2016 or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Twitter

If there’s anything this class has taught me, it’s that social media is an ever-changing, ever-growing magical beast that no matter how much it’s studied, it will never be fully tamed. But for those with the gumption and the resolve to tackle it and respect its power, it can be used to do so much good for an individual, and organization, and even the world.

2016 was a ridiculous year for social media, and as we enter squarely into the beginning of December, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of what I like to call “rewind season.” This is the time of year when listicles and countdowns abound, looking back on the best and worst of the past year in preparation for the new one. And boy, oh boy, did this particular revolution around the sun give them something to talk about.

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2016 was a beautiful dumpster fire. Image from Imgur.

Social media in 2016 saw conflict and change, both good and bad. The top ten most popular trending topics were diverse, ranging from the obvious (the Super Bowl, the Olympics), the fun and ridiculous (what ever did happen to Pokemon Go, y’all?), the political (Brexit, Rodrigo Duterte and the Philippines, Black Lives Matter) and the downright crazy (2016 presidential election) and the sad (Muhammad Ali, David Bowie).

In all of these events and so many more, social media played a pivotal role in changing the way our culture communicates and how we as individuals perceive the world around us. When the fake news epidemic shook up public discourse this year, I believe it marked a turning point in the way journalists, social media professionals, and marketers will approach this medium in the coming years.

Ragan’s PR Daily published an article on the top skills needed for success as a marketer. In addition to writing, data analysis, and decisiveness, it highlighted the importance of social media savvy, saying that social media is “an integral part of overall marketing strategy.”

This isn’t just funny cat videos and quirky text posts anymore; understanding social media has become a valuable marketing skill, and taking this class has shown me just how much more there is to learn.

Recounting the most controversial election of the decade

DC: Green Party Presidential Nominee Jill Stein Makes Announcement On 2016 RaceGreen Party Candidate Jill Stein. Photo from OpenSecrets.org

 

Post by: Patrick Pickett

On Friday, November 25, Wisconsin’s election board decided to go through a statewide recount of the 2016 election after Green Party candidate Jill Stein requested it along with two other states where President-Elect Donald Trump scored narrow wins.

According to a Reuters article the recount will begin next week and must be completed by December 13. The recount will cost approximately seven million dollars when factoring all legal fees. Stein says the goal of the recount is to confirm the legitimacy of the U.S. voting system, not to undo Trump’s victory. Stein noted that the hacking of voting machines, and the high margin of error were other reasons for requesting the recount.

A senior official of the Obama administration said there has been no concrete evidence that hackers affected the election results.

“We stand behind our election results which accurately reflect the will of the American people,” said the official.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has supported Stein’s recount of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, saying they want to see a “fair” process for all involved. Clinton’s campaign lawyer, Marc Elias said that initially, there were no plans to participate in a recount.

“Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves. But now…we intend to participate I order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides,” said Elias.

Donald Trump opposed the notion of a recount, calling the action “a scam.” Meanwhile, Trump’s senior advisor Kellyanne Conway called Stein and Clinton “a bunch of crybabies ad sore losers.” The President-elect continued his criticism of the recount via Twitter on Sunday morning, saying “Hillary Clinton conceded the election…nothing will change.” Trump went on to say, “”In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

trumpPresident-elect Donald Trump. Photo by Evan Vucci from the Associated Press

According to experts, Trump’s claim that millions voted illegally is unfounded.

Clinton defeated Trump in the popular vote by over 2 million ballots however Trump won the Electoral College by 306-232. The Electoral College finalizes its election decision on December 19

Being Portrayed in the Media

Queen – Alexis Abamu

@queenabamu1

The media has a funny way of taking a picture and making it literally a thousand words. Have you ever heard the phrase ” its two sides to every story”? Forget that it’s more like 123,3456 stories. The media will take a picture or cover a story and embedded it into our heads to make us think one thing until we get information from somewhere else and think another. If you are no simple minded or easily influenced then you will form your own opinion. If not the media will sure enough do a good job doing it for you.

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Picture from Pinterest @ ShirleyRuth

These two pictures show people in the same situation but as you can see there are two different stories to think about. The one on the left would make you think that he is a bad kid and steals by any mean to feed himself in a  Natural Disaster . The media has painted a great picture of the couple letting us know that sometimes it’s ok to “do what you have to do”. When I look at these pics I see both parties trying to do what they have to do to survive!

Now that we understand and have seen examples of how the media portrays this for what they are not, let’s talk about last night election! If you have been paying attention it is no secret to who majority of Trump voters look like or what Clinton voters look like. Last night I personally got a good look of what the voters look, thanks to the media. When I saw Clintons headquarters I saw a very mixed crowd, people from all races and genders. Majority of the people I saw at Trump Headquarters  where white male or older people. When they did show woman at the Trump headquarters, they made sure to get their signs stating, “women for Trump”.

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By  Chip Somodvilla

The media showed us who they wanted us to see. I know for a fact there was African Americans at the Trump headquarters, I just had to search for them. We have an  Image of what Trump supporters look like so the media chooses to maintain it.

While watching the news or looking at pictures that the news provides, remember to always maintain your own opinion.

Texas is now a swing state

By Lauren Vincent

 

purpletexas

Picture retrieved from

 

 

As if the 2016 presidential election wasn’t already crazy enough, now the traditionally conservative southern state has the possibility of rooting for the liberal party.  Texas has been known for being a Republican state. In fact, Texas has not voted for the Democratic party since 1980. With the state being second in power with 38 electoral vote next to California who has 55, it’s safe to say we have a large impact on who wins the election. To elaborate on how much Texas effects the election, think about how Minnesota, Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Utah all together equal 38 electoral votes.

Now that the polls are showing Texas to be a swing state this could change everything. If the state swings towards the democratic party this will be the first time the Millennial generation will see our state vote differently. Millennials in the south have been trying to make a difference in the rooted believes of the conservative state and now their hard work might be paying off.

In the past, events such voter ID laws that actually violated Voting Rights Act, and constant gerrymandering throughout the years has kept Texas a red state. But this year, there are new rules forcing the state to draw district lines based on population and allow every person to vote.

Now that early voting has stated in the lone star state, people are going out and exercising their right. In fact, the turn out from early voting has broken records in our state. In the past, second day of early voting has had consistent numbers with the first day; but this year second day early voting skyrocketed.

So the big question is, will Texas turn blue?  I guess we won’t exactly know until November 8th But as of now it is a big possibility.

 

LGBT in the Media

Queen-Alexis Abamu
@queenabamu1

For the people that are alive and unaware to the gay community, “LGBT” stands for Lesbian, Gay,  Bisexual, Transgender. Welcome to this blog and welcome to 2016!

 

moma-rainbow-flag
photo by: MoMA

Over the past weekend I was at the mall and a couple of girls came up to me and asked me a few general questions about the LGBT community and their rights. (the questions were asked for an assignment). One of the questions asked was, “do you think LGBT get enough social media attention”. I answered, “No”, after the conversation it made me think more about the topic. Why aren’t LGBT in the media a lot? I really believe it is because people are scared of the topic.

The more LBGT people, people see is the better one can understand exactly who they are, which is nothing less than human. LBGT being in the media more often will open the door for them and provide the understanding that people need. With this also comes negative backlash as well because a lot of people well not be as understanding and open minded. Just like anything else any other human does, it will not always be pleasing or “acceptable” to other people.

Even though we are in an era were anything can happen tomorrow, people are still scared to be open with gay people. Some good is that over the last two years we have experience one of the  greatest male athlete becoming transgender and transforming from a male to a female. A TV show by the name of “Orange is the New Black” dedicated to majority lesbian women, including some transgender. This year alone a gay male has become the new face of Cover Girl. Most importantly of all SAME SEX MARRIGAE is now legal in some states which is a big step but even some people still can not accept it.

At the end of the day LBGT are human so questions like, ” should gay people be allowed to work in the same establishment as straight?”  That puzzles me because don’t all humans need money? Once more LBGT get more involved in the media the more open people can possibly become to accept them. If I could brutally blunt I would say, “GET OVER IT! IT IS 2016, LOVE YOURSELF, LOVE OTHERS”.

pink-heart-outline-clipart-atexglat4

 

Can You Hear Me Now?

Written by Jasmine Echolsphoto-1456481649446-987a518fbea5.jpeg

Image Source

“Hello, . . . is this thing on?”

 

Everyone wants to be heard. In fact, given the current state of our nation, politics, Hollywood, etc. I’d venture to say that; everyone needs to be heard. And what better and easier way to be heard than Social Media? On Twitter I have the power to create or contribute to the latest trending topics. Now I can do the same on Facebook, but with more words. Instagram allows me to show others the world from my perspective proving that pictures can indeed speak louder than words.

 

Let’s not forget Snap Chat, where I can share pictures and videos throughout the day of what I see—be it good or bad. And although I may not have a formal stage or platform, Social Media is a present day microphone to the unknown, unseen and the unheard. To those around me I may be the quiet girl but behind the computer (or phone or tablet), I’ve been given a voice. Social Media sites have given a voice to people who usually remain unheard.

 

Social Media gives voice to anyone no matter his or her status; everyone has the opportunity to be heard. Not only can I be heard but I can also speak on behalf of others. Maybe I can stand up for a group of people who feel they have no voice. Maybe I had crappy service at a restaurant, I can warn others not to visit them. Although, someone else’s experience at the exact same restaurant might have been totally different from mine. But through the power of Social Media, I can influence the choices of others.

It may seem like my influence would be easier if I were a celebrity or politician, but Social Media has given everyone the ability to influence others with the simple click of a button. Social Media disregards status and unites people based on common concerns. So no matter who I am or where I live, I have the power to influence those around me—by what I choose to share or say online. I’m no longer just another human being but I’m someone with a voice that can be heard all around the world. The kicker is that I never have to leave my home to do it.

 

References:

Patel, Jayna. “Examining the Sociological Effects of Social Media.” USA Today. Gannett, 10 Feb. 2011. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Morton, Lauren. “The Power of Social Media.” Lauren Morton. N.p., 25 Mar. 2016. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Tic Tacs, Trump, and Twitter

Written By: Cassandra Deakin

On Friday, October 7, The Washington Post released a video from 2005, featuring Donald Trump and Billy Bush having a rather controversial conversation about women. This video and the comments Trump made in it have blown up over the last couple of days, causing havoc for the Trump campaign and unfortunately, for Tic Tac.

Now, you may be wondering, what on earth does Tic Tac have to do with Trump’s characteristically inappropriate remarks? Well, aside from using the phrase “grab them [women] by the pussy,” Trump also stated that “I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her.” According to Ad Age, Twitter users began discussing the mention of Tic Tac at length, and thus Tic Tac gained “Trump-induced notoriety.” This tweet, posted by @chrisfholm, sums up what probably happened at the Tic Tac social media HQ.

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Photo Credit: @chrisfholm

Another Twitter user, @elianayjohnson, said that she doesn’t think she’ll “ever be able to eat a Tic Tac again” and “feels bad for the Tic Tac people.”

This isn’t the first time an innocent candy has been dragged into politics by a member of the Trump family. Last month, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. compared refugees to Skittles. Both of these incidents tie into some of our class’s recent discussions about how important it is to actively monitor what’s happening on social media and how your company/product is being talked about.

Another key point that this has proven is the importance of quick but well-thought out responses to such incidents. Skittles, although not thought of as having a serious persona, responded within hours of Donald Trump Jr.’s comment. Denise Young, VP of Corporate Affairs at Skittles parent company Wrigley Americas made the statement: “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

Tic Tac also responded quickly, with a simple, blunt tweet that read: “Tic Tac respects all women. We find the recent statements and behavior completely inappropriate and unacceptable.”

In my opinion, both companies responded appropriately, particularly Tic Tac. Both responses were simple but got the point across, and neither could really be interpreted as controversial. Tic Tac’s response, which was posted on social media, illustrates how influential social media platforms such as Twitter can be. It will be interesting to see how social media will continue to influence this year’s election.

Edited on October 10, 2016 to add author name.