Week 12 answers

  • How can we relate a general sense of post-authenticity with new and sophisticated  tools for surveillance? How deepfakes coexist with automated facial recognition?

In terms of surveillance and post authenticity, I think looking at Tik Tok is interesting. Because while the surveillance happening there is not the same as one would have in a shopping mall, it is still happening in the pursuit to portray the “authentic self”. In the reading, Khattab talks about the pressure the users face to perform their body while knowing that it is being watched by other users and compared to other people. Tik Tok users are also constantly surveilling their own bodies and trying to change their performance in order to send a specific image of themselves without making it look like they are trying to do so, therefore remaining authentic. 

In terms of deep fakes, I feel like it makes the knowledge of facial recognition software being out there even more worrying because when combined, the situation is completely out of our control. If facial recognition software is storing your face and tracking you, then combined with the ability to use your face in a deepfake, is worrying in terms of impersonation. When a deepfake of a celebrity is posted saying weird things, people question it, but if it is a random person saying those things, people dont question it as much because they don’t assume people would go to the effort of doing it for someone who is not famous.

  • If authenticity is not the source of affect that it was, what it is?

I think that authenticity can still be a source of affect but in certain contexts. When people travel or go somewhere, they tend to try and have an “authentic” experience, by eating the local food and immersing themselves in the culture. Most of the time these people are not truly living like the locals of that place would, yet because of their lack of background knowledge on the subject, they don’t know that. To them, their “authentic” experience was a source of affect, because they don’t have anything to compare it to. If they had background knowledge of where they were, then they would know that their experiences were not authentic and actually just the typical tourist spots. 


Complementary Reading Presentation

Guillaume Knobloch

COMS 308


Complementary Reading: “Introduction: The New Video Geography.”


In the introduction of Ramon Lobato’s book, Geoblocking and Global Video Culture, he covered a lot of different topics regarding geoblocking. He defines it as “a spatially-aware filtering technology that uses IP address databases to determine a user’s location ” (Lobato, 10). He talks about the different platforms such as Youtube, Facebook and many more that use these sorts of technologies, to regulate what people can see depending on their location. This results in most people having access to the internet, however very different kinds of internet. This sort of technology is mainly used in order to restrict certain kinds of content from being viewed in certain countries around the world.

The intro goes into how people have found ways to go around these geoblockings. Things such as VPNs are the most popular ways of going around these restrictions. Lobato says that these have “unleashed a wave of unauthorized cross-border media activity, allowing audiences to easily access streaming, news and sports services from other countries” (Lobato, 11).

In the intro, the book is broken into three main parts, the first being “Blockage and Flow”, he says that “ For many internet users, the experience of online video is characterized by blockage rather than flow.” (Lobato, 12). He explains that this is a result of each countries’ different policies. Each time you see the message “the video is not available in your region” it is often a result of copyright issues, or country policies. Even though this may be rare in North American some countries see this message more often than not.

The second main part of the book is “Control and Circumvention”, he expresses the ways in which the government tries to control the internet and the relationship that has with, “circumvention – the tactics, tools and work-arounds that people use to access blocked video sites.” (Lobato, 14).

The third theme in this book is “the relationship between commercial technologies of access control and government site blocking, surveillance and censorship.” (Lobato, 18). Here he discusses more of the perspective of the user and the fact that these technologies are used in very different ways, and that even though seen as a crime in many countries people often use VPNs simply to communicate with friends abroad or to watch a foreign show.

Even though I only read the intro of this book it seems to be incredibly interesting and gives information about a topic I assume many are unaware of.


Works Cited:

Lobato, Roman. Geoblocking and Global Video Culture. Institute of Network Cultures,



Discussion questions:


Knowing that the government is able to see what we do as well as control what we see, do you believe that in today’s society it is possible to to say that our opinions and beliefs are truly ours, or are they affected by the government?


With the development of things such as VPNs to get around geoblocking, do you think that technologies will eventually come to protect ourselves from unwanted surveillance? Maybe sunglasses that don’t allow cameras to recognize you? (I know kind of a stretch)


Week #11 – Response


  • In which sense sociality in social media is not only human? How/where do you see that? What is the role of affect in that entanglement?

I think that a big factor of social media that is making us seem less and less human is the idea that it is making us more and more lazy. In your video you talked about the fact that facebook has now added the option to react to something,  these reactions once again are making us so lazy to the point that we do not even write out our thoughts anymore. These little emoji’s use tp be at the end of our message to complete what we had types out, wear as now our entire message is that one little symbol. iMessage has also started their version of this with one being them allowing the reaction to be haha! I find it unbelievable that we live in a place that we are now too lazy and it woudl take to long to type out haha so we make it a simple button that can be pressed.

Eventually this is going to limit more and more what we are able to say on social media as we are moving to a more symbol based culture. Even though the symbols are easy to use and fun they create massive limitations as to what can be said through them. If we keep going in this direction we will only be able to react to what we see online through a sad emoji or a happy one, and never trully express the way that we feel.

  • What type of emotion do you associate distraction with? Why? 

I associate distraction with disinterest, when something does not interest me I will get distracted by whatever I can find around because doing anything but the task i am suppose to do would be more appealing. I think that we turn to distraction in order to find something else than what we are told to do. The task that we are often distracted from is very rarely something that we want or choose to do. When we are doing something for ourselves or something we wanted to do without anyone telling us to do it, we get distracted much less often.