Felicia, 1964 — Black and Female in Watts

“Usually, when people talk about the “strength” of black women . . . . they ignore the reality that to be strong in the face of oppression is not the same as overcoming oppression, that endurance is not to be confused with transformation.”
bell hooks

From the mouth and mind, from the views and shoes, of a black girl living in Watts in 1964, we hear a social analysis of black and female life for her, her family, her mother, and her community. Who back then allowed Felicia to tell her own story and what kinds of stories can you find in user-generated content like these?

If you know any user-generated content that does, share them below. I want to help combat the digital seduction of girls’ online reputation with their own media.

Social media platforms and their advertisers exploit black girls’ (and womens’) spending power, often coopt agency and voice, and will damage their future net worth, which is quickly wrapped around one’s digital reputation–how others’ view you and comment on your presence vs. what you think of yourself.

 

Social media advertisers, like the advertisers and media companies before them, sell us disparity in complicated and nuanced ways. I am working on unpacking how that works.

Marginalized girls and women must begin to build their mental capacity or willpower to counter this symbolic warfare and gendered violence on female bodies and minds of our online daughters. This includes digital literacy but also nourishment and exercise.

Despite the apparent freedoms social media appears to offer youth when they get to self-produce their own images,  advertisers are hot on your trail and free ain’t freedom online. It comes with long-term consequences and requires long-term thinking before you post.

Even issues of surveillance that piggy-back on girls’ online interest-driven activities is still largely ignored or not fully grasped. If it is, we are lured by the pleasures of being “connected” while we risk damaging our identity at the same time. Parents of kids under 13 need to have more talks about protecting children’s privacy online. More to come.

Kyraocity asks:

How have our talked to your daughter about protecting her data and online persona? Do you let your girls access social media? How do you limit their access, if at all. Do you know that nearly 60% of kids in Australia admit hiding the crimes committed against them online? What are the odds things are better in Aemrica?

More than 40% of children are victims of cyber crime and nearly 60% admit to hiding what they did from adults * Source: NetSafe

 

WHAT I’M WATCHING ON YOUTUBE:

Protecting Mobile Kids from Digital Seduction

Electronic images and sounds, however, thrust themselves into people’s environments, and the messages are received with little effort. In a sense, people must go after print messages, but electronic messages reach out and touch people. People will expose themselves to information in electronic media that they would never bother to read about in a book.

–– Joshua Meyrowitz, media scholar

 

My awareness of the work I discovered from coding 1000 videos of lil’ black girls twerking on YouTube has completely shifted into studying the digital seduction of child abuse images. Many of the videos in my dataset of girls under 13 surely qualify as “child abuse images” or “sex abuse images” where girls self-produce the content being trafficked by 2nd and 3rd parties that include invisible audiences of everyday users of YouTube to arguably the companies that distribute the media on platforms and the social media platforms themselves.

These two videos might help parents, esp, parents of marginalized youth, to start to wake up to the serious issues of security and protection for your children online.

 

Dr. Sharon Cooper Shares Insights
on Child Development

In this era of change we don’t understand everything that happens developmentally to a child with the introduction of each new technology. But Sharon Cooper will say this with certainty: never give your child a new technology, and then walk away.

 

Into the Woods:
Protecting Our Youth from the Wolves of Cyberspace

Today’s headlines are crowded with stories of kids who fall victim to cybercrimes, including online bullying and predatory behavior. We can’t supervise every dark corner of the Internet, so what is the answer? Stricter laws? Aggressive pursuit of offenders? Education of our kids? This keynote panel will discuss challenges and offer solutions designed to ensure the safety of our children.