Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The Sun’s Facebook Comments Need Oversight

To the Editor:

The Sun’s Facebook comments section needs to be moderated. The comments on Amelia Zohore’s ’21 latest piece, “Loteria, the Ivy League Stripper,” makes it clear that The Sun’s online platform has become a vehicle for those who aim to impugn the essential dignity of The Sun’s columnists as well as marginalized groups. Commentary below Zohore’s column and other posts by The Sun frequently contains language that perpetuates hatred toward low-income people, women, nonbinary people and people of color. Implementing a clear and concise set of rules about what constitutes an appropriate comment within The Sun’s social media pages will promote productive discourse and preserve the essential dignity of columnists and identity groups the paper frequently discusses. There is a precedent for this kind of action.

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CHANG | Sunny Memes

Seeing Sun memes and Facebook comment threads about the work I and other columnists have produced is my guilty pleasure. I love setting the sort method to “All Comments” and methodically plugging through all the replies: Good discourse, illogical arguments and trolls’ messages all the same. The comments typically come from all sides of the political spectrum, alumni, current students and even members of the public who find it a good use of their time to crawl the Facebook page of a college newspaper. But what are our responsibilities as Cornellians and Sun readers to promote dialogue on this campus? And, how can Sunnies improve our work by responding to these comments — vitriolic or otherwise?

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PINERO | Instagram’s Commodification of the Self

Raise your hand if you used social media today. If you’ve posted in the past month. If any part of that post — photo, editing, caption, geotag — was vetted by someone else before publication. Wave it around if you’ve ever done something or gone somewhere specifically “for the ’gram.”

It’s true that this behavior has become normalized, and that I myself participate. Neither negates the fact that it’s totally bananas.

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Researchers Study the Influence of Social Media on Memory

You probably remember that embarrassing photo you posted on Facebook last summer or the one in your family photo album with your two front teeth missing. Ever wonder why? It might have something to do with the way these memories were shared. A recent study by Prof. Qi Wang, human development,  reveals that posting personal events on social media make those events significantly easier to recall. Wang is interested in studying social cognition, specifically how memories and personal experiences help shape an individual’s identity.

Photo Courtesy of FSC Interactive

MOHAPATRA | What’s in an opinion?

Having devoted the better part of my free time to social media (and not proudly so), it has been remarkable to witness the  transformation in the kind of material that crops up in my feed. There have been  tangible shifts, to the extent that everyone I know seems to have become a political activist at some level. Recently though, I have gotten into too many spats with people who have pulled out articles they saw on their Facebook feed on the alleged perpetuation of rape culture by the present-day Indian society, or people who have quoted a friend’s tweet verbatim to back up their point about the presidential primaries, only to stand corrected after being presented with a news report that speaks otherwise. I have become extremely wary of these quickly formulated opinions: while everyone is at perfect liberty to air theirs, generalized statements featuring charged words make me immediately put my guard up. I think this largely stems from my worries about where such opinions originate and whether they are informed or not.

Courtesy of NASA

GOOD TASTE ALONE | Spacebook

It’s the year 20-something-or-other. We’ve made contact with the aliens. We still call them “the aliens,” even though it’s quite possible they’re not the only aliens out there — even though we too, are space creatures, whether or not we choose to think of it that way — and even though “the aliens” has long been a conceptual colloquialism rather than a scientific label. (“Kind of like the word planet,” says Pluto.)

So, we’ve made contact with the aliens. They tried to dodge our calls.