Rhetorical Analysis Outline
Social media platforms were introduced to be entertainment tools but have currently been the most important part of our lives. Most young people are spending more time on social media than when studying, sleeping or doing anything else constructive. The phone is the first thing they look at in the morning and the last thing they check at night. To use a social media account personal information is a requirement. The information on the social site is available for anyone to see; thus it allows predators to gather material about their target and utilize it to exploit them.
II. Summary of the RHETORICAL SITUATION
o What is the issue? (It may help to state it as a yes-no question, even if the answer is not ultimately yes or no.) Sharing of personal information without owner’s consent.
o What’s the context (the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed)?
Numerous companies utilize our information to manipulate us and earn more profit. For instance, Facebook collects our information from what we post, likes, photos and things we engage into both when we are offline and online and can sell it to data brokers.
o Who is making the argument? What are their credentials? Do they make contact information available? Do any biases seem evident?
Cambridge Analyst, news articles and commentators are the teams arguing that Facebook has a lot of crucial information about us.
According to Schneier, there are a large number of data brokers in the United States who specialize in sales and purchase of personal information. Additionally, the analyst indicated that hackers store personal information for over fifty million persons from Equifax.
Contact information is not easily accessible to the analyst. The evident presented mostly seem to focus on Facebook and ignores other companies.
o Who seems to be their targeted audience? Any person who owns a Facebook account and anyone who exchange his or her data for free services.
o What is their MAIN point or thesis? Access to personal information should only be allowed with a consent from the owner.
• What KIND of argument is being presented, based on info on the slideshow I provided in Brightspace: is their argument one of policy? Evaluation? Substantiation? Schneier who an analyst argues that most companies especial from social sites like Google and Facebook require personal data to access their services either for free or at a fee.
The argument is based on an evaluation of the requirement to have an account either in Facebook or in Google.
• This question is linked to another one: what is their purpose?
The main determination of the analysts is to facilitate policy setting that will set limit and regulation for companies that have access to personal information.
o How is the argument structured? (causal, cause & effect, illustration, narrative, a combination?) The structure of the argument is based on Cause and effect. For instance, phones are some of the most used devices worldwide (Schneier). However, they are able to tracks our location, what we do, where we spend most of our time thus any phone application provider knows more about the person using the phone.
o What are the argument’s enabling assumptions? (Why does the writer believe to be true about his or her argument?) The analyst assumes that most people who are using the social sites provide true and accurate information. Thus, he understands the need to protect the users. Additionally, the analyst assumes that the current world is full of digital society.
III. Summary of the Argument’s APPEALS
• How would you describe the writer’s character? What sort of PERSON is the writer projecting him- or herself to be?
The writer is a privacy specialist. He is more concerned about the safety or security of every person who uses social sites. He cares about personal data security.
• What are the writer’s CREDENTIALS?
He is an international security technology analyst.
• Does this person show GOODWILL, RESPECT FOR OPPOSING VIEWS, HUMILITY, LIKEABILITY?
Yes, Schneier portrays good will and humility as he aims to curb use of personal information illegally.
• What is the author’s attitude toward his or her material? What is his or her tone of voice? How would you describe this person’s style and approach? What is his or her way of thinking?
The author is confident about the evidence or analysis he has done concerning data security. He commands that there is the need for the establishment of regulation and limit on personal data use by industries (Schneier). I presume that the analyst approach is precise and any conclusion made is based on the available information. The author thinks that use of personal information should only be legalized by the owner and used for the legal purpose.
Describe in detail the work’s logos: the argument’s logical reasoning and evidence:
• What claims are being made in support of the thesis? Our personal information is collected and used without our concert by some companies. Facebook and Google are among the companies who offer free services to obtain information but in exchange for personal data. Most of the people provide collect information especially to search tools. The collected personal information is valuable, and companies that have clear knowledge about it can use them against you.
• How are those claims being supported? What KINDS of evidence are presented? (empirical data (facts, statistics, studies); general principles; personal experience; primary sources (interviews, letters, diaries, memos, field work); secondary sources(documents such as newspapers, magazines, books); common sense; etc.) In some cases, HUMOR may be an appeal or type of “evidence” or strategy. In each case above, provide/describe specific examples!
According to Schneier, sharing of personal information is not something new. Surveillance capitalism is one of the issues that media have been covering recently. According to Schneier, he wrote a book which had details about data security in the year 2015. Additionally, in 2010 a journal was published about the ability to track individuals both when online and offline the social sites. Furthermore, personal information is in high demand since they can be sold to people who can pay for them. For instance, information of a large number of people was stolen from one of the data brokers in the United States, that is, Equifax.
• What SPECIFIC emotions does the argument evoke? What is it the writer mostly wants you to feel? Pity? Horror? Fear? Sadness? Joy? Anxiety? Awe? Sympathy?
Schneier through his message in the article aims to instill fear among the target audience. Fear would enable regulation of sharing of personal information.
• How does the author evoke those emotions? Poetic language? Stark facts? Visual effects? Special music? Interviews with victims? What specific appeals tend to arouse emotion in the piece?
Through showing how important personal information is to others, the author can evoke fear among internet users. If personal information could be bought, then it is vital.
IV. Summary of How the Argument NEGOTIATES OPPOSING VIEWS
• Does the work acknowledge opposing claims and evidence? Does it do so fairly and with goodwill? Does it do so thoroughly? The message in the article only base on supporting claims that social sites share personal information without the consent of the owner. Therefore, the work does not show details of the opposing claims. Hence, the analysis was not thoroughly conducted to determine the stronger view.
• Does the work refute those opposing claims and evidence? If so, how?
No, this is because there are no counterclaims discussed.
V. Summary of the Argument’s Strengths and Weaknesses
• Can you identify any reasoning errors (logical fallacies) such as the ones outlined on the link provided on Brightspace under Helpful Sites? (E.g., slippery slope, name calling, avoiding the issue, causation fallacy, conflict of interest, etc.?)
Although data collection is seen violating personal privacy, information obtained can be an effective way in which industries can analyze their trends in market, competition and customers view.
• Any other problems with the argument more generally?
Some of the information provided on the social sites are false and inaccurate. Hence, do not have a bigger impact on person’s life even if they are sold.
The ability of predators of personal information to access private material without owners consent is risky. Therefore, the social sites like Facebook and Google who require this information to offer service should be held liable for misuse of personal data without owners’ agreement.
The argument that there should be regulation and limit on the use of personal information for companies like Facebook is viable. Additionally, the overall argument by the author is convincing because we give out our personal information yet we have no knowledge of how it is used. Hence, there is a need for transparency.
Schneier, Bruce. “It’s Not Just Facebook. Thousands Of Companies Are Spying On You”. CNN, 2018, https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/26/opinions/data-company-spying-opinion-schneier/index.html.Accessed 28 Mar 2018.
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