Social Media for Visa Applications


By: Brooke Girton

Now that authorities have made it common place to use social media accounts for the “greater good,” they are using them as a screening process for anything and everything they can think of. United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, recently issued memos on mandatory social media screening for visa applicants that have visited any regions that were flagged as ISIS-controlled. These memos provided detailed instructions for how customs agents were to further vet the applicants by requesting access to their social media accounts. Some of the orders were later retracted, however.

Although this type of screening could be considered very violating to many people, one immigration attorney claims that these tactics are rarely used, due to their labor intensive nature, and only on specially targeted individuals. But, does that make it any less violating to the unfortunate individual who happens to be chosen based on what some official deems is “suspicious”? If these screening processes become necessary for visa applicants, there should be checks and balances put into place so applicants cannot be turned down due to any personal lifestyle choices that may be apparent on their social media accounts.

Under the Obama administration, similar processes were proposed but they were optional to applicants. Social media and its privacy has continued to be an issue that the law has not caught up to. Officials continue to exploit this fact by using it for investigative purposes and setting precedents. In order to counteract these precedents, citizens need to stand up and say no. In this case, those who are being exploited are not citizens and therefore, have no voice.

Safety and security is a very important topic to focus on, especially with everything going on in the world today. The issue that many are grappling with though is: how far is too far? At what point are we punishing innocent refugees and immigrants because of what terrorists do? When we start looking over our shoulder at every turn, we have let them win.


Dent, S. (2017, March 23). US Ordered Social Media Checks For Some Visa Applicants. Retrieved from

Toor, A. (2017, March 23). US Ordered ‘Mandatory Social Media Check’ For Visa Applicants Who Visited ISIS Territory. Retrieved from



How Social Media Helped ISIS Grow

(Photo credit to ABC NEWS)

Social media has pros and cons. It helps connect people, it spreads news, and it can give us some amazing ideas. However, sometimes it can be used for the wrong reasons such as terrorism or for criminal intent. This brings us to our topic of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Within the past years, ISIS has launched a global terrorist network that can attack at anywhere at any time. They are especially crafted in the arts of media communication and as a result have motivated over 30,000 to convert to their radical ways (Koerner, Brendan). That is a concern for many citizens. ISIS uses that fear and then promotes it through their social media channels.

This does not go unchallenged. Twitter has suspended more than 360,000 suspected terrorist accounts since mid-2015 (Moeller Hans). In fact, Google, Facebook, Youtube, Microsoft and Twitter joined forces partnered together to stop the use of social media for terrorist means. However, closing down accounts has a drawback. For starters, it is too slow. The EC estimated in a December 2016 report that 43% of flagged material on social media platforms are reviewed with 48 hours. That gives ISIS plenty of time to spread whatever media they choose to promote before their account goes down. Not to mention, when an account gets shut down, it takes an ISIS member a minute to make a new account and invite followers to join the cause again. It can be daunting on intelligence agencies.

This is not to say ISIS is winning. In fact, they are shrinking in numbers because they continue to lose resources due to airstrikes. However, whenever a terrorist attack does occur, ISIS is quick to celebrate and claim the attack for the ISIS cause. This promotes their mission and they keep people hooked. They are adept at social media and that is something everyone should take notice of.


Sources Cited:

Koerner, Brendan (April 2016) “Why ISIS Is Winning the Social Media War” Wired. Retrieved Mar. 23, 2017. Website:

Moeller, Hans (Feb. 9, 2017) “Fighting ISIS on social media won’t stop them from using it” Global Risk Insights. Retrieved Mar. 23, 2017. Website:







By: Shanie Glasgow

Is there such thing as “privacy” on social media?

You can have whatever opinion you want, but the answer is NO.

Many people do not realize the amount of information they are putting onto their social media platforms and where it’s being shared.


Once you post something on the Internet, it is there forever! Even I you have deleted it, now-a-days with screen shots and quoting, there is always a way to look back at what was there! This is something that we should all be aware of! Especially since our generation finds it fascinating to post everything that we are doing on the social media!


For example: Many times when you download an app onto your phone, it will ask you if you want to “create a new account” or “sign in with Facebook.” So many of us are guilty of just clicking the login in with Facebook button because it’s quicker and easier access. However, whenever you do this, you are sharing all the the information you have posted on Facebook with that app. It collects your data and then that information can be shared further through third parties, etc.  All of this information is in the “Terms and conditions” which we are all guilty of not reading and just clicking the little check box and moving on!

According to a new survey from the University of California,  millennials (ages 18-34), were more likely to share there location in order to receive coupons from nearby businesses. Doing this, you are giving up your location to strangers! Most of the time this is online on websites and social media sites. If something were to be hacked, you are at risk of having your information and identity stolen. One easy way to avoid being a victim, is by not clicking on and downloading things unless you’re sure of the actual source.

So next time you sign up for something or download an app, think about who all is capable of receiving your information!


Pickett, Leah. “In the Age of Social Networking, There’s No Such Thing as Privacy.” WBEZ. N.p., 6 May 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Malcolm, Hadley. “Millennials Don’t Worry about Online Privacy.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 21 Apr. 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Cohen, Sam. “Privacy Risk with Social Media.” The Huffington Post., 16 Nov. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Social Media is Slowly Becoming a Hub for Blackmail

Josh Lawson | @JoshKLawson


The internet is no stranger to trolls, blackmail, and overall awful people. Those three types of people have been combined into one when performing a single act of hate known as revenge porn. This isn’t a new action, but it’s gaining attention now that there are places people feel comfortable posting sexually explicit images or videos of a previous partner without the other person’s consent.


Revenge porn isn’t a local problem. It is a problem on a global level. There is no specific region where it originated, where it’s going, or where is hasn’t been yet. Nowhere is safe from the sadistic individuals who post revealing content of previous partners just because they were upset about the way things ended.

This isn’t a new practice, as many men have shared intimate photos with their friends while their partner wasn’t around. But, this goes far beyond that. This allows the entire world to see these private photos, and ruins the reputation of the subject of the photo. Revenge porn even bleeds into several different branches of the military, where over 30,000 members of a private Facebook group posted the photos they acquired during their time.


Perpetrators don’t always have to post nonconsensual photos. The newest form of revenge porn is along the lines of individuals posting the contact information of girls they consider “easy”, or that they’ve labeled as sluts. Some of them do it for revenge, others for the thrill, and some because they have a problem. There is one solid fact between each account though, it deeply affects everyone in the photograph and can haunt them for years to come.


As many people as this affects, and has affected dramatically throughout the years, several countries refuse to see it as an issue that warrants laws to persecute it. Many individuals believe government entities around the world are dragging their feet when dealing with this sensitive issue instead creating bills and laws that prevent the publishing of revenge porn and punish those who are found guilty, then arm law enforcement with the tools necessary to respond to the abuse


Social Media’s Impact On The Fashion Industry

By Jenny Duong


Fashion brands do not need to pay millions to have commercial air on television. Instead a video campaign can be filmed and shared online. YouTube as the largest video search engine provides a platform for clothing brands to upload videos and links to those videos. Speaking of YouTube, many online boutiques and start up fashion brands that need a help getting their name out by having “YouTubers” feature their products in videos. They would send samples to people with millions of viewers to share in vlogs, hauls, reviews, and tutorials.

The same can be done on Instagram with photos. Instagram is probably the most prominent fashion advertising platform right now. Brands such as Michael Kors and Fossil paid to have sponsored posts show up on newsfeeds. Not only are fashion names getting noticed but they are also selling products and receiving feedback. A good example of this is Aerie, they like to post photos of their merchandise asking the audience to vote on their favorite color or style. Receiving this kind of feedback is very valuable because they will know what will sell and what to manufacture more of or what changes to make in their designs. Having social media accounts and utilizing them correctly will help clothing brands gain sales online and even in brick and mortar stores. Posting and emailing will notify customers what is new, what deals are available, and overall a reminder that their brand exist.

Adele Has a Secret Twitter Account

March 21, 2017 Jennifer Atanasoff

Image result for adele's funny

Photo Source

Yes, Adele fans, you read this correctly. But, if you’re really an Adele fan you (probably) already knew this.

Famous singer of Hello, Rolling in the Deep, and Someone Like You, has revealed that she has a secret Twitter account that her management doesn’t even know about. She enjoys drunk tweeting and privately lurking other accounts without her management team knowing.

If you are not caught up to speed with this, let me rewind a little bit.

Adele’s management team handles her Twitter account because she used to drunk tweet. This became public knowledge in 2015 when Adele said, “I’m not allowed to access my own Twitter, because I’m quite mouthy and I say the wrong thing a lot of the time. So they took that privilege away from me.”

Honestly, fans can tell that Adele doesn’t have access to her own account because she’s not her funny, sarcastic image on Twitter. It’s more of a business account rather than personal.

At a recent concert in Brisbane, Australia, Adele told the crowd, “I was looking on Twitter last night… They don’t know I have a secret account. Well, obviously they do know, because I said that. By they, I mean my management.”

Image result for adele australia

Photo Source

Many news outlets, blogs, and Twitter users are talking about Adele’s secret Twitter account. Everyone and their mother is trying to find her account to read her iconic, hilarious sense of humor.

Even Perez Hilton, a famous American blogger, columnist and television personality, who is best known for covering gossip columns about celebrities via his blog,, is eager to find Adele’s hidden account.

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Many other, regular people like me, are curious as to what Adele’s secret Twitter handle could be so we can see what hilarious things she’s saying on it.

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Are You A Distracted Driver?

By; Anna Maggio


Have you ever driven somewhere you routinely go to and then have to think about how you got there?  I would say 50% of the time I am late, which means I get half ready at home and finish the rest in my car on my 20-minute drive to work. In this short amount of time I have to get my life together; I can manage to chug a redbull, put on a full face of make up and catch up on my morning snaps and drive all at the same time. I know what your thinking…”wow you should probably keep that to yourself considering how unsafe it is” but its fine because that’s the point I’m trying to make with this blog. We are all aware that being on our phone and driving is not safe but why doesn’t it stop us from doing it? Snapchat has a filter that says don’t snap an drive and Waze won’t let you navigate a location if your moving unless you say (lie) that you’re the “passenger” but in reality it’s only there for legal purposes.

Research conducted by Transport Research Laboratory said that “Using social media while driving can be 3 times more dangerous than drinking and driving. the reaction time of a driver is slowed by 38% while using their smartphone, as opposed to the 12% of someone who has been drinking.” First our concern was just phone calls, then it became texting and driving and now its adapted to Spotify, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Pokemon Go?

Picture1This is a picture of a driver that crashed into a power pole in Napa. Here’s a video of a man crashing into a cop car playing Pokémon Go in Baltimore. In another survey, focusing on 2,400 drivers of all ages, 74% said they would use Facebook while driving, and 37% said they would use Twitter while behind the wheel, with YouTube (35%) and Instagram (33%) close behind. So what should we do to try to improve this problem that keeps getting worse?

One act to a solution was created by Jennifer Smith after she lost her mother in a crash a few years back from a teen who was on the phone. Smith is the founder of which is a project of Distraction Advocate Network that provides services to victims, resources, and educational information. I believe this subject should be something brought to light more often considering the impact social media has on society today.