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My First Blog Post

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. So, I´ve discovered that finding a topic for my first blog post is not a simple task. I´ve now steared into the computer screen for 20 minutes straight and still have no idea of what I want my topic to be – what a great start!

Personally, I prefer it when the teacher hand out an assignment because then I just have to follow instructions, which in my opinion is way easier. So that is exactly what I´ll do for this time. My very first blog post will be assignment from class – I know, so boring…

What has the Covid-19 project taught me?

Portugal Flag Combined With Germany Flag Stock Photo, Picture And ...

Over the last month, I have consistently worked on a Covid-19 related project within International English at school. The main purpose was to answer my thesis question, namely “How did Germany and Portugal become Covid-19 exceptions?”. The finishing product was a ten minute presentation including facts and statistics, a comparison of the countries and findings from the interviews I have undertaken. The reason for choosing Germany and Portugal is that they both have neighbours that are severely affected by the pandemic. In addition, I have contacts in both countries enabling me to gather personal experiences from natives.

This project taught me a lot about the Covid-19 crisis in Germany and Portugal. I learnt about each country’s respons to and handling of the virus, as well as their similarities and differences in terms of the situation. I found the interviews the most interesting when it comes to this project. It allowed me to get a greater insight on how the natives in each country experience the crisis. Their thoughts and personal experiences were really interesting to read, and helped me understand the situation in each country even better. I also believe that the interviews were really interesting since the interviewees are both the same age as me. This allowed me to not only to get an insight on how the natives in each country experience the crisis, but also on how the situation is for the youth in Germany and Portugal.

André (Portugal) and me in Edinburgh last summer.

Some facts: Both countries have since the virus outbreak been acknowledged as Covid-19 exceptions due to their low mortality rates. Important factors for their low death tolls are the early confinement of the virus and strict restrictions and regulations implemented to society.

Furthermore, I have developed a deeper understanding for the Coronavirus from a worldwide perspective, because when investigating the situation in Germany and Portugal I came over a lot of facts and statistics about other countries as well. For instance, one of my sources about Portugal included a graph showing Portugals date of lockdown in comparison with both Germany and other European countries. This was interesting since I got an overview on how other countries handled the crisis.

This project has overall been very interesting and I am very satisfied with my final result. I believe that the key factor for my great result was the early preparation in advance. This allowed me to work properly with the project without having to rush anything, which is very important for such a large project.

Did fake news on Facebook help elect Trump?

Facebook was founded in 2004. It was created by Marc Zuckerberg along with Edward Saverin, both students at Harvard University. Back then, Facebook was only available for students at the Harvard Campus and the social network’s purpose was to connect students by sharing personal information.Over the years, Facebook has turned into a global phenomenon, counting more than two billion active users (Hutchinson, 2019). The promise of Facebook now has been to create a more open and connected world.

However, in the past decade, Facebook has been accused of overlooking malevolent uses of its platform, enabling for instance foreign actors to influence democratic elections through the social network.In this essay I will investigate the following thesis statement: “Did fake news on Facebook help elect Trump?”. 

In the aftermath of the American Election (2016), many feared that fake news on Facebook’s social network website had affected the outcome of the election. Through Facebook’s posting feature, everyone with a registered Facebook account could have published articles and pictures which contained fake news regarding the election.

An example of this is Russia’s interference with the American Election. After Trump was elected as the president of the United States, Russia was accused of interfering with the election through posting fake news targeting Hillary Clinton and the democrats. According to a report conducted by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), Russia also had a particular focus on targeting conservatives with posts on immigration, race and gun laws in order to provoke polarization between republican and democrat supporters. There were also efforts on Facebook to undermine the voting power of the left-leaning African American citizens, by spreading incorrect information about the electoral process (BBC, 2018). As the report done by IRA indicate, the majority of the fake news published on Facebook – regarding the American Election – were in favor of the republican representative, namely Donald Trump. 

Last but not least, Facebooks response to the entire issue was extremely poor. Facebook first tried to act when the damage already was done. Even one of Facebook’s very own employees addressed in the FRONTLINE documentary that the problem was not solvable due to its enormous scale. Instead, Facebook aimed to reduce the number of fake news on their website.

Overall – reports and records confirms that fake news on Facebook had a quite significant impact on the American Election in 2016. According to FRONTLINE, fake news posts on Facebook received more interest from users than credible news sites that actually provided true information. The algorithms behind Facebook creates an evil circle by promoting the post that received the most likes and shares, which in this case were the fake news. And since the majority of the fake news post were targeting Hillary Clinton and the democrats, I belive it is safe to say that fake news on Facebook helped elected Donald Trump as the president of the United States during the election in 2016.

List of sources:

“The climate emergency, ; how can young people make an impact”.

Global warming is a phenomenon of climate change characterized by a general increase in average temperatures of the Earth. It modifies the weather balances and ecosystems for a long time. It is directly linked to the increase of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, worsening the greenhouse effect. It’s important that young people take action, because our planet are dependent on the next generations. 

How are teens receiving information regarding climate change?

The norwegian youth, receive a lot of information through social media. Social media provides us with personal thoughts and opinions, as well as reliable news from reliable sources. Lately, climate change has been a relevant and extremely popular topic within social media. Individuals with several millions of followers have through their accounts contributed to spread awareness and raise support, amongst other things. A popular instagram profile can for instance share links to fund raisers and encourage their followers to donate money. 

In addition, famous people are in many cases idols for different parts of the youth. Something which results in them having a lot of influence. This type of influence is not achievable through platforms as television and newspapers. Therefore, social media is an extremely suitable and well-functioning news platform amongst the younger audience. Recently, there has been arranged several strikes, based on not attending school, through social media. This strike was both arranged and developed on social media. And the strike reached numerous students in Scandinavia.

This proves that social media can be used as a great tool in order to reach out to the youth population – if used correctly. As mentioned, several social media platforms has contributed to spread awareness around the climate crisis on a worldwide scale. Young people receive information on the climate crisis by social media, for example on twitter.  

In October, President Trump accused climate change scientists of having a “political agenda”, telling Fox News he was unconvinced that humans were responsible for the earth’s rising temperatures.

After taking office he announced the US would withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement,

How are teens responding to news about climate change?

Teens are the people of our future, and we see a lot of interest among the young people regarding the development of our climate, and the possible disastrous outcome our actions can lead to. This interest is shown when we see students not attending school to protest for the climate – for example, a recent protest arranged by the climate activist, Greta Thunberg. Young Norwegian people drop school to demonstrate and demand stronger action against climate change. The youth are especially inspired by Swedish Greta Thunberg (16) who started the protest wave last year. “We young people are unstoppable,” Thunberg said from the pulpit, referring to everyone who had participated in climate protests across much of the world.

the problem with these demonstrations, is that people take advantage of the opportunity to drop school without getting absence. There are many people who appears a bit “too-faced” because they show interest for the climate, but they still ask their parents to drive them to school.

In conclusion, young people have gotten more engaged and active in the climate debate, but there are still a lot left to take care of. We also think that since the swedish climate activist Greta has gotten so far with her work, then more teens will get more motivated to follow up the coming climate crisis. 

Written by Hedda, Kristine, Mina and Øivind

Gran Torino – questions and answers

In today’s English course, my class and I watched Gran Torino, a multicultural movie. Gran Torino is a 2008 drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The story follows  Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran alienated from his family and angry at the world. Walt’s young neighbor, Thao Vang Lor, is pressured by his cousin into stealing Walt’s prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino for his initiation into a gang. Walt thwarts the theft with his M1 Garand rifle and subsequently develops a relationship with the boy and his family (Wikipedia).

Beneath are my answers to some of the discussion questions regarding the film, handed out by my teacher.

  1. How would you describe Walt’s racial beliefs at the start of the movie? Do these beliefs change?

In the beginning of the movie, Walt’s racial beliefs are very negative. Walt does not like people of other races and has a bad attitude towards these people. Throughout the film however, his view upon immigrants changes slowly. After attending his neighbours Hmong barbecue and spending some time with Thao. Walt suddenly becomes more positive to the Hmong family next door and at the end he develops strong friendships with Thao and his sister. So strong that he was willing to sacrifice his own life for their well being.

2. How would you describe Walt’s relationship with his family? Do you know of anyone that has a similar family relationship?

Walt’s relationship with his family is poor. Even though his family shows up on his birthday and calls him several times, their relationship still isn’t very close at all. Throughout the movie, Walt expresses very little love for his family members. I believe their relationship is poor due to the fact that Walt seems very different from the rest.

3. At the end of the film, Walt bequeaths the car to Thao instead of a family member. Was this unexpected? The last scene shows Thao driving the car down the road. The car has not been modified. What does this scene signify?

In the scene where Walt bequeaths the car to Thao, I wasn’t very surprised to be honest. Giving the fact that Walt had built up such a strong friendship with Thao before he passed away. And as mentioned above, Walt never really had a good relationship with his own family, and therefore it seemed more reasonable to give Thao the Gran Torino. The last scene were Thao was driving down the road, without having done any modifications to the Gran Torino, shows how Thao valued Walt’s opinion and their relationship.

4. Midway through the movie Thao is required to work for Walt. How does this change their relationship?

Thao having to work for Walt definitely changed their relationship. Thao working for Walt led to them spending more time together as well as Walt realising that Thao is a hardworking and persistent boy. Which was really an eye opener for Walt – who hated the behaviour of the youth (his granddaughter).

5. What does respect mean to Walt? What does respect mean to you?

Respect seems to be very important for Walt. Walt is an old man who served in the army, and he has probably been taught to show respect towards others. For instance, Walt wants to be called mr. kowalsky by the priest. Yet Walt doesn’t only demand respects, he also shows it towards others.

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gran_Torino

This is me

Hi,

My name is Jacob, and this webpage is my very fist blog ever created. As a person I´m especially interested in nature and climate, as well as politics witihn the english-speaking-world.

On a regular basis, I attend high school in Norway. I originally created this blog since my international English class demands it, however I also created this blog in order to share my thoughts and opinions with foreign people all across the globe.

I haven´t really set a goal with this blog, but hopefully my posts can somehow contribute to help others and share useful information. Enjoy:)

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