Killer Robots and the Morality of Conventional Warfare (Pitch)

By: Pritam Hooda

Source :

Autonomous weaponry refers a piece of military technology that, once activated, can engage its targets without any human input. So imagine a turret that works completely independently, or for a more real-life example: the Israeli Army’s Harpy drone, which works independently to find and eliminate targets. This technology has become a subject of a numerous debates because of the ramifications of removing human input, and whether or not it’s ethical to do so.

Numerous founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies are calling for a United Nations ban on the development of this technology. They make the argument that these will become weapons of mass terror, removing of the human decision-making process and our centralized chains-of-commands, will quicken the pace of combat to an incomprehensible point, and in the “hands of despots dictators, could be disastrous for innocent populations.” Think Genocide and other war crimes.

Michael Robillard, a postdoctoral researcher at Oxford University and a veteran of the Iraq War, says that the debate maybe building on assumptions; focusing on the technology and not on the human responsibility. After all, a human has to design the weapon, and a human has to activate it. Discussing the moral implications of the technology alone does not make sense since “the deep moral issues raised by autonomous weapons are the very same ones raised by conventional warfare.

It is difficult to say whether or not Robillard is right, however, at this point, there is no denying that the technology will be influential. It already is the case of the IAI Harpy, having already been utilized by the militaries of countries like China, India, and Israel. And completion will lead to more development in the field. The way I see it, the question is two parted – one, should the technology be banned on moral grounds; and second, if autonomous weapons are just another tool in conventional warfare, then what does that say about the morality of conventional warfare.

I Can't Even: Millennials and Offense

 “Millennials. Stop Being Offended By, Like, Literally Everything. This is the name of an article by Eleanor Halls. She argues about exactly that: how we need to stop being so offended by everything. It’s to the point where it is borderline censorship. Unsurprisingly, as I read through this, I could not help but to feel the very offense she was writing about.

I am a millennial. I’m 24-years-old. Depending on what source is consulted, I was born in the youngest year of that generation. When picturing a millennial, it’s a teenager with a smartphone, earphones in ear listening to blasting music, characterized by hypersensitivities, trends and a strong commitment to social justice. Surprisingly, this millennial could also be a well established adult nearing 40. This, clearly, is a wide discrepancy.

My Episode topic is going to focus on millennials, or the ‘snowflake generation’ as we’re dubbed, and offense. Are we simply too snowflakey to endure the harshness of the world? Do we just need to get an “icier grip” as Halls argues? Or are those from prior generations lacking in the very characteristics we demonstrate which has allowed us to interact with the world in a brand new way?

Millennials, naturally, are impacted by this. But more importantly, who IS a millennial, exactly? Included in this spectrum are those who might not consider themselves to not be millennials. So let's get this straightened out once and for all.


Annotated Bibliography: 

Halls, Eleanor “Millennials. Stop Being Offended By, Like, Literally Everything.”, GQ, Inc. News Life Media, 3 Jan. 2018,,43493

This article comes from a popular source. It is about Millennials, or the ‘Snowflake Generation’, and how the generation is too easily offended by everything. Halls argues that the level of offense Millennials have to certain events borders censorship. Trending words that are among the generation such as ‘privilege’ and ‘trigger warning’ are also creating harmful effects at large. Ultimately, the generation needs to harden up to reality.

This source is the primary work of discussion for the podcast. Using this source, I will discuss the definition of who the snowflake generation really is (i.e., the age range), and the changes in attitudes towards certain subject matter between Generations X and Y. This source will act as a springboard to a larger discussion towards particular characteristics and their affiliation with Generation Y. It is also important to note that Halls fails to give a definition on whom a Millennial is, giving way to free and subjective interpretation on whom can be considered as such.


Weber, James and Michael Urick. "Examining the Millennials' Ethical Profile: Assessing Demographic Variations in Their Personal Value Orientations." Business and Society Review 122.4 (2017): 469-506. Web.

This primary source article discusses Millennials and the heterogenous characteristics of the generation. The article defines Millennials as born between the years 1980-2000.


Canada. Statistics Canada. Table 1 Generations in Canada, 2011.

This government source comes from the 2011 Census, and outlines Census Canada’s breakdown of generational years.

This is relevant because according to this, Millennials would be born between 1972-1992, which would be a far-off estimate from other sources. Theoretically, these Millennials would be the ones to critique the Millennials that other sources say are Millennials. This would mean that, again, who is purported to be a Millennial is really not the case. Using this basis, someone as old as 46 could be considered whiny, entitled and easily offended, which is a hard picture to paint.


Lyons, Kate. Generation Y: a guide to a much-maligned demographic. 6 March 2016. Web. 26 February 2018. <>.


This is a popular source. The article defines Millennials as being from ages 20-34 (at the time of writing, which was 2015). This places them from birth years of 1980-1994. The article mentions as well that some definitions use the generous birth year of up to 2000. Similar issues of the generation being called ‘self-centred’ and ‘whiny’ came up, although positive mentions such as ‘creative’ and ‘open-minded’ were brought up, which many sources fail to do. This source further perpetuates the idea that Millennials are fragile. However, it is interesting to note that someone as old as 34 could be called ‘self-centred’ and ‘whiny’. Another interesting note is that the article makes mention that some Millennials don’t want to be associated with their generation, and does not refer to themselves as such.


Twenge, Jean, W. Keith Campbell and Elise C Freeman. "Generational Differences in Young Adults’ Life Goals, Concern for Others, and Civic Orientation, 1966–2009." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 102.5 (2012): 1045-1062. Web.

This primary scholarly source article discusses generational trends and concerns for different generations while they were considered young people (while Baby Boomers and Generation X were the same ages as the current Generation Y). According to these authors, Millennials are born between 1982- 2003, making this a substantially broader range than other sources. The article makes mention of different generations being exposed to different cultures, similarly to different people in other countries growing up in different cultures. This is important to note because there is often talk of Millennials not being tough or indifferent like their predecessors, but there is a clear, valid reason for this that is unspoken about. However, the article makes mention of Millennials scoring low on concern for the community compared to the other generation, but seem to be more politically engaged.


Beall, George. 8 Key Differences between Gen Z and Millennials. 05 11 2016. Web. 17 February 2018. <>.


This popular source discusses differences between Generation Y and Generation Z, the generation directly after Generation Y. The source only describes Generation Y as reaching young adulthood by the year 2000 (which could theoretically place them as born in the early 1980’s); Generation Z is defined as anyone born after 1995. This is important because it introduces the idea that there is a generation after Generation Y, and it is developed enough to have distinctions. Generation Z is being described with words such as ‘less focused’ and ‘seeking uniqueness’, which sounds closer to the ‘Snowflake Generation’ than Millennials themselves.



Dimock, Michael. Defining generations: Where Millennials end and post-Millennials begin. 01 March 2018. Web. 22 March 2018. <>.


This industry source discusses the cut off point of Millennials and the next generation. This source has not named them, but are calling them ‘post-millennials’ for now. Anyone born between the years of 1982-1996 is considered a Millennial; beyond this is considered post-Millennials.

This is important because it shows there is a clear distinction between two generation, not every young person is considered of the same cohort. And this is significant due to the fact that some of these characteristics demonstrated by ‘Millennials’ could easily be something post-Millennials do instead.


Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, Uracha and Janet Smithson. "Entitled or misunderstood? Towards the repositioning of the sense of entitlement concept in the generational difference debate." Community, Work and Family 19.2 (2016): 213-226. Web.


This scholarly source talks about the problematic assumption that Millennials are entitled, and it explores how and why this is the case, while challenging critique over the assumption. This source defines Generation Y as 1982 and beyond. With no define cut off year, two assumptions can be made: there is no generation beyond Generation Y, or at the time of writing there was no consensus on when the next generation would begin.  Although the reading talks about the media focus on entitlement, the source analyzes the concern from a business and work perspective.


Foundation, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Millennial Generation Research Review. 12 November 2012. Web. 01 March 2018. <>.


This industry source by The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which is an affiliate of The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, discusses the birth years of Millennials and characteristics they possess. This report makes a profound point by stating that eventually young generations grow old, and will take their generational influence with them into old age. Millennials are pegged as born between 1980 – 1999, which is a birth range that starts earlier than most in this bibliography, but ends later. They are described as diverse, more extrinsically motivated and are able to multitask. Something interesting to note is that the report mentions that as many as twenty-one different birth ranges have been used for the generation, which is a crucial piece of information to understand the topic of this podcast.


Eckleberry-Hunt, Jodie, and Jennifer Tucciarone. “The Challenges and Opportunities of Teaching ‘Generation Y.’” Journal of Graduate Medical Education 3.4 (2011): 458–461. PMC. Web. 8 May 2018.

This scholarly source discusses characteristics of Generation Y from a teaching perspective . It defines Millennials as being born between 1982 – 2005, which is the largest gap of any source on this list. Similar to other sources, this source mentions some characteristics as selfish and lazy, which is a telling attribute to the generation.


How to become an expert in any field

Joshua Chung, Tut 03


 David Z. Hambrick, Fredrik Ullén, Miriam Mosing. “Is Innate Talent a Myth?” Scientific American, 20 Sept. 2016,

  • This article is a secondary source. It is about although hard work is a big factor in making someone an expert at something, they ask the question if innate talent should be dismissed as a factor. This article offers valuable information as they extensively trained individuals to perform task seen as talents. Furthermore, they speak about world class athletes as well and leave open for debate on how talent and hard work collide.

How to Become an Expert at Anything.” Time, Time,

  • This article is also a secondary source. The main article i am using is by Anders Ericsson. The article by time addresses some of the strategies that Ericsson deems necessary to become an expert in a field. Furthermore the article also provides many different steps that one must undertake to become the best at something. The article at the end says that you will be happier at the top; however, this brings up the fact that not everyone is able to be at the top. Also, it makes it much easier to become extremely stressful and oversimplifies the methods to every single field.

Carter, Ben. “Can 10,000 Hours of Practice Make You an Expert?” BBC News, BBC, 1 Mar. 2014,

  • This article is a secondary source. The article features a man who wants to quit his job and practice 10000 hours to make the PGA. It talks about the 10000 hour rule and where it comes from. The article also offers a variety of perspectives on this rule and why certain people may be more inclined to try than others. This article addresses the popular 10000 hour rule which is believed to be vital to reach expertise in a certain area. This 10000 hour rule is important to consider when talking about expertise.

Rpowell. “Estimated Probability of Competing in Professional Athletics.” - The Official Site of the NCAA, 13 Mar. 2017,

  • This  is a secondary source. It is basically a bunch of statistics on how many NCAA players make the leap from college to professional sports. The percentages are quite low and as little as 1% of players in the NCAA will make the pros. This offers a perspective on the competitiveness to reach that professional level. It also makes you wonder what kind of characteristics these players that thrive all have in common. Also, it can be discussed the difficulties and possible consequences for throwing everything away to pursue one talent. Because the reality is a very low number of people make it and maybe that talent plays a bigger role in distinguishing the people who make it from the ones who don't. 

Episode Pitch

Have you ever looked at someone extremely talented and think to yourself, dang how did they get so good, or why am I not that good anything? Or maybe even vice versa, you might know someone who has dedicated their entire life towards a single goal; yet, they are still not good enough in the end. Why does this happen if practice make perfect? Well, according to Anders Ericsson, a professor who is obsessed with how people become good at anything, natural talent does not really exist. The real reason why you’re not that amazing at anything is because you haven’t engaged in something known as deliberate practice. In other words, Ericsson does not believe that innate talent and IQ has a significant part to play in becoming an expert. Rather, to become really good at something is not about how much you practice, but is all about the way you practice. However, this is not something every psychologist agrees with.

                I mean, it would be encouraging to know that if you worked really hard at a skill, you can become a professional or expert in a certain field, but can being an expert really be as simple as just engaging in deliberate practice? What about all these top prospect athletes who ended up failing to make the professional league or failed at the elite level?  Also, why is it that the average height of NBA players is 6’7? Are the shorter players simply not putting in the deliberate practice and hours necessary to reach that elite level? If what Ericsson is saying about deliberate practice is correct, then just imagine what people as a whole will be motivated to try.

                Ericsson does acknowledge that the path to becoming the best at something requires many sacrifices, and is a lonely road. It will be filled with many frustrations as you experience failure after failure. It is also a big commitment as he does not know anyone in this world who is an expert in more than one field. So, if this is the road you are going to take you better make sure you love what you are doing.

                Nobody really knows all the intricacies of why someone becomes the best at something they do. This is something the “experts” have been trying to figure out for a while now. But this proves to be really difficult because sometimes it is not very clear what an expert actually is.  After all, some fields require more dedication to reach the top. One thing for sure is that people should take caution when reading Ericsson’s work. Nowadays, being considered an expert is all a competition and you must be better than the others around you. These people may be trying just as hard or even harder than you are. If you prefer a life of peace, there is no problem with settling for a more casual level.

What ever happened to Presumption of Innocence? The Killer Patrick's Political Career.

By: Pritam Hooda

DiManno, Rosie. “I Don't Care If Patrick Brown Was a Randy Womanizer.”, Toronto Star, 26 Jan. 2018,

DiManno is entirely critical of the situation, events and action of party members and media, surrounding Patrick Brown's resignation after the Sexual Misconduct allegations surfaced. she brings up the idea that the allegations lack any form of evidence of harassment or assault, based entirely on what the women themselves had said in the interview with CTV Broadcast. what she calls a "sketchy narrative" as the party not only unanimously elected Vic Fedeli, and no one dared defend Brown while the existence of any evidence against him is not.

It becomes difficult to read the argument she is setting up under all the passive-aggressiveness, but it seems she is suggesting that the allegations are more political than they may seem, and somebody is intend on destroying a man's career by use the #MeToo movement as a bludgeoning weapon. or the idea that because of a few bad eggs in Hollywood, there is no longer any presumption of Innocence or Due process.        

Burman, Tony. “In Davos, Who Can You Trust?”, Toronto Star, 27 Jan. 2018,

This article might seem a little bit broad in comparison to the previous entry, Bruman take the data published by the Edelman Trust Barometer to conclude that the public's trust in the government is in decline. only 1/3 of american trust the government to do "the right thing," which is 14% less than last year. The informed pubic: those between the ages of 25-64, with post secondary education, and are avid consumers of news outlets, and their trust in the government has dropped 30% since last year. Trust in social media outlets is in decline, while "respected" journalism is gained trust. with that said, however, the article also touches on the idea that it is becoming more and more difficult to determine what is and is not a respected news source. And finally, there is the rise of trust in the government in countries like China: which saw a rise of 71%, and India, Indonesia, and the U.A.E. 

I don't really understand how these studies were done, or how you could assign a percentage to the abstract notion of trust, regardless these results, specifically the one regarding the loss of trust in social media, point towards the effect of Fake News. the growing distrust of the media and the govermnet, might have contributed to the controvorsey surounding Partick Brown.      

Black Line - Celia R



                I am going to explain the instructions to one of the easiest tests you will ever have to take. The instructions are very straightforward: Unbox a small plastic tube. The tube is marked with a harsh black line. You need to spit in it, all the way to the top of the black line, but not over. And then you’re going to send it to a lab where scientists are going to pour over it for weeks. Sound easy? Maybe. Sound fun? Not particularly.

                   Yet this is the test many people are willing to take in the wake of the growing popularity of recreationally taking genetic ancestry tests from companies such as AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and more. As these tests rise in popularity, many questions and points of consideration comes with it such as: how trustworthy are these tests? What is the science behind them? What are these companies allowed to do with your DNA? What do the results mean for your ethnic or cultural identity? This last question became a point of focus for Kati Marton, and she reflects on the answer in her Washington Post opinion piece, “A DNA Test upended everything I knew about my identity. Now who am I?”

                   Marton’s results throw a wrench in not only her ethnic identity, but also her family history. Anyone who receives results of a DNA test that are unexpected run the risk of facing the same repercussions as Marton. So why do people take these tests? What does it contribute to their ethnic identity?

                   Are these contributions significant? In this podcast episode, The Black Line, I explore the science behind genetic ancestry testing and the effects the results may have on the evolving views of race and ethnicity. These findings will question the nature of ethnic identity and the different factors that may cause one’s identity to grow, change, and develop. Imagine: you take a simple test, and it topples everything you knew (or at least some of what you knew) about who you were. So, who are you now? My name is Celia Ramsay, and in this episode of A Matter of Opinion, I spit all the way up to the black line, so that you don’t have to.

List of Annotated Bibliographies:

Annotated Bibliographies #6

Building Inclusive Nations in the Age of Migration

Antonsich, M.; Mavroudi, E.; Mihelj, S. Building Inclusive Nations in the Age of Migration. Identities 24.2: p.156-76. March 2017.

Marco Antonsich, Elizabeth Mavroudi, and Sabina Mihelj reflect on the traditional understanding of nationalism as being one that rejects ethnic diversity, excludes minorities, and oppresses individuals. They suggest that we must move forward from this traditional view by pushing boundaries that exist by believing a nation belongs to a dominant ethnic group instead of all of the nation’s inhabitants. This secondary peer-reviewed research is relevant to some of the themes presented by Kati Marton in her AncestryDNA opinion piece. Marton reflects on the prosecution she fled in anti-Semitism in Hungary. She contemplates how, despite the potential ethnic identity has for subjecting one to exclusion – she was greeted with a silver dollar upon migrating to America. She asks if, in present-day America, would refugees identifying with a different culture, ethnicity, or nation, would be treated the same way upon arrival. This research presented in Building Inclusive Nations in the Age of Migration provides the foundation we might need to ensure that they do.

‘What Would it Be Reasonable for the Kid to be Called?’ – Negotiating the Racialised Essentialism of Names

Wykes, E. ‘What would it be Reasonable for the Kid to be Called?’ – Negotiating the Racialised Essentialism of Names. Identities 24.2. p. 198-215. March 2017.

            Emily Jay Wykes’ scholarly article analyzes interviews discussing the choice between naming a child a white British name or a name that more obviously reflects ethnic heritage. She presents these scenarios as two separate options to choose, as if they would result in two completely different outcomes for a child’s social interactions. Wykes highlighting this potential social barrier for an individual raises questions important to the theme that Marton presents in her opinion piece. Marton questions how we treat refugees today, and in my podcast episode I may consider how well someone of a minority ethnic background (and with a name that reflects that) integrates themselves into our society. I have to consider if the ease, or lack thereof, of this integration may influence the way that we shape our ethnic identities.   

Annotated Bibliographies #5

Making Meanings, Creating Family: Intertextuality and Framing in Family Interaction

Gordon, C. Making Meanings, Creating Family: Intertextuality and Framing in Family Interaction. Oxford University Press, 2009-08-01. Oxford Scholarship Online. Sept. 1, 2009.

Cynthia Gordon’s Making Meanings is a peer reviewed book about the repeated words, phrases, and speech acts in every day family interaction. Gordon does this through case studies that follow three families, and by the end of the book Gordon determines that this repetition creates intimate cultures within that family that give them a distinctive identity. Gordon’s research is especially relevant to my podcast episode, because Kati Marton’s article about her ethnic identity discusses, briefly, the concept of family. Marton reflects that family is more than DNA, and if family is more than DNA – what is it? What constitute a family and its many intricacies? And, finally, how important is family to how we shape our individual identities? With Gordon’s research, I may be able to have an insight to what family means and what impact that has on our identities and explore that insight in my podcast episode.

All in the Family? The Structure and Meaning of Family Life Among Young People

Turtiainen, P.; Karvonen, S.; Rahkonen, O. All in the Family? The Structure and Meaning of Family Life Among Young People. Journal of Youth Studies. Pgs. 477-493. Sept. 11, 2007.

            Pirjo Turtiainen, Sakari Karvonen, and Ossi Rahkonen are the authors behind the article, All in the Family? The Structure and Meaning of Family Life Among Young People. The goal of the article is to break down the time spent by young people on their family life through primary research, as this information is taken from direct interviews with these young people. The article concludes with the knowledge that quality time with family is essential for a young person’s wellbeing. These findings are important to note in my research because our identities, while individual, are not shaped by ourselves. Our upbringing has an impact on our cultural values, perspectives, and our identity. This article makes me consider if young people who spend more time with their families also develop a stronger sense of cultural identity, or if there is no correlation at all. This is something I can further look into and may strengthen the research behind my podcast episode, and this article about the structure of family life may jump start that research.   

Annotated Bibliographies #4

Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity

Desmet, K.; Ortuño-Ortín, I.; Wacziarg, R. Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity. American Economic Review, vol 107(9), pages 2479-2513. 2017. Retrieved from

This peer-reviewed paper by Klaus Desmet, Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin, and Romain Wacziarg examines the relationship between ethnicity and culture. Within this relationship lies the parameters for cultural attitudes, values, norms, and identities. Through surveys of individuals the authors determine that ethnic diversity and cultural diversity are unrelated, however when both ethnicity and culture overlap, civil conflict within communities is more likely to occur. This new understanding in relation to my podcast episode topic shifts the way I previously thought of ethnicity and culture; I used to think the terms “ethnic identity” and “cultural identity” were nearly interchangeable. However, after thinking of them as two separate concepts that are likely to overlap, I am able to address issues that may get in the way of forming an ethnic or cultural identity. For example, assuming that everyone from a Latin American country would have the same cultural or ethnic identity would be erasing the diversity that tends to reside in these communities. It would put someone who is Afro-Latina in the same category as someone who is not, when ethnically, they are of an entirely different race, though their cultural identity might be the same. On the other hand, their cultural identity might still be very different with only few similarities. The difference between culture and ethnicity give insight to the complexity of these concepts, especially when one must ask how the two react with each other.

Race and Ethnicity: Culture, Identity, and Representation

Spencer, S. Race and Ethnicity. London: Routledge. Chapter 1, p. 1-30. 2006. Retrieved from

Stephen Spencer’s Race and Ethnicity provides insight into many different issues that arise from the topics of race and ethnicity, but his first chapter discusses our current understanding of race and ethnicity in representation. With the fluidity of race and ethnicity, representation in various types of media and other popular platforms must keep up with the evolving views of ethnic backgrounds. The importance that Spencer places on the issue of representation in the media adds a unique element when considering ethnic identity in my podcast episode. Would achieving an ethnic identity that is entirely personal and could be more complex than the current understanding of ethnicity and race be able to be accurately reflected in mainstream media? Would those identities ever be able to be visible in media? Does it need to be? Or can it be represented in other ways? These are the challenges that may arise when discussing concepts that are so deeply personal to the individual yet a product of social communities at the same time.

Annotated Bibliographies #3

Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States

Masuoka, Natalie. Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States. Oxford University Press. August 2017. Retrieved from

Natalie Masuoka’s book about multiracial identity in the United States provides insightful peer reviewed primary and secondary sources to discuss the nature of this identity. Masuoka collects data and information from interviews of American citizens to contribute to her exploration of the paradigm shift into race as a personal choice for an individual’s identity and the impact multiracial identity has on politics. She finds that the shift into a more fluid view of race changes the way one chooses to identify on government documents such as censuses and surveys, and the way people identify with multiracial politicians. This source contributes some of an answer to the question, “so what?” when discussing the fluidity of ethnic identity. To many, discussing ethnic identity doesn’t have much significance; Masuoka provides examples of the impact changing views of race can have on the way we choose to identify ourselves to the world, and the type of leaders we choose to represent us.

Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self

Alcoff, Linda. The Phenomenology of Racial Embodiment. Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self. Oxford University Press. Oxford Scholarship Online. January 2006. Retrieved from <>.

Linda Alcoff’s peer reviewed Visible Identities:  Race, Gender, and the Self, addresses the confusion around race, and discusses race and racial identity from the perspective of one’s phenotype and race as something experienced in society. Alcoff notes that the development of the study of race challenges previous structures in Western societies, such as racial hierarchies that supported systemic racism. She concludes that we are to consider the visible racial differences between individuals in our evolving views of racial identity, so that we can aspire to change the societal barriers that are results of them. Alcoff’s contributions to the discussion of racial identity are important to remember when recording my podcast episode. This is because we must go beyond just analyzing the nature of ethnic identity. We must venture into how the concept affects our social structures and how we can use our view of race as a centre around how to eradicate societal barriers on which an outdated view of race is its foundation.

Annotated Bibliographies #2

The Science and Business of Genetic Ancestry Testing

Bolnick, D.; Fullwiley, D.; Duster, T.; Cooper, R.; Fujimura, J.; Kaufman, J.; Marks, J.; Morning, A.; Nelson, A.; Ossorio, P.; Reardon, J.; Reverby, S.; TallBear, K. The Science and Business of Genetic Ancestry Testing. AAAS, Science Magazine. Vol. 318. 19 October 2007.

This peer-reviewed article from Science Magazine is a secondary source that provides valuable insight into the credibility and limitations associated with genetic dna testing. Statistics provided in the article attest to the rise in popularity of dna tests to determine one’s genetic ancestry, and lists various reasons why they may be significant to an individual, such as African Americans searching for a history taken by slavery. It is determined by the end of the article that, while fun, takers of these dna tests must be aware of all the limitations in genetic dna testing not yet rectified. Knowing these limitations are important when responding to my article. How serious should we be taking the test results? How much of an impact should we allow the results to have on our ethnic identity, if any? If the origins of our genetic ancestors are so far removed from where we are today, what place do those origins have in our ethnic identities? These are examples of the questions raised around ancestry dna testing and in order for us to consider them, we must know how credible the results are.

Genetic Ancestry Testing

Sarata, Amanda. Genetic Ancestry Testing. Domestic Social Policy Division, HeinOnline. 12 March 2008.

Sarata’s report on genetic ancestry testing elaborates on the many limitations to the science especially in relation to the complex concepts of race and ethnicity. She acknowledges the personal reasons revolving around our ethnic identities that would prompt one to take an ancestry dna test, and strongly believes that it is important to be aware of the scientific limitations to the results before one does so. She also elaborates on some issues that may arise such as interaction with existing policies, the complex and fluid views of race/racial identity, and privacy. Sarata’s report provides more insight not only into the scientific limitations of genetic testing, but also to the possible issues that may arise from doing so. This provides a unique point of consideration to my podcast episode because while it is acknowledged that forming ethnic identities we are comfortable with is the primary goal of discussion, genetic testing is not always the way to get the answers we need. Does the science have that capacity? And, if it does, it may not be worth the possible repercussions.

Annotated Bibliographies #1

Thorton, M.; Taylor, R.; Chatters, L.; Forsythe-Brown, I. “African American and Black Caribbean feelings of closeness to Africans.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. Vol. 24, No. 4, p. 493 – 512. July 2017. Retrieved from

The authors of “African American and Black Caribbean feelings of closeness to Africans" explore the ethnic identities for African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, and Africans and the feelings of closeness the groups have to each other. This peer-reviewed paper acknowledges the complexity and the fluidity of ethnic identity, and how that relates to the concepts of “blackness”, especially when the individuals of the three groups are relating to each other.  Dynamics of these relationships are discovered through studies, an example is found in the conclusion that Afro-Caribbeans feel “significantly closer” to black people from Africa than African Americans do (502). This paper provides a unique point of consideration for my episode by challenging my previous views of ethnicity and race as something finite and concrete. My episode responds to an opinion piece describing the experience of a woman questioning an ethnic identity she grew up with for years. How ethnic identity changes and evolves for individuals is at the core of my episode’s issue and peer-reviewed research such as this paper allow us to see how that fluidity affects how we interact with other ethnic communities closest to our own.  

Edwards, R. “Partnered fathers bringing up their mixed-/multi-race children: an exploratory comparison of racial projects in Britain and New Zealand.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. Vol. 24, No. 2, p. 177 – 197. July 2017. Retrieved from

Edwards’ exploration into the role of fathers of children with mothers of a different race take specific accounts from cases in Britain and New Zealand to determine what these roles entail. Edwards considers that fathers contribute cultural heritage to the ethnic identity of their mixed race children who will ultimately form their own ethnic identity as a mixed-race person.  She concludes that the growing discussions revolving race and ethnic diversities impact the decisions fathers make in how they choose to raise their multi-race children and pass cultural traditions down. The analysis of the collected research compiled and studied by Edwards raises important themes relevant to the nature of ethnic identity discussed in my podcast episode. Edwards finds that the role of fathers in these relationships is important in making sure their cultural influence is held by their child to some degree, and this parallels with my opinion piece as the woman questioning her identity refers specifically to the contribution of her father’s cultural influence to her overall ethnic identity. This research deepens my understanding of the ethnic identity as something to be passed down through generations. It adds a unique angle to the issue of the evolution of the ethnic identity for the individual; now I must find the point of intersection between ethnic identity as something inherited, and ethnic identity as something transformed.        

What's with Tattoos?

I am consciously trying to steer clear of why different people want tattoos, as there are various reasons, I am instead asking why is this happening to our generation? 

LeTrent, S. (2013, September 12). Tattoos and piercings: How young is too young? Retrieved January 21, 2018, from

           Tattoos and piercings: How young is too young? written by Sarah LeTrent is an opinion piece asking the question of whether young people should get tattoos, whether they have their parents’ permission or not. It begins with speaking about the upset Willow Smith caused after posting a picture wearing a fake tongue ring at the age of 11. The articles went on to explain the varying laws each state has about the legal age of giving consent for a tattoo, some being more lenient than others. This brings up the question of when is the right age to get a tattoo. The author proceeds to state others people’s experiences with getting tattoos as teenagers. The piece ends with an explanation that young people often overlook the concept of permanence rather than focusing on feeling good about who they are opposed to what they look like

            Sarah LeTrent was influenced by the reaction from adults about an 11-year old’s decision. Most of the backlash demonizing the parents and shaming the child for her piercing, only for the public to find out that the ring was magnetic and there was no piercing. LeTrent then discusses tattoos, explaining the idea of permanence that a child can seemingly not understand. Through presenting the different laws surrounding tattoos across states, and that there was a man who allowed his 10-year-old grandson to get a tattoo to follow a family tradition, the article highlights the fact that there are right ways and wrong ways of getting a tattoo at a young age that aren’t really backed up by any logic – only opinion. At the end of the article, the author tries to say that the reason young people want body modifications is to cover up the fact that they don’t completely accept themselves is problematic because getting a tattoo or piercing or both is a way of endearing a body, not “fixing” it.


Canada: Can An Employer Prohibit Tattoos And Piercings? (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from rights labour relations/Can An Employer Prohibit Tattoos And Piercings

            Peter McLellan wrote the article Canada: Can An Employer Prohibit Tattoos And Piercings? about the role the law and government have revolving around tattoos in the work place. In this article, it states that tattoos and piercing are not covered by the Human Rights Act or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada so employers may legally choose not to hire someone due to body modifications, with the exceptions of tattoos and piercing for ethnic or tribal reasons because then it would be in violation to one’s human rights. The article then explains the difference between a non-union work place and a unionized one, through the hiring process as well as once someone has the job and then might decide to getting tattoos or piercings.

            This article highlights the valid point that if an employer prohibits tattoos in the workplace, they could potentially be turning away competent and valuable staff members. Later in the article Pater McLellean explains that there is little difference between discrimination against someone’s ethnicity and someone’s appearance. Since this article states that there are exceptions for people who have these body modifications for ethnic or tribal reasons, it leads to the extended thought of how important one’s appearance is to their identity. 

What's with millennials' obsession with tattoos? (2017, September 27). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from

            This article holds a theme of autonomy over one’s body and hold the least bias of the tattoos on young people argument, more interested in looking for real answers as to why the popularity of tattoos have come about. The most interesting point I found in this article was that the younger generations are subject to a society and ideals that are rapidly changing and tattoos are almost like a permanent identity. That also ties in with my ideas from previous articles where the writers were questioning whether young people understood permanence. From this I can draw one of two conclusions that maybe young people don’t understand permanence but they want to, or maybe the ideas people have about permanence are being stretched. This publication also takes time to explain tattoo removal, but that quickly transitioned into how expensive the whole process of getting a tattoo could be including removal, also touching on the pain aspect of tattoos. This was the only part that almost felt like some bias was being shown. Another idea I am thinking about, is that teens are by nature angsty and maybe the mere fact that parents are so opposed to tattoos is what is manifesting the want for tattoos. At the end of the article the writer makes a statement explain that if tattoos are a source of identity that no one really has the right to look down upon them.


Brean, J. (2015, January 25). From counter-culture to mainstream: Why the red-hot tattoo boom is bound to end. Retrieved January 28, 2018, from

            This article was about the evolution of tattoos, touching on where tattoos came from but focusing on how they became so popular. From here I need to do more research about what tattoos are started out as. I will also be looking into the references the writer makes because they are academic text that could give more of unbiased or credited account for this phenomenon. I learned that Toronto alt-weekly NOW magazine actually launched a red-yellow-green system of rating tattoo parlors so the first article I read that urged parents to help their children find “good” or safe tattoo parlors is putting unnecessary accountability on the parents, considering that if their child is only enough to legally get a tattoo they would have this as a research. My bias stands on the side where young people should be able to make such decisions for themselves opposed to being assisted by their parents. The most important idea I got from this article why that there is a difference between wanting tattoos and wanting to be tattooed – this idea will definitely need more research, maybe by someone who actually has lots of tattoos. The last thing this article does is actually agree with my idea form the previous article that children do what their parents don’t want them to do. 


Can you think of a time when your parents just completely did not understand where you were coming from? It probably doesn’t take you very long to think of an example, right? I mean it’s true, most of the time you do parents know what’s best. Even Will Smith knew this in his song, Parents Just Don’t Understand.Spending the first half of the song explaining how his mom will never understand the fashion trends of his generation. But then the second half of the song, he speaks about the indecisiveness of what it’s like to be 16 and make dumb decisions.

So, my name is Jess, I’m 19 and I have a plan to cover about 50% of my body in tattoos. I can assure you, this is not a fashion trend for me. But none the less, my mom does not want to hear anything about this plan.

So, when I came across Perri Klass’ article in the New York times, “when adolescence want tattoos or piercing” I was expecting a complete hit piece. But instead she was really just addressing parents and telling them the dangers in shutting down this conversation, because at the end of the day, the most important thing to you is your kid’s health and safety, right? I mean, I’ve never thought of tattoos as unhealthy or dangerous, but at least she’s open to the idea! It was just a very… parental way of going about this topic

And this is where my search begins. Looking for the adolescence point of view, the one who wants the tattoos and piercing. But the more searching I’m doing, the more it just seems like a one-sided conversation. There were three reoccurring themes in all the articles I could find of body modifications:

-       Society’s beauty standards and just the visual aspect of tattoos

-       The idea that young people just don’t understand permanence and that’s why they are so willing to get tattoos

-       And of course, identity, whether you think good people get tattoos or bad, we can all agree that it takes a certain person to get tattooed, right?

… right?

Now, my research is far from done. As the podcast goes on we’re going to really dive deep into these themes and find out.

What’s with young people and wanting tattoos?


The violent Aesthetic: a Reconsideration of Transgressive Body Art by Eric Mullis

This academic article written by Eric Mullis called The violent Aesthetic: a Reconsideration of Transgressive Body Art does not specifically comment on tattoos but focus on somaesthetics and whether art regarding the physical body is consummatory or unconsummatory.  Before getting into the depth of their argument, Mullis explains why society is so interested in this type of art. The way I am going to use this information in my podcast is because I learned unlike traditional visual art it is impossible to distance yourself from the transgressive quality of body modification in society. Through the text the answers to why and what it means to have your body art understood by society – as a way to show society that not everyone is the same, and society could not ignore this refusal to assimilate. Two definitions in this piece struck me as important and they were; traditional performance artist that’s the body’s expressive ability while a transgressive body artist is valued by its cultural critique (tattoo artists/getting tattooed is transgressive body art). Since the body is the canvas/medium for expression if a tattoo represents/is received as a consummatory image, then that shows the audience how that experience can be formed and can be formed and used as a guide to a fulfilled identity. This article also makes statements about corporeality, the most interesting one was near the end of the article when I was able to conclude that reducing tattoos to just art and what it represents ignores the bigger picture of the complicated relationship one has between their body and their identity. By getting tattooed the individual is showing that they are not compliant to their social conditions because they are using body art to pursue a fulfillment of their own identity.


Tattoos Teenagers: An Art Teacher’s Response by Lorrie Blair

Tattoos Teenagers: An Art Teacher’s Response in an article written by Lorrie Blair, and the first thing I noticed about it was that it was dated. This article wrote about high school students as if they had almost no credibility, trying to make it subliminal but it came across loud and clear. There was no mention where the statistics included were from, no region or time frame. The piece began speaking about high school students who want tattoos as a form of identity which I can understand, and agree with, but then it said that this identity was a bad one because the teens aren’t doing the right research. One interesting part of the article was when they gave a little bit of a history lesson and informed me that British and American people used to get Japanese tattoos in the 1800’s as a symbol of wealth and being worldly – the author justifiably went on to make connections between tattoos that celebrities get and these historic tattoos. The text says that teachers can use the youths interest in tattoos as a way of teaching them about different cultures and the critical thinking they need to be able to get a good tattoo that they won’t regret in the future. Then the article lists some websites to visit to get more information on tattoos, this was really the dated part because with social media like twitter and Instagram I can get any information about a tattoo artist I want and where they work out of. The article ended on a note that I agree with on a surface level, stating that the amount of effort you put into getting a tattoo is directly correlated with how much you care about your body and really appreciate the art of tattooing. I do believe that “on a whim” tattoos could be just as much of a good experience as well as a good addition to a tattoo collection. 


Reuters, T. (2015, August 06). Tattoo's long-term risks unclear, medical review concludes. Retrieved February 08, 2018, from

Tattoo Safety Questions Remain in Long Term an article publicized by CBC News| Health written by Thomson Reuters has a main argument that we know short term risks of getting tattoos but we don’t know what the long-term risks are. While the short-term risks are infection or allergic reaction, the long-term risks might be scarier than we think. The article states, “No proof ink ingredients being injected into the body are safe” but I argue that this is a very one sides way of questioning safety, considering there is another statement that the author made a conscious decision to leave out, and that is: there is no proof that the ink used in tattoos are unsafe. The reason Reuter believes there is not conclusion to the long-term danger of tattoo ink in the skin is since tattoo ink is classified as a cosmetic, there can be no testing on animals, making it harder to test long-term effects. I don’t know much about animal testing but I do know tattoos have been around for centuries, so I’m sure there is a way to test these theories on a person from an older generation who has tattoos. Later in the article the author explains that a corps’ tattoos faded away leaving only 10% of the tattoo still visible, after being tattooed for decades before his death. The question this article poses is: where does the ink go? I know from other research I have done that your body in continuously working to break down the ink causing them to fade over time. It is not that this foreign substance is traveling everywhere through your blood stream as it fades, but rather that special cells called macrophages break down the dye until you can no longer visibly see the tattoo. ( While there might still be some uncertainty to what “breaking down” means, there has been no records of someone becoming ill due to long term effects of having a tattoo, therefore there is good reason to believe that there are no severer long-term effects of receiving a tattoo. This article touches on the fact that tattoo ink mostly contains organic pigments, but quickly transitions into the risks that are connected to the word “mostly”. He purposes that tattoo artists have a responsibility to explain that there is an risk, but with no known risk, what is there to be warned about? I do agree with the note the article ends on which is that if you want a tattoo, you should do your due diligence to make sure you are acquiring it in a safe and healthy environment.


Why Do People Get Tattooed? by Miliann Kang and Katherine Jones

            Miliann Kang and Katherine Jones wrote a popular article by Sage Publications on behalf of the American Sociological Association. The thesis of this article is that there is no single explanation that can account for the increasing popularity of tattoos but with their research they found that people use tattoos to express who they are, what they have lived through, and how they see themselves in relation to society. This article begins with their ideas about tattooed youth, explaining media’s influence of young people which has resulted in a “supermarket era” for tattoos and includes an statistic that I might want to look farther into. In the article it states, “through the results of two surveys, one based on 642 high school students in Texas and one based on a national sample of 1762 students, contrary to stereotypes, are high-achieving students and rarely report gang affiliations.”. A woman who was interview for this article speaks on a matching tattoo she has received with her now husband and says that even if they do end up divorcing, the memory of her husband will always be with her, and the tattoo is just a physical embodiment of that point in her life. The major take away from this section is that young people getting tattooed is an act that serves as a vehicle to mark adulthood. The next section is about being tattooed as a woman where the authors explain the social injustices revolving around tattooed women. Referring to a court case where a woman took a man to court for rape in the late 1920’s (doing this isn’t easy today, so I can’t imagine doing it almost 100 years ago) and the case was dropped once the prosecutor realized that she has one tattoo on her ankle of a butterfly, which mislead the two men who sexually assaulted her. Women with tattoos were seen as sexually promiscuous and lower-class.  The main thesis of this argument is that even when women seek freedom and power over their bodies, the meaning women attach to their tattoos are culturally written over by the society that they live in, in which case I believe it is society that has the problem not the women. The last an shortest section of this article is the tattoo subculture, where an interviewee explained that when he didn’t have tattoos he felt like a zombie in his own body and tattooing himself was a spiritual moment where he got in touch with his own body. The conclusion of this article went on about while someone might get tattoos to mark individuality, adulthood, or creative expression, some tattooes have difficulty reconciling their own intentions with negative social attention, and I know that mu bias is showing but the more research I do the more I realize that I think the problem lays in society’s perception and not the tattooed individual. I am hoping my next article can give me a clear definition of what adulthood means though.

Document Dissemination Division at the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control. Infection Prevention and Control Practices For Personal Services: Tattooing, Are/Body Piecing, and Electrolysis. Health Canada. July 1999.

            This government official document outlines the risk for infections of tattoos and piercings as well has how to prevent infections (as a practitioner) and how these body modifications should be done. The latest document I could find was published in 1999, which tell me that the government either still believes these regulations are still correct or the government does not think it is necessary to revisit this document because it is not a serious threat. There is a lot of information in this document so I can assume that I will be referring back to it during the making of my podcast. There are four causes for infection when it comes to needles and those are: if the needle is infected or not serialized properly, if the jewelry is not sterilized properly, if the practitioner’s hands are not properly cleaned, or if the clients skin is already infected, irritated or not cleansed properly beforehand. These causes make it so there is a fair amount of procedures in place that could prevent infection at the shop, like inspecting not only your own work space and hands before piercing or tattooing, but also the clients skin. There are some statistics in this document about health care worker who were injured with a sharp instrument, but the likely hood of contracting a disease is not likely, and almost impossible if the worker has been immunized and has developed antibiotics. Legally all staff All staff who perform skin piercing procedures should have up-to-date immunizations as recommended for adults in Canada. One thing I found interesting is that blood does not have to be visible on a device to transmit infection. When practitioners are designing a shop, renovating, or moving into an existing space, they should contact the local health department or municipality for shop requirements and any regulations or standards, this something I can include in my interview with a health inspector. Something specific to tattooing that I thought was important to know was that Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to even the most pure and non-toxic pigments. If the client shows any type of allergic reaction during the tattooing process, e.g. paleness, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, undue swelling, or puffiness around the eyes, the tattooing process should be stopped and immediate emergency medical attention should be obtained. Something specific to piercing that I thought was interesting as someone who watching their friend get a nose piercing with a gun, is that ear piercing gun should be used only for piercing the fleshy part of the ear lobes. The gun is not suitable for piercing other parts of the body such as the navel, the nasal cartilage, or the cartilage areas of the ear. The action of the ear-piercing gun can damage tissue and create a risk for later infection.


Simpson, Sean. Two In Ten Canadians (22%), Americans (21%) Have a Tattoo. Ipsos Reid. 23 January 2012.

            This is a statistic is the most recent and reliable I could find on the internet. This article is not opinion based but the fact that right under the title the first statistic is 1/10 tattooed Canadians (10%) regret getting their tattoo leads me to believe that it is bias. Later in the article it states that 15% of tattooed young people aged 18-34 regret their tattoo, if that person only has one tattoo. Some interesting facts this survey shows are that only 11% of North Americans with tattoos have more than one and Ontario is province with the least amount of tattooed people with 19% chance of a person getting a tattoo. I was under the impression that Ontario would have a much higher percentage due to big cities like Toronto and Ontario. That being said I was not surprised that British Columbia was ranked the province that was most likely to house tattooed people at a percentage of 28%. All in all I'm not sure how trust worthy these statistics are so I will probably keep looking online and compare statistics. 

Helping or Helicoptering? The Effect of Parenting on College-Age Anxiety

By: Rhea Basu

The Pitch

If there’s one thing that parents can agree on, it’s that the world today can feel like a very scary place. Parents, you probably feel anxious every time you come home from work, turn on the six o’clock news, and hear about the various assaults, kidnappings, and murders that seem to be all too common nowadays. You draw your child closer to your chest and silently vow that you’ll keep them safe, no matter the cost. But what if that cost was your child’s mental health?

That’s what Allan Richarz suggests in his opinion piece in the CBC, a response to the story of B.C. single-father Adrian Crook who recently got a stern warning from B.C.’s Ministry of Child and Family Development for allowing four of his children, aged seven to eleven, to take the forty-five minute commute to school on the public bus without an adult. While some of you may be shaking your head at Crook’s parenting, Richarz defends him. He argues that using an overprotective parenting style, dubbed “helicopter” parenting, robs children of crucial learning experiences and leaves them feeling deeply anxious and helpless as adults.

So how do we protect our kids? Richarz uses the falling crime rate as proof that we don’t need to coddle our children anymore, but is that really true? Are there new dangers to our children that aren’t reflected in the statistics? How do we defend our children from those? Is there a need to shelter our children, or are we smothering them? Will our children become a generation of anxious adults? Will it be our fault? How do we give our children positive learning experiences that bolster their confidence without putting them in danger?

Being told to step back for the benefit of your child seems counterintuitive, like being told to remove all the baby-proof rubber corners from your glass coffee table. One might be tempted to brush off Allan Richarz’ opinion piece entirely, yet there’s a nugget of truth in it that can’t be ignored: anxiety in young adults is rising, in both prevalence and severity. So what’s the story? What - or who - is causing this anxiety? Let’s find out.


Learn More

"Helicopter Parents Stir up Anxiety, Depression"

“‘Helicopter Parents’ Stir up Anxiety, Depression.” IU News Room, Indiana University, 2013,

This is a secondary source from the Indiana University newsletter, which summarizes the findings of psychologist Chris Meno regarding helicopter parents and students' mental health. In this article, "helicopter parent" is defined in greater detail, using examples of behaviour that is common in cases of helicopter parenting. Meno identifies the cell phone as an aggravator of the anxiety because children are often quick to call their parents to ask for a solution rather than being forced to solve something themselves and learn independence. He tries to treat the effects of helicopter parenting by asking students not to call their parents right away - to deliberate options first and develop critical thinking skills. One thing that was interesting that I noted from this article was that Meno felt that today's headlines (regarding crime, accidents, poverty) is what's causing parents to become helicopter parents. As I continue to do my research, I want to investigate whether or not these headlines reflect the true safety of the nation.

"Canadians' perceptions of safety and crime, 2014"

Canada, Government of Canada Statistics. “Canadians' Perceptions of Personal Safety and Crime, 2014.” Statistics Canada, Government of Canada, 12 Dec. 2017,

This is a primary source taken from Statistics Canada. In the original opinion article, the author makes a claim that crime in Canada has been on the decline for the past two decades. This resource from Statistics Canada corroborated this. Crime, which is defined as all offences under the Criminal Code of Canada save for traffic offences, has declined significantly. However, 74% of Canadians believe that crime in their neighbourhoods has not declined, and less than 10% of Canadians believe that crime has declined. Statistics Canada noted that the higher the population of a city was, the less secure the residents felt - and not just because of crime, but also because of social disorders (such as homelessness). Women and immigrants were particularly prone to feeling anxiety, especially when walking alone or in the dark. Finally, people who reported having positive relationships with their law enforcement also reported feeling safer than those who did not.

"Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2014"

Canada, Government of Canada Statistics. “Police-Reported Crime Statistics in Canada, 2014.” Statistics Canada, Government of Canada, 30 Nov. 2015,

This source is another primary source from Statistics Canada. I wanted to venture deeper into the initial claim in the op-ed that crime in Canada was on the decline. This source verified what the author and the other source claimed - that crime, in general, was on the decline in Canada. The Crime Severity Index (or CSI) for Canada had decreased, with a decline in breaking and entering, and robbery accounting for this drop. In terms of violent crime, that had also declined in general - but I found something here of interest to me: extortion, sexual violence against children, and abduction all saw an increase in frequency. This is incredibly relevant to my podcast because if children are truly in greater danger, then it would be foolish to report otherwise just because of a general downward trend. As this data is four years old, something I intend to do is find more recent statistics, if at all possible.

"Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11"

“Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11.”, Government of Ontario, 13 Apr. 2015,

This source is a primary source taken from the Government from Ontario's website, specifically the section that contains all the laws. The specific act that I've cited is the "Child and Family Services Act," which was last amended in 2017. According to Section 79(3), the part of the Act that is relevant to the opinion article, any parent or guardian in charge of a child under sixteen years old can leave that child alone without having made arrangements for supervision that are appropriate to the circumstances. Failure to do so could result in a child protection hearing. The Child and Family Services Act was important for me since the majority of Canadians live in Ontario and therefore this Act impacts the majority of children and parents in Canada. In addition, the minimum age is the highest age of the provinces, which is noted in the original opinion piece.

"Anxiety Disorders"

“Anxiety Disorders.” Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2012,

Switching gears, this source is a secondary source from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health regarding anxiety disorders, symptoms, and suggestions on how to live with it. This source notes that anxiety is an umbrella term for a series of various other anxiety disorders, but all of them share the same hallmarks. These common traits are irrational and excessive fear, being apprehensive or feeling tense, and having difficulty or distress when it comes to managing daily tasks. Symptoms included anxious thoughts, predictions, beliefs, avoidance of situations that could trigger anxiety, safety or coping mechanisms (like always carrying a cell phone), and excessive physical reactions to anxiety (sweating, dizziness, loss of breath). It was important for me to get a better understanding of anxiety as some parents often brush it off as just being worried when it runs deeper than that, and I wanted my podcast to reflect how serious this growing trend of college-age anxiety was.

"Ability to handle stress"

Statistics Canada. “Ability to Handle Stress and Sources of Stress, Canada.” Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada, 2016,

This table, a primary source taken from Statistics Canada, demonstrates how certain age groups manage stress. The age groups that I focused on were 12-17 year olds and 35-49 year olds (where I presumed the majority of the parents of the former group would be). The table listed how Canadians ranked themselves in terms of ability to handle unexpected problems, balance their lives, as well as to self-identify the areas in their life that cause them the greatest amount of stress. From the data, I learned that 26% of teenagers aged 12-17 don't feel confident in their ability to handle unexpected problems. This compares with their parents' generation, where only 18% of adults that age feel the same. 63% of the 12-17 year old demographic listed school and academics as their biggest source of stress, whereas the 35-49 year old demographic felt as though work (32%) or finances (23%) was their biggest stressor. This table was interesting to me as I did notice a significant amount of young people felt less equipped to handle problems, which the author of the original opinion piece attributed to an increase in the trend of helicopter parenting.

"Cyber Related Crime"

Statistics Canada. “Police-Reported Cybercrime, by Cyber-Related Violation, Canada.”Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada, 11 Nov. 2017,

This is a primary source from Statistics Canada, where I analyzed the rise of cyber crime. This was an avenue I wanted to explore as a lot of parents who are keeping their child "indoors" and out of harm let them use the internet, often unsupervised. The source touched on cyber-crime that had been reported by the police, where crime is defined by any offence as written under the Criminal Code of Canada. From this source, I learned that between 2014-2016, the crime of luring a child via a computer was reported 20% more than before. Despite a 35% decrease in the charge of child pornography, there were 2,886 counts of making or distribution of child pornography, which was a drastic increase from 0 reported counts in 2014. Finally, extortion saw an 81% increase, from 441 counts to 797. 

"No, helicopter parents aren’t ruining kids after all"

Strauss, Valerie. “No, Helicopter Parents Aren’t Ruining Kids after All.” Washington Post, Washington Post, 4 Sept. 2014,

This source is a secondary source from the Washington Post. This is an opinion piece written by Valerie Strauss, who argues that helicopter parenting isn't what's causing anxiety and extreme dependence in young adults. Strauss cites a study called the National Survey of Student Engagement, which surveyed over 9000 kids at 24 different universities. From that survey, only 13% of freshmen said that they had a parent frequently intervene to help them solve problems. In addition, Strauss questions whether or not anxiety is caused by helicopter parenting. She suggests that perhaps parents pick up on their child's emotional distress and tend to stay close in order to provide the support the child needs. Finally, she mentions that modern society conflates maturity and self-sufficiency. She argues that this expectation that students be independent is why there's so few resources on campus, therefore of course parents should be allowed to step in and help. Valerie Strauss's opinion piece treats the negative effects helicopter parenting very skeptically.

“I will guide you” The indirect link between overparenting and young adults' adjustment

Rousseau, Sofie, and Miri Scharf. “‘I Will Guide You’ The Indirect Link between Overparenting and Young Adults' Adjustment.” Psychiatry Research, vol. 228, no. 3, 2015, pp. 826–834., doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.016.

In this source, which is an article from the Psychiatry Research Journal, analyzed the link between overparenting (another term for helicopter parenting) and the adjustment of young adult children. The article found that there was a link between overbearing parents and psychopathological problems in their offspring. While there was an undeniable trend of psychological distress in children who reported being overparented, the article did not confirm or deny if this was causation at play, or merely correlation. The study was interesting because it found that overbearing fathers tended to cause greater psychopathological problems than overbearing mothers. At the end, it made two distinct recommendations. The first recommendation was not surprising to me - it was that any psychologist or therapist dealing with a young adult ought to investigate their upbringing and treat them for possible negative effects left by overparenting. The second recommendation came as a surprise to me. The study claimed that the parents who were guilty of "overparenting" were more likely to be suffering from regrets about their own lives or current marital problems. As a result of their own insecurities, they were more likely to micromanage the lives of their young adult children. Therefore the recommendation that was made was to treat the parents in order to get them to accept their own shortcomings so they would stop projecting onto their children. 

Black hawk down?: Establishing helicopter parenting as a distinct construct from other forms of parental control during emerging adulthood

Padilla-Walker, Laura M., and Larry J. Nelson. “Black Hawk down?: Establishing Helicopter Parenting as a Distinct Construct from Other Forms of Parental Control during Emerging Adulthood.” Journal of Adolescence, vol. 35, no. 5, 2012, pp. 1177–1190., doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.03.007.

This article is from the journal Journal of Adolescence. It claims to be one of the first studies that truly examine the notion of "helicopter parenting". The article and the research within it successfully distinguishes helicopter parenting from other parenting styles such as behavioural control and psychological control, the reason being the effects that each has on a child. Behavioural control and psychological control has been proven to have directly destructive effects on a child, whereas helicopter parenting works to stifle or stunt the growth of a child so that the true damage is only revealed when the child is entering adulthood and finds himself or herself struggling to be independent. This point about the damage of helicopter parenting also provides the framework which connects this form of "intrusive parenting" to problematic development in developing adults. This article, which was published three years before the other article, links helicopter parenting to parental separation anxiety or social anxiety (parents being worried about how the behaviour of their child reflects on them). However, this article does not cite any evidence that directly ties helicopter parenting to parental separation anxiety or social anxiety.

Parental and Peer Predictors of Social Anxiety in Youth

Festa, Candice C., and Golda S. Ginsburg. “Parental and Peer Predictors of Social Anxiety in Youth.” Child Psychiatry & Human Development, vol. 42, no. 3, 2011, pp. 291–306., doi:10.1007/s10578-011-0215-8.

This source is an article taken from the journal Child Psychiatry and Human Development that studies factors of social anxiety in youth, specifically factors relating to parenting style and peer relations. Parental factors studied were parental anxiety, rejection, and over control. Peer factors studied were social acceptance, social support, and friendship quality. This article was interesting to me because it studied peer relations, which I had not considered earlier when investigating the rising trend of anxiety in youth and young adults. The study concluded that higher levels of parental anxiety, overcontrol, and parental rejection were associated with higher levels of social anxiety in youth. Children themselves rated parental overcontrol and perceived social acceptance as what they felt was causing their anxiety. While this study definitely validates that an overbearing parenting style increases anxiety, it also provides numerous other significant factors for anxiety: peer validation, parental validation, and perceived social anxiety.

Temperament, Peer Victimization, and Nurturing Parenting in Child Anxiety: A Moderated Mediation Model

Affrunti, Nicholas W., et al. “Temperament, Peer Victimization, and Nurturing Parenting in Child Anxiety: A Moderated Mediation Model.” Child Psychiatry & Human Development, vol. 45, no. 4, 2013, pp. 483–492., doi:10.1007/s10578-013-0418-2.

This article is from the journal Child Psychiatry and Human Development. In the study, the effects of temperament (defined as a person's nature which affects their behaviour), peer rejection, and nurturing parenting on anxiety in children. I found the study interesting as the study found that children with fearful temperaments who were victimized by their peers were far more likely to develop anxiety disorders. (In this study, fearful temperament means that it is a child who is naturally shy, clingy, or afraid of new environments). It made me think about other factors that could cause anxiety as opposed to just looking at controlling parenting methods. The study noted that there was no relationship between parental nurturance and anxiety in fearful children, but parental  nurturance did moderate the effect of rejection by peers on a child. This means that parents who are more nurturing could reduce the impact of victimization so their child may not end up developing anxiety. The study concludes that nurturing parents may have a specific (narrow) benefit for children with fearful temperaments. 

The Effects of Helicopter Parenting on Academic Motivation

 Schiffrin, Holly H., and Miriam Liss. “The Effects of Helicopter Parenting on Academic Motivation.” Journal of Child and Family Studies, vol. 26, no. 5, 2017, pp. 1472–1480., doi:10.1007/s10826-017-0658-z.

This is a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies. The purpose of the study was to address concern that helicopter parenting was negatively impacting college students' well-being and academic achievement. The study analyzed the effects of helicopter parenting on constructs related to academic achievement including motivation, perfectionism, and entitlement. The study notes that children who reported maternal  helicopter parenting had similar trends in relation to motivation to learn, perfectionism, and avoidance goals for learning, which are all associated with poor academic performance. Mothers who reported helicopter parenting saw a relationship to their children's sense of entitlement. The study concludes that while there appears to be a negative relationship between helicopter parenting and academic achievement, the study was unable to determine which one was causing the other. On one hand, helicopter parenting could increase perfectionism, reduce mastery motivation, increase sense of entitlement, and undermine student success. On the other hand, the student could have been a poor student initially and the helicopter parenting is a response to the needs of that child. I found the study interesting because much like anxiety and helicopter parenting, there still is no answer to which one causes the other. In addition, it was also interesting to see that helicopter parenting affects other factors of a child's life (academia) that therefore impacts their mental health (poor academic standing has been linked to increased anxiety and depression).

Helping or Hovering? The Effects of Helicopter Parenting on College Students'€™ Well-Being

 Schiffrin, Holly H., et al. “Helping or Hovering? The Effects of Helicopter Parenting on College Students'€™ Well-Being.” Journal of Child and Family Studies, vol. 23, no. 3, 2013, pp. 548–557., doi:10.1007/s10826-013-9716-3.

This study, which is from the Journal of Child and Family Studies analyzed the effects of different parenting styles, particularly helicopter parenting, on college students' well being by measuring helicopter parenting, autonomy supportive parenting, depression, anxiety, satisfaction with life, and basic psychological needs satisfaction. The study noted that students who reported having over-controlling parents had significantly higher levels of depression and were less satisfied with life. The study concluded that the negative effects of helicopter parenting on college students' well-being were explained by the students feeling that their psychological needs for autonomy and competence had been violated. This study, much like others that I've read, reaffirmed that the effects of helicopter parenting on mental health needed more study before they could state for sure whether or not parents hover because they can sense their child is depressed, or whether children are depressed because their parents are hovering. Regardless, the study did confirm that autonomy and competence are intricately linked to mental health and as a result, parents ought to be careful with the degree to which they are involved. I felt like this study was relevant to my podcast because it helped me decide that the podcast shouldn't be about whether or not helicopter parenting causes anxiety because there isn't a consensus yet. Instead I am considering alternate approaches to the topic.

Amnesty For Pot Possession Charges


Just how forgiving of a person are you? How do you feel about pardoning criminals? How would you feel if we were to forgive, let's say, ten thousand people for something they did just last year? Those are tough questions, I know. But, would it make it any easier if I said it was just for pot possession? 

Well, there's this interesting article in the Toronto Star, by their own editorial board, that discusses Trudeau's plan to provide amnesty for those charged with possession. In brief, the way things stand right now, if you're convicted of simple possession you'll have to wait five years before actually applying for a pardon, which could run you a couple hundred dollars. But not so quick! Keep in mind that that's just the application wait period, and it might actually be some time before you put this whole mess behind you and clear your record.

The Canadian government is offering, or at least putting on the table, blanket amnesty for all. Which begs the question: why, in the name of all things green, are they still charging people with pot possession with legalization less than six months away? In these coming months the government will eat up a considerable amount of resources and money, not to mention overburdening our courtrooms with petty crimes that won't be an issue come July. Trudeau says that anyone purchasing marijuana until then, does so illegally--okay, I get that--and is actually supporting any drug organizations that they're actively trying to shut down.

Can you see me being pulled apart by both arms here? The government is giving us contradictory information, but I totally get both sides. And it's kind of frustrating!

In this episode, we're going to tackle the numbers: since the Liberals took office in 2015, criminal activity involving cannabis, believe it or not, is actually down--across the board! How much is too much before you can get charged for possession? We're going to touch upon the addictive qualities of marijuana. And contrary to popular belief, it's actually quite high! 

So until then, think of anyone you know that has been convicted, if anyone. Are they good people? Were they actively involved in organized drug crime? Or were they simply users? Are you scared of thousands being pardoned and given the chance to work at your bank or grocery store? What if they became your mailperson? 

Legalization will change our communities in more ways than one. So join me as we break it down together. Pardons won't be considered for missing it. Talk to you soon!

Global News. "Trudeau On Amnesty For Marijuana Possession." YouTube. You-Tube, 13 Jan. 2018. Web. 21 Jan. 2018.

This video, taken from a Global News broadcast, talks about the Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale, and his intentions to provide amnesty to anyone who was previously charged with possession of marijuana. It goes on to show a clip of Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, giving a speech on why the government is still spending a lot of money on tracking down anyone in possession of marijuana in the wake of its legalization. He explains that despite the pending legalization, anyone who is currently purchasing marijuana, is doing so illegally and supporting drug trafficking. This piece is relevant to the article I have chosen, because it asks why the government is continuing to waste their money and efforts in an attempt to catch anyone in possession when they are in talks of potentially pardoning others who have committed the same offence. Trudeau addresses this concern, and justifies the governments efforts by emphasizing the ways in which it would be supporting the very drug trafficking they are so bent on stopping. I think having the Prime Minister's thoughts on the matter would provide an interesting lens for me to offer the listeners of my episode.

"Ralph Goodale." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Dec. 2017. Web. 21 Jan. 2018.

This Ralph Goodale entry on Wikipedia talks about his political life and all the cabinet posts he has held. Some of which include: Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Minister of State, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, and Minister of Finance, among many others. It also talks about his almost becoming the Prime Minister of Canada in 2008, as leader of the proposed coalition government. I find this piece to be relevant because it is Goodale that is now proposing amnesty for those charged with possession of marijuana before its legalization. I also find it interesting that he held ten different cabinet posts between 1993 and the present, 2018. Most of these posts don't seem to have much to do with each other, but this has prompted an interest in researching how most politicians work their way up the federal ladder. Is it common for one to jump around so many posts? This has done well to acquaint me with the current Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, a figure mentioned by name in the opinion piece I'm working with.

"Health Effects of Cannabis." Doc. Health Canada, 13 Apr. 2017. Web. 28 Jan. 2018.

Health Canada provides a detailed list of health effects caused by the use of marijuana. This document goes through the effects in great detail, from long-term effects to short-term, and the mental and physical effects for each term. It provides information on why using marijuana while pregnant is bad for the unborn child, for example: THC gets into the system and is likely to then be contained within the breast milk of the mother, may result in the birth of a below-average-weight baby, and other negative long-term effects of the child such as memory function, ability to pay attention, and problem solving skills. This document is relevant to the podcast I am putting together, because I can argue the effects of marijuana use, both the negative and the positive. With this knowledge, I can play both sides of the court and argue why marijuana was illegal to begin with (since the document talks about risks of using illegal marijuana from a non-health perspective as well) and why legalization might not be the answer, and I can also argue why the move to legalize should have come sooner and why it will benefit the country if it the population adheres to its proper use. The document also lists the likelihood of addiction: 1 in every 11 (9%) users are likely to become addicted, that number rises to 1 in every 6 (17%) if they start using as teenagers. If at for any stretch of time they become daily users, the risk of addiction rises to 25-50%.

"Controlled Drugs and Substances Act." Doc. Criminal Code of Canada, 13 Dec. 2017. Web. 28 Jan. 2018.

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is a long and painfully detailed document that lays out everything pertaining to the scheduling of drugs in Canada, and how the police is expected to take action when faced with individuals/organizations who violate the Act. Schedule I, considered to be the worst, is aptly on top of the list, leaving schedule VI to the bottom. The Act provides information on what is needed for the police to obtain a search warrant, and under which circumstances they can perform a search without one. It also provides a glossary of terms that are used throughout the Act to avoid the misinterpretation of words like substance, traffic, possession, sell, provide. This document is relevant to my podcast, because I found out that marijuana is classified as a schedule II drug. It says that anyone found with more than 30g of marijuana/1g cannabis resin in their possession will be subjected to a maximum sentence of five years. This is known as an indictable offence. Those found with less than those amounts are subjected to a maximum fine of one thousand dollars and six months imprisonment, and two thousand dollars and one year imprisonment for every subsequent offence. This is known as a summary conviction offence. Anyone found with amounts exceeding 3kg of either marijuana or cannabis resin in their possession will be considered to have intent to sell/traffic, and will face a potential life sentence. I can use this information of categorization and punishment to put into perspective what those who were charged with possession are facing and dealing with, and exactly what they did to get there. This also moves me to pursue the number of people who were charged with possession over the years to supplement this information.

Forrest, Maura. "More Than 15,000 People Charged With Pot Possession Since Trudeau Elected in 2015." National Post. National Post, 2 Jun. 2017: n. pag. Web. 4 Feb. 2018.

This article from the National Post focuses on the effects that upcoming legalization has had on the behaviour of Canadians and their use of the substance. More than 15,000 were charged with possession and more than 2,000 were convicted since the Liberals took office in October of 2015. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada was cited saying that between October 2015 and April 2017, nearly 7,000 of those charged with possession were under twenty-five, with an additional 774 convicted. Another 8,300 were charged that were over the age of twenty-five, plus 1,361 were convicted. The article shows how the number of convictions has lowered over the years, where 21,000 were charged in 2015, showing a 3,000 person drop from 2014 (stats for each year are only made available in July of the following year, putting this article one month shy of having access to them, but I have found those numbers and will present them in my next annotation). This article can be made useful in my podcast, because it also makes mention of Trudeau, quoting him saying he will see what can be done for those who have criminal records for something no longer criminal (after legalization). I was also made aware of Pierre Trudeau's use of "connections" to make the charges against his younger son, Justin's brother, Michel, disappear in 1998. Perhaps Justin Trudeau is afraid of being labelled a hypocrite by his people if he doesn't treat Canadians with the same consideration. The article also points out a survey done by the Globe and Mail, in conjunction with Nanos Research, that shows 62% of Canadians support the pardoning of previous charges once the bill is passed in July.

"Cannabis Crime Statistics in Canada, 2016." Doc. Department of Justice, 27 Sep. 2017. Web. 4 Feb. 2018.

The Cannabis Crime Statistics in Canada document provides an overview of how cannabis was handled by the Canadian public during 2016. The year saw that more than half of drug offences were cannabis-related, 58%, while the remaining 42% were offences relating to other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, PCP, LSD, and ecstasy. Nationally, cannabis-related offences decreased by 11%, making it the fifth consecutive year of decline. Of the 58% of offences, 76% were for possession (which also saw a 12% decrease). The trafficking, production and distribution of cannabis also saw a 4% decline in 2016. Youth (12-17) drug-related crime was down 14%, with some provinces/territories showing drastic drops, such as the Northwest Territories' 71%, Nunavut's 57%, Saskatchewan and British Columbia's 22%. Youth possession was down 15%, while youth trafficking, production and distribution saw a 9% decrease. Impaired driving was up 11%, which is concerning, but, for the purpose of my podcast, breaks down in favour of cannabis. 96% of impaired driving violations were alcohol-related, and 4% were cannabis-related. These numbers can be used in my podcast to relate one of two things about the Canadian population: they are criminal minded and only sought to get involved with cannabis at any level when they were told they couldn't; or, alternatively, the different police forces across Canada have become more lenient in their approach to cannabis-related offences because of the upcoming legalization. But how do you account for the drop in production and trafficking? Well, my guess is that the criminal organizations might be pulling out of the business somewhat. With legalization around the corner, they might be predicting less time and effort will be spent on petty offences, and more will be spent on taking them down. So the smaller their presence, the better their chances of going uncaught. 

"Canadian Cannabis Survey 2017 - Summary." Doc. Government of Canada, 19 Dec. 2017. Web. 4 Feb. 2018.

The Canadian Cannabis Survey 2017 is a survey that was completed by the government of Canada to gauge the different ways in which the population viewed the use of cannabis, and simultaneously comparing those views to views relating to tobacco and alcohol use and consumption. The survey focuses on four areas: knowledge, attitudes and behaviours; cannabis use and products used; driving and cannabis; cannabis for medical purposes. A total of 9,215 people 16 years of age and older participated in the survey. Of those, 2,650 said they had used cannabis in the last 12 months. There's a lot that I can use for my podcast. I can argue that cannabis users are more likely to be alcohol and tobacco users as well, seeing as how 71% of cannabis users said alcohol use is completely acceptable compare to 52% for non-users; 34% versus 14% in regards to tobacco use; and 69% versus 17% agreed on the acceptability of cannabis use for non-medical purposes. I could use this information to argue the views that cannabis users have on their health. It could be that with the opportunity to get more money at a better job (once pardoned), they could use that money on bad habits, perhaps graduate to heavier substances. But I don't want to speculate too much. Cannabis users also "reported [that] cannabis had no effect on work or studies (72%), home life or marriage (64%), physical mobility (63%), and physical health (60%)." Even going as far as saying that it had Positive effects on "mental health (55%), quality of life (55%), and friendships or social life (47%)." All of those stats completely contradict the reported effects that Health Canada released earlier in the year. And there's another contradictory stat that I can take away from this, and that's that Health Canada claims 9% are likely to become addicted, 17% if they start as teenagers. The survey found that 64% of users say cannabis could be habit forming. Are the effects of cannabis use really that difficult to pin down?

"Petition e-18 (Cannabis)." Doc. House of Commons, 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 10 Feb. 2018.

This e-petition (online petition) was started on Feb. 12, 2016 by Sam Vekemans of Victoria, B.C. It asks that the government of Canada rethink the legalization of cannabis, considering how the substance was banned before there was any scientific research done, or medical or social benefits explored. And that they should consider legalization now that it is known to have the potential to provide food, medicine, fibre, fuel and building materials. It asks that the people be allowed to carry and cultivate the product; that cannabis be removed from the Controlled Drug and Substances Act; that the government allow all who were charged be pardoned and release those serving time; and, that each province, territory and The First Nations be allowed to decide on how they will tax, regulate and distribute cannabis; among other things. The petition received 20,356 signatures, needing a minimum of 500 to be allowed to present in The House of Commons. I can use this in my podcast to further demonstrate the growing Canadian interest to legalize cannabis over the years. The consumption of cannabis has spread across the entire nation, with every province and territory contributing signatures to the petition. I can also use their request for amnesty in the petition to supplement the recurring idea that Canada is in favour of pardoning anyone previously charged with possession. This petition got a response from the Canadian Government stating that they are "committed to legalizing, strictly regulating and restricting access to cannabis to keep it out of the hands of children and to keep profits of the illicit trade out of the hands of criminals," and that they have launched a task force "led by the Honourable Anne McLellan, met with experts in public health, law enforcement, economics and industry, among others; provincial, territorial and municipal officials; representatives from Indigenous governments and organizations; and young Canadians."

Press, Jordan. "Lawyers Contemplate Class Action to Push government into Cannabis Amnesty." Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database (2018): n. pag. Web. 17 Feb. 2018.

This article focuses on the black community and how they have been effected to a higher degree from marijuana possession charges than the white community, and how the proposed amnesty can't come fast enough. Despite the Canadian black community making up just 3.5% of the general population, they make up up 8.6% of the federal inmate population. In 2014, nearly 2,200 were in federal prisons for drug-related charges, of those, 12% were black. The numbers are stacked disproportionately against the black community of Canada. Press says that the "liberals have been under pressure to devise an amnesty program to account for the disproportionate effects that drug laws have had on minority communities." A study conducted in 2002, in Toronto, found that black youths were actually less likely to use marijuana than their white counterparts. I think this article is a great example of how the government is in the right when they talk about pardoning those who have been charged with possession. The minority communities have suffered from the charges that have been pressed against them, and seem to have been targeted because of their skin colour. Evidence shows that they are disproportionately affected by these charges, when compared to the white community, and suggests that they are less likely to have stronger tendencies to use cannabis. This could be a way to get my audience to see what these charges have done to different Canadian communities, and how amnesty can help improve the lives of many who were targeted by stereotypes. While white youths were, according to the stats, more likely to be involved in the same activities, black youths were still being charged at a higher rate.

Global News. "Goodale Says Outdated Marijuana Laws Needed to be Changed For Awhile." YouTube. You-Tube, 12 Jan. 2018. Web. 18 Feb. 2018.

This video shows Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, talking about the wildly outdated Canadian laws surrounding marijuana. He says the government is undergoing "significant transformational change" to try to adjust to the realization that the near-century-old law around the substance has proven to be a failure. Canada has the highest marijuana use among young people in the western world, it has about 6-7 billion dollars moving into the hands of organized crime a year, and spending 2-3 billion dollars a year trying to enforce a regime that doesn't work. This video could help supplement the idea that amnesty is a necessary step following legalization. Because of the popularity level of the drug, those charged with possession were likely to be among the majority of their age group when looking at who used cannabis or not. If Canada has more young people using cannabis than any other country in the western world (which includes the U.S.), than how can we penalize a select few for participating in something that most people their age were/are participating in? In a country that has so many active members of its population using cannabis, it would be unethical and extremely illogical to not consider amnesty.

Hyshka, Elaine. "Canadian Legislative Attempts to Reform Cannabis Law in the Twenty-First Century." Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice  51.1 (2009): 74-91. Web.

Köhler, Nicholas. "Beverly Howard Hall: 1949-2007." Maclean's 120:20 (2007): 60. Web.

Youtube: who's content with the content nowadays

Kuchler, H. (2018) “YouTube Tightens Rules for Video Creators to Make Money from Advertising.” Financial Times, 

This article discusses Youtube's new rules on making money off of videos. The article mentions how in light of the recent Logan Paul video the website is working to moderate content that is uploaded to the site in order. This article is helpful because it mentions the actions youtube is making in order to appeal to advertisers and content creators. 

Blake, R. (2017) “What Nobody Tells You About Being a YouTuber (The YouTube Middle-Class).” Medium, 

Blake discusses what being youtube middle class is in this article. Youtube middle class creators have high subscriptions numbers but that still isn't enough to have youtube as a full time job paying for everything in their lives. For my episode, the side of youtube being a paying job will be further explored. 


I get home from school, jump onto my bed and take out my phone. First thing I do is open Youtube. Now most of the time I have specific videos that I want to watch. Recently I’ve been watching people play games so I watch the newest episodes of playthroughs when they’re uploaded. But when there’s nothing new I just go video hopping between interesting looking videos.  I’ll admit sometimes I click on videos just to judge the people in them. I judge a lot of the “newer” youtubers; people that have come from other social media platforms like Vine or

In light of a recent Youtube controversy, an article written by Leila El Shenawy for the Charlatan

discusses Logan Paul’s vlog about walking through Aokigahara, the “Suicide Forest” in Japan. The video features him finding a dead body. This leads to Shennawy talking about how Youtube is flawed in allowing anyone to upload anything. She also mentions that Youtube has alot to work on in it’s censorship of offensive content, like Logan Paul’s video.

Most of the time I question why. Like why do people watch videos made by so on so or why was this video posted, who watches this, why do people watch this. My concern is “is this what younger kids are really watching today”. Because most youtubers pander to younger audiences, as in tweens. And some things these youtubers are posting seem to be inappropriate for the younger generations.

This isn’t just about Logan Paul. This is bigger than just one youtuber who set a bad example for his fans. Youtube is supposed to be a space where anyone can become a creator, but what does being a creator mean. Creators should be able to post whatever they want; but should they also sacrifice some of their creative potential by censoring their work to be good examples for their younger audience? But also do the audience, have to watch responsibly and still be able to not fall into the trap of becoming what they watch?

Questioning youtube content and it’s creators will be explored more in depth in this episode…

A lot of money, just not enough for women - (working title)

The problem with Privilege and Fighting for Equal Pay

Schlossberg, M., Colon, A., Wang, E., Stone, C., Minton, M., Eidell, L. and Arneson, K. “The Problem With Privilege and Fighting for Equal Pay.” Glamour, Jan. 2018,

This article from, Glamour states that although the conversation about equal pay is becoming a hot topic now especially with the #metoo movement being at the forefront of the news and social media, individuals should not fail to notice that these celebrities speaking up is a privilege that the average working women does not always have. Celebrities have a huge influence on shaping our society especially when it comes down to the issues that women are routinely facing. However, the topic of money isn't something that women are conditioned to speak about, reasons varying from company policies to gender stereotypes because they live in the fear of its consequences. In the midst of all this Hollywood news, individuals must remember that Hollywood is just a small portion of a large problem.

The War on Women's Pay

Pesta, A. “The War on Women’s Pay: Rep. Jackie Speier Marks ‘Equal Pay Day’ With a Call to Arms.” The Daily Beast, April. 2012,

Abigail Pesta interviews Jessica Speier who specializes in investing human rights issues across the globe. She claims that priorities of right-winged Republicans today are very clear; to assault women rights and the value of women.  Women are currently earning 77% of men’s pay according to the American Association of University Women this number has gone up from 59% in 1970. The improvements being made for women’s pay is going at a very slow pace. At this rate, it would take up to 50 years for women to make equally as much as their male coworkers. April 17th has been set as equal payday because from January to April 17 is exactly how long women have to work each year to earn what a man makes in a year.

How Men & Women See the Workplace Differently

Waller, N. "How Men and Women See the Workplace Differently."WSJ. Sept, 2016,

This article in the wall street Journal does a great job at explaining the modern workforce for men and women today. Despite the fact that both genders may be attending the same business meetings, striving for the same promotions and walking down the same hallways there is still a drastic difference in the type of experiences at work both genders are having. Women feel as though they are invisible at work  and know that there less opportunities for promotions for them as opposed to men. It is statistically proven that most powerful positions in the workplace are still significantly dominated by males. Despite these differences in both genders, they do share common grounds with one thing; 45% of them believe that their workplace is not doing what is necessary to achieve gender parity. 

Gender Inequality and Women in the Workplace

Harvard Summer School. " Gender Inequality and Women in the Workplace. " Harvard Summer School.

This article discusses how women seem to have caught up with men in terms of education in the US and a number of other countries across the globe however they are still ending up with a lot of caregiving responsibilities. In countries like Japan where there is a huge cultural emphasis on motherhood as well as corporate culture many women are choosing not to have kids because doing both seems near impossible. It is not just countries like Japan where the fertility rate is decreasing its even places like the US and Europe. Public policy is crucially important for gender equality in the workplace and at home.

Why we have too few woman leaders - Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg, S. "Why we have too few women leaders."

Sheryl Sandberg explains in her Ted Talk that there are three main reasons as to why we have don’t have enough leaders that are women in the workforce. Across the world in every type of  industry, the number of women leaders compared to men are extremely low and they are not changing for the better.  Sheryl claims that there are three things that individuals can do to help women become leaders in the workforce. The first is for women to  “sit at the table”;  studies have shown that women lack a sense of confidence in their abilities, they always justify the reason for their success while men embrace it.  Women find it difficult to negotiate their salaries as opposed to men. They must find it in themselves to strive for what they want by not sitting at the side tables during meetings.  The 2nd  thing women must do is “make your partner a real partner”. Over the past several years there has been more progress done in the workforce than in the household. Making household work more equal between a women and her partner gives her more room to further her career while still being a mother. The third is “ don't leave before your leaving” , this means that women shouldn't  start to make decisions based on being a mother before they even get married or are pregnant. Doing this stops women from advancing in their fields which makes it less convincing for them to not go back when the maternity leave is over. Her conclusion is that women must be more empowered at work and men should be more empowered at home.

Are Successful Women Really Less Likable Than Successful Men?

Barkhorn, E. "Are Successful Women Really Less Likable Than Successful Men?." The Atlantic.

Studies show that a successful man is more well liked than a successful women. This was originally concluded from a 2003 social experiment done with Harvard business students, two groups of students were given the same paper except one group was told it was written by Heidi and the other Howard. Both groups were asked if they would like to work for/along side the writer. Students claimed that Howard was very  appealing and insightful and the students that got Hedi said that she came off as selfish and not someone you would like to hire. Another study was done with 60,000 full time workers on their attitudes towards male and female managers. 72% of them said they would rather a male manager over a female. We are conditioned to think that men are more calm, stable and competent while women are more mean, emotional and shrill.   

Pitch - Audio file & Transcript

Making sacrifices is embedded in our DNA. It comes as a natural instinct and it is expected of us in order to achieve our goals. How many of you wouldn't think twice about making a sacrifice when it came to your career, your family and your loved ones?  Now how many times did your gender influence your decision to make a sacrifice? 

Across the world women on average are getting paid 23 cents less than men on the dollar. This is not some breakthrough or long kept secret, in fact it has been the stable reality for a long time. 23 cents is an improvement from the rates we had 16 years ago, and this number can vary based on skin colour,religion ethnicity and other uncontrollable factors. 

You might assume that this is not affecting the pay check of the well established actress and 4 time Oscar nominee and golden globe winner like Michelle Williams. I thought that it would be easy for her to find a role as a women in the acting industry today, where she is not just someones “mother” or “wife” but plays a strong female lead role. Unfortunately this is not the case, so when Williams got the part of Gail Harris in “All the money in the world” she was ready to do just about anything to get this film to play in theatres. This meant that she felt the need to offer up her pay, so they could re-film the movie without alleged sexual abuser  Kevin Spacey while maintaining the budget. She was paid 1/10th of 1% of her co-star Mark Wahlberg. This is a sacrifice no other man on set felt like he needed to make.  So the problem roots here…..if there were more opportunities for working women, it is highly likely that Williams wouldn’t feel the need to sacrifice and gift away her pay for a shot at success. 

I’ve been working at my job for 3 years now and my coworkers are my good friends. One day one of them was driving me home, this man is is pretty supportive of me and always  seems to have my best interest at heart. I told him how I’m thinking of finally asking our boss for a promotion, expecting for his usual encouraging response. Instead he went on to say something very defensively that caught me off guard “You’ll get your promotion after I get mine”.  Unwarrantedly assuring me that his competences were far greater than mine and setting his dominance. Now there’s actually a lot of men who want the same position that I’m striving for and my work environment has completely shifted ever since I told them that I too wanted the job. It’s not just how much we are being paid compared to a man it’s also how we are being seen and treated. This left me begging the question that although we may be working at the same place and presented with the same opportunities to strive for the same promotions, how different is my work experience from a male and how common is my experience among women?

This episode is made to open the eyes of observes, to reach out to those that are being directly affected by this topic and to help inform everyone to take a deeper look on how to help men and women seek justice across all industries.

The Ambition-Marriage Trade-Off Too Many Single Women Face

Burstzyn, L. Fujiwara, T. Pallais, A. "The Ambition-Marriage Trade-Off Too Many Single Women Face." Harvard buisness review.

This article discusses how studies have shown that men prefer female partners who are less professionally ambitious than they are. Due to this many single women often contemplate having either professional success or be less favourable in the heterosexual marriage market. It is statistically proven that men more often than not don't find a women who speaks up in meetings, takes charge of projects and works late as appealing than a women who doesn’t do this. Women are aware of this and often lower their ambitions in order to seem more appealing to a man. They ask for less money, less travel time for work and less hours per week. This is effecting the work environment in many industries and it is helpful to my research because if women are less ambitious they will be less inclined to fight for their equal pay rights.  

Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children

Waldfogel, J. "Understanding the 'Family Gap' in Pay for Women with children." Journal of Economic Perspectives.

The article discusses the gender gap in pay between women and men and how it  has narrowed over the course of the last several years. Waldfogel goes on to explain that despite this being true the  “family gap” between mothers and non-mothers has continued to grow. One reason for this could be the policies that are being reinforced in countries such as the United states, which continue to emphasize equal pay and opportunities but fail to make family policies a priority. The industrialized countries that make gender policies and families policies an equal priority are the ones that are succeeding the most at narrowing the gender gap and family gap. This is important to my research because it furthers understanding in what policies are effecting women’s pay.

Getting to gender equality starts with realizing how far we have to go

Women in the Workplace Study. (2018). "Getting to gender equality starts with realizing how far we have to go. " [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

This article discusses how women are still being underrepresented at every level in corporate America despite the fact that there are more of them have been earning college degrees as opposed to men for the last 30 years and counting. To this day women are being hired and promoted at lower rates than men are. Unfortunately many people are very comfortable with the status quo, individuals believe that women are being well represented when they only see a few working women. Some individuals believe that gender diversity will put them at a disadvantage. Many men are less committed to this issue than women are and individuals are in need of both genders to bring equality in the workforce. This is important to my research because it provides an understanding as to what are the obstacles that we must face when fighting for equal pay rights. 

Success VS Likability

Andrews, K. "Success vs Likability" Women's Initiative Team.

In the article "Success vs Likability" Andrew explains how  success for a man is perceived as a likeable character, where as being successful for a women is seen as a less likeable characteristic to behold. Women are expected to be sensitive, caring and supportive beings and if a women doesn’t embody these characteristics they are perceived as being “selfish” and not the type of person you would want to hire. Men on the other hand are expected to be in charge, ambitious and competitive. A women that does not pursue a career that is not in the norm for her gender is automatically criticized more harshly. This is important to my research because it explains how success and likability are perceived differently for men and women and how it influences their careers.

Women and Paid Work

Moyser, M. "Women and Paid Work". Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada looks at the Canadian data of women and paid work over the last several years. They have determined that 82% of Canadian women between the ages of 25-54 are working  compared to 65.2% in 1983 and 21.6% in 1950. Although women are still less likely to work as opposed to men, gender disparity has shown improvement over the past several years. Stats Canada looks at the statistics of married women, women with high school diplomas and university degrees and they then compare this data to men. This resource is important to my research as it offers a statistical understanding as to where there is still room for improvement and what is encouraging the progress that we have made so far. 

Gender Stereotypes Influence How People Explain Gender Disparities in the Workplace

Cundiff, J. and Vescio, T. (2016). "Gender Stereotypes Influence How People Explain Gender Disparities in the Workplace." Sex Roles, 75(3-4), pp.126-138.

This article takes a look at how gender stereotypes provide an explanation as to why women are underrepresented and men are overrepresented in the workforce. Gender differences are innate and can be explained through biology which influences individuals to believe that it is the cause for gender stereotypes as oppose to socially influenced situations. Men are shown favouritism in the workplace and are given more opportunities for leadership as oppose to women.  Individuals provide viable explanations to these types of gender disparities by using  biological explanations and minimize the perceptions of social injustice which makes the system seem as though it is just. 

Public policy and equal pay : a comparative study of equal pay laws in Canada, U.S.A. and U.K. / by P. Andiappan ... (et al.). —

Andiappan, P. (1985). Public Policy and Equal Pay: A Comparative Study of Equal Pay Laws in Canada, U.S.A. and U.K. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 51(1), pp.24-32.

The journal of International Review of Administrative Sciences, recognized the concept of equal pay across the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Canada applies the broadest equal pay definition written in 1978  in the Human Rights Act which is that there must be “equal pay for work of equal value” ; despite this each of its provinces besides Quebec has stricter policies which entail “equal pay for equal work or substantially the same work”. Very few cases get reported to the Canadian Human Rights Act today. In the U.S. due to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that deals with sex discrimination in pay involves the policy of equal pay for  “the same or substantially the same work”. Since 1963, there has been thousands of complaints alleging the violation of the Equal Pay Act. Great Britain established an equal pay act in 1970 and a sex discrimination act in 1975 which prohibits treating people of one sex less favourably than another sex when employed in the same or similar work. These laws are written in almost all employment contracts for men and women. There are very few cases reported in Great Britain.

Women Can't Wait Until 2059 For Equal Pay

Time. (2018). Women Can't Wait Until 2059 For Equal Pay. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

Times magazine realized an article on behalf of April 12th which marks Equal Pay Day. This date can vary depending on the country however it has the same meaning; it represents how far into the year women have to work in order to have made what a man has made who holds the same job in the previous year. This date can vary based on religion and race. White women are earning 78% of what men are earning, African American women are earning 63%, Hispanic and Latina 54%, American Indian and Alaska Native 59%. After 4 years of graduating from a college/university degree a white female student working full time on average would have paid off 33% of their debt and men have paid off 44%. African American and Hispanic Women working full- time have paid less than 10% of their debt. Taking into account working parents, a mother would have to work 6 extra months to make how much a father has made in a year. Working mothers are earning less than childless mothers on average. In fact, men that have become fathers are more likely to be hired than childless men. Female dominated fields are traditionally worse paid and respected then fields of work that are dominated by men. The gender pay gap has barely changed for over a decade. At this rate it will take another 43 years for women to fully catch up to men.


net neutrality


[popular articles]

White, Nathan. “Without Net Neutrality, the Internet Will Be Sold to the Highest Bidder.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 15 Dec. 2017,

This article is the main opinion piece for this podcast. It creates an ideal foundational platform in the argument for net neutrality. It defines net neutrality and briefly discusses the global impact it has had (with large democracies like the EU and India following American footsteps to enact rules that protect the open internet). It uses this as leverage to show that repealing such rules would be an injustice; using and emphasizing the impact of a global outcry as support (ex. Saying that a poll shows that more than 80% of Americans support net neutrality). It highlights the negative impact a repeal would have with mentions of pay-to-play scenarios, the increase in use of VPNs (a tool that allows internet users to connect from a different location as to bypass community restrictions) etc. 


Solon, Olivia. “Why the Net Neutrality Protest Matters.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 July 2017,

This article provides information on everything from what net neutrality is, to how it affects people, to what people can do about it. With an overview of the legal parameters surrounding the 2015 legislation, this article sees net neutrality in a positive light (as do many, many, many other articles). It explains the access it grants people to equally explore the internet and its endless avenues. Briefly discussing the implications its repeal would cause, it mentions several initiatives that groups have started to battle it.


Sen. Gillibrand, Kristen, and Jessica Rosenworcel. “We Don’t Need New Gatekeepers: How Repealing Net Neutrality Hurts Women.” Refinery29, 12 Dec. 2017,

This article explores the net neutrality repeal in a unique light. Of course everyone is concerned with the effects it will have on people, but it turns out women are in particular danger. This is one of the vignettes I plan on using for my podcast episode. Why are women in particular effected? How are they effected? Are there other marginalized groups that will also be singled out? In what ways will this change the 'democratic' dynamic of the US? This article provides a gateway to exploring these questions. It paints the net neutrality repeal as yet another barrier keeping citizens from living in an equal society; a barrier put up for the sake of increasing corporate capital revenue.


Collins, Keith. “Why Net Neutrality Was Repealed and How It Affects You.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 Dec. 2017,

This article was written fairly recently (December 2017), thus providing updated and accurate information on net neutrality. The article clearly outlines which open internet rules were recently repealed: blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization – each also defined. This gives readers insight into how they will be affected. For exampled, pay-to-play deals. This means that those who can afford to, will receive faster service as there will no long be rules prohibiting paid prioritization. This, and a few other consequences mentioned, is not the only concern for the repeal. Individuals and small online business alike will suffer, according to this article.


Masunaga, Samantha, and Jim Puzzanghera. “Here's Who'll Benefit - and Who Might Not - If Net Neutrality Is Repealed as Expected.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 13 Dec. 2017,

This article clearly outlines who the winners are in a net neutrality repeal and how. This is integral to our understanding of the way net neutrality works. The article additionally provides information on how start-ups receive the short end of the stick in this deal and leaves an open ended inquisitive discussion on consumer impact. With paid-prioritization the focal point of discussion in this piece, it shines a light on the double-edge sword of net neutrality rules being repealed: potentially driving innovation (through the development of new technologies that guarantee internet connection) and simultaneously quashing it (making it extremely difficult for start-ups to get off the ground and make a potentially fundamental contribution to the online world). 


Bhatti, Saleem. “Net Neutrality May Be Dead in the US, but Europe Is Still Strongly Committed to Open Internet Access.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 11 Jan. 2018,

Beyond 300+ million US citizens, a net neutrality repeal would have global impact. Increasing relevancy, this topic is influential in ways that aren’t typically noticeable. This article highlights the way a repeal in the US could influence rules surrounding content blocking and slowing-down in the UK. This imposes clear access restrictions and discriminates against lower-income consumers. Beyond the interconnectedness of Western political influence, the global impact of net neutrality is recognized by the UN; open and equitable internet access is fundamental to global empowerment and development. This is a crucial component to understanding the effect of net neutrality on consumers, particularly through a human rights lens as this podcast attempts to apply.


“The Effects of Ending Net Neutrality.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Dec. 2017,

This source is less of a traditional article and more of a discussion. It has listed three letters to the editor, one is from a professor of political science at Marquette University. Each letter individually explains their thoughts on the repeal. One strongly feels that the net neutrality repeal represents corporate self-interest that deprives the American people of their freedom in favour of further monopolizing an already drastically homogenous market. This source will allow listeners to explore different avenues and sentiments on the subject; adding perspective from (supposedly) accredited writers so that listeners can get a better understanding of the political dynamic at play here.


Crawford, Susan. “The FCC Is Leading Us Toward Catastrophe.” Wired, Conde Nast, 15 Dec. 2017,

This article firmly believes that the net neutrality repeal is a bad idea. It emphasizes the social divide that would be created under the repeal due to a paid-prioritizing standing. This view on the democratic and social implications for net neutrality rules provides an understanding for the social injustices that would be involved with the repeal. This is an integral component of this podcast (intended to be its own vignette) and as such, prime examples of exactly how social injustice would be implicit is required. This article provides a simplistic one, saying that being environmentally conscious would even become more difficult under a repeal. Working from home so people stay out of planes and cars would be a lot harder as access to high-quality internet would be limited to those who can afford it. This, and other concerning examples are part of what make such a large percentage of the public outraged at the net neutrality repeal.

[scholarly journals]

Greenstein, Shane, et al. "Net Neutrality: A Fast Lane to Understanding the Trade-Offs†." Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 30, no. 2, Spring 2016, pp. 127-150. EBSCOhost,

This source perfectly provides a simplistic summary of arguments (both for and against) net neutrality. It prioritizes Internet traffic patterns and the way they function in tandem with net neutrality policy changes. More importantly, this journal discusses the long-term economic trade-offs of net neutrality. This allows the audience to see what net neutrality could mean for the future rather than just the present through an unbiased and research based lens.


Kamal, Sara. "If it isn't broken, you're not looking hard enough: net neutrality and its impact on minority communities." Federal Communications Law Journal, July 2016, p. 329+. LegalTrac,

This source looks at the development of net neutrality from a legal policy perspective; tracking its origin and changes until the implementation of the Open Internet Order in 2015. It takes a pro-net neutrality stance as it explains under several lenses the relationship minority groups have with the Internet (in respect to broadband access and limitation). This academic journal is crucial to my podcast episode as its examination of the impact net neutrality has on minority groups is a designated vignette. It explores what minority groups themselves have to say about it in addition to providing a researched stance on why net neutrality benefits them.


Liu, Xingyi. "Fear of Discrimination: Net Neutrality and Product Differentiation on the Internet" Review of Network Economics, 15.4 (2017): 211-247. De Gruyter,

This article explains the way (under a net neutrality repeal) ISPs can discriminate between content providers. Quality discrimination is a large possibility without net neutrality rules in place. Keeping in mind that if CPs keep their content broad (ex. A site that streams all sorts of videos vs. a site that streams only sports videos), they have a greater chance at appealing to a larger audience. This means that more 'general' or 'generic' content is more likely to have constant consumer traffic, making it the safer bet.  As such, without net neutrality, ISPs are more than likely to provide broad CPs with higher connection quality. This would lead to CPs trying to make their content more and more generalized to a broad product for the consumer audience to improve their chances of traffic and connectivity. Why this is so important to us is that it robs us of the beauty of the internet: content becomes more homogenized without niche-specific diversity from CPs.


Broos, Sébastien and Axel Gautier. "The Exclusion of Competing One-Way Essential Complements: Implications for Net Neutrality." International Journal of Industrial Organization, vol. 52, May 2017, pp. 358-392. EBSCO host,

This journal discusses the several reasons behind ISPs wanting to break net neutrality rules. It brings forth the notion that net neutrality functions under "the principle that all data packets on an information network are treated equally" (2). This creates the implication of two main rules: the non-discrimination rule and the zero-prize rule. This latter rule prevents ISPs and CPs from making financial transactions with one another; for example, a TV service provider cannot sign a contract with Netflix that would include Netflix's services as a part of theirs – therefore providing their subscribers/consumers with exclusive access to Netflix. This is obviously beneficial to the ISP as they incentivizing consumers to use their service by offering special access to popular media. Additionally, this journal article provides a unique perspective to the subject as it argues that this rule does not improve welfare. This alternative view provides an understanding for the reader as to how strong net neutrality rules may in fact decease competition – as many consumers will choose a free (low quality) product over an expensive (high quality) product, the competition equilibrium is thrown off balance due to a concentration in one firm (this is often why popular apps are free too use; so many people use them that it pays for itself). 


Hylton, K.N. Rev Ind Organ. "Law, Social Welfare, and Net Neutrality." Review of Industrial Organization, 50.4, June 2017 pp. 417-429. Springer Link,

This journal article explores the negative impact of strict net neutrality rules. Using something called "The Bridge Analogy" it explains how banning ISPs from using differential pricing between CPs has a negative impact on general consumer welfare. For instance, a broadband-intensive CP such as Netflix may cause congestion costs that would "result in an internal subsidy from consumers of other internet services" so that everyone is able to equally access internet content at the same quality and rate. These subsidy costs are, however, unfair to consumers not using Netflix; herein lies the downfall of the non-discrimination rule. This article is meant to help us understand that net neutrality is an imperfect concept that does indeed have several other hidden aspects to it that aren't always positive. Using a simple analogy to make readers understand an alternative view to the subject, this article is crucial to the understanding of this podcast's listeners.

[government documents]

United States. Cong. House. Federal Communications Commission. Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order. Washington. Web. 12 March 2015.

This report by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides a thorough outline for Bill H.R. 1409 (The Open Internet Act of 2015), including an Executive Summary that provides an understanding for the importance of the open internet as well as the rules that would be implemented to ensure its preservation (and, briefly, how this would be done).
This Bill this report is focused on functions under the notion that "threats to Internet openness remain today" (4); using the 2014 Verizon v. FCC case as support for this claim. Furthermore, the 2010 FCC's conduct rules are currently preventing ISPs like Verizon from utilizing tools that will "deceive consumers, degrade content, or disfavor the content that they don't like" (4) as they have stated in court, if it weren't for the 2010 rules, "it would be exploring agreements to charge certain content providers for priority service" (4).
With several references to this same court case, the documentation of this report helps to provide an idea of what ISPs, like Verizon, would like to do and how an Open Internet order is keeping them from doing so. 

> "Open Internet Act of 2015" Bill:
United States. Cong. House. Committee of Energy and Commerce. H.R.1409 - Open Internet Act of 2015. 114th Cong. 1st sess. Washington. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.,


“Net Neutrality Statistics Dashboard.” Nutt Labs, Open Rights Group, 2017,

This source uses accredited references (including the FCC itself) to clearly compile a list of statistics relating to the chatter surrounding net neutrality. Using clear and comprehensive graphs, the drastic increase in public interest regarding net neutrality between 2014 and 2017 is demonstrated, first and foremost; clearly implying that this is a subject of concern amonag Americas. Supporters and opponents of net neutrality are then divided; their political influence in 2016 being outlined by a measure of their lobbying activity and campaign contributions. These two graphs highlight a simple but important fact: ISPs oppose net neutrality while CPs support it. This statistical data helps to support the notion that a net neutrality repeal would indeed damage the openness of the internet by giving CP's powers to ISPs. Furthermore, 60% of American supporters were found to support net neutrality; a detail crucial to understanding the effect a repeal would have.

Episode Pitch Transcript

There’s that one episode of Friends where Monica and Chandler go to a fancy restaurant, this is after they’ve started dating of course. The host tells them they have to wait 45 minutes for a table despite having reservations. Well it doesn’t take long for them to realize that what the host needs to cut that wait short is a little money. Monica says it best, “everybody wants a payoff.” And as it would happen, public administration and media conglomerates are no exception.

This should be no surprise to anyone. Corporations are always looking to make a few extra bucks (and by a few bucks I mean millions of US dollars). Under the Trump administration, this could become a whole lot easier. FCC chairman Ajit Pai is seeking to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which could mean the death of net neutrality.

What is net neutrality? Well, imagine the Internet as a little league soccer game. The ball being thrown around would be you, or rather the way you hop from site to site (the players) and of course there is a referee. His (or her) job is to make sure everyone has a fair shot at getting the ball. All players should stay open so that the ball can be passed across the field (somewhat) freely. Repealing net neutrality means no ref. No ref means the bigger kids will dominate the ball because they have the power to and the little guys get left out.

That’s the power ISPs (aka Internet Service Providers) will have if the FCC repeals the 2015 legislation. The Internet will become a place where “content providers can pay to have their site connect to users at higher speeds than their competitors” ( For us, this means that all the lowkey online shops, cool underrated blogs and whatever else you’ve found on the World Wide Web will be a lot harder to access. With a net neutrality repeal, the chances of finding and being able to effectively use any non-mainstream media sites are slim to none. To top that off, online entrepreneurs and non-corporate websites, or literally any webpages that don’t have conglomerate hosts to back them up, are essentially screwed. Without net neutrality “we would all still be using MySpace, because Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t afford to pay the fees to speed up access to his dorm-room startup”–journalist Nathan White’s words not mine (

So if repealing net neutrality screws the people, and small online businesses, and even huge corporations like Netlifx and Google who are already paying for connectivity (which is like 99% of people involved–please don’t quote me on that number), who the heck does it benefit? Well, as I mentioned before, everyone is looking for a payoff. So what it comes down to is that if users want to access majority of the Internet, they’re going to have to pay for it–more specifically, pay their ISPs for it. While large corporate websites could still gain from the repeal (as they’d be the only ones actually able to negotiate a deal with companies like Comcast and Verizon), service providers are the major (and only real) winners in this scenario. As if Internet bundles don’t already cost enough, you want to watch your favourite show? Well Netflix, which you now have to pay extra on your Internet bill for, is your only option because chances are, any streaming sites will be blocked.

So the next time you walk into a restaurant, have a bill in hand: ready to tipoff.

Campus Sexual Assault

By Jess Taggart


Pitch – Sexual Assault on University and College Campuses Transcript

With all the allegations happening in Hollywood concerning the biggest and most influential men and women, more and more people are feeling comfortable coming forward to report sexual assaults and harassment, although there is a demographic that is overlooked and not really given a second thought.

University and college students are wildly underrepresented. Campus assaults are a huge problem in the United States and Canada, as they occur more often in this part of the world than anywhere else. In Margaret Wente’s The Globe and Mail piece, she mentions how campus assaults have become an epidemic in North America at basically every post-secondary institution. Wente also states that rape and assault are underreported. This has to do with the circumstances of the situation, which can be anything from the victim drinking underage and doesn’t want to get in trouble to victim blaming to the victims getting coerced into silence by authority figures or the perpetrators themselves.

Just because campus assaults are underreported doesn’t mean they don’t happen. I hear about my friends getting taken advantage of at least once a week in my residence of 250 people and it happens even more just a little bit off campus, in the village, at the frats. My friends and I have a lot to say on the matter and we’re just getting started.  

Atwood, Margaret. "Am I a bad feminist?" The Globe and Mail, 13 Jan. 2018

The article that Margaret Atwood published to The Globe and Mail a week ago where she shares her stance on the #MeToo and Times Up! campaigns as well as other lesser-known campaigns that deal with the same subject matter. She explains why she believes that campaigns of this nature have essentially turned into witch hunts and makes many other extremely bold comparisons. She also uses this article to defend her male friend who has been called out and her stance on the open letter directed at the University of British Columbia, a petition that she had signed back in fall 2016. 

Nolan, Megan. "The Problem with the #MeToo Campaign." Vice, 17 Oct. 2017

Megan Nolan published a piece to Vice where she talks about how the #MeToo campaign has become more of a negative than a positive, like when it was first created. She mentions how the original creator of #MeToo has been overlooked as it was popularized by others more recently. She details how it has become harmful towards the individuals being accused. She explains that she views the hashtag as a trend of sorts and way to easily demonize others without too much backlash. 

Edsall, Thomas. "Can Democrats Follow #MeToo to Victory?" The New York Times, 18 Jan. 2018

In this opinion piece, Thomas Edsall explains how the Democrats can use the #MeToo campaign for upcoming elections. The coverage of this issue within the Democratic party has put them at an advantage with votes against the Republicans, as the Democrats handle the matter much differently than their opponents. When it comes to voting, there is a stark difference in men to women, more men vote than women, especially in the last election and depending on the part of the issue at hand. Edsall also mentions how it looks like that there are more women getting involved in political parties. The campaign is also a hot topic among many people as it is the sixth most popular hot-button issue. 

Kipnis, Laura. "Has #MeToo gone too far, or not far enough? The answer is both" The Guardian, 16 Jan. 2018

In this article, Laura Kipnis discusses how she keeps getting asked whether or not #MeToo has gone too far. Her answer is a quite confusing one, as she says that the campaign is both. Kipnis mentions how because she has written a book on this subject matter previously, that readers and friends would assume that she would be interested in this. She also discusses what constitutes as going too far or overstepping boundaries and how it varies from time to place, even to person.   

Wente, Margaret. "Rape on campus - is it an epidemic?" The Globe and Mail, 12 Sept. 2013

In this article by Margaret Wente, she explains how assaults and rapes on university and college campuses have become a huge problem that needs immediate addressing. Wente interviews students at universities in Canada and the United States to get their take on the problem.  The some of the answers that she received are worrying and uncomfortable. The problem clearly lies within the environment in which the problemed ones are thriving in, like fraternities and other groups, that encourage this dangerous behavior. 

"Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics", n.d.

These stats are for the United States campus assaults and the like, which make up for much of campus sexual violence in North America. 

Kingston, Anne "The real danger for women on campus", MacLean's, 27 Nov. 2013 

This article by Anne Kingston talks about how campuses have essentially become "hunting grounds for sexual predators" and what could possibly lead to these. Kingston talks about the different campaigns that were created to help bring awareness to the issue at hand and help victims get the help they require. She also explains how a lot of the focus remains on the victim and the circumstances of the situation he/she was in. Kingston mentions some important statistics that really put this issue into perspective. 

"Sexual Assault Statistics in Canada", n.d.

These statistics are for Canada and covers all different types of assaults that occur in Canada. 

Heather M. Karjane, Bonnie S. Fisher, and Francis T. Cullen "Sexual Assault on Campus:  What Colleges and Universities Are Doing About It", Dec. 2005

This report by Heather M. Karjane, Bonnie S. Fisher, and Francis T. Cullen explains how people who attend university and college are actually more at risk for sexual assault than those who are not. It also explains how sexual assault is the most underreported crime in the United States and possible reasons why the victims do not report the perpetrators. The studies in the report reveal that there is hardly any attention paid to these crimes and that the laws and rules put in place by and/or for the universities and colleges are very weak and are hardly enforced by anyone.

Gunraj, Andrea "Sexual assault policies on campus: a discussion paper", 30 Oct. 2014

This paper talks about the growing concern about campus assaults in Canada. It mentions what post-secondary institutions in Canada have been doing to try to combat and possibly eliminate sexual violence as it is also a big problem in Canada. A big portion of this paper talks about the policies, rules, and laws put in place for these institutions by the schools themselves or other outside sources and how they are executed when these laws, rules, and policies are broken and how to get the help needed in situations likes these.  

"Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Combating Campus Sexual Assault", 29 Jul. 2015

This government document details how the United States is trying to fight sexual assault. The hearing that caused this document was to help figure out ways to prevent these assaults from happening. 

"Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault", Apr. 2014

This government document was put together by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. It was put together because of the extremely high sexual assault rates on university and college campuses. The document covers identifying, preventing, responding and enforcement. 

"The Hunting Ground", Mar. 2015

  The main focus in this documentary is on 2 women, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino and how their Title IX complaints against their schools on account of rape have become a stepping stone for universities and campuses throughout the United States. The documentary looks at how schools handle these situations and how it affects the students. The film also makes mention of Jameis Winston, a university football player who was accused by a woman of assaulting her and how he was protected by his school and the victim was told to "drop it". 

Grigoriadis, Vanessa "What the Weinstein Effect Can Teach Us About Campus Sexual Assault", Nov. 15

With all the people coming forward in light of the Harvey Weinstein incident, it has created a somewhat safe space for people to come forward with stories of their own because they now have a support system of hundreds of thousands of people who will acknowledge them and understand what their going through. This article explains the similarities and differences of workplace assault versus campus assault. The one glaring difference between the two is the situations themselves. In Hollywood, it is normally someone of power or someone with lots of influence who targets their victims who rank lower in the social hierarchy of Hollywood. On campuses, these assaults normally take place in dorms and the like, after school hours. 


Social Monster?: How Social Media is shaping our youth.

By Matthew Dinn

Annotated Bibliography

Week Two

Ginsberg, David, and Burke, Moira. "Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?" Facebook Newsroom, Facebook, 15 Dec. 2017,

This primary popular source is written by researchers of arguably the defining social media platform; Facebook, who characterize their domain as being potentially harmful. This includes referencing an experiment conducted by the University of Michigan, which concluded that research subjected students who read Facebook posts for ten minutes reported worse moods at the end of the day, than those who did not. While the transparency of that acknowledgment is admirable, the article does balance this with a multitude of positive reasons for utilizing their platform, that would be nuanced, if they didn't feel so self-serving.  However, this piece remains pertinent to my research, because it is a popular social media site illuminating many of the pros and cons of the platform, specifically related to millennials use of them, based on their University student referenced research studies.

Udorie, June Eric. “Social media is harming the mental health of teenagers. The state has to act | ” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 16 Sep. 2015,

This secondary popular source is an opinion piece that details the pressures to conform that teenagers, specifically girls in the United Kingdom, are facing within the social media landscape. Udorie’s piece discusses possible connective tissues between teenager’s ostensive necessity to be conjoined with these platforms and its potentially resulting detrimental impact on their mental health. Udorie suggests possible government reform, so to allow teenagers to find a harmonious balance in their lives. While this opinion piece details the trials and tribulations of youth in a different continent, because social media is a global community, I believe it is imperative to research this topic through a global contextualization. Additionally, it may prove integral to differentiate between social media's impact on young men and women.

Week Three

"Association Between Daily Use of Social Media and Mental Health Among Students in Ontario." The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, vol. 16, no. 2, June 2015,

This secondary popular source is an eBulletin that references research of Ontario based students in Grades 7 through 12, conducted by The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey. The organization's survey attempted to formulate a connection between students' social media use, and their mental health. According to the survey, students who reported use of social media of, or in excess, of two hours per day, were far more likely to rate their mental health lower, than those who did not. This is of intrigue to my research, because it implies a statistical connection between social media and negative impact on youth, specifically Canadians. However, I would like to further this statistical connection in future bibliographic readings by examining whether it is the social media platforms themselves causing students' poor mental health, or whether the platforms are an escapism for youth already suffering from mental health related issues. 

Matthew, D Luttig, and Cohen, J. Cathy. “How social media helps young people - especially minorities and the poor - get politically engaged.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 9 Sept. 2016,

This primary popular source is a report by the Washington Post, concluding that social media has allowed millennials, especially those historically disenfranchised, such as minority groups and the poor, to better engage politically.  Their research concludes that young people of colour are the biggest consumers of new, online forms of media. Additionally, it concluded that those from disadvantaged socioeconomic households were more likely to receive their political information from social media platforms, in comparison to those from households with a greater wealth of available resources. This report does an excellent job of detailing social media’s potential for positive impact and change, especially within youth, if used beneficially. Additionally, the disenfranchised are often most in need of enacting change on behalf of themselves, so this a valuable resource to utilize as proof of social media's viability in that respect

Week Four

Martin, Florence, et al. “Middle School Students’ Social Media Use.” Journal of Educational Technology & Society, vol. 21, no. 1, 2018, pp. 213–224. JSTOR,

This primary scholarly source is a peer-reviewed journal that takes a researched and critical based approach, to show how social media affects middle school students. Their research, through questions directed towards middle school students, led them to suggesting students gain "digital citizenship" through their curriculum, enabling themselves to be more cognizant of the dangers of social media use.  This source is of intrigue to my episode, because in the very first paragraph of its introduction, it acknowledges the benefits of youth-based social media use, such as; connection for collaborative learning with fellow students, as well as political and volunteered oriented events. Thus, this source is a useful tool for examining the duality of social media, and how its use is entirely dependent on its user.

Ogrodnik, Irene. "How Canada's youth are using social media to put an end to bullying." Global News, 25 Nov. 2014,

This secondary popular source details initiatives established by Canadians activists and organizers attempting to create greater awareness of strategies to counteract bullying and cyberbullying in youth, through social media. The organizers and activists point towards the sheer volume of young people active on social media as the reason for utilizing the platform. Much like last week's reference of youth utilizing social media for political activism, this article is also emblematic of how youth can utilize social media positively. Bullying, like divisive political rhetoric, can often be fostered online, so why not use that very platform to counteract it? If youth can gain solidarity with each other and commit to combating negativity through fostering positive discussion on social media platforms, the world stands to benefit immensely. 

Week Five

Turcotte, Martin. "Political participation and civic engagement in youth." Statistics Canada, 7 Oct. 2015,

This government documented source details how, despite youth in Canada being politically engaged through various platforms, are not voting at the rate of older age brackets. This engagement includes: being members of politically active groups, signing petitions, and participating in demonstrations and marches. This relates well to my Week Three source from the Washington Post, which suggested social media is allowing youth to better engage in political activism. If youth are becoming more cognizant and engaged politically because of social media, then the coinciding effect should be greater voter turnout. The fact this resource suggests that this is empirically not the case is simultaneously intriguing and frustrating. I should find source(s) in the weeks to come, that may shed light onto this paradox.

Rice, Eric, and Barman-Adhikari, Anamika. "Internet and Social Media Use as a Resource Among Homeless Youth.*" Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 9 Oct. 2013

This primary scholarly source is a peer-reviewed journal that details how homeless youth in the United States of America are utilizing social media as a resource to improve their quality of life. This includes searching for both housing and employment. While not specifically related to Canada, I continue to find it useful to research my topic within a global context, since social media is a global community. Much like my other source for this week, it is tied to much of the knowledge gleaned from my Week Three source from the Washington Post. Like that source, this one also details how social media is helping the disadvantaged. 

Week Six

Robertson, Kate. "Dear Bell, let's talk about how you're part of the mental health problem." Now Toronto, 25 Jan. 2018,

This secondary popular source is an opinion piece written by Kate Robertson, who feels as though the annual Bell Let's Talk campaign, which attempts to help combat and lessen the stigma of mental illness in Canada, is a contradiction. Robertson believes this because the campaign is initiated through a platform which she believes, and her research supports, is part of the problem; social media. The Bell Let's Talk campaign has ostensibly become an undeniable national success, but Robertson's argument is an intriguing one, which I had not previously considered. As frequently well documented, research has linked the modern technology which Bell sells, especially to youth, with mental health related issues. Additionally, it seems to support the argument of social media and modern technology representing a less fully engaged form of activism, often referred to as slacktivism, which I will attempt to explore further in the coming weeks.

Meyer, Robinson. "The Righteous Anger of the Parkland Shooting's Teen Survivors." The Atlantic, 17 Feb. 2018,

This secondary popular source discusses the most recent in a long line of school shootings in the United States, this time in Parkland, Florida, and the surviving students reaction to it, specifically through Twitter. The piece includes many tweets from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students recounting their harrowing experiences and relaying their righteous indignation towards the lack of gun control reform being implemented by their government. This is a timely example and examination of how youth can utilize social media platforms to engage in topical discussions and attempt to enact change in a world which they will soon be leading. The students in Parkland are emblematic of the type of bravery and refusal to be silenced that can allow youth to create tectonic shifts in society, through social media platforms. Because my research is focused on an evolving platform and its use by an evolving generation, it is paramount that I continue to find relevant contemporary moments where it plays a vital role. 

Week Seven

Jacquemin, Stephen J., et al. “Twitter in the Higher Education Classroom: A Student and Faculty Assessment of Use and Perception.” Journal of College Science Teaching, vol. 43, no. 6, 2014, pp. 22–27. JSTOR,

This primary peer reviewed source assesses the viability of integrating social media, specifically Twitter, into post-secondary curriculums. This source consulted with Undergraduate, Graduate, and Faculty members in attempt to glean insight as to whether such an integration would be beneficial to all parties. The source’s survey revealed that while most post-secondary education participants acknowledge the breadth of information social media provides, most were unsure if, and how, an integration would be both appropriate and possible. Much of the results within this source were contingent on the various participants’ perception of social media as either a potential professional resource, or a leisurely pastime. The source concluded that social media’s contemporary prominence makes it a tool that should be integrated into classrooms, pending appropriate vetting processes being implemented. In relation to my episode, the continued accentuation of post-secondary school’s necessity for youth to gain prospective employment has subsequently resulted in annual incremental gains in enrollment. Additionally, social media’s prominence has allowed youth to consume types of news and information that they might otherwise not seek out. Therefore, it would seem a natural evolution within post-secondary education to develop clearly defined vetting processes, to determine if integrating social media into specific disciplines would allow for increased student engagement.

Zeilinger, Julie. "The #MeToo Movement Is Affecting Men Too." MTV News, 29 Jan. 2018,

This secondary popular source dissects how the #MeToo movement is altering the way young men behave and think in relation to romantic relationships. This source surveyed 1800 young people and concluded that the wake of the #MeToo movement has resulted in young men more thoroughly contemplating their past, present, and future behavior, as well as young women noticing a shift in young men's behavior. This is an important and ongoing topical conversation that has indelibly ingratiated itself into online conversations among youth. Therefore, for my research and episode, it is integral to contextualize how a movement that's namesake was initiated as a social media hashtag to implement future change, is actually affecting those who will lead the future.

Week Eight

Chiweshe, Manase Kudzai. “Social Networks as Anti-Revolutionary Forces: Facebook and Political Apathy among Youth in Urban Harare, Zimbabwe.” Africa Development / Afrique Et Développement, vol. 42, no. 2, 2017, pp. 129–147. JSTOR,

This primary scholarly source is a journal which combats the Arab Spring's notion that social media can be an organizing force capable of enacting social change among youth. They argue that social media, specifically among youth in Zimbabwe, is not a tool or platform utilized for discussing socially and politically pressing issues. They arrived at this conclusion through a survey among youth in Zimbabwe. Their survey revealed that only 6% of their participants comment on political issues on Facebook, and even fewer, 2%, post political messages on their profile page. The term "clicktivism", which I had referenced in a previous week, is invoked frequently as part of the argument for the type of political engagement that this journal entry believes youth engage in. This journal continues my research and exploration into the global community that the Internet creates, and also, my topic's more skeptic point of view, through the prism of a scholarly outlet.

Lim, Niel Niño. “Novel or Novice: Exploring the Contextual Realities of Youth Political Participation in the Age of Social Media.” Philippine Sociological Review, vol. 57, 2009, pp. 61–78. JSTOR,

This primary scholarly source is a peer reviewed journal, which while slightly outdated, raises many pertinent and prescient points in relation to my topic. Specifically, this journal entry discusses how one's perception of social media is the decisive factor in how one views its capacity for political and social change. The journal argues an appreciation of social media's ability to represent a new medium and mode of dissent, specifically for youth, is a necessity. While this journal was written in 2009, it argues on behalf of many of social media's beneficial attributes that have only entirely crystallizied themselves recently; whether it be the reaction to Donald Trump's political campaign, the #MeToo movement, or youth such as those in Parkland, attempting to start a conversation leading to stricter gun reform laws.


Episode Pitch:

This is the source for the opinion piece which spurred my initial interest in my topic and is referenced in my Episode Pitch:

Potarazu, Sreedhar. “Is social media ruining our kids? (Opinion).” CNN, Cable News Network, 22 Oct. 2015,

Episode Pitch Transcript:

Social Monster: How social media is shaping our youth. A podcast pitch by Matthew Dinn.

The damaging and reverberating effects that social media can implant onto the minds of youth has been detailed ad nauseum. In October 2015, for CNN, Dr. Sreedhar Potarazu published an opinion piece pointedly titled “Is social media ruining our kids?” There are some admittedly alarming statistics included in the piece, such as; 92% of teenagers are active online daily and 54% of University students have admitted to experiencing overwhelming anxiety. To be clear, these are statistics which warrant entirely valid concern; social media presents an all-consuming platform that has the potential to negatively infiltrate the minds of our youth. However, by constantly reinforcing these drawbacks, are we failing to make our youth aware of how social media can be shaped and utilized positively? Additionally, are these statistics even necessarily mutually exclusive in the way we assume they are? As in, are students necessarily reporting higher anxiety rates because of their social media use, or are they using social media as an escape from whatever is fueling their anxiety? Frankly, I have no idea, and the answers may well vary, but it is a question I have not seen raised or dissected with any thoroughness. Therefore, I would like to raise this question: Can there be a way to ensure our youth is both cognizant of the potential damages, while also reaping the potential rewards that social media has to offer? We are at the precipice of a divisive sociopolitical era where politicians are gaining power through racist, xenophobic, and sexist rhetoric. Ultimately, the internet, and specifically social media, is a vast and seemingly infinite space. Therefore, should it not stand to reason that our view on social media’s impact match this wealth of space? My goal is to find the nuance in an increasingly one-sided debate