The weather has been amazing thus far, and I welcomed Spring yesterday with open arms and open-toed shoes…lol! As you all know, this blog is dedicated to women’s reproductive and social justice, however, from time to time I want to mix it up a little, still keeping a fashionable ensemble of information!
I probably neglected to mention that I am a Senior in the Community Health program at Hunter College and am taking a class on social media and health. And for today’s class I was asked to complete a reading on ‘Clocked Websites’. I was extremely excited to read it anyways because my very-own professor is the author of the journal and it was interesting to me to get to learn more about her writing style and her way of expression, which is an intellectual cascade of expression I might add.
The article by Dr. Jessie Daniels, Clocked Websites:propaganda, cyber-racism and epistemology in the digital era, opens the eyes of even the most savvy of internet veterans with this idea of’ hidden political agendas.’ I know, that’s exactly why I thought, what the hell does it mean to have a hidden political agenda on a clocked website?
I’d considered my internet skills to be pretty advanced and my digital use and social networking talent to be sufficient, however, I have never heard about this idea. As I continued to read the article, Dr. Daniels explains that clocked websites are used for propaganda and cyber-racism because websites use difficult-to-detect authorship and hidden agendas intended to accomplish political goals, including white supremacy (Daniels, 2009). My interpretation of this idea is that websites often times deliver messages through creative presentations false analysis of evidence that often times portray an idea, concept, or belief that is hidden. This hidden idea, concept or belief is often skewed, racist, and politically biased to get the surfer to agree with their agenda.
Dr. Daniels uses obvious political websites to make the case, but what is interesting from her analysis, is that political and corporate websites are not the only websites with hidden agendas.
According to Dr. Daniels analysis, the ‘Teen Breaks’ site is disguised for pro-life propaganda (Daniels, 2009). The site is appealing in a sense, however, what caught my attention was the statement of abortion. The site mentions that ‘abortion is permanent and there is no turning back’ – this is clearly a ‘pro-life’ statement with the intentions of scarring and demoralizing the ability to choose. Now, the issue I have with this is that teens who are in fact pregnant and look to the internet for resources on teen pregnancy can read a statement like this and be even more confused, terrified, and alone than ever. Dr. Daniels also goes on to write that this same site support the notion that there are many negative physical and emotional consequences of abortion that form a so-called ‘post-abortion syndrome’ (Daniels, 2009). After viewing this portion of the site, I felt as if they were pressuring teens into believing that abortion is wrong and the abortion is frowned upon. This website did so much as to create a medical aliment of ‘post-abortion’ , which by the way is not medically recognized, but rather a rhetorical strategy of the pro-life movement to advance its agenda (Daniels, 2009).
As an educator, I would never refer my patients to this website for information about teen pregnancy or anything to do with sexual or reproductive health. It is absurd what some organizations would do to hide their biases and carry out their agendas according to what they see is politically correct.
If you are interested in reading more on Cloaked Sites by Dr. Jessie Daniels visit her blog, Racism Review.