This Photographer Is Using People’s Profile Pictures To Teach Us About Privacy And Social Media

Does blurring out faces do enough to protect privacy?

In an effort to highlight the way people reveal themselves between social networking sites, Belgian artist Dries Depoorter has launched a photography project called “Tinder In.” The series features users’ profile pictures for LinkedIn and Tinder placed side by side, stressing the dichotomy inherent in the career and relationship sites.

All images via Dries Depoorter/TinderIn.

But while that comparison may be the result of his work, he offers a mission statement stating another intention altogether:

“To question and challenge privacy issues, I’ve used examples from my surroundings as well as examples from my personal life (as I do in many of my projects). With this, I do not have the intention to expose any person in particular. My intention is to mock privacy in general. I want to expose what can be exposed so easily without us realizing it. From now on, I will continue this project without anyone being recognisably pictured.”

Depoorter explicitly has set out to mock the notion of privacy for social media users, but he’s mindful of the privacy of his specific, unknowing subjects. From the sound of his conversation with Vice’s The Creator’s Project, he knows that he’s skating a fine line, blurred images or not. He reveals, “I know it’s a bit bad, but I could not resist. I’m getting a bit worried, actually. I’ve published six photos so far, and I’m expecting an email of one of the girls demanding the photos to be taken offline.”

This certainly isn’t Depoorter’s first foray into the intersection of technology and voyeurism. The photographer’s earlier project “Trojan Offices” used public webcams to survey and study random offices displayed publicly via video screens at different art festivals.

Not one to shy away from the scrutiny he casts on others, he made himself the subject of “Here,” offering a public website that let anyone track his whereabouts at any given time using Google Maps.

Going back to the glaring distinctions he sees in people’s public LinkedIn profile photos versus those on Tinder, the artist says, “On LinkedIn, you come across all these neat business shirt photos, often against a white background, typically made in a professional photo shoot done specifically for interviews. On Tinder, you see party pics and holiday photos showing a lot more skin. Women show off their cleavage, men pick photos in which their muscles show.”

It’s not exactly a revelation or even at all surprising that people would treat the two sites in these two different fashions, so it’s equally unsurprising people keep coming back to the privacy issue. Depoorter says he’s been hit with criticisms about his subject selection (the first three were all women) but claims that he just used his own Tinder account to collect them.

To further that point, these are people who are, at least tangentially, “in” his life, and he doesn’t feel that he’s somehow different. It’s a study of himself as well.

He admits, “I’m just as cliché. I am not doing this project because I feel like I'm above these people, on the contrary. That is why I’ve decided to include myself in this series as well because I’m doing the exact same thing.”

via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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