Brazil

Zap Zap, Who’s There? WhatsApp and the Spread of Fake News During the 2018 Elections in Brazil

Zap Zap, Who’s There? WhatsApp and the Spread of Fake News During the 2018 Elections in Brazil

Work originally published as a blog post for MIT’s Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab.

WhatsApp is a self-defined “fast, simple, secure messaging and calling” app. Its meteoric growth in the decade since the January 2009 release has earned it one of the largest user bases in the world, with an impressive total of 1.5 billion monthly users.[1] Its simplicity is, indeed, one of its core selling points, especially in countries in the Global South where Internet services are becoming increasingly present in people’s everyday lives and are shaping the simplest forms of interaction. The app considers every phone number as a user and automatically adds your phone’s contact list as your WhatsApp contacts. It enables users to message these contacts and also to create groups with them, which in Brazil has become a widespread cultural practice.

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Transmedia Storytelling and Transnational Fandoms: The Pokémon Franchise at the Turn of the 21st Century

Transmedia Storytelling and Transnational Fandoms: The Pokémon Franchise at the Turn of the 21st Century

Work originally published as a blog post at MIT’s Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab.

In the late 1990s, Time magazine had the following headline stamped on its cover page: “Pokémon: For many kids it’s now an addiction—cards, video games, toys, a new movie. Is it bad for them?”1 That edition came out only five years after the Pokémon universe emerged out of the inventive mind of the Japanese video game designer Satoshi Tajiri. In the following years, Pokémon rapidly became a worldwide phenomenon, leading many to even call it “Japan’s most successful export.”

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Civic Cyborgs: Revamping Democratic Participation via the Smartphone and Mobile Internet

Civic Cyborgs: Revamping Democratic Participation via the Smartphone and Mobile Internet

The Internet has broadened not only the way people think about the world and themselves but also their belonging in communities. From India to Brazil, the Internet has also enabled the creation of a virtual space that allows youth to gather and create content. While online space remains an accessible channel for information gathering, another tool is shaping the way people access—and create meaning—around these spaces: the smartphone. 

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Brazil’s cultural legacy following the Games in Rio

Brazil’s cultural legacy following the Games in Rio

Work originally published in Ethos Magazine, a nationally recognized and award-winning student publication at the University of Oregon

From the top of Corcovado hill, Christ the Redeemer towered over Rio de Janeiro as athletes from around the world arrived in Brazil for the event that has been regarded by some as a “renovation of the Brazilian spirit” while by others as an “unnatural catastrophe.”

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Living in Diaspora: The memoir of a Pakistani and a Brazilian in the United States

Living in Diaspora: The memoir of a Pakistani and a Brazilian in the United States

This essay was written by Sara Fatimah for a cross-cultural communication class at the University of Oregon during Spring 2016

In 2009, the British journal “The Economist” published an article under the title “Being Foreign: The Other,” which highlights the Freudian idea of melancholia. The basic premise is that such melancholia embraces a “continuing, debilitating sense of loss, somewhere within which lies anger at the thing lost. It is not the possibility of returning home which feeds nostalgia, but the impossibility of it.” Melancholia, in this case, changed my mindset about the world and people around me, such as Iago Bojczuk, a 22-year-old University of Oregon student.

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