The article "This week proved it..." by Virginia Heffernan uses jarring diction and intertextualization to invoke a sense of alarm and frustration within the reader, proving that the internet is an unstable instrument capable of destroying user privacy and tampering with world affairs.
The article uses intertextuality to reference other reporters who place an emphasis on Facebook's desire to keep the information breach quiet. These references create a feeling of secrecy, as if Facebook is afraid of the impact of the word "breach". This establishes an immediate mistrust of Facebook, a corporate giant, and forces the reader to consider the company as a corrupt, billion dollar institution trying to hide a scandal. The author also references major online organizations, from Cambridge to Ashley Madison. The reader must have a relatively decent understanding of online activity and the purpose of these sights to understand the full force of the accusation against the ability of the internet to truly protect privacy. Major hot-topic news events are also alluded to, suggesting the ability of the internet to corrupt within domestic affairs (such as the election) to foreign terrorism.
The language is colloquial yet jabbing--the author employs second person point of view to mimic a sort of conversation with the reader. By allying herself with the readers, the author's jabs at Facebook, Cambridge, and the general internet gain more gravity. She has invoked an us vs. them mentality, alluding to the "fog of war" and "cacophony and discord" of the internet. These words carry ominous, negative connotations, invoking feelings of uncertainty, mistrust, and even betrayal.
The author also uses social drama to grab the reader, discusses dramatic topics of public interest. She discusses Facebook's implications within the Russian Hacking dispute (which many Americans remain heated over), and also the #DeleteFacebook movement. To remain genre appropriate, Heffernan incorporates statistical evidence of Facebooks declining stock prices and the amount of personal data stolen, though she is careful to emphasize that the victims are "unconsenting Americans".
Many of the sources she references act as authoritative sources, adding a sense of credibility to her argument and her anger. For instance, establishing Geoffrey Berman's title as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York immediately gives him and his statement a weighted credibility.
The text belief is stated most clearly in the line, "If your head is spinning, that's the point". This article is meant to demonstrate that personal privacy--American personal privacy--has been infringed upon in alarming ways. The dark and hyperbolic conclusion which alludes to the very real problem of false media and the idea of a potential war clearly exercises the belief that the growing mistrust of the internet due to consistent failures are creating a volatile and unstable environment. This article demonstrates this instability and fosters mistrust in the internet.