North Korea blocks Social Media Platforms



By Sonya Patcharapinyopong

Are you as addicted Twitter, Facebook and YouTube like I am?

If you live in North Korea, you would not be able to even access those websites because Internet has been blocked. There is no Internet access in North Korea unless you are in the “elite” group.

Although they only have on cybercafe in North Korea, which is located in Pyongyang, the systems is not even run by windows but a technology system called “Red Star” that was created by the late Kim Jong-il himself.

We all know that North Korea is a propaganda country and that limiting the Internet because it could potentially cause “harm” to the North Koreans is just something the government wants to control because it was also announced that North Korea now has 3G network data connection but still no Internet.

This will lead to the difficulty of foreign visitors in North Korea to post and update real-time information about North Korea to the outside community due to the new restrictions.

As such, the downfall of this new restrictions could also lead to the limitations of information generated within North Korea to know about what the outside world is posting or talking about them.

Foreigners who entered North Korea was allowed to use local sim cards that has 3G Internet access which allowed them to stream real-time live videos to the outside world. However, the government feared that the locals would then try to find ways into the Internet and gather information about them.

Although the government had made announcement that blocking YouTube, Facebook and Twitter is only “for a limited period of time”, other sites such as Voice of America, South Korean media sites, gambling and adult websites have been blocked off as well.

The government also added that there will be punishments according to North Korean law if anyone tries to hack into such sites. However, the law of punishment was not mentioned.



Changes on Social Media

chi-buffer-social-media-marketing-changes-bsi-hubPhoto credit: Chicago Tribune

By: Janet Tagle

We have all seen how changes to some of our favorite social media sites have made users go crazy with worry. Changes seem to not be something social media are very fond of, yet changes especially involving algorithms keep showing up. Whether it be Twitter, Facebook, or now Instagram algorithms seem to be a common change. Algorithms are a machine learning system designed to learn what users find interesting. Therefore using this information to provide user with more relevant content.
So why is it so scary to accept changes that are meant to help users find content that will interest them? Well a simple answer can be that we don’t like changes. But the reality is that algorithms are not going anywhere. Algorithms seem to know user very well, making this the reason why many social media site will continue to use this. This learning system is design in a way that it can learn what content that specific user will enjoy. So even though changes can be scary and most people do not enjoy changes, algorithms are not the worst thing in the world.
The upcoming changes on Instagram seem to have many of its users worried, and even though Instagram has said that there changes will not be happening over night, they are coming. Instagram will also implement an algorithm systems, but it will also require users to turn on their notifications in order to be notified of updates. This can be a little hurtful for businesses in which people can choose to turn off notifications in which case the business loses potential opportunities to be know and get their name out there. The problem I see with this is that many

people might get annoyed constantly receiving notifications for when someone they are following updates.
Changes in social media networks are happening and will probably continue to happen, but it is important to have an open mind and try to adjust to these changes.

Hutchinson, Andrew. “The Truth About Algorithms (And Why You Should Expect to See More of Them).” Social Media Today. 2016. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.
Hutchinson, Andrew. “Here's Why Turning Instagram Notifications On Might Not Be a Good Idea.” Social Media Today. 2016. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.

Gmail’s Mic Drop Makes Google the April Fool

by Maddie Migis

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What could possibly go wrong with a email drop-the-mic feature and a cute minion mic-drop gif? Well, if you’re google, it’s a lot. In a series of awesome April Fool’s pranks and gimmicks done by other companies, Google’s was anything but. The company has a legacy for providing its many users with elaborate and hilarious April Fool’s pranks in past years.

This year, the button was not even technically a glitch, just a very short-sighted feature. Upon pressing the orange button located right next to the send button, and the gif/end of conversation feature was automatically applied to many emails that didn’t assent. In at least one case, the unprofessional nature of sending a minion gif (even if on accident) was enough to get an individual fired. In other cases, the gif was just straight-up inappropriate, attached even to an email from a funeral home about the loss of a family member.

Google states on its Google Blog what they should have done differently, and frankly, the list is long. This massive goof was an even bigger deal coming from a company like Google. The button’s unfortunate positioning led to many accidental clicks, and gave essentially no warning that Gmail was about to send a mic drop to whoever it is you were emailing.

The feature was quickly disabled, but this of course did not stop some individuals from being pranked in the worst way. In the end, the king of companies who play fun April Fool’s pranks, fell on this fateful day. Long gone are the glory days of Google dominating, as many other brands stole the spotlight with clever pranks and features. It will be interesting to see how the company celebrates this holiday next year, or if it “fools” them again.


Sources Cited

Champion, Matthew. “Gmail Killed Its “Mic Drop” April Fools’ Gag Because No One Found It Funny.” BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed, 01 Apr. 2016. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.

Google. “Introducing Gmail Mic Drop.” Official Gmail Blog. Google, 01 Apr. 2016. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.

Last week’s explosions

By Jonathan Tremblay

Just to make it clear with everybody, I’m far from being an expert on the conflicts outside from our continent. The only thing I know is that I’ve noticed some stuff going on or not, last week, and I’m going to give my brief impressions about them.

Facebook alert

Did you receive an alert from Facebook, last weekend, asking you where you were because its automatic system thought you were close to the explosion that took place in Pakistan? Yes, me too.

Even if it’s nice of Facebook to be worried about people and that it’s a great tool for people in Pakistan to know if their friends and families are safe, some people might have been scared to be considered as “close to an explosion”. Personally, I just thought it was annoying, and a weird mistakes since I was located kind of far from it… I was like, in Houston. Facebook doesn’t even understand what happened…

Brussels opportunists

I remember very well “Je suis Charlie”, after the attacks in France. It was the work of a graphic designer trying to show support to the France population.


Since that sad moment, it is so obvious that some opportunist graphic designers tried to take advantage of sad situations to propel their name on the map by creating images to best describe the sadness of the attacks.

When I think about Brussels attack, I can remember at least five trending images. Can we say that it’s a kind of ‘newsjacking’? Advertising yourself and your talent through a sad event…


Oh, and while we are talking about trending stuff, can we say that while everybody (the media) was talking about Belgium, Pakistan and Irak were left on their own even though the attacks were worse and killed more people. Same for Turkey!

Yes, Twitter had is #Pakistan and #PrayforIrak, etc. But it’s easy to see that those were tweets from people, and not tweets by mainstream media. And yes they covered the thing, but they didn’t talk about it as much as Brussels.

Long story short, my picture at the top says it all…


#DavidBowieDeath: Mourning Celebrities Online

by Charlie Green (Charlie’s Chuckles Volume 2)

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Photo: Twitter

With the recent death of David Bowie, it’s impossible to miss the amount of mourning online after his death. Mick Jagger can mourn the loss of his personal friend on social media, but what about someone who didn’t know him at all? Could some people be posting #RobinWilliams because they want attention? Posting because it’s trending and they’re not actually mourning the loss of the actor?

I’m allowed to post about the death of David Bowie. I didn’t know David Bowie in real life, but at times it felt like he knew me though his music. His music provided a unique lens on the world, and helped some people through the tough times in their own lives. The large distance between us was brought together by his work, and that’s why it’s so personal. You can’t judge the emotional investment someone has by the distance between the two.

One might wonder why this has to be on such a public form. Does it make the death of someone feel cheep considering just a few hours earlier you were tweeting about how good that pizza was, and now you’re talking about death? We all live, and the amount of ourselves we give online through social media can differ from person to person. The emotions we have can’t always translate on those forms to fully express how we feel. Lia Zneimer writes for Time, “There’s no Facebook status that can do justice to our loss, no 140-character tweet that can sum up our sadness and no Instagram filter that can soften the jagged edges of our pain”.

Is the platform of social media appropriate to share our feelings and express our sorrow? Mike Rugnetta for PBS says, “Saying the internet is not an appropriate place for mourning indicates there is some list of places which are appropriate, and if you have access to this list I would love to see it so I can know where I am allowed to mourn“.

How social media is affecting the 2016 race for the White House

By Sherry Long

Millennials have been surrounded by digital media since birth.  It would be reasonable to think that this generation would all use social media on an equal basis to learn more about the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, despite whether people identify as Democrat or Republican.

Pew Research

Image courtesy of Pew Research Center. Among Millennials engaged in primaries, Dems more likely to learn about the Election from Social Media study.

A recent Pew Research Study conducted in English and Spanish from online systems showed there is actually a strong divide between Republican and Democrats on how they get their information regarding the 2016 Presidential election.

Of millennials who planned on voting or caucusing in their states, 74% of Democrats were likely to look to social media to educate themselves on the candidates running to be America’s Next Commander-in-Chief. That’s a significant margin over the 50 percent of Republicans, planning on participating in primary season events, who seek out information on various social media platforms.

Facebook is the leader in social media platforms and it appears to be the most popular spot for Millennials to gain their information. Nearly 40 percent of people under 33 years old looked to Facebook for information regarding the race. That a more than four-to-one margin over people seeking information on Twitter or YouTube. Democrats again turned to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube significantly more than their Republican counterparts.

It was not surprising that younger people turned to online sources for information as opposed to older generations. Baby Boomers or people born between 1946 and 1964 turn to television for information on politics and government, a 2015 Pew Research Study found.

With more than four months before the Democrat and Republican National conventions, it will be interesting to analyze how Millennials will react to the conventions and later general election season on social media networks.