A [a] The term, ‘big bro is watching over you,’ is synonymous to being followed and scrutinized for whatever a person does. From mobile phones to web browsers to satellite tracking, just about anything and everything is ‘bugged’ to watch a person’s move. Most of these close scrutiny apparatus is used by government and paparazzi to gather information on foreign and local agents and celebrities. Phone tapping is a very common means to investigate people in high offices and the U.S spying espionage concerning the NSA which Edward Snowden revealed to the world is once such instance where the big bro was involved in global surveillance. There are also certain agencies that store personal information of people that can be accessed by U.S. government agencies to dig into their past and present. An important role of such information is to gather information on people who may have terrorist background. Little brother, on the other hand, is a kind of surveillance that involves the use of the Internet. They collect personal information of people to develop electronic profiles about a user. These are used in offices and also in public and private enterprises to collect details of users which could be used by organizational managers to know their employees or by law enforcers to understand the background of internet users who could use the medium to propagate unethical practices.
A [b] Plato's Cave was used by Plato to compare the effect of education and the lack of it on our people. The irony of the image/parable is that it shows a gathering of people chained to the wall of a cave who watch the shadows thrown on the wall of the cave by figures passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to name these shadows. These figures or shadows are what these prisoners get to see in reality. When freed, the prisoners, who come out of the cave, comes to understand that the shadows on the wall were not like what he/she believed it to be.
“Like us, they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?” “And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?” (Plato, p.34)
The same principle applies to modern society where the media is what makes or breaks an issue or entity before the common man. Politicians are never accessible to the people on the streets and it is only through news channels, newspapers and radio stations that information on politicians are revealed. There has been a lot of debate on how politicians have been successful in manipulating the media contrary to the truth. People when they read such reports generally come to believe that what they read is right and form their own personal opinion on that particular politician. However, when certain damaging news are leaked out through other agencies and it develops into a public furor, all agencies begin to string together their own versions to take the credit for the expose. Take for example of President John Kennedy’s assassination. While some of the news agencies reported that the bullet that killed President Kennedy came from a single source, today, there are reports that suggest that the assassination was not by an individual but by two sharp-shooters. This revelation has made the public now look at this possibility with a new interest.
A [c] Media monopoly is a term given to that kind of media that is controlled and engages in a certain form of news propaganda. Today, the world lives with the knowledge that they can have access to any kind of information by scrolling through a whole range of media tools. Be it every daily newspaper, magazine, broadcasting station, book publishers or motion pictures, they all transmit information in some form or the other which attracts viewers, listeners and readers. Thankfully, not all of them transmit or write on similar lines. There is always a difference in the way news is projected, even though in most cases, the news is the same. These are run by different owners who look to establish their own supremacy in the way they project their programs or news. Therefore, they can’t or don’t influence the common public to a certainty. Opinions differ among the public and this helps the media to use its influence to build on what they believe, is right. However, if the media was a monopoly’ that is, it all had a single ownership, it could be catastrophic. All channels of news would be on similar lines and these could be used to influence the public. If the media wanted to abdicate a government for example, they could publicly transmit biased information to the public that would influence their thought process and vote against a populist government. The media was used by a foreign government to oust a populist government of another country because of the influence it had on the media. The local people, who read, heard and saw these reports in the media drew criticism of that populist government’s rule and ousted it. Another example of the danger of a monopoly media is the influence it could have on sports-related activities. Noelle-Neumann argued, the “willingness to argue on issues is influenced largely by the perception of the climate of opinion and if the climate of change goes against a person, that person would remain silent” (p.56). Even in desert
B. Jean Kilbourne’s influential and award-winning Killing Us Softly series, takes a look at the American advertising industry and says that despite the years, things have remained the same when it came to portrayal and style. By looking at hundreds of ads that cover a wide range of products, she says that the different print and television ads continues to stream sexist and misogynistic images and messages that centers around women in positions of passivity that continues to undermine girls and women of modern contemporary civilization. In referring to ‘still,’ she says that even after decades of change, media still seems to enjoy the display of women as tools for advertisers to influence the thought of the public. Take for example the cover of the book itself. Kilbourne shows the various forms of body exhibits that suggest that a woman’s body is what attracts the buyers, who most indisputably happen to be men! This thinking is patriarchal in thought and continues to haunt women right from the time of the ancient Romans, who felt that women were for child bearing and household work.
Celebrities like Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, or a David Beckham have endorsed products of various companies with the intention to attract the public, but to have a sexy, bikini-clad woman pose with a Ferrari or a topless model stand in front of a Lamborghini is what is hard to understand. Women bodies continue to be exhibited to attract consumers (sic). This is precisely what Kilbourne is suggesting about the media and she is persuasive in her argument. It is the media which has to take the initiative and ensure that the focus shifts from being exhibitionists to ‘informationist.’ Unless this happens, women will remain a sex tool for the chauvinist male-dominated society. Anna Nicole Smith died of overdose of drugs. It wasn’t that she was addicted to drugs; it was just that the media had influenced the model to portray her body in such a way the public wanted her to believe was the ideal figure. Sedensky (2007), in his report says that, “Broward County Medical Examiner Dr. Joshua Perper found that in the days leading up to her death, the 39-year-old [Anna Nicole Smith] had been taking large amounts of the seldom-prescribed sedative chloral hydrate, which also contributed to the 1962 overdose death of Smith's idol, Marilyn Monroe.”
Sedensky, M, 2007), Accidental drug overdose killed Anna Nicole Smith, Charleston Newspapers, The Charleston Gazette, p.3C,