Reading Summary #6


In the article, Better Online Living through Content Moderation, Melissa King argues that the use of content control features benefit users by lessening the chance of negative responses to harmful or insulting content that may be seen online. Some examples of these controls are content/trigger warnings, block and ignore functions, blocklists, and privacy options (King, lines 1-2). The reason for these privacy precautions is to stop users from seeing content that may trigger PTSD, an anxiety attack, or other negative feelings. King describes these as valid reasons and goes on to state that, “In fact, there is no such thing as an invalid reason: nobody should be required to read or listen to content if they do not want to” (King, lines 7-9).

Although content controls are a positive feature, there are some people that disagree. King allows readers to see these controls from the negative perspective, but provides a valid argument against opinions like these. Those who are against content controls often perceive users that utilize them as weak or over sensitive (King, lines 10-11). Situations in which users are being attacked or bothered by online aggressors are thought of as the victim’s problem instead of the antagonist’s doing. Others think these users should just toughen up and be less sensitive, which goes hand in hand with the Exposure Theory. This theory is designed to put a stop to anxiety by slowly exposing the subject to the source (King, lines 27-28). However, this theory does not come in handy when it comes to content controls. The Exposure Theory is all about controlled exposure; the Internet has no control over how often users are attacked or disturbed by the content on their screens.


Another argument often made against content controls is that online harassment is not ‘real’ harassment and there is no actual threat (King, lines 44-45). Many think that pestering cannot cause PTSD. This disorder is usually associated with veterans, but King clarifies that, “…the fact is, threats of violence online can be a cause of PTSD in and of itself” (King, lines 48-49). King goes on to quote Caleb Lack, a clinical psychologist, who states that bullying has an impact on mental health and cyber bullying can have the same effect. Long time exposure to situations, such as online harassment, is threatening and can cause PTSD (King, lines 52-53). So, content controls play a large role in the prevention of these types of disorders.

Lastly, King touches on the subjects of blocklists and the frequency of online harassment being geared toward women. Blocklists are a more recent type of content control and were designed to try and eliminate users from being attacked by hate groups. Groups such as Gamergate use tactics to threaten users into silence (King, lines 80-81). From posting their personal information online to calling family members with threats, users need the protection of blocklists to eliminate this kind of distress. Women in ‘male-dominant’ professions are often targeted by hate groups and these sexist comments can lead to the development of PTSD (King, lines 93-96).

It is in instances such as these that content controls have no reason to be deprecated. It is in the victim’s best interest to utilize content controls to their advantage. King concludes that content controls are personally set and do not interfere with anyone else’s Internet freedom, other than the user that sets them. Telling people to ‘weather the storm’ when it comes to online abuse is ignorant and cannot be expected of everyone; users have the right to implement content controls and soften the blow of online attacks whenever need be (King, lines 130-133).

Work Cited

Melissa King. “Better Online Living through Content Moderation.” Magazine. Model View Culture, October 14, 2015.


Mid-term Reflection

The academic writing process in this class is slightly different from my past experiences with English courses. This class focuses a lot on secondary research, which has broadened my knowledge of the writing process. I have learned that the more time you put into the research behind a piece of writing the easier it is to compose it and get your point across to the audience. I plan to dig deeper with my research and annotations for the rest of the assignments this semester. For reading summaries 3 and 4 I annotated the entire article and did some background research before starting my essay and found that this really improved the quality of my piece. I think that the writing I am doing in this class has an audience of mostly my classmates, but because this is a blog, anyone can read it. My built environment descriptions may act as reviews for certain areas in Atlanta. For people interested in visiting the area I reported on, the descriptions will help them get a better of idea of that space.

As far as strengths and weaknesses go I have discovered new ones as a writer during the time I have been in this course. I tend to excel when it comes to wording and organization of pieces. However, I often forget to incorporate other forms of media such as video, maps, sounds, and photos in my work. I am so used to writing essays where the only thing on the page are words that I find it sort of taboo to add in a video or sound clip in the middle of a written piece.  Because I am writing on a blog in this class, multimodality has become standard when I post my work. Overall, I think incorporating these different types of media has made my writing more interesting to readers, as well as to myself. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. This class has showed me that composing a piece is about so much more than just words.

Some of the extra points activities I have completed are quizzes and creating a Facebook group with some of my fellow peers. Both of these have helped me to better understand the course. The Facebook group serves as a great way for us to discuss topics and also ask questions when we need to. The quizzes have been most helpful because they review topics that are very relevant to this course and writing in general. I am fairly satisfied with the effort I have put in so far, but I could definitely participate more in class. I plan on trying to use one of my pieces for an in-class peer review workshop so I can get as much feedback as possible.

My approach to the last two reading summaries have definitely changed since the start of this course. I have become more open-minded on what to incorporate in my summary. I have also become way less opinionated when writing these summaries; I have learned to summarize the author’s opinion instead of incorporating my own. As for the extra points activities, I plan to work more with Writer’s 2.0 and comment on more of my peers’ blog posts! I think these activities will help to better my knowledge as a writer and help me learn how to analyze other’s writing which in turn will help me with my own.

Reading Summary #5


The article, Color Walking, by Phia Bennin and Brendan McMullan focuses on an interesting experiment that illuminates the world of color and how people see it, or more so how they do not see it. Color is a part of our daily lives and if we are not careful, we can become numb to it. Teacher William Burroughs created color walking. Burroughs first introduced color walking to his student as a way to inspire them (Bennin and McMullan, lines 3-4). This simple activity has ended up inspiring the authors of this article and many others by opening their eyes to the world of color.

Color walking is simple: walk outside, pick a color, and follow that color by allowing your eyes to bounce from object to object (Bennin and McMullan, lines 5-7). On their advice on how to color walk, the authors note, “If you get lost, pick another color. If you get really lost, you’re on the right track” (Bennin and McMullan, line 22). In the article, readers follow the authors around the city of Manhattan as they feast their eyes upon the wonders of color: a blue scarf, blue at the basketball courts, a purple shirt, and hues of pink. The article provides photos and a timeline of their afternoon spent color walking (a screenshot of this is presented below). At the end of the experiment, the vividness and attention to color stayed in the minds of the authors, “We walked away seeing a world brimming over with colors” (Bennin and McMullan, lines 15-16).

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 9.41.34 PM

At the end of the article, advice is given on how readers can do their own color walk. Some things to avoid are stopping to run errands, or getting distracted with other things, such as a cell phone. Color walks are about focusing all attention on the world around you. When first choosing which color to follow, pick one that makes you excited. Maybe pick your favorite color, or maybe choose one that happens to catch your eye as you step outside (Bennin and McMullan, lines 19-21). Flexibility is also a major key to color walking; being able to change colors and not just limit your eyes to one. Color walks should be uninterrupted periods of time when all different colors in the built environment jump out at you; the authors call this “eye time”.

Overall, color walking is an experiment that everyone could learn a lot from. It is something that is not practiced by many, but it can benefit our minds and the way we see the world. Color is untouchable and sometimes it is just the way our eyes perceive certain things such as the color of a polar bear’s fur or the color of the sky. Although color is intangible, it affects our daily lives and can change the way we feel. Color walking is a reminder on how color is everywhere all the time. Like McMullan and Bennin say, taking just one hour dedicated to eye time opened their eyes to the world around them and after doing so the colors of their surroundings were imprinted in their brains.

Work Cited

McMullan, Phia Bennin / Brendan. “Color Walking.” Radiolab, June 29, 2012.



Interior Built Environment Description

criminal records

Criminal Records is located off Euclid Avenue in Little Five Points. This Atlanta gem is not what it sounds like; the shop is not a boring office building that stores files on convicts. It is actually one of the only record shops left in the city, and in some people’s opinion, the one with the widest variety of products. Criminal Records sells an array of things: albums, CD’s, cassette tapes, books, comic books, posters, clothing, knick-knacks, and the list goes on. Not only is there so much to choose from, but also the space sets a certain mood that makes you want to spend hours searching.

The structure of the space is set up similar to a maze. When entering the store the first thing that meets the eye are the rows and rows of albums and CD’s. Going down each aisle is like entering a new section of the maze, each one is different. The products are stored on shelves, in bins, boxes, and crates. So much musical history in one room, this shop is definitely an easy one to get “lost” in.

Although this shop is a labyrinth of music and culture, the area is actually very spacious. It does not feel closed in or small. The aisles provide pathways to the back of the shop and it is easy to maneuver around. The lighting and colors have a lot to do with the mood of the store. Many of the walls are painted a pastel green color and the lighting is soft, which has to do with the large skylight windows located on the ceiling of the space. The ceiling of the shop is constructed out of beams of wood, which gives the space a homey feel. The shop is definitely catered to customers with an eclectic style, which matches the trend in Little Five Points. The walls are filled with funky art and posters of all different colors. The floor of the space is dirty, unfinished concrete. The store advertises its use with its bold sign, its hip window displays, and location. Music/art lovers and curious passerbys mostly visit the shop.

Overall, Criminal Records made me feel welcome and sparked my curiosity. I am a huge oldies fan so flipping through the albums of Queen, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones brought me joy and made me almost buy one! The space is filled with repetition, colors, and the aural sounds of albums being flipped through and alternative rock songs over the loud speakers. This site has an urban feel and will definitely broaden any visitor’s knowledge of art and music if they dig deep enough.

Interior: Criminal Records Digital Recording #5

In this recording, several different sounds can be heard. The first is the sound of CD cases hitting each other as they are flipped back and forth inside the bin that holds them. This is an iconic sound inside a record shop. Customers explore all the different album covers, artists, genres, and songs by flipping back and forth between them. The second sound is the soft alternative rock playing in the background. During my time spent at Criminal Records the music playing over the speakers stayed consistent in theme and set the mood for the space.

Interior: Criminal Records Digital Recording #4


This is a photo of some signage I came across at the very back of the Criminal Records shop. These signs describe different genres of music, which are definitely sold in the shop, along with countless others. The miniature record stickers on the wall behind the signs make the area fun and colorful. Underneath the signs are, of course, more records stacked in bins.

Interior: Criminal Records Digital Recording #3


This is a video I recorded while inside Criminal Records. At the beginning of the video it shows how many CD’s and albums are stacked on the shelves, and that’s just one aisle. Then, the camera pans around the room showing the entryway, the walls, lighting, and the back of the store. The lighting is somber and the store actually has several skylight windows in the ceiling, which provide natural light. Also in the video, a calm indie tune can be heard in the background, which matches the mood of Criminal Records and Little Five Points both.

Interior: Criminal Records Digital Record #2


I think this photo really captures the essence of Criminal Records. Not only does it show the layout of the store, but it also shows how decorative and colorful the space is. Aisles and aisles of records consume much of the space; music posters and framed albums decorate the walls. Some would call the shop cluttered, but I think it adds to the ambiance. There is so much to explore within a fairly small space, I can see why customers get lost for hours.

Interior: Criminal Records Digital Recording #1


This is a photo I took of the Criminal Records sign that can be found in the back of the store. The sign is made of tin and although it is hard to tell from the picture, it is quite large. This sign shows the shop’s iconic logo. Underneath it are wooden bins holding records, which is how these artifacts are arranged all over the store. The wall behind the sign is a light green color, which is a repeating theme throughout the shop. This color, in my opinion, gave the store a calm feel, but still spiced up the space with some color.