Tag: danielle c

The Drastic Rise of Hate Crimes Against Asian-Americans

Danielle C., journalist

Anti-Asian hate crimes, racially motivated crimes that discriminately target not only those of Asian descent but their property as well, have become an urgent matter of discussion in the past two years. Also known as “Covid-related hate crimes,” throughout the past year, such crimes–ranging from verbal assault and harassment to physical violence–have increased a shocking 339%. This drastic surge has been seen in every city across the nation, characterizing a dramatic change that began to rise and become increasingly present rapidly around March 2020, when the pandemic became more serious.

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Is Female Discrimination in the Workforce Worsening?

Danielle C., journalist

Women comprise largely 50% of the total world population. Yet, this ratio does not hold true in the workforce. Since movements in the 20th century that pushed for equal access to education, women have increasingly achieved educational levels that match – if not overcome – those of men. However, this fact remains unseen as women continue to face not only inequality through wage gaps but also the prevention of stepping up and attaining key positions within valued industries, such as engineering and technology. 

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The Pandemic Poses a Threat to Ending Child Marriage

Danielle C., journalist

Amid the spread of Covid-19, various unforeseen circumstances have come forward and presented themselves as much more profound matters than they seemed to be. The pandemic has led to a drastic increase in the number of child marriages around the world, and  its “damage to education and the economy could reverse decades of progress on child marriage and pregnancy,” pushing back all efforts that were previously taken to eradicate the practice of child marriage. 

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How Hostile Architecture Perpetuates Wealth and Class Inequality

Danielle C., journalist

Have you ever seen spiked or slanted benches on your way around the city? Have you ever seen leaning bars or spiked window sills? These are all examples of hostile architecture. Also known as defensive or aggressive architecture, hostile architecture is an urban design strategy that focuses on the specific construction of public structures or paths. It encompasses forms of public architecture designed with uncomfortable features in hopes to keep away loiterers or homeless individuals. Named due to the unwelcoming features of such builds, these designs have increasingly popped up in flourishing and crowded cities, such as New York or London. 

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Women Face the Brunt of Unemployment, Making Up 100% of Job Losses in December

Danielle Chan, Newsletter Co-Editor

The Covid-19 pandemic has driven many out of the workforce and into unemployment. Despite both men and women facing a drastic loss of jobs and economic instability, women have been disproportionately taking a much more devastating hit in the labor force. As opposed to the Great Recession, in which 70% of men working primarily in manufacturing and construction industries lost their jobs, the economic and financial crisis created by the pandemic is nearly two times as worse as what America faced from 2007-2009.

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Electric Vehicle Revolution or Tesla “Tulip” Mania?

Danielle Chan, Newsletter Editor

Tesla, an American company that focuses on the production of electric vehicles and more, has seen its share price go full “SpaceX,” rocketing up to stratospheric levels and making headlines across various media. Living in a world where it’s nearly impossible not to notice the stock market’s daily fluctuations, I couldn’t help but wonder how Tesla has become the world’s most valuable automobile company. With its recent addition to the S&P 500 Index this month, many whispers of both commendation and condemnation have stemmed from questioning the company’s true valuation. Is it worth its price, or is it all just a dream? 

How Social Media Leads to Polarization: An Analysis Based on “The Social Dilemma”

Danielle Chan, Newsletter Editor

After watching Jeff Orlowski’s docudrama, The Social Dilemma, the wheels in my brain began to turn when noticing several factors that, having been highlighted in the film, could lead to severe consequences if unnoticed. The Social Dilemma explored the damage social media could give rise to society, bringing in technological experts and creators of media applications to speak with alarm and warning towards what they had created.

It has been acknowledged that social media platforms, such as Instagram or Facebook, track our likes and search history. Google, a search engine that dominates 87% of market share as of July 2020, collects our browser history and uses the data when presenting advertisements and suggestions to viewers. While some may propose that social media has had its positive effects – reuniting lost loved ones, playing the bridge between partners despite long distances, and convenience across all aspects – these platforms also play key influencers in the polarization across social, cultural, and political beliefs.

Polarization, by definition, is the “division into two sharply distinct opposites.” When we like photos or posts, we indicate to social media algorithms that we have taken an interest or liking towards the content displayed. When we enter searches into search engines, we show the algorithms that we are “looking” for a certain something. These social media algorithms then show us what we want to see, displaying more media and advertisements that share a link with our search or like history. One could essentially say that we live in “filter bubbles.” We are stuck in an inconspicuous delusion, exposed to ideas that have been “filtered” based on the data we have indicated to these platforms we find interesting.

A multitude of users is continuously displayed with an increase in information that appeals to their interests. It should be important to note that not all that everyone sees on social media or search engines are without flaws and instead could be subject to biases or propaganda. Misinformation can be spread easily from user to user, yet viewers may believe them to be true as they can see others who support these false beliefs. They do not see sources of information that contradict their preexisting ideas, remaining in an illusioned fantasy that only strengthens their convictions.

Viewers see countless forms of media that carry the same logic as theirs, allowing them to put more faith and confidence in their ways of thought. In its essence, social media feeds its users the information they want to see, subtracting the supposed threat of opposing or disbelieving members from the equation.

Conspiracy theories gain believers, political rivals gain supporters, and viewers become polarized. The myriad of social media users cannot see other points of view and become short-sighted with the insistence that their values are “the only true beliefs,” the “correct ideas” as there are “many others who believe share the same logic as well.” They do not seek to understand rival “false information” despite the deception social media filters impose.

These scenarios reveal how extreme beliefs can be constructed through the incessant use of social media, as these applications show users what they want to see – those who share similar views, passions, or ideas – thus allowing them to delve deeper into the messy spirals of their own beliefs.

Politicians can influence voters through social media advertising, where algorithms share promises made by political leaders to users they already know would agree with these concepts, thus increasing the figure’s audience and possibly voters. Viewers may see a post coming from conspiracy groups and, out of interest, click on it. When showing even the slightest hint of interest, algorithms provide these viewers with more information regarding the theory in mind, increasing their attentivity to these thoughts and allowing them to believe there are many others following these theories as well. Their beliefs grow stronger as they see more and more figures who stand behind these ideas.

The very roots of the concept of polarization stem from the differences between extreme beliefs. Social media plays an essential factor in driving more and more of society into building walls against those who do not share similar views, causing polarization where more and more divide against those who are not like themselves. Social media has begun its journey into slowly unweaving the fabrics that hold people as one, subtly destroying the acceptance between different rationalization methods and sewing together a society that behaves cold and unaccepting to those who are unique.