Facebook and the surveillance society

Facebook never forgets - the surveillance society

Facebook never forgets

Cartoon about Facebook monitoring and recording its posts as part of the surveillance society

Cartoon showing the Facebook logo as the head of an elephant watching and recording the activities of its users.
The elephant is used because of the expression ‘an elephant never forgets’ – and because the f in the Facebook logo looks a bit like an elephant’s head

The cartoon is meant to link Facebook with Big Brother in George Orwell’s book 1984.
It is about surveillance of the internet by organisations and government, internet users’ surrendering of privacy, net privacy, a potentially distopian future.

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Blue Peter dropped from BBC1 after over 50 years – cartoon. Blue Peter’s audience is sinking

Blue Peter dropped from BBC1- cartoon

Children’s television programme Blue Peter is to be dropped from BBC1 – cartoon

Cartoon showing the Blue Peter badge with the ship sinking (because the children’s tv programme is going to be dropped from BBC1 – the main BBC tv channel – and will only appear on CBBC, the BBC children’s programme channel

The cartoon shows the famous Blue Peter badge with the sailing ship on the badge sinking.
This illustrates the fact that Blue Peter has been axed from BBC1 and it’s also a play on the idea that the audience for Blue Peter is sinking

A cartoon about the changing viewing habits of children, tv programming strategies, television programme scheduling

Ref: a235

Children won’t go outside to play in the garden

children watching tv in garden - cartoon

Gardening and gardens cartoon. The only way to get children to go outside into the garden is to put a television there

A joke about the problem of getting children away from the television and their computers.
The horror of the idea of ‘outdoor television’ – especially for kids

A comic illustration about child development, children’s games and activities, children won’t play outside anymore, physical exercise for children
a228

Is this the first cartoon about 3D printing?

3d printing cartoon

A cartoon about 3D printing (additive manufacturing).

A cartoon showing a computer-generated 3D resin model of a man generated from digital scans of the man. The cartoon was drawn before the concept of 3D printing entered mainstream public awareness, and definitely before the cartoonist (me) had heard of the existence of 3D printing technology

I’m sure that 3D technology must have existed for a few years before I drew this cartoon, but possibly only in research labs and places that were experimenting with early prototypes of 3D printers. 3D printing definitely wasn’t in the zeitgeist.

The humour in the cartoon lies in the fact that highly advanced computer technology is being used to produce a representation of a stereotypically simple and technologically unsavvy old gardener.
The cartoon is partly a comment on the fact that advanced technology inevitably often ends up being used for mundane purposes (just look at television and mobile phones, where trivial content has to be bounced off satellites in order to reach its destination). This is not a criticism of this phenomenon, just a humorous observation.
A cartoon about hi-tech manufacturing, garden furniture, garden statues, statuary, self portraits, gardening,

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Child development cartoon – why children no longer ask “Can we have our ball back please?”

can we have our ball back - cartoon

Cartoon – why children no longer ask “Can we have our ball back please?”

Children no longer play physical outdoor games, preferring to play computer games and to use mobile phones and other electronic devices.

A cartoon about child development, play, outdoor activities, exercise, passive entertainment

Ref: a164

Following the news cartoon. Only watch the news once a day

Wise sayings cartoon. Only watch the news once a day

Cartoon about advice on how to live your life.
Only watch the news once a day
The news as noise and the illusion of engagement

The cartoon shows a ‘lifestyle guru’ telling someone to only watch the news once a day.
Some people (myself included) watch the news far too often. One of the problems with the broadcast news on tv is that it is extremely superficial, especially when broadcast on a 24 hour rolling news channel. Watching the news sometimes gives the illusion that you are actively engaged in the news, however, we should really be doing other things instead, such as reading books and magazines that analyse and explain in greater depth the implications of the news events of the day. The news is ‘noise’.
This analysis of the news is similar to that put forward in the book by Alain de Botton, The News. The cartoon predates the book.

This cartoon is from a series about the phenomenon of gurus, personal counsellors, lifestyle coaches (a recent and rather ludicrous twist on the phenomenon of personal fulfilment), motivational speakers and suchlike. In the series the guru, counsellor or what-have-you is a very ordinary middle aged woman rather than someone who is removed from the humdrum of everyday life, and is meant to represent a parody of lifestyle advisers and self improvement gurus.

Cartoon about truth, knowledge, opinions, prejudice, bias, philosophy, lifestyle, lifestyle coaching, gurus, motivational speakers, therapy, counselling, current affairs, engagement in society.
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Facebook cartoon/illustration. Facebook as Big Brother – Facebook is watching you!

facebook big brother watching privacy

Facebook privacy protection illustration.
Facebook as Big Brother.

Illustration depicting Facebook’s logo as part of a face with the caption “Facebook is watching you”.
The face is meant to evoke the concept of Big Brother, from George Orwell’s 1984 (especially because of the eyes). The caption is based on the 1984 slogan “Big Brother is watching you”.

The idea for the image was inspired by an article in the New York Times, reprinted in the Observer on 12th Feb 2012: Taking a Stand to Protect Privacy by Somini Sengupta.
According to the article, Facebook monitors and retains vast amounts of information about Facebook users, including deleted posts and messages, and also stores information about the user’s physical location. Such information helps Facebook and other companies target advertising on individuals.
As Facebook and similar organisations become bigger and more powerful the implications of their use of user data become more and more worrying. Facebook, Google and other internet megacompanies could easily take on a Big Brother type role.
At the moment the use of user data is probably concentrated in marketing and market related spheres, however there is no reason why such data couldn’t be used in future by repressive governments or other repressive controlling organisations.
A graphic depicting issues concerned with internet privacy
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Facebook cartoons. Facebook privacy protection illustration

facebook privacy logo as elephant cartoon

Facebook privacy protection illustration.

Illustration depicting Facebook’s policy of storing data about Facebook users.
Graphic incorporating the Facebook logo as the trunk of an elephant, with the caption “Facebook never forgets”, based on the saying “An elephant never forgets”.

The cartoon was inspired by an article in the New York Times, reprinted in the Observer on 12th Feb 2012: Taking a Stand to Protect Privacy by Somini Sengupta.
According to the article, Facebook retains vast amounts of information about Facebook users, including deleted posts and messages, and also stores information about the user’s physical location. Such information helps Facebook and other companies target advertising on individuals.
As Facebook and similar organisations become bigger and more powerful the implications of their use of user data become more and more worrying. Facebook, Google and other internet megacompanies could easily take on a Big Brother type role.
At the moment the use of user data is probably concentrated in marketing and market related spheres, however there is no reason why such data couldn’t be used in future by repressive governments or other repressive controlling organisations.
A graphic depicting issues concerned with internet privacy
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Facebook cartoon. Facebook flotation cartoon. The commercialisation of social media

facebook revenue cartoon

Facebook cartoon. Facebook friends cartoon

Facebook flotation cartoon, showing a Facebook page with the message “On-line marketing wants to be your friend”.

There’s a strong possibility that following its proposed stock market flotation Facebook will change from being a social networking site into a commercial marketing site, appropriated by business and commercial interests as a channel for selling their goods and services.
The process has already started, with data about Facebook users ‘likes’ being used as a means of targeting and reaching potential customers.
The joke in the cartoon is that business interests cannot be your ‘friends’ as they are only interested in you because of your money.
A cartoon about the commercialisation of social media sites. A cynical view on what it will mean to be a Facebook friend in the future.
The Facebook share price following market flotation will probably drop if the site loses its status as a social networking site.
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Cartoon. Stop using the internet and get a life. Slightly in the style of a David Shrigley drawing

get-off-the-internet-and-get-a-life

Cartoon in a style that’s similar to a David Shrigley drawing.

Artwork designed specifically to appear on internet image searches, urging people to stop using the internet so much and to get out a bit.
Vaguely in the style of a David Shrigley drawing. The cartoon urges viewers to “Get off the internet and get a life”.

This image is in a style similar to David Shrigley art. It is drawn specifically for how it will look when it appears in internet image searches such as by using Google image search. So it may appear on image search pages that display artwork by David Shrigley (because Shrigley is mentioned several times in this explanation).
The idea is that the display of images on an image search page is a form of exhibition in an art gallery, and this cartoon is a humorous ‘intervention’ in the exhibition.
Because the cartoon was drawn in a style that looks a bit like a piece of David Shrigley art work, and because David Shrigley has a major exhibition of his work, Brain Activity, at the Hayward Gallery at the moment (February 2012) I thought it would be an appropriate time to display the drawing.
The artwork, titled – Get off the internet and get a life – is meant to be ironic and humorous, especially as viewers will normally come across it while deep in an internet image search.
Is it art or is it a cartoon? Well, to me that’s a falsely framed question, because cartoons are art. At least some of them are (just as some art isn’t art).
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Text based artwork or cartoon in a style that’s a bit similar to a David Shrigley drawing

don't click this one

Text based artwork or cartoon in a style that’s a bit similar to a David Shrigley drawing.
Artwork titled:
“I told you not to click it, you idiot!”

Artwork designed specifically to appear on internet image searches. Vaguely in the style of David Shrigley.

This image is in a style similar to David Shrigley art. It is drawn specifically for how it will look when it appears in internet image searches such as by using Google image search. So it may appear on image search pages that display artwork by David Shrigley (because Shrigley is mentioned several times in this explanation).
The idea is that the display of images on an image search page is a form of exhibition in an art gallery, and this cartoon is a humorous ‘intervention’ in the exhibition.
Because the cartoon was drawn (some time ago) in a style that looks a bit like a piece of David Shrigley art work, and because David Shrigley has a major exhibition of his work, Brain Activity, at the Hayward Gallery at the moment (February 2012) I thought it would be an appropriate time to display the drawing.
The name of the artwork – “I told you not to click it, you idiot!” – refers to the fact that people will click on it because they have been told not to. Part of the humour is that by clicking on the image they will end up on a site that they (probably) didn’t particularly want to go to. Well, they were warned>
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Cartoon. Kodak Eastman goes out of business. Digital photography eclipses film photography

kodak closing down

Cartoon. Kodak Eastman goes out of business

Cartoon. Kodak Eastman goes out of business. Kodak fades away like an aging print.

The cartoon shows a person looking at an old photograph that’s fading away. The image on the photograph is the word Kodak. It is a metaphor for the way that the Kodak Eastman company has faded away due to the fact that digital photography has superseded film photography.
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Cartoon about Hell – there is no cell phone signal in Hell

Cartoon - Mobile phone - no signal in Hell

Cartoon about Hell – Mobile phone gets no signal in Hell.

Cartoon about Hell – there is no cell phone signal in Hell (which is one of the reasons why it’s Hell.

Part of the humour of this joke is that people are so reliant on cell phones or mobile phones that the idea of not being able to get a signal is truly terrifying and hellish.
It’s a cartoon about people’s over reliance on modern technology, without which they feel alienated and cast adrift.
Cartoons about Hell are a common theme, found everywhere from Gary Larson Far Side cartoons to cautionary depictions in medieval illuminated manuscripts.
Ref: a099

Cartoon. “You can’t learn everything from books, you know. You should get an ipad”

cant learn everything from books ipad cartoon

Cartoon showing a cartoon character saying to another one who’s reading a book, “You can’t learn everything from books, you know. You should get an ipad”.

Cartoon character reading a book. Another one saying “You can’t learn everything from books, you know. You should get an ipad”.

A cartoon about reading books, reading on iPads, Amazon kindle, reading habits, tablet technology, different reading platforms, books versus iPads.
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David Hockney cartoon. David Hockney iPad arts cartoon

david hockney paintings ipad app

A cartoon about painting on an iPad, as popularised by David Hockney.

Cartoon. David Hockney iPad art.
Artist David Hockney’s recent work has involved painting directly onto an iPad.
It won’t be long before a special ‘David Hockney’ app will be available to let other people convert their photographs into David Hockney style images.
David Hockney’s iPad paintings (and other works) are on show in a major exhibition of his work, A Bigger Picture, at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, January – April 2012.

A cartoon about iPads, apps, digital painting, David Hockney, digital image filters, popular art, iPad art, iPad painting app.
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Cartoon – the difficulty for older people to understand modern technology

Difficulty for older people using modern technology

Cartoon – the difficulty for older people to understand modern technology.

A woman having trouble programming a modern digital television tuner (or similar electronic device).
TYounger people adapt to using modern technology naturally (as they know nothing else).
The joke here is that the child who understands the new technology is a baby (who understands very little indeed in general).

A cartoon about child development, generational differences, generation gap, early learning, knowledge acquisition, technological illiteracy.
Ref: a058

Cartoon. A possible danger of buying through ebay

ebay car cartoon

Cartoon showing a second hand car bought on ebay. The car is a toy car but the buyer thought it was a full size, real sports car.

The ebay buyer is complaining that it’s hard to judge the size of objects when you see them on a computer screen.

A cartoon about internet sales, on-line marketing, deception, deceptive size.
The joke is that it’s impossible to judge goods properly when you buy them on line over the internet, especially through web-baased auction sites such as ebay.

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Computer cartoon. Are computers intuitive to use?

computer use intuitive cartoon

Learning how to use a computer – cartoon. A man saying to a woman that computers are totally intuitive to use.

A cartoon showing a person using a computer and another person teaching computing skills.

A cartoon showing the difference in approach to knowledge and technology by men and women. The woman is unsure of her ability while the man is arrogant and sure.
A cartoon about computers and gender differences.
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Internet cartoon. Using the internet unnecessarily

internet weather cartoon

Computer cartoon. Internet cartoon. Using the internet unnecessarily to find out something you can find in easier ways

A cartoon showing a person using the internet to research information that doesn’t need the internet for the research.

A cartoon about the way that people are becoming over reliant on computers and the internet.
The fact that the person is looking at the weather on the internet is meant to point out that people are staying indoors in front of their computers rather than going outside.
An unhealthy aspect of computer use.
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Computer cartoon. Turing test cartoon

computer monitor and head transposed cartoon

Computer cartoon. Monitor and head transposed

A cartoon showing a person using a computer. The computer has a human head and the user has a computer monitor as a head.
I don’t know what this cartoon means.

Cartoon related to the Turing test.
A cartoon showing a computer monitor and a human head transposed.
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Computer cartoons. “Printer not found”

computer printer not found cartoon

Computer cartoon. Printer not found message on computer screen

A cartoon showing a woman getting annoyed with her computer. A message on the computer screen says “Printer not found”. The printer is alongside the computer.

A cartoon about the frustration of using computers and their seemingly nonsensical, inexplicable or unfathomable messages.
This cartoon was drawn as a greetings card published by Paperlink.
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Cartoon. Childhood: physical play versus electronic play. The allure of the electronic.

Cartoon child on phone on swing

A cartoon showing a child on a swing using a hand held device such as a phone or electronic game.
A cartoon about the allure of the electronic.

Cartoon showing a father pushing his child on a swing. The child is engrossed in a hand held device (perhaps a phone or an electronic gaming device).

A cartoon about childhood, attention, play, bonding, parenting, physical play versus electronic play.
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World overpopulation cartoon

number of Facebook friends and world population cartoon

World population cartoon
The cartoon is also about the nature of Facebook friends

Cartoon about the fact that the earth’s population has passed seven billion, linking it to the number of Facebook friends some people have.
Most people have Facebook friends who are not real friends (or even people that they know). A cartoon showing a person who has more Facebook friends than there are people on the planet

A cartoon about population pressure, overpopulation, Facebook friends, the nature of friendship, computers, social networking sites

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Amazon Kindle cartoon – how to let people know what you’re reading

Kindle cartoon - concealed in a book

Amazon Kindle cartoon
How to let people know what you’re reading

A traveller on public transport concealing a Kindle inside a book so that other people can see what he’s reading.
He’s reading a ‘difficult’ book, so he wants his fellow travelers to know.
Previously the act of concealing reading material inside another book or magazine was because you were reading something dubious. In this cartoon the concept is turned on its head because one of the problems with the Kindle is that no one can tell what’s being read

A cartoon about impressing people, showing off, digital books

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Twitter cartoon: I tweet therefore I am

Twitter cartoon: I tweet therefore I am

Twitter cartoon
I tweet therefore I am

A cartoon showing a man posting a tweet and thinking “I tweet therefore I am”.
The quote refers to Rene Descartes saying “Cogito ergo sum” or “I think therefore I am” (or in French “Je pense donc je suis”).
The cartoon is partly a statement about the small things that give people’s lives purpose, meaning and a sense of being

A cartoon about philosophy, existentialism, existence, self awareness, purpose, twitter, tweets, tweeting, being connected, social media, social networking, followers, twitterati

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Bible cartoon. The Ten Commandments on digital tablets

Ten commandments cartoon: the commandments on iPad type tablets

Bible Cartoon
Ten commandments cartoon

The Ten Commandments on stone tablets with self-righting text
(just like modern digital tablets such as the iPad and other digital devices)
A Biblical cartoon showing Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments.
Moses pointing out that the text on the tablets rotates to be self-righting when the tablets are turned. This is even though the tablets are stone tablets and not modern digital tablets such as the iPad. It’s obviously a miracle because it defies the laws of physics.
“Truly the work of God!”

A cartoon about computers, iPads, iPad, digital tablets, miracles, the bible, religion, religious myths, tablets of stone.

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Cartoon: on the internet no one knows you’re a nerd

Cartoon: a nerd on the internet

Internet nerd cartoon
You can’t tell what people are like on the internet

Cartoon: a nerd on the internet thinking that other people on the internet wouldn’t realise that he was a nerd – even though he’s writing posts on a nerdy web forum.

A cartoon about computer nerds, chat rooms, internet anonymity, persona

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Computer cartoon. Is reading books better than looking at computer screens?

Cartoon youth looking at computer screen - doesn't engage in the 'real' world - like reading books

Computer cartoon
Is reading books better than looking at computers?

Is reading books engaging in the real world in a way that using computers is not?

A cartoon about computer use and over-use, immersion in digital technology, facebook generation, generation gap, cultural shifts, generational differences, computers versus books, demise of printed media

Ref: tec004

Language cartoon: the evolution of spelling

young people talking in text message language cartoon, with text message spelling - txting

Language cartoon
Spelling cartoon
Cartoon showing young people talking in text message language

The cartoon shows young people in conversation, with the spelling in the abbreviated form of text messages. Two older people nearby saying that they don’t understand a word young people are saying anymore

A cartoon about progress, evolution of language, corruption of language, texting, sms messaging, c u l8er, linguistics, generation gap, generational differences, intergenerational cultural shifts

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Understanding digital technology cartoon

Cartoon - adults and new technology

Digital technology cartoon

Cartoon showing the difficulty adults have with new technology
Cartoon shows a baby instructing its mother how to use a digital recorder

A cartoon about progress, technological innovation, technological illiteracy, keeping up with or being left behind by technology

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Cartoon: the first camera-phone

first camera-phone cartoon

Early camera phone cartoon

Cartoon showing a man from the Edwardian era with a camera phone constructed using the technology of the early twentieth century

A cartoon about invention, progress, technological innovation, brick sized mobile phones, large cell phones, pre-digital technology

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Cartoon: Steve Jobs dies

steve jobs obituary cartoon

Cartoon: Steve Jobs dies

Editorial cartoon on the subject of the death of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple computers.
Jobs quit his role as ceo of Apple several months ago due to ill health.
Showing the Apple logo falling from an apple tree, illustrating the death of Steve Jobs and perhaps illustrating Apple’s share price falling as a result (probably in several years’ time).

Ref: z001