In rDigital News: AP hack, #FreeJahar, and touchscreens for toddlers

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This week, multiple news headlines hit on technology’s impact on society. Whether it was the Associated Press’ (AP) Twitter account getting hacked and causing a micro-crash in the market or a look at how touchscreens can affect child development, the news brought out more debates over how technology affects our behaviour.

Here is our weekly rDigital News roundup of this week’s highlights:

Associated Press gets hacked 

“Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” That was the tweet sent out from the official Associated Press Twitter account last Tuesday afternoon. AP staff were quick to publicize that their feed had been hacked and that the tweet was in fact a hoax, but the initial reaction to the fake news blast caused the Dow Jones to drop about 145 points. Internet pundit, Jeff Jarvis spoke with the Globe and Mail following the incident and said that the this news highlights the need for people to think twice before they believe everything they read on social media. Are we too trusting of what gets published on the web? Is Twitter changing how we get news?

Check out these links before you decide:

Boston bombings perpetrator Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a.k.a “Jahar”

Tumblr isn’t just for funny gifs anymore. This week Gawker published a story about a 14-year-old who started a blog in support of the Boston bombing perpetrator, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. “Jahar” was what Tsarnaev’s friends called him and the blog accordingly runs under the banner #FreeJahar. According to Gawker, this site brings conspiracy and fandom together with an audience comprising teenagers and 20-somethings.

In her interview with rdigitaLIFE, social media researcher says  Alice Marwick, “to be a young person online today means that you have a place online that’s networked but allows you to chat with all your friends and participate in public life.” Is this Tumblr an example of that participation in public life? What role does technology play in how we voice our opinions and who ends up listening?

Or does the online fandom surrounding Tsarnaev speak to the idea of online identity, as discussed by Lauren “Raymi” White? How does the online identity of this suspect compare to who he is in real life?

Click here to read the full article on Gawker.

For more, check out:

Touchscreens and Toddlers

By: Leonid Mamchenkov via Flickr

Young generations are increasingly growing up with technology as a major part of their lives. Kids are learning how to use touchscreens before they learn how to talk but how is technology affecting toddlers? Is technology changing the way kids grow up? What will this mean for future generations?

In her interview with rdigitaLIFE,  Alice Marwick talked about the evolving nature of childhood and technology.

“Young people have grown up with social media technologies. They’re integrated into teenage life in a way that, you know, some adults use them, but certainly not all of them. The expectations for young people that they should be on social media, that they need to be on social media to participate in their peer group, is really wide-spread.”

The Atlantic recently looked at this hot button issue and how tech may be more hurtful than helpful when it comes to child development.

Click here to read the full article.

Also check out:

By: Ishani Nath (@ishaninath



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