at the rate technology is developing I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a lot harder to make the distinction in very little time.

Another rising concern is the emergence and development of video and audio technology that produces ‘deep fakes’.

Deep fakes are realistic imitations of real people that have the potential to generate extreme misinformation. Check out this video for an explanation of the possible damaging effects this technology could have.

Moving forward into a technology driven world, it seems important to ask the question, “what is real?”.

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think!

The truth about Apple and Android smartphones!

The truth is the things we call ‘phones’ nowadays aren’t
really just phones, they’re little palm-sized computers that can do soooo much more than just make and receive phone calls.

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The biggest difference between Apple and Android technology
is the access they allow their users to the software in their devices.

So, right now I’m feeling pretty ignorant, am I the only person who had no idea you are able to access and modify android software?

It’s called ‘rooting’ and the reason you can do it, is because android have an open-source system which enables users to access and modify the software to do whatever they want it to.

There are “thousands of open source software programs that millions of people rely on everyday for tasks that range from browsing the web or watching videos to real time translation or using voice recognition on their smartphone.”

Because the code is freely available you can make your android smartphone do just about anything you want! The only limit is your imagination.. and maybe your coding skills.

The difference with Apple products is that they do not allow their users to access the code at all, they are completely close-source, locked appliances.

This means that only Apple can work and better their technology, and consequently constantly sell new Apple products.

What do you think? Are you still Team Apple/ iPhone or do you love the open-source Android phones (Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, etc.)??

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

The future of memes: harmless entertainment or persuasive propaganda?

In today’s world memes have so much power!

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But, is that a good thing? Especially when they can be and are used to persuade people’s opinions about important issues.

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On the right are examples of pro-Trump and Pro-Life memes specifically designed with the intent to persuade anyone who views them to support or adopt their viewpoint.

(Disclaimer: these memes were only chosen as examples of distributed meme warfare, they do not support my own personal views.)

Distributed media and Meme Warfare holds many implications for the future of memes, specifically why they are created, their purpose and how they will effect their audience.

Which is why Governments and authorities are making more effort to understand and use memes effectively.

—> Click play on the audio below to listen to a variety of US Politicians discuss the importance of memes.

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An example of this in action, is the implementation of a dedicated ‘Meme Team’ to produce content for the NSW Police’s social media accounts. This has been seemingly significant in increasing their engagements with users, particularly with younger generations.

Another prominent example of ‘meme warfare’ can be seen in the fake Hillary Clinton campaign spread during the lead up to the 2016 US Election, known as #DraftOurDaughters.

One of the memes created and spread under #draftourdaughters.

The fake Clinton campaign was created and distributed by Trump supporters and aimed at undermining her theme of equality between genders.

Whilst most users produce content for the enjoyment and entertainment of other users, this type of propaganda raises questions about how it will effect audiences.

So, what do you think about the future of memes?

Thanks for reading, be sure to let me know what you think in the comment section below!

Governments want you to think national surveillance is a good thing, but is it?

The development of AI facial recognition technologies has prompted serious concern about how it can and is being used.

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Governments and media across the world are framing systems of surveillance as a positive and beneficial thing for the safety and national security of citizens. But what they aren’t talking about are the serious questions about privacy, this kind of technology raises.

In China they have already developed an advanced surveillance system that uses facial recognition software to monitor all citizens. They are also currently testing a Social Credit System with plans to unleash it nationally.

This social credit system gives off some serious dystopian vibes.

Citizens with a high credit score have access to a lot of benefits, like cheaper rates, public transport and other public services. Whilst those with bad scores are penalised, with blacklisted citizens unable to use public transport like trains, buses or trains.

Citizens start with a set number of points (or credits) and are watched and monitored through surveillance cameras. If someone does something the Government considers bad like jaywalking or littering, they will lose points. If they praise the government, donate to charities or give blood, they gain points.

While many people see the good side of this system, it raises questions about privacy and control..

Check out my video below that highlights some of the parallels between the Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’ and what is happening in China.

A lot of people believe that this sort of thing could never happen in Australia, but similar surveillance technology is currently being tested in the Northern Territory.

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The Future of Surveillance in China

Officials assure us that,

The camera systems will be used to police “crime and anti-social behaviour” and to “protect organisations that may face security risks”.

Peter Rogers from ‘The Conversation’

But how can we be sure that is all this data will be used for? Also, how can we be sure it will be kept safely protected?

In this article, journalist Nicholas Stuart concludes that,

“…it’s inevitable that someone, eventually, will abuse their access to such information. It’s human nature. “

What are your thoughts?

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Let me know in the comments below!

Disclosure and deception- the issue of transparency in the world of Instagram influencer marketing

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In an increasingly online world, social media platforms have exploded in popularity, including Facebook, YouTube and the photo and video sharing app, Instagram, which now has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide.

Within the last decade, the rise of social media influencers on these platforms has changed the way companies advertise their brand and products has changed dramatically. This had lead to the emergence of an advertising industry known as ‘influencer marketing‘, which provokes questions about the ethics of presenting artificial endorsements as authentic opinions.

Ok… but first, what are influencers?

Influencers are usually understood as social media personalities who amass large followings through producing consistent and quality content for a particular niche audience. Although the term ‘influencer’ can also encompass celebrities, bloggers, and industry experts who have a large social media following.

The name ‘influencer’ stems from the idea that these people are able to persuade and shape their audience’s opinions and ideas.

The different types of influencers each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

In recent years, becoming an influencer is increasingly seen as a career, and a desirable one at that.

The increasing desire to make money off Instagram is resulting in people faking sponsorship deals– these aspiring influencers are fully embracing the phrase ‘fake it ’til you make it.’

It has become normal for these popular accounts to monetize by using their platform to promote products and brands to their audience, in fact sponsorship is usually seen as a sign of success for an influencer.

But not all people recognise that the reason their favourite Instagrammer is praising or tagging that brand because they have been paid or incited to do so.

How and why are influencer’s deceiving their audience?

Due to the incredible number of accounts and the volume of social media content, it is currently seemingly impossible to monitor whether users are acting ethically and acting with honesty and transparency.

Influencer’s decide whether they are going to deceive their audience when they choose whether or not to disclose if, and how they may have been incited to post content featuring brands or products.

One of the first prominent examples of influencing marketing deceiving audiences was seen in December 2014, where Australia Post hired a talent agency called Moda Creative which then paid a variety of popular Instagrammers to promote the company.

Instagram influencers with up to 400,000 followers promoted Australia post without disclosing they had been paid to.

The problem was that none of these influencers disclosed to their audience that they had been paid to do so, which appeared to breach the guidelines of Australian Competition and Consumer Commsson (ACCC) and raised questions about Australia Consumer Law. However, no there was no legal action, the sponsored content was editing to include a disclaimer and in some cases removed from the Instagrammer’s accounts.

Why is non-disclosure a problem?

The lack of transparency in the world of influencer marketing is arguably one of the biggest problems facing the industry and social media users. Influencers deceive their audiences when they share promotional content without disclosing that they have been paid or given gifts to do so.

Essentially it is deception.

The Instagram account for 2 year old twins Taytum and Oakley has over 2.4 million followers and one post featuring a branded product can go for sums in the five-figure range.

Ganga S Dhanesh and Gaelle Duthler (2019) explain that when an audience is not aware of the persuasive nature of seemingly organic content, they are vulnerable to deception because they are not prepared to utilize their “cognitive and attitudinal defenses against persuasion”.

“…when individuals perceive a message to have persuasive intent, their prior persuasion knowledge will be activated and they will process the message differently than if, they were unaware of the persuasive intent of the message.” (Dhanesh & Duthler 2019)

Seemingly, influencers such as Kourtney Kardashian and Kylie Jenner understand this. In year, the American organisation Truth In Advertising (TINA) found that Kourtney took at least two days to disclose that an Instagram post was sponsored by an airline, adding #ad after over a million of her followers had already seen it.

The Kardashian-Jenner sisters repeatedly do not make a reasonable effort to disclose sponsored content.

Similarly her half-sister Kylie Jenner also seemingly ‘waited’ until her post had over one million likes before editing the caption to include #ad.

What guidelines are there to ensure influencers don’t deceive their audience?

Provisions and guidelines differ in other countries which makes it difficult for Instagram to provide guidelines that are applicable internationally. In America the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) presents a guide on how to properly disclose a sponsorship deal, similarly in the UK there is the CAP Codes.

For Australians, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) offers a guide on how influencers can act ethically and maintain integrity when sharing sponsored content with their audience.

The AANA stresses the importance of maintaining truth and transparency by clearly disclosing any connection an influencer may have to the brand they endorse. However, there are no specific requirements on how an influencer should do this, and it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether the content requires disclosure and to what extent.

Sponsored content can be hard to clarify in some instances. If a brand pays an influencer to showcase their product it is sponsored content, however the line between sponsored material and genuine praise can get blurry in scenarios where brands gift an influencers a product and then they endorse that brand on their account.

In confusing situations, the AANA guidelines offer two criteria to identity sponsored content. Firstly, did the brand/ marketer have a reasonable control over the influencer’s material? Secondly,

“Does the material draw the attention of the public in a manner calculated to promote a product or service.”

The general solution for influencers to ensure they meet these guidelines is to clearly place use the hashtag #ad or #sponsored on any content created in partnership with a company. But a report by The Exposure Co explains that 6/10 people did not understand what these hashtags meant.

Why is all this important and what does it mean for the future?

Moving forward, the issue of the lack of transparency holds many implications for media professionals, marketers and general social media users.

When influencers don’t disclose the whole truth to why they are endorsing, promoting or praising a brand or product, they are purposely or in advertently deceiving their audience. By presenting sponsored content as a genuine review or opinion, influencers are preventing their audience’s instinctive response to critically view persuasive material.

This lack of transparency has the potential to shape an audience’s opinion without them realising. Ethically, this a problem for influencers, media professionals and social media users alike. Currently, there are limited and vague rules about social media sponsorship disclosure and influencers are largely responsible for regulating their own content, this includes choosing whether to clarify sponsored content on their accounts.

So, next time your scrolling through Instagram or viewing content on other social media platforms, keep in mind that the popular accounts that you follow for authentic content may be benefiting from enabling companies to market products to you without your awareness…

Works Cited:

Dhanesh G & Duthler 2019, ‘Relationship management through social media influencers: Effects of followers’ awareness of paid endorsement’, Public Relations Review, volume 1, pp.1-11

Byrne S 2015, ‘The Age of the Human Billboard: Endorsement Disclosures in New Millennia Media Marketing’, Journal of Business & Technology Law, volume 10, issue 2, article 8, viewed 20 May 2019, < >

Digital Artefact: Project Beta

Gentle Giants & Co. & @zeusthefluffygsd

So, as I described in my project pitch, I planned to create a WordPress blog and Facebook page titled, ‘Gentle Giants & Co.” combined with a pet Instagram account. After consideration, this might have been too ambitious an idea for the time that I have available to devote to this project.

Initially I did create both a blog and Facebook page titled “Gentle Giants & Co.”, however the Facebook page and the blog haven’t had much success and haven’t really formed an audience.

The main goal for my Digital artefact was to raise awareness about the negative stereotype that big dogs breeds are dangerous and ultimately was going to focus on counteracting these negative stereotypes by sharing training tips, care advice, positive stories and cute photos.
But I have since realized that I do not know enough about this topic to be useful to an audience.

As such, I have decided to concentrate my efforts on an Instagram account for my dog, called @zeusthefluffygsd. Personally, taking photos and videos is less time consuming then writing articles and I find it more enjoyable.

I found that following and commenting on similar dog Instagram accounts often resulted in more followers. However, I found that a lot of the accounts that are aiming to gain more followers often unfollowed a few days later. As such the development of my Instagram audience has been slow but steady, on the bright side, this had led to organic audience.

Based on what my audience likes and engages with, I will focus on developing a clear and consistent persona for the account, through the photos and captions.

So based on the lack of response with the facebook page and wordpress blog, Moving forward I will concentrate solely on developing and curating the Instagram account and my modified goal for my DA, is to spread positivity, entertain my audience, whilst also educating them about important dog related topics.

Instagram account:

WordPress Blog:

Facebook Page:

Encoding/ Decoding Theory 101: The Essential Guide


The Encoding / Decoding Theory by Stuart Hall is a theory of communication which suggests audiences actively read media texts and don’t just accept them passively.

They interpret the media text according to their own cultural background and experiences.

In his Encoding / Decoding theory, Hall suggested that..

Media texts are read in three main ways:

A dominant or preferred reading of the text is the way that its creators want an audience to understand and respond to it.

(The audience agrees).

An oppositional reading of the text is when an audience completely rejects the message. (The audience disagrees).

A negotiated reading is when the audience support/accept or reject some aspects of the message.

(They don’t completely agree or disagree).

Make sense?

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Want to test your understanding of this theory?

If so, let me know what you think the preferred reading / interpretation of this Fox News opinion piece was in the comment section!

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