Are you there, Twitter? It’s me, Donald.

Elena Alvarez

@elenaalvarezpr

Say what you want about President Barack Obama, But at least his twitter doesn’t mirror that of a petty 13 year-old-girl. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has a twitter profile that rivals that of the girl you knew in sixth grade. You know that one.

The very grown man uses twitter as a platform to whine incessantly on times he felt treated unfairly.

For example, Protests broke out in response to the businessman’s election to United States President. Trump took to twitter to voice his disapproval. Calling the protests which were at the time, into their second day in cities across the nation.

Friendly reminder that Trump felt very differently about election protests in 2012.

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Perhaps the most interesting of Trump’s twitter meltdowns was his disapproval of the post-performance speech given by the cast of the Broadway play, Hamilton, directed toward his Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

In maybe one of the more ludicrous of Trump’s twitter tantrums was his whining about Alec Baldwin’s parody of him on Saturday Night Live. For decades, Presidents have been parodied on the comedy show but Trump felt personally attacked enough to get on twitter and voice his condemnation.

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While it might make for an entertaining millisecond while scrolling through twitter (for those with the stomach to follow him) there’s a bit of a horrifying undertone to all of this.

The theater, the press, and protests are all outlets of our first amendment right as citizens of this nation. When our President-elect feels the need to get on social media and condemn day-after-day different displays of free-speech by American’s, that is concerning. Trump was elected president and used the same kind of social media in that process. Trump is and has been since the dawn of his campaign a provocateur and his chosen weapon is Twitter.

Sources:

Cummings, W. (2016, November 11). Trump calls protests ‘unfair’ in first controversial tweet as president-elect. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/11/10/trump-tweet-professional-protesters-media/93624612/

Chen, J. (2016, November 19). Donald Trump Calls on ‘Hamilton’ Cast to Apologize to Mike Pence, ‘A Very Good Man’ Retrieved from http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/donald-trump-calls-on-hamilton-cast-to-apologize-to-mike-pence-w451524

 

Reddit CEO In Hot Water

By William Branch
@VellyVell87

Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman is in hot water following his admittance of altering user comments, Wednesday November 23rd 2016.

Huffman (whose username is r/spez on the popular site) had been editing post such as “f*ck u r/spez” by replacing his name with the name of moderators on the popular subreddit The_Donald, the unofficial subreddit of now president-elect Donald Trump.

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Source: DonkeyHotey

Following Huffman’s admittance, user UnimatrixZeroOne issued a statement calling for the Huffman’s resignation.

Recognizing that Reddit is a “private entity” and “not subject to the first amendment”, UnimatrixZeroOne did place emphasis on Reddit’s willingness in support free speech “where it doesn’t break the law”. Something Huffman did not uphold due to his meddling with user comments.

Now I for one do not care that Huffman practically trolled his trolls. I do care that he abused his powers as a moderator and as CEO to do so. Although this may be a smaller issue under closer and thorough observation, it is necessary that this matter is taken seriously. In recent weeks there have stories and editorials on fake news sites that have shown the serious implications misinformation on the internet can present.

So seeing as safeguards are being put in place to squelch the proliferation of fake news sites and stories this recent misstep in judgement from Reddit’s CEO is just another black eye for the internet.

As a member of the Reddit community I am conflicted by this recent admission. On the one hand I do not support the views and opinions of The_Donald subreddit community; but on the other hand, if a subreddit I frequented experienced that level of tampering I would be up in arms with support of Huffman’s resignation. Still I can only blindly trust that Reddit as well as other social networking sites are respecting the community member’s right of free speech.

Reference
Silverstein, Jason. “Reddit CEO Admits To Editing Pro-Trump Posts” , http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/reddit-ceo-admits-editing-pro-trump-posts-article-1.2888933. 27 Nov. 2016. Daily News. Accessed 27 Nov. 2016.

Nolan, Lucas. “Reddit’s Pro-Trump Community Calls On CEO Steve Huffman To Resign Following Edit Scandal”, http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/11/25/reddits-pro-trump-hub-calls-ceo-steve-huffman-resign-following-edit-scandal/. 25 Nov. 2016 Breitbart. Accessed 27 Nov. 2016.

Nolan, Lucas. “Reddit CEO Admits Changing Comments To Direct Users’ Insults At Pro-Trump Moderators”, http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/11/24/reddit-ceo-admits-to-editing-comments-insulting-him-to-blast-pro-trump-moderators/. 24 Nov. 2016 Breitbart. Accessed 27 Nov. 2016.

Communications Professor vs. 1st Amendment

By: Sam Birnbach

I saw something that I never thought I would see during the protests at Missouri last week: a communications professor doing everything she could to suppress journalists in a public space. The referenced professor is Melissa Click, a (newly) former Assistant Professor of Mass Communications.

The only reason we know this happened is because of this video taken by student journalist Mark Schierbecker. The video is nearly 13 minutes long and takes place in the Carnahan Quad on the Missouri campus. Student protesters made a tent city in the middle of the quad and wanted it to be a ‘safe space,’ which to them meant no journalists. Given that the Carnahan Quad is a public area and the national attention the protests were receiving, journalists of all kinds were there.

And the Carnahan Quad is where the video takes place. The majority of it consists of Tim Tai, a photojournalism student at Missouri on assignment for ESPN, being harassed by a mob of students for nothing other than doing his job. Melissa Click is heard throughout the video, organizing the students against Tai. She even starts a chant that the students quickly echo, “Hey hey, ho ho, reporters have got to go!”

Tai stands his ground, but there’s only so much one person can do against a mob. The students eventually form a ring and ‘walk forward,’ pushing Tai outside of the safe space. Schierbecker is ignored, slips through the ring and has the following exchange with Professor Click:

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Mark Schierbecker: “I’m media, can I talk to you?”

Melissa Click (pictured): “No, you need to get out! You need to get out!”

MS: “No I don’t.”

MC: *Grabs camera* “You need to get out.”

MS: “I actually don’t.”

MC: “Alright. Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here! Help me get him out!”

Needless to say this caused a firestorm on social media. #firemelissaclick was a popular hashtag among conservatives/free speech advocates when the story broke. Melissa Click has since deleted her Twitter account, issued an apology and resigned her position at the University of Missouri. Schierbecker filed a complaint with the police, alleging simple assault.

There are two reasons for this post. The first is to point out the fact that this story would not have gotten out if it weren’t for social media. Melissa Click would still have her job and the students at Missouri would still be learning Mass Comm. from a professor that values ‘safe spaces’ more than 1st Amendment. The second is to point out the fact that everything one does in a public area can be recorded and uploaded to the Internet for the world to see. The repercussions from said recording(s) can be profound.

I Reddit!

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 This image is from webbquity.com

     That’s right I Reddit and I’m not the typical person you’d think that would be drawn to Reddit. I don’t have a neck-beard or a fedora. I’m just a young woman in college who happens to use Reddit almost constantly.

When most people think of Reddit they often think of racist,sexist, men in their parents basement. While when I think of Reddit I think of a diverse community full of people from all sorts of backgrounds.Sure there are some exceptions people you just want to slap somehow through the screen, but I’ve found on the whole the people on Reddit are clever, funny, and maybe a little crazy sometimes.

“Just like any group of people, some of them are immature, insecure bullies… But most people IRL are great, and most of Reddit—or at least, most of my Reddit—is, too”, said Tamar Hiram Arisohn in her article My Reddit Utopia.

It has been estimated that six percent of adults that regularly use the internet are using Reddit and the community is still growing. With this many people using the site each day you can expect a diverse group of people.

As for the content it is what you make of it. For every single person they are going to have completely different content experiences based on what they are interested in. People think Reddit is just full of cats, and weird gifs, but there is so much more. Of course if cats and funny gifs are you thing then you’ll find them in no short supply on Reddit.

For me I often browse r/music where I find a wealth of new and interesting music, r/askreddit where I read funny, sad, or cringe worthy stories, r/videos where I find fun, and interesting videos, r/writingprompts where I enjoy reading peoples creative works, and these are just a few of the subreddits I explore each day.

Reddit truly is what you make of it. If you find what you’re interested on Reddit then you’ll never have a dull moment that isn’t filled with interesting content.

Should Social Media Affect Employment?

photo credit: theodysseyonline.com

As social media has grown over the years so has its use in the workplace. Many businesses use Facebook and/or Twitter for advertising, marketing, and promoting. And businesses use social media as a substitute for background checks when hiring. However, this has become an issue for two reasons. The first being social media cannot determine if someone really is or isn’t fit for a job. The second reason being social media for individuals is very personal and their work persona compared to their regular selves are two totally different things.

There have been many situations that someone lost their job because of something they posted on their personal Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. Just last year a DISD teacher was fired because of Tweets she posted about her thoughts on the Ferguson riots . She said (as well as many others) it was her freedom of speech because it was her account, but parents and other teachers demanded action be taken. This happens more often than people think, which makes it even more difficult for individuals to know that their actions on the internet can affect their employment.

Very recently another woman was fired from her job because of something she posted on Facebook . A hotel employee was discharged after posting photos of her co-workers with funny comments and was fired because of  what the company called “disloyalty”(story here). This case along with many other’s creates confusion and conflict between the employees and employers.

“Bryan O’Keefe, a Washington, D.C-based attorney who represents employers in labor disputes, said about a quarter of his caseload involves social media, work rules or disputes over activity protected under labor law.” – The Chicago Tribune 

So should social media be a factor when hiring and firing? Of course sites like LinkedIn should be professional at all times, but other personal sites like Facebook maybe shouldn’t be held to as high of a standard. I personally think businesses should update their handbook to include more specific detail about their employees social media practices and if/how it can affect their employment.

#Curvy banned from Instagram

So Instagram has blocked the hashtag #curvy. I’m sorry, what?

According to several articles, an Instagram spokesperson said the reason it was blocked was because the hashtag was being used to promote nudity that violated their guidelines and it had nothing to do with the actual term “curvy”.

The hashtag #curvy was now replaced with other related hashtags.

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Sure, that may be a problem when people misuse the hashtag but other active hashtags are a lot more obscene. Recently, the social network has banned other kinds of pictures that portray women’s nature like women’s nipples, body hair and menstrual blood. This means a woman can’t even post a picture of her doing something as natural as breast feeding a child without being reported.

Even if the reason of why #curvy isn’t allowed on Instagram is because of guideline reasons, why is #thin still active? (I did not link it because it NSFW or school appropriate).

I really don’t see why this word should be blocked. As a Hispanic curvy girl, I use that word to describe myself and take pride in it. I’m really glad to see that other women are doing the same! Look up these new body positivity hashtags like #Curvee, #BringCurvyBack and #EffYourBeautyStandards to see beautiful women standing up for their body.

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https://instagram.com/explore/tags/curvee/

Like I said, I consider myself on the curvier side. There are already so many negative comments and thoughts that come along with this body type. According to “5 Facts About Body Image”, 91% of women are unhappy with their body and turn to dieting to get the ‘ideal’ body. That is definitely not okay!

This hashtag issue is being taken as body shaming by a social network that is supposed to be a place to express yourself. That can’t be done if posts and words are limited.

-Alma de Leon