Communist Crackdown

By Christina Fares

     According to Huffington Post, Vietnam is banning bloggers and social media users from sharing any news stories online.  The Communist country has been in a constant battle for control over online sources since the booming popularity of Facebook and Twitter.  By decree, the social media websites should only be used “to provide and exchange personal information.” Information regarding information on current events should not be exploited over the internet or over social media websites. All social media users will be unable to post any quoted information from any news sources.

     All media, news, and information in Vietnam is run by the state and all outside news stories are quickly combed through before reaching the country’s public.  All private media is banned for fear of online freedoms to the people.  The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications believes the new decree will help social media users find “correct and clean information” online.  The tight laws on media and what they are allowed to write about, have driven many citizens to only trust news and information they find through social media sites. 

     Most social media users in Vietnam rely on the blogs and online news sources for information in order to avoid skewed information produced by the Communist government.  The new decree takes affect in September and has already received outrage from several social media users.  Nguyen Quang Vinh, a well-known blogger responded that the decree “clearly aims to muzzle the people.” 

     A popular Vietnamese Facebook user posted that the authorities want “to turn us all into robots.”

    Since the beginning of this year, over forty-six arrests have been made for anti-state activity.  Three of those arrests were made in June.  Word has not been said on how Vietnamese officials will monitor and penalize citizens who disregard the new decree.  Until then, activists continue to fight for their right to free online speech.

Endorsing Someone On Linkedin

BY: Sarah Rhima

How effective is endorsing someone you don’t know very well on Linkedin? Linkedin added this feature in late September. The way the feature works is similar to how you like someone’s posts on Facebook. You endorse someone by simply clicking on skills and expertise that you believe they poses. It initially seemed like a great success but, eventually it turned into people endorsing someone in order to get an endorsement in return. So now when employers view your Linkedin, they take into consideration the validity of your endorsed skills and expertise.

Endorsements can make a comeback if it is used correctly. A great article from the Huffington Post discusses this topic and how it can be useful if people endorsed honestly. When I began using Linkedin in my Social Media class I had never heard of endorsements or understood them or their purpose. As I looked into it and began endorsing others I knew, I started getting endorsements in return. I quickly came to the conclusion that people were endorsing me to in order to receive the favor back. I started getting endorsements from connections I had not seen in years and realized that there was no true value in such endorsements until the process itself is tweaked to be more legit. Until that happens I am taking the stance to not endorse unless I know them personally and truly believe they have that skill or expertise. Hopefully, everyone else comes to that stance sooner than later.

Kidd Kraddick: Social Media Therapy

By: Christina Fares

     North Texas lost one of the greatest radio legends of all time on July 27, 2013.  Morning show host, Kidd Kraddick passed away from an unexpected brain aneurysm.  The news of his passing spread like wildfire.  was one of Kraddick’s closest friends and was one of the first few people to hear the sad news.  He immediately posted “RIP Kidd Kraddick. You were an amazing man and a friend. You are already missed.”” on his Twitter account.  Before a statement was even announced from news sources or the Kiss-FM radio station, an out pour of emotion from celebrities and fans was expressed through social media outlets. 

     Twitter and Facebook were the most popular sites to find peoples’ condolences, comments, and pictures.  The #RipKiddKraddick was used on Twitter to connect everybody with the news and story personal story sharing. A Rip Kidd Kraddick page was created on Facebook in order to continue his legacy and story to the world.  According to USA Today, the official statement posted on the Kidd Kraddick Facebook page had more than 60,000 “likes” and over 15,000 comments by Sunday.  Celebrities Ryan Seacrest, Harry Styles, Jason Derulo, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, among many others, tweeted about the tragic news.  Several of their tweets were “favorited” over 45,000 times and several of their tweets were “retweeted”.
     The staff of Kiss FM have launched the radio show into a tribute: Remembering Kidd Kraddick. The show celebrates his life on the radio by playing the best bits from his morning show.  The radio hosts have become therapists, allowing fans to call and share memories and support for one another.  I created my Storify assignment that covered the support from his fans all over.  It also highlights the out pour of emotion from celebrities and fans.  My silly assignment for school quickly became a part of the peoples’ therapy that I quoted.  One lady responded to my Storify saying, “Thanks for that! Would love for people to honor him that way..”
  While North Texas mourns the passing of Kidd Kraddick, it’s great to see how social media is playing a major role in helping people stay connected and cope with the devastating news.  
 

Are social media users less ethical? Jeffrey Connell

Jeffrey Connell

A newly released study by the oldest and most prestigious ethics research entity in the United States, The Ethics Resource Center has reached some interesting conclusions.

Amongst them is that frequent social media users may be less ethical, and that they certainly see more “ethical gray” than traditional American workers.

The difference in attitudes about ethics in the workplace between active social media networkers, and other U.S. workers is appreciable if not alarming.

The Ethics Resource Center’s (ERC) study is the first to make a possible correlation between ethics and social media.  One of the most fascinating conclusions made by the ERC is that “active social networkers show a higher tolerance for activities that could be considered unethical.”

Jay Shepard, an author of “Firing at will-a managers job”, says not so fast with the connection of unethical behavior and active social media networking. “The idea that social networkers are more apt to be unethical is absurd,” said Shepard. “In my experience social networkers are more likely to be advanced in terms of relationships and thoughtfulness-not less.”

For purposes of disclosure it should be noted that “active social networkers” as defined in the study were workers that spent 30 percent or more of their work time pursuing social networking, to which Shepard responded, “Seriously, that’s a ridiculously long time, those employees aren’t even working, who cares what they think?”



Ethics Research Center

Wherever you stand on the question of the connection of ethics and social media, there can be no doubt that workers should be held accountable when necessary concerning the expectations of social media usage in the office.

Soldiers staying in touch via social media-Jeffrey Connell

Soldiers that are 7,000 miles away from home are having less homesickness due to the advent and

proliferation of social media in American society. The use of Twitter, Instagram, messenger services,

email et al., are being used on a regular basis by American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and

 Airmen stationed in the Afghanistan war zone, diplomatic stations, embassies, and even in some

cases the middle of  the Pacific Ocean. 

Steve Turnboo witnessed his little boy take his first steps on Facebook. This is now a common

occurrence for American military personnel due to the mass of social media outlets around the

world.  If a satellite signal can reach it, then communication can be sent from that area. Steve

Turnboo didn’t feel like he was half way around the world like servicemen of old, that had to write

a letter, and then wait for six weeks for a reply.  Turnboo and his wife, Dawn Turnboo actually

Skyped, Facebooked, and texted almost everyday.  Turnboo’s unit had a dedicated satellite that all the

soldiers were attached too, and they all seemed to have pretty good connections regardless of

where they were in Afghanistan.  Turnboo even tracked his wife’s progress losing 58 pounds, and

helped her plot the weight loss on Facebook. 

There was a time that the Pentagon thought of disallowing the use of social media in war zones but

decided against that course because the use of social media was so good for the morale of the troops. 

The use of social media might be curtailed if the Taliban were a little more sophisticated, but

intercepts, and intelligence gathering are not their strengths.  

Can Virtual Relationships Lead to Real Relationships

BY: Sarah Rhima

The topic of virtual relationships is becoming increasingly popular. As more and more people are meeting their significant others online first, the subject is becoming highly conterversial. Can real realtionships be derived from virtual ones? An interesting article by Social Media Today discusses that topic in detail and even goes further to clarify the strengths and weaknesses of the worth of online realationships. 

The Huffington Post wrote an article on a study about how online dating leads to higher satisfaction and lower divorce rates. According to the study funded by eharmony and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Acedemy of Sciences:New research suggests that one in three Americans now meet their spouses online, and that those marriages are more satisfying and less likely to end in divorce than those that begin in traditional, offline venues.”
So, according to this study very successful relationships can be derived online first. This new era of online dating may very well be a smart move in social media. 











Social Media Interns Need to be Paid

By: Jenna Doran

With social media dominating the airwaves of communication globally, there are those who can keep up and those who cannot. It is very common for my generation (20 somethings) to be fairly skilled with new technologies. Social media jobs have become a new job market and more and more college students are looking towards that career path.

One of the more recent stories about social media failure involves an intern from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Back in early June, tragedy struck when an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul crash landed in San Francisco. NTSB released the names of the pilots involved including, “Ho Lee Fuk.” Turns out, an intern played a joke and it led to a lawsuit against the NTSB. While the lawsuit was dropped, the Oakland, California station has lost a lot of viewers and respect. 

Social media interns need to be paid for their services. Incidents like the one involving the NTSB may have been avoided with something as simple as paying their social media interns. These interns might not have a big job title, but they have power over the Internet. These interns have full control over the web presence and in many cases, deal with big news and radio stations. These positions involve a lot of responsibility and a mature attitude. Social media is 24/7 job and those involved hold a lot of responsibility while becoming the face of their company to existing and potential clients. 

Myself, as well as several of my peers from the University of North Texas, will be graduating in the near future. Soon I will be looking for an internship to get some real world experience in the field of Journalism or Marketing. I have had several unpaid internships in social media in the past, and I have learned to not accept anymore unpaid positions. I gained a lot of learning experience and taught myself a lot about social media communication, but I worked a lot harder than what I was, or in this case wasn’t, being paid.