On 2 February, at the cusp of Valentine’s Day, the Los Angeles sheriff’s department warned of the “growing criminal epidemic” of romance scams during a community meeting called Love Hurts. Romance scams are a type of online fraud, in which criminals pose as desirable partners on dating sites or email, win the hearts of their victims and end up fleecing them of their money.
El libro es un ensayo de Vicente Serrano Marín, doctor en Filosofía de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, en el que desgrana cómo manejan las redes sociales nuestras vidasFacebook es un dispositivo político y una máquina capaz de incidir en nuestra afectividad para convertirla en un factor de producción, según el autor
a masterclass on faking cancer in the modern age. She fooled Apple, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Penguin. She fooled the hundreds of thousands who bought her app, read her blog and believed that her story could be their story.ow would you fake cancer? Shave your head? Pluck your eyebrows? Install a chemo port into your neck? These days you don’t need to. Belle Gibson’s story is
Diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 20, Gibson had four months to live. She blogged her journey of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, treatments she shunned after eight weeks. Instead, she cut gluten and dairy and turned to oxygen therapy, craniosacral treatments and colonic irrigation. Against all odds, she made it. Her followers were inspired. If Belle could make it, maybe they could too.
Gibson launched The Whole Pantry app in 2013, filled with healthy living tips and recipes. She promised a third of proceeds from the 300,000 downloads ($3.79 per download) to charity. Elle named her “The Most Inspiring Woman You’ve Met This Year”, Cosmopolitan awarded her a “Fun, Fearless Female award” and Penguin published her cookbook. Apple pre-installed her app on Apple Watch and flew her to its Silicon Valley launch.
Then cancer re-emerged, and Gibson announced on Instagram: “It hurts me to find space tonight to let you all know with love and strength that I’ve been diagnosed with a third and forth [sic] cancer. One is secondary and the other is primary. I have cancer in my blood, spleen, brain, uterus, and liver. I am hurting.”
A new paper arguing that there is consensus that violent video games cause aggression highlights the pitfalls of peer review
It seems like a simple question to ask, but it is one that is apparently very difficult to answer: what are the effects of violent media on our behaviour? It’s also a question that regularly produces heated debates, both in scientific journals and in the mainstream news. However, a new study published this week in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture (PPMC) argues that there shouldn’t be a debate at all. Instead, they claim to have found a “consensus” among media researchers, paediatricians and parents, that violent media can cause aggression in children.
The study, by Brad Bushman and Carlos Cruz at Ohio State University, and Mario Gollwitzer at Philipps University Marburg, asked participants to complete an online survey asking them how much they agree with the statement “violent X can increase aggressive behaviour in children”, where X included a number of different types of media, ranging from comic books and literature to movies and video games. They were also asked the extent to which they agree with two other statements: one asking whether there is a causal relationship between exposure to violent media and aggression, and another asking whether media violence is a factor in real life violence.
According to Bushman and his team, the results pointed to a broad consensus that exposure to media violence had a negative effect on children. In a related press release, Bushman states that they “found the overwhelming majority of media researchers, parents and paediatricians agree that violent media is harmful to children.”
We don’t think the data are anywhere near as clear-cut as Bushman and colleagues make out. Let’s take the statement “there is a causal relationship between exposure to violent media and aggression”. Here are the results for the four groups of people:
As you can see, of the researchers that are potentially active in this area, 61% of media psychologists and 56% of communication scientists agree or strongly agree with that statement. Averaging across all four groups of people, 66% agree with the statement, whereas 19% don’t, and 15% are on the fence. As Meatloaf would no doubt agree, two out of three ain’t bad, but it is hardly a “consensus”.