Monday afternoon, BlogDailyHerald had plans to put up a post about Brian Moynihan ’81’s, CEO of Bank of America, coming to speak at Brown. Just before we published the post, a variety of writers received an influx of emails from various TA’s, friends, and strangers on the street that the speech, which had been publicized by flyers around the campus, was in fact a hoax.
While this may seem slightly alarming, there is a precedent for this kind of widespread duping of Brown University by Brown University. In October 2010, a letter was posted in Keeney announcing the impending installation of surveillance cameras throughout the quad. Also a hoax, this experiment had been part of an MCM class, MCM1700: “Techniques of Surveillance” (taught by Mark Tribe), in order to see how people reacted to knowing they were being watched.
This semester, Tribe is teaching MCM1700P: “Radical Media.” The course investigates the way in which media can facilitate social action and become part of political discourse (lolz, MCM). One of the projects for the class is described on the course wiki page as requiring students take on a “socially engaged project,” record its results on video and post it online. Is anyone else getting déjà vu?