When fake news stirs real political turmoil

Matt Payne


Beyond Facebook’s fake news epidemic, the social media giant has turned its attention to government-led malpractices.

In a statement reported by The Verge, this includes the production of fake accounts by investigation agencies meant to glean more info on potential spies and hackers.

“Our mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Yet it is important that we acknowledge and take steps to guard against the risks that can arise in online communities like ours,” writes authors Jen Weedon and William Nuland, members of Facebook’s Threat Intelligence Team.

Curiously enough, Facebook has recently been pressured by the French government to shut down more than 30,000 of fake accounts purportedly forged by the Russian government to push right-wing propaganda trying to influence its recent election.

The company even went as far as purchasing front-page ads in Le Monde, Les Échos, Libération, Le Parisien and 20 Minutes explaining how to better spot and flag such accounts in order to better protect its integrity and maintain a standard of transparency.

These instances highlight the real-world issues the fake news epidemic can have, and how it can spark tensions between states such as the French and Russian governments.

These instances also potentially expose Facebook’s growing annoyance. In an editorial TechCrunch ran on the ads, they posed that the social media channel was more focused on proclaiming its own proaction toward the problem rather than thoroughly advising how to spot fake news, and journalists who see these ads running in their papers would likely spot that.

Featured Image: Courtesy, Chicago Tribune

Influencer or Journalist?

By: Donald Smith

As technology has expanded the range of professions such as marketing, advertising and public relations so has their definitions been blurred. Not many can really tell the difference between each profession anymore because they all do similar functions with the expanded technology. This is mostly seen when it comes to the use of social media.

[Social Media Tree] By Cision
However, the professions we’re looking at today are digital influencers and journalists. If you are part of one of these professions, you may be scratching your head in wonderment of how these two could be blurred. Well, you are not the only ones. Stephen Waddington, Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum, wrote in an opinion piece for The Drum how social media influencers would not be able to replace journalists. He says this because influencers release content that is more involved with brands, such as beauty products, rather than breaking news stories similar to government ordinances and Spotlight.

Although Waddington was right in that scenario, influencers have been becoming more prevalent than reporters in other “beats” of reporting. The increase in prevalence has been most noticeable in the reporting for beauty products. It was also noticed by Rachel Strugatz, Market Editor at WWD, in this article for the Los Angeles Times. She writes about her observation on the power of a certain influencer, Arielle Charnas of Something Navy. Charnas did a review on her Snapchat about a gel mask, which was responsible for many sales. Charnas’ ability to be a figure with enough clout to move sales put her close to, if not on, the same level of beauty magazine editors and writers. After further investigation, Strugatz found that these “digital influencers” were overtaking those who had been in power for decades as consumers trust influencers more than magazines.

So the question now is, can influencers start becoming journalists, or by chance, remove journalists from the equation? This particular battle is going to be over who can truly “control” social media. The reason for control over social media is because that is where both parties are most active on nowadays. They are most active on social media for different reasons. Influencers became a force through social media, while journalist had to adapt to social media to stay true to their principle of timeliness. A journalist also uses social media for information gathering and interacting with the audience as told by Cision in their blog post. I did not include traditional media because it is not as powerful as social media is today for a large number of people as can be seen in Rooster PR’s blog post. Here are statistics from Cision on how social media has impacted the profession of journalism.

Even with everything, both influencers and journalists need to exist because they serve different functions. We may see some industries switch between the two as it is happening with beauty products. Perhaps there could possibly be a merger between the two as Mark Schaefer said in his blog, “A brand journalist.”

Why is this worth fuzzing over?

By TingHsuan(Rose) Kuo

Ever since we started talking about the Kendall Jenner Pepsi advertisement in class on Wednesday, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I looked up and read through everything single article, tweets related to this topic. I came to a conclusion that I DON’T GET IT.


Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan

When Pepsi release the newest advertising campaign with Kendall Jenner, the media went crazy. The commercial raised many controversial and sensitive topic around the nation. People started bashing on the advertisement on social media especially twitter, and calling out Kendall Jenner for agreeing to this commercial. Some say the commercial is unoriginal, saying it was trying copy off Coca- Cola in 1971. Celebrity and social activist were in shock of the planning of the commercial, and argue why was it even approved in the first place.

I, on the other hand, see the ad just being any other ad “trying to get you buy the drink,” “making you think Pepsi is cool.” I read the articles over and over again, in attempt to understand why people get so offended and upset about this ad. To me, it’s just like one text message being “read-into” way more than it intended to. The advertisement was released globally but it seems like no one else in the world care too much about it, when issues like racism, immigrants, protestors are all existing problems now and in the past to every other country.


Photo Credit: Toofab

Social media is a way that we learn to use to connect with one and another, also allow us to feel free to speak our own opinion and response/ react to situations as soon as possible. From the recent social movements, as a society we all learned to speak out our voice through tools like social media. In the sense that we are all watching into everyone’s life. When we see injustice on social media, we speak up and trashed that person’s account even though we weren’t even there when the event happed or we don’t even know the person at all. No matter what the Pepsi ad intent is, it did bring all of us to talk about it and react to it almost immediately.



  1. (2017, April 05). Pepsi Pulls Widely Mocked Ad Featuring Kendall Jenner. Retrieved April 10, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/04/05/us/ap-us-pepsi-ad.html
  2. Chess, L. (2017, April 05). Why that Pepsi ad isn’t as bad as you think it is. Retrieved April 10, 2017, from https://mumbrella.com.au/pepsi-ad-isnt-bad-think-437267


Soci”Ad” Media

By: Donald Smith

Is social media really “free” advertising like so many have thought? Well, it used to be, but now it is only a strategy in an advertising plan. It is now all about who will pay the most such as advertisement used to be when negotiating who will shell out the most money for the prime time spot. Mike Proulx said it best in his AdAge article, “Let’s call it what it is: Social media marketing is now advertising. It’s largely a media planning and buying exercise.”

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“Social Media Ad” By Purrsonality Designs


Now, I know many people will still claim social media is a form of two-way communication and is mostly unpaid for, which both of those points are true. However, social media is on its way to becoming a one-way form of communication and mostly paid. If it seems skeptical, take a look at the numerous statistics on social media advertising collected by Hootsuite. A couple of statistics that stood out were social media ad spending is predicted to exceed $35 billion and increase 26.3 percent globally in 2017.  Since we are in this era of social advertising it would be a great time to find out how best to target these ads.

First, let’s look at where our audiences reside. I’m going to be giving snippets, but if you would like all of the data here is the research conducted by Pew Research Center. So, as usual, Facebook is still the powerhouse with having over 70 percent for all age groups, besides 65+, but they are on a steady increase and sit at 62 percent right now. Meaning social media ads on Facebook are going to hit the largest audience possible, but bigger is not always better. Moving on, Instagram has a way smaller audience size than Facebook, but so do all other social media platforms. The largest audience on Instagram is 18 to 29-year-olds with 59 percent of the 32 percent of users (Pew Research Center, 2016). So, millennials are going to be the best audience to target with advertisements on Instagram. Next, we have Twitter with 24 percent of online adult users. When targeting an audience on Twitter you will want to target 18 – 49-year-olds or those who make a salary of $50,000+. This combined audience makes a little of 50 percent of Twitter’s audience (Pew Research Center, 2016). Then there is Pinterest with 31 percent of online adult users. On Pinterest, women (47 percent) are by far the largest target audience, even tripling the size of the male audience (17 percent) (Pew Center Research, 2016). Lastly, we have LinkedIn with 29 percent of online adult users. LinkedIn is a strange platform because the audience size within the demographics are all similar in size. Therefore, it is up to you to decide on who you want to target. Another good resource to see who and how people use social media is an infographic published on PR Week.

Finally, some ways to help you make the most out of your social media ads. A great way to start it off would be to use the Facebook Open Graph to make sure your content is optimally packaged so you get the most bang for your buck. Another application that could help would be Google AdWords. This application helps make your content easily found on Google, and with it being the number one search engine that is not bad. Also, keep in mind to help people as much as possible as you develop your content. Last, but not least, make sure to put your content on the social media platform that your target audience resides.

Kpop Social Media As Effective Advertising

KPop Social Media as Effective Advertising

kpop social media                                                                                                             Kpop stands for Korean Pop, a genre of music regional to South Korea, but that for the past decade or so, has been taking over the international scene. With fans all over Asia, Europe, North America, and Latin America, world tours encompassing countries from every continent have been occurring with increasing frequency. While in the past, going global took a lot more money, man-power and planning, social media has grown to be the main driving force behind the global popularity of Korean groups. This has allowed monetization on a different and larger scale to occur and the ever-growing global success of this genre of music.

  This article by the Harvard Business Review details the three main things that have made the international success of Kpop no accident, Social Media being the most important. YG, one of the big three Kpop companies of South Korea, is famous for spending very little money on traditional advertising. They have always been able to create significant buzz for their artists, new and established, through their social media accounts.

Kpop’s reach has spread so far that online magazines and sites have sprung up devoted completely to the topic. Twitter, as the image above proves, has been the single most important social mechanism for most of the Kpop entertainment world.

Most artists, companies and Kpop fans have twitter accounts and a lot of the news for new music releases, possible tours, merchandise, and even complaints are generated and addressed through twitter. For international fans that do not speak, read or write Korean, whole accounts are dedicated to the translation of anything related to their favorite artists or groups.

The Kpop entertainment world has been able to harness the power of social media in ways that even the western entertainment world has not. It could be said they are the future of artist promotion and management.



Yoon, Lina. “Korean Pop, With Online Help, Goes Global.” Time Magazine. 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 1 April 2017. http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2013227,00.html

Oh, Won-Yong. “Kpop’s Global Success Didn’t Happen By Accident.” Harvard Business Review. 10 Nov. 2016. Web. 1 April 2017. https://hbr.org/2016/11/k-pops-global-success-didnt-happen-by-accident

Internet privacy is now an oxymoron

There are several concerns beyond just the economical facet of the bill the Senate and House passed last week repealing a Federal Communications Commission privacy rule adopted in October requiring ISPs to get customers’ permission to use and share personal information about their web browsing history, children, health, finances, location and Social Security numbers.

One major concern revolves around a modern-day interpretation of the limits of the First Amendment.

Doesn’t this constitute unlawful search of any American citizen’s business? Hordes of information can be gleaned using data collected from one’s technological antics. And even though internet providers assure users they have no plans to take advantage of their data, that doesn’t necessarily mean they never will, nor does the ability to access your browsing history by ISPs go away.

Dangers in illegal usage of data abound with this new bill passed. Hackers now have easier access in dismantling virtually anybody’s privacy through this initiative, paving the way for more identity theft and fraud incidents.

We may see a new surge in internet users taking advantage of security measures like VPN tunnels to fortify themselves, as well as providers guaranteeing customers security through various forms. But the potential for harm still lurks, and only time will tell the ramifications of repealing FCC privacy rules.

Featured image: An iPhone 6S with a Midnight Blue leather case, iMore

The Importance of Micro Influencers


Image Source)

The Importance of Micro Influencers


By: Michaela Bull


There has been an increasing popularity in the idea of a micro influencer among brands. The concept is different from using your expected celebrities or Instagram famous models with hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of followers. Using micro influencers is about promoting your brand through people with a moderately low to medium follow rate that are appropriate to your brands niche market. These people are more likely to have a higher impact on their followers and engage in today’s fast paced word of mouth marketing. The reason these people are significantly more important to pay attention to now is that due to their lower follow rates, studies have shown that their engagement is much higher than those with thousands of more followers. I think this is closely connected to the theory that these people are more approachable, relatable, and therefore trustworthy over those with a higher follow count. After a point it becomes hard for the consumer to trust someone with over a million followers. Consumers are well aware that these people are getting paid to support brands and are questioning the sincerity of their reviews. Micro influencers allow the consumer to create a stronger bond of trust as they may seam to be more relatable.

Companies such as La Croix have begun utilizing micro influencers in spreading brand recognition and overall conversation of the brand. Their approach to digital marketing has proven successful as they offer opportunities for their consumers online to engage in fun and interactive ways. The brand encourages its consumer to post their experiences and usage of the product with hashtags #LaCroizLove and #LiveLaCroix to create a community online and engage in a participatory campaign. La Croix will sometimes reach out to people who used the hashtag and give them a voucher of some kind for their product as a gesture of true appreciation. The brand to consumer relationship is closer as they allow the consumer to be the influencer. Using micro influencers for La Croix is appropriate for their brand image and continues to encourage a close knit and trustworthy bond.




CHEN, Y. (2016, December 22). The rise of ‘micro-influencers’ on Instagram. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://digiday.com/marketing/micro-influencers/

DUA, T. (2016, May 18). The LaCroix guide to tapping ‘micro-influencers’ Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://digiday.com/marketing/the-lacroix-guide-micro-influencers/

Matthews, M. (2017, January 04). 5 Social Media Trends You Need to Know for 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://www.inc.com/melissa-matthews/ss/social-media-trends-2017.html