social media

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, UTAH — The dark blue, predawn sky was just beginning to brighten over Mesa Arch — a once-hidden gem in southern Utah — as Jonathan Zhang frantically set up his camera and tripod.

Colorado just passed a bill that will create media literacy guidelines for schools. It joins Utah and a growing number of states tackling this issue.

The 2016 U.S. presidential election highlighted the ability of Russian intelligence to exploit social media to target fragmented social communities and amplify its propaganda efforts within them. Former FBI counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa examines how Russia took advantage of an already existing vulnerability in America's social fabric, and its implications for the future of democracy.

Public Domain

Ranchers and farmers living in the Mountain West are vulnerable to all kinds of things—drought, fluctuating crop prices, trade wars—and in part because of those things - depression and suicide. But there's some help out there, from an unlikely source.


Maria Elena via Flickr Creative Commons

A proposed bill from the Wyoming Legislature’s Task Force on Digital Information Privacy would bar school district employees from requiring students to provide them access to social media accounts, smart phones or other personal digital information.

Thursday, the 8-member group put the finishing touches on the policy, which will be sent on to the Legislature’s Joint Education Committee.

Senator Chris Rothfuss says some school districts consider demanding a student’s Facebook login information an acceptable way to investigate bullying or other discipline issues.

Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Wyoming has seen a rise in the use of social media for stalking purposes. That includes things like using Facebook and Twitter to gather personal information, and track someone’s real life whereabouts.

UW Police Chief Mike Samp says the university has seen around four reported incidents of stalking where victims were threatened or harassed by their online perpetrators since the beginning of September. There were 10 reported stalking incidents during all of last academic year.

April Alliston teaches literature and gender and sexuality studies at Princeton University.  Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards, her publications range from books on eighteenth-century women’s fiction to op-eds on Fifty Shades of Grey and Internet trolls.  He current book is Consenting Adults?  On Pornography, Privacy, and Freedom.