The wiki project was a very new and interesting project for me. As an avid user of the internet, I come across numerous wiki-format pages, but never knew how they were structured. It was interesting to see this process, as well as being responsible for the interactive map. I had never experienced something like making an interactive map mashup, and had never really thought much about how they were made when i had previous encountered them in the past. My interest in geography and maps made that portion very interesting. My group members were all very effective, and our use of the group twitter page helped us all greatly!
so as I was thinking of how a smart mob can be used in a negative way, I looked back at my previous post when i mentioned the image board 4chan. 4chan has become well known as a feeding ground for inappropriate pictures and posts, and the online group ‘anonymous’ is often associated with 4chan. The users of 4chan range from average teens, young adults and adults. With the presence of the infamous title ‘hacker’, 4chan is often the meeting place for negative smart mobs, where the hackers DDOS (distributed denial of service) a website until it is no longer reachable, as well as hacking famous figures email addresses. Famous DDOS attacks by anonymous and 4chan include paypal, visa, tumblr, and even the F.B.I.’s homepage. It is clear that with all the advancements in technology, it can be used against those who are providing it. Perhaps these hackers are sending a message though, that these large companies are not safe, and the people can join together more so than ever to fight for justice, or to cause chaos.
So as I have been spending the last couple days thinking about smart mobs, I’ve been trying to think of some of the most influential smart mobs. The most popular positive smart mob I could think of was the Occupy Wall Street movement. Unlike other protests from the past, the internet became a large meeting ground for the protestors. Websites such as tumblr, reddit, and 4chan became places where protestors met and collectively worked together planning their movement. Without this, the movements may never have happened. The internet helped protestors in other cities stay aware of what was happening around the world, such as the protestors who were pepper-sprayed by a cop in a seemingly uncalled for fashion.
The most frightening part is that the internet can also lead to misconceptions. An original poster can post a picture such as the cop pepper spraying students, and it seems that the cop did it with no remorse or reason. On the contrary, the officer had legitimate reasons, as the students were not compliant with the authority.
My next search will be if smart mobs can be used negatively. Thats all for now.
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So I guess I’ve kind of always known what ‘smart mobs’ or ‘smart mobbing’ was, but didn’t really know it had a technical name. Smart mobbing is the gathering of groups in the community by means of mobile apps and the internet. The internet is an INCREDIBLE source of, well basically, everything! The internet has so many powers, both positive and negative (that kind of makes it seem like the internet is a superhero!). The internet has been making people become more connected, and greater amounts of people from long distances are able to connect together. Smart mobs could not have even been possible 20 years ago without the internet, and its incredible what sorts of smart mobs have come to fruition since the internet’s explosion in use and popularity. I’m going to spend my time researching some large scale smart mobs and things of that nature, then I’ll report back.