News & Features

Personal Accountability in the Age of Social Media

Michael Odenthal

This is an age of unparalleled transparency. With the steady grind of an always-hungry-for-content 24-hour news cycle, and the unprecedented window into individuals’ personal lives provided by social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram, so much of what people do or think is documented that, for those who embrace these modes of communication, it would seem nearly impossible for anyone to disown a statement or action expressed through one of these public forums. 

Life Before Google: Remembering the Encyclopaedia

Marty Kaplan

To say that almost no one uses encyclopedias any more would be an exaggeration. According to the website Alexa, which tracks and ranks sites based on daily visitors and page views, U.S. traffic to britannica.com ranks it at 2,240 on the list of sites, beating the pants off worldbook.com, which comes in around 68,000. Both those brands are ghost towns compared to Wikipedia, which is ranked sixth.

Why the NRA Opposes Smart Guns

Katie Trumbly

The law showed favoritism to Smart Guns and personalized technology by only allowing the sale of Smart Guns in the state of New Jersey three years after the first Smart Gun went on U.S. shelves online and in stores. The law, supported by New Jersey Senator Loretta Weinberg, and passed in 2002 was called the Childproof Handgun Law. As a revolt the NRA and gun extremists proceeded to throw the biggest tantrum against gun manufacturing progress since the assault rifle ban. 

Early Voting Is Key to Increasing Latino Voter Turnout

Griselda Nevarez

In 2010, fueled by frustration over Arizona’s approval of its controversial immigration law known as SB 1070, volunteers and paid organizers with One Arizona began knocking on doors to register Latinos to vote and to get them signed up for the permanent early voting list. They also began going door-to-door reminding Latino voters to either mail back their ballots or turn them in at the county recorder’s office before election day. 

The Anaconda of Chinese Communism Slithers into Hong Kong

Patrick McShane

Beijing released an official White Paper, which declared that anyone whom the people of Hong Kong nominated to run for the office of Chief Executive must first be vetted by Beijing. What’s more,  anyone nominated by the people to become a potential political leader in Hong Kong must “love the country” – but what that actually means is that any candidate to be selected must “love the Party.” 

Hong Kong’s ‘Che’ Points at the Collapsing Facade of Elitist Hong Kong

Yoichi Shimatsu

Far from being a devout Christian, Longhair is the chieftain of the League of Social Democrats (LSD), a band of revolutionaries known for stormy protests that often end with activists being wrestled to the pavement by hordes of policemen. Despite the conservatism of this hard-nosed city, his confrontational tactics have won the affection of poorer residents, who have re-elected him over the past 10 years to voice their grievances as a parliamentarian in the city’s Legislative Council (Legco). 

The Ongoing Debate Over Detroit’s Water Cutoff

Rebekah Frank

At this point it is important to restate a piece of UN Resolution 64/292 where it acknowledges “the importance of equitable access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as an integral component of the realization of all human rights.” This makes clear that, in the case of Detroit, not only is the denial of access of drinking water to thousands of impoverished people a violation of the human right to water, but also the lack of equity within that limited access is a violation. 

U.S. Ebola Victim Made Several Stops on His Way to Texas

Breanna Edwards

The man who became the first person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with Ebola made quite a few stops around the world before reaching his final destination in Dallas, the Associated Press reports. Thomas Eric Duncan’s 28-hour trip from Monrovia in Liberia to Dallas involved flying on two airlines and taking a total of three flights with some 10 hours in layovers in two locations, AP reveals.

The Struggle for Identity and Fairness in Hong Kong

Yoichi Shimatsu

The leadership and activist numbers are coming from Generation ’97, young people born during the 1997 handover of the then-British Crown colony to Chinese sovereignty. These youngsters, most still in the secondary level (high school), are finding themselves at the forefront of a populist struggle for electoral rights. They are motivated by anxieties about local identity and a consequent need for better representation, reflecting attitudes that differ subtly but significantly from the traditional opposition parties. 

Move Over, Facebook: Welcome to the World of Anonymous Apps

Veronica Mendez

The last year has seen the emergence and popularity of anonymous social networks and apps such as Secret, Whisper and Anomo that promised users anonymity and a diminished digital trace. These anonymous networks seem to be a cultural reaction to the oversaturation of social media and the invasions of privacy on behalf of the corporations and the government. As people become more and more aware of just how permanent and sellable the digital footprint really is, there is a new consciousness growing within the online self. 

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