And it’s dangerous to think they are no longer a threat

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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Like most of the world and slightly over half of the United States, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Biden was announced as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Even with Trump’s ongoing and unfounded allegations of voter fraud and a stolen election, there’s really not much he can do to stop the inevitable.

Come January 2021, we’re going to have an adult in the White House again.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Biden wasn’t my first choice for U.S. president. Heck, I can’t even argue that he will be a good president. But in the choice between potentially bad and arguably evil, evil lost. …


Technology has revolutionized crisis communication, proving that the benefits of new technology can outweigh the risks

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Photo by Vanilla Bear Films on Unsplash

Much of the discourse around contemporary communication, as it relates to and is influenced by technology, centers around how technology is eroding communication and leading to worse interaction between people. Social media, for example, is often assumed to be a net-negative influence on the caliber of communication of modern society.

While social discourse in particular has been heavily influenced by nefarious actors, such as non-human (bot) users, intentionally misleading content and engagement/metric driven platforms, the field of crisis communication has benefited from new technologies.

Crisis communicators still face the same obstacles of nefarious actors that other fields face and have a similar track record of poor response to emerging challenges, but communication in crisis environments have benefited from, more than was hurt by, the opportunities presented in emerging technologies. …


Here’s why I may never buy a suit off-the-rack again.

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Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

I love suits. I have a closet full of them, and a different closet full of blazers and sport coats. I would wear a suit every day if I could.

Recently, to prepare for my wedding next summer, I had my first experience purchasing a made-to-measure suit. I LOVED it. This suit is everything I hoped for in a wedding suit, and it’s something I know I’ll wear going forward.

Though I bought the suit from INDOCHINO at their West Edmonton Mall location, this is not a review or endorsement of them in particular. …


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Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

Facebook is the social media platform most integrated into our everyday lives. It boasts an incredible amount of active users all over the world, and exerts high levels of influence through data and access to advertisers.Now after Facebook has grown into a global tech behemoth, regulators are asking questions about it’s actions.

Is unsecured data simply the cost of doing business when it comes to users on social media platforms? The speed that big tech companies overtook our social and digital spaces far exceeds the capacity of legislators to regulate, are regulators now catching up to the out of control market? Will Facebook even maintain its remarkable growth, or will it go the way of social media platforms of the past like MySpace, laying the groundwork for the next big thing?


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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Social media platforms offer tools for businesses to reach prospective consumers at rates never before seen. These businesses can micro target their ideal demographics regardless of physical location, even crossing borders, and push advertisement right into their newsfeeds. What’s more, internet giants like Facebook and Google offer complex metrics on individual behaviours that give advertisers crucial insights into the demographics they’re looking to capture.

While social media platforms present incredible opportunities to spread a message and organically reach potential consumers, they also present grave risks for those very same reasons. …


And now policy discussions are taking a back seat

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Data in politics is nothing new. Most politicians who have been active for longer than the past decade almost always have a book, or a notepad, or a stack of loose leaf paper with important information on lawn sign locations, volunteer contact information, and addresses of past supporters. That data would give them a real (though not insurmountable) edge against a new opponent who might not have been around long enough to gather it themselves.

But now, with unprecedented amounts of data on voters, the gap in electoral success between those who can access data and those who can’t is growing larger. What’s more, the way politicians are using that data is contributing to a more polarized democracy. …


Social Media giants helped extremist movements grow, now they need to help fight them.

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Photo from shorturl.at/oAUW3

The past few years have seen the growth and popularization of a dangerous ultra-conservative movement in the “Alt-right.” This group is organized and technologically savvy, using social media and technology platforms to their advantage and growing in part due to inadequate moderation from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, as well as more niche platforms like Reddit and 4Chan.

Through providing fringe movements with a platform, radicalizing new members through algorithms, and transitioning far right extremism from the keyboard to polling stations, Big tech companies are complicit in the rise of the Alt-right extremist movement. The online rise in this movement has translated into a global policy shift, and while we all have a responsibility to voice our views in the democratic process to ensure policy stays clear of extremism, If big tech is responsible for creating these movements, they have a responsibility to counter them. …


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Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Disney is a cultural icon, hosting well loved historical and contemporary products that hold an important place in our cultural zeitgeist. From the animated Disney classics to their modern live action reimaginings, Disney is cemented in popular culture from an early age. Now with recent acquisitions of Lucas Films, Marvel and 21st Century Fox, Disney has added some of the most popular franchises of the day to their collection. Finally, with Disney+, Disney is hoping to enter into the competitive online streaming market to compete with giants like Netflix.

Even as a cultural and commercial giant, Disney still faces risks that need to be mitigated as it enters into new markets, navigates challenges due to COVID-19, and interacts with audiences who have changing tastes in the media they consume. …


How changing the way we build can reduce costs and improve communities

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Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

The judicial process in North America and around the world cost trillions of dollars a year to legislate, arrest, judge, and incarcerate. And not just for violent crimes — removing vandalism and the cost of repairing and replacing broken or stolen property is also taken into account, criminal activity continues to grow as a financial strain.

The deterrence and punishment of criminal activity carries a high financial cost, but it carries a high social cost as well. Criminal activity disproportionately affects people who live on a low income, as well as visible minorities.

Due to the ever increasing costs of traditional policing, more and more policing organizations and crime prevention groups are attempting to use environmental design in their crime prevention policies, and are learning from psychologists how to do it. …


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Photo: Ivandrei Pretorius on Pexels

My fiancée and I have been together for a while now, but we met when we were both 18. I was absolutely the typical 18 year old boy — reckless, a little dense, and not nearly as cool as I thought I was. She was (and still is) way out of my league, but there was one thing I did that she said set me apart from the other guys.

I would open her car door for her whenever we went out for a drive.

Now I would love to say that I did this because I’m a hopeless romantic and a chivalrous gentleman with old fashioned values and so on and so forth. But that just wouldn’t be true. …

About

Justin Draper

Justin Draper is a writer, musician, animal lover, political watcher and pun enthusiast from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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