Module#2: Part 2

I think everyone is well aware that people have always found new and exciting ways to annoy one another for quite some time now. Only recently however have people been able to not only bother total strangers but remain completely anonymous while doing it. The internet in recent years has seen the rise of a group of people known as internet trolls, basically someone who uses the anonymity available to them on the web to annoy, tease and harass others on the web. It’s an interesting phenomenon, which is exactly why I decided to look into the history of internet trolling, to see exactly where this favorite pass time of many all began.

Its important to note that trolling has existed long before public access to the internet was a common thing. The first form of what today we think of as trolling was in fact the prank phone call. Prank phone calls, popular before the introduction of caller-ID, share many of the same principles as online trolling, such as anonymity, teasing and tricking complete strangers, the continuous harassment of certain individuals, and seemingly being consequence free. Although prank phone calls were popular in the 70’s and 80’s, there have been many examples prior to this. In fact, the first known prank phone call took place in 1884, just eight years after the telephone was invented, and other instances took place in the 1930’s. The vast majority of internet trolls are people in their youth, and I think it’s safe to say that had these people grown up before the rise of the internet then they would be keeping themselves busy through the activity of prank phone

Although prank phone calls are the without a doubt the most popular form of pre-internet trolling, they are far from the only example. During my research into the evolution of trolling, I learned that another popular form of trolling even to this day is over a CB radio. For those of you that are unaware, a CB radio is a radio that is used to talk to other owners of the device through ever connected airwaves. The most powerful devices can communicate all over the world. CB radios are commonly used by truckers, and as a result has become a breeding ground for trolls. Like the internet and pre-caller id phones, users of CB radios have an extreme amount of anonymity, giving credence to the thought of consequence-free harassment. This type of trolling dates all the way back to 1969. Below is a compilation of some examples.

All of this brings us to the utility each and every one of use uses on a daily basis, the internet. More importantly, it brings us the one of the largest groups of people on the web, internet trolls. During my research, I came across an article discussing the history of trolls and discovered a very good point. When internet trolls first began to pop up on the internet, they were much more in line with what we had seen previously with prank calls and CB radios. The trolling was mostly harmless. Certainly annoying, and sometimes bordering on actual harassment, but mostly harmless. But as time went on, there was a shift in the attitude of many internet trolls. Certain trolls started to become more malicious in their intent. The internet provided information, services, and anonymity previously unheard of, and this opened the gate for all kinds of new ways to harass people. One of the most notable trends among the trolling community today is an act known as swatting. In this act, while a professional streamer is playing a game on twitch, the troll will call the police and tell them that the streamer in question has killed someone or has a bomb or has done something else worthy of sending in a swat team. Them, after the call has been placed and the swat team is on the way, the troll watches the arrest play out on the stream. Trolling such as this is extremely dangerous, and is becoming more and more popular everyday. Why trolling been taken to such an extreme level is still unclear. My research has wielded a wide variety of theories. The two I believe to be the most valid is 1. the role politics plays on the internet has caused people to use trolling as a way to take their frustrations out on those who’s political opinion does not align with their own, and 2. The anonymity of the internet has cause people to feel so disconnected from other people on the internet that when they take trolling to the extreme, they don’t even think of it as harming another human beings.

A compilation of swatting pranks


Module #2: Part 1

This week, My group and I have decided to go with the topic of “Trouble with Trolling”. Now initially, I had trouble deciding where I wanted to even begin with this module. Although I frequently use the internet, my interactions with other people online is very limited. There are only two social media websites that I use, Twitter and Facebook, and my uses for those solely for keeping up with the news and staying in contact with old friends respectively. I have yet to put out a single tweet, and I have only posted a handful of things on Facebook. Other than that, I never communicate with anyone over the web. It was at this point I realized that in order to successfully take away something form this project, I would have to approach trolling with a much wider net. With that in mind, I have decided to research exactly how trolling has evolved ever since the internet became the massive day to day utility it is today. Trolling has existed long before the internet was around,and I intend to shed light in it’s origins and how it has changed over the years.

Weekly Report #2

This week was definitely a lot harder than week 1, mostly towards the end. This past week, I have learned many things about the device I am constantly carrying around in my pocket, many of them not pretty. I have learned that a large part of the process of making my phone likely relied on slave labor, or at least labor that is inhumane at best. I have learned that when the day comes to finally discard of my phone, I better make sure I dispose of it properly, because improper disposal of electronics is currently contributing to the climate change crisis in a major way. I have learned that, whether we want to admit it or not, we are all complicit in this vicious cycle that is used to make the devices we cherish, and we should hold the companies that benefit from this cycle accountable as well. On the lighter side, I also learned that my future career definitely will not involve digital design or designing tech, as my project for this week did not quite turn out the way I had hoped.

Object Lesson Timeline and Reflection

I’m going to be completely honest with you guys, I don’t think this project was my best work. Now to be clear, I am actually very interested in this subject. I love technology. I am very interested in the origins of the devices we see and use on a daily basis, not just in terms of their design, but where they were assembled, where the materials come from, etc. I also like taking things apart from time to time. I like seeing just how things work, its something that always interested me. Above all I think I am interested in outdated and obsolete technology the most. Things like old video game consoles, phones, TV’s, etc. I like seeing how technology has evolved over the years, and it can be really fun to play with these old pieces of hardware. With all that being said however, This project still didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted it to, and that;s because just because I’m interested in a subject does not mean I am good at tackling it.

The first big challenge I faced when tackling this project was actually finding an old piece of technology. My family has a habit of throwing away anything we don’t need, including obsolete pieces of hardware. I had to search everywhere in my house to find something, and it was nothing short of a miracle when I actually found this old busted up iPhone 3G. The next major challenge came when it was time to take the thing apart. First of all, I don’t have the proper tools to take something delicate like an iPhone apart. The only thing I could use without destroying the phone was a screwdriver (Below you can see the result).Second, I have absolutely no professional knowledge in the field of tech, including how these things are put together. So when the time came to deconstruct the phone, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and doing research on the internet didn’t help very much. This kind of stuff is just impenetrable to me.

The final part of this project, putting together the timeline, I didn’t fare much better at. Now, I should point out that piecing together the information I needed was not all that hard. My parents and I have a very good memories, so when I was laying out the life of this iPhone, I was not only able to recall specific events, but the time period in which they occurred as well, and my parents helped fill in the blanks. The hard part came when it was time to actually assemble this information into a timeline. Again, I love technology, but I am terrible at using it. The interface for Timeline JS is impenetrable to me, so much so that I couldn’t even figure out how to properly convert the timeline I had into something interactive, forcing me to present it here in its most basic form possible. Then again, my fellow students seemed to have no problem doing this, so maybe I’m just stupid. That about sums up my thoughts on this whole thing, hopefully I will have a more firm grasp on the next project. See you all next week.

Weekly Report #1

Starting this weeks work was a fairly easy en devour. Not only because I have successfully taken an online class in the past, but because I have taken this specific class . Last year I made an attempt to take digital studies for a short while, But I eventually dropped the class due to reasons unrelated to school. Because of this, it was easy for me to once again get everything set up, like slack and my blog. The rest of the week proceeded relatively smoothly. I found myself falling behind multiple times, but by the end of this week I was all caught up. On the last day, there was an issue I had to think extra hard about to overcome. After I filmed my video discussing what I had learned from the module, I found myself having difficulty embedding the video in my blog post. I tried every conceivable way to convert the video and/or post it to the blog but nothing seems to work. Finally, I came up with a solution. I uploaded the video to my YouTube channel, and then embedded the link in my blog post. This incident taught me two things. One, there is always a solution, and two, the easiest way may not be the most obvious.

What I Learned: Module Part 3

Overall, the work I did for this module, while simple, was satisfying. Any work done within the field of entertainment is great for me. Originally I wanted to go with a module for interactive fiction, But I felt that I did not have the skill set necessary to do so,so this served as a good first time experience instead, and It was quite interesting to partake in something I see online all the time.

GIF: Module Part Two

I will say that, in this instance at least, creating a GIF was extremely easy. This however, was only due to the help of my fellow classmates. While looking for a website where I could make a GIF, I noticed that a number of my classmates had mentioned a website known as Giphy, which I had never heard of before. I decided to look into it, and it was here I found the most accessible way to create a GIF for free. All I had to do was take the url for a youtube video and plug it into the site. Just a couple of minutes later, I had completed my first GIF, which you can see below. AS you can tell, it is keeping with my love of film.

Dghs GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Why This Matters: Module Part One

The reason why I decided to go with creating a GIF for my first module was simple. I love films. It is my dream to one day work in the entertainment industry, and although I strive to be a successful writer, I would love the opportunity to work behind the camera as well. With that being said, I like to take every opportunity I can to learn about the film making process, and the time and editing that comes with it, even if it is something as simple as a GIF.

Hello Fellow Students

My Name is Michael Dietrich. I am a junior and plan on graduating sometime next year. My hope is that after college I will be able to enter the entertainment industry as a writer. Setting up this website and application was extremely easy as I had already done it for another online class last year. I love movies, so I will share a link to one of my favorite movies from last year, and post the poster below.