Facebook’s flakiness

By Matt Payne

@PatteMaper

A 37-year-old man in Cleveland who has proclaimed to have snapped from his ex-girlfriend’s behavior livestreamed himself slaughtering an elderly, innocent pedestrian Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.

That’s undoubtedly unwholesome material for a public forum.

Implications from this criminal gesture expose a great risk to today’s most recent trend on social media: live video. A completely unsuspecting friend group received a notification that Steve Stephens had gone live on Facebook, only to encounter a series of personal lamentations that have allegedly led to more than a dozen dead from point-blank shootings.

It’s not clear whether Facebook acted on its own to remove the posts, or reacted to requests from local law enforcement officials to take them down,” The Verge reported Sunday evening. What’s disturbing in that tidbit about the situation is the apparent complacency or obliviousness exposed from Facebook behind the scenes.

Live video can have its many advantages, such as documenting what’s happening in the world in real time, but an uncensored slaying from one user’s rage poses a serious threat to the site’s integrity.

Real-life risks even slither into situations where Facebook Live shines. USA Today addressed this problem in February when two journalists on assignment were killed in the Dominican Republic while livestreaming. While this doesn’t involve a criminal abusing livestreaming, it underscores how a social media outlet that’s virtually impossible to censor can endanger and toxify the internet.

Facebook must address the lack of prompt response in removing the user from social media and his illegal content. This may involve a specialized staff dedicated to around-the-clock moderation, delays in streaming or other solutions. But disturbing content that leaks through the cracks profoundly darkens citizen journalism.

Featured Image: Facebook Live’s interface, courtesy

Fighting Back Against Fake News

By Parker Cantu

fake news everywhere

I know it. You know it. We all know it. Fake news is a serious problem. It has become so much of a problem that major companies like Facebook and Google are committing to fight fake news.

It can be argued that companies like Facebook and Google are obligated in a way to lead the fight against fake news, but it isn’t all on them to keep fake news from being as successful as it is right now.

 

Google just recently rolled out an update that incorporates fact checking websites’ results into its own web search results. That’s great, but to get the fact checking results to show up you have to search using specific phrases that are used often. This means that in most cases you still need to actively be trying to check the facts.

 

And that, right there, is the best way to fight against fake news: actively checking the facts.

Getting news nowadays isn’t as passive as it used to be, there has to be effort on your part to get good information. In the end, if we’re not checking to make sure that the information we’re getting from sources is legit then all of these attempts to stump fake news are for naught.

 

There are many websites that make fact checking super quick and simple. Copying and pasting a line from an article into a website like politifact or snopes is a good way to quickly check the validity of a statement. Another way to keep yourself from falling into a fake news trap is to find multiple articles that are covering the same topic. IF you can’t find any other articles that agree with the article in question, then there’s your red flag.

 

Fake news is everywhere now, but that’s only because its god at bringing in ad revenue. If everyone would start putting in a little bit of effort into checking the facts, then we wouldn’t have the issues we have now with slanderous articles and misinformation spreading like wild fire.

 

Sources:

Photo: https://memesuper.com/categories/view/7378b33cf92a46c71fdccf4902658d8cae3794c3/meme-fake-news.html

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/04/07/google-facebook-fake-news-measures/

 

https://arstechnica.co.uk/business/2017/04/google-search-fact-check/

 

https://politifact.com

 

http://snopes.com

Free the Tweet: Twitter Premium & How it Affects Journalists

By: Kayla Henson | @kayla_hensonn

Twitter is one of the quickest way to get information in this day and age. As a member, people can update the world on their lives with succinct tweets, pictures, and videos. As a journalist though, Twitter is another way to both receive and relay information. There’s no doubt that Twitter has completely redefined how news is shared to the people.

However, with talk of a premium version of the application offered to journalists and other professionals alike, the relationship between journalism and Twitter may be forever changed.

twitter premium

(source: misskatecuttables)

Though Twitter has roughly 319 million monthly active users, it isn’t seeing much user growth. Its competition with Facebook’s steady user growth and its search of another source of revenue for the application has lead to talks of releasing a premium program for professional accounts, including journalists.

So what exactly would a premium account have that the free one wouldn’t?

According to Twitter spokeswoman Brielle Villablanca in a statement released this past Thursday, the company is mainly focusing on expanding their Tweetdeck to provide more analysis, advanced analytics, and tools to focus on trends and alerts. This would have very immediate affects on journalists and other professionals if the company decides to add premium accounts.

I don’t believe it would solve their problem of getting new monthly active users, though it would definitely increase their revenue.  Most professionals, journalists especially, are on Twitter already. This business tactic won’t make much of a difference when it comes to how many users will be more active monthly, but professionals would most definitely cough up extra cash to gain further insight on their audiences.

This follows in line with professional companies like LinkedIn offering paid subscriptions to professionals and businesses to give them more access to data.

The long story short is that this would be a smart business tactic on Twitter’s part because professionals are usually more than willing to have more access in order to appeal to larger audiences and figure out what is/isn’t working. On the other hand, Twitter doesn’t really have anything to lose because users would still stay on their free account, just without enjoyment of the extra features on Tweetdeck.

If Twitter were to continue with this strategy, it would definitely need to do a thorough job of reassuring its regular users that it does not intend on making the regular features of the app suddenly premium.

 

References

Murphy, Mike. (2017) Retrieved from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-exploring-premium-subscription-service-2017-03-23

Reuters. (2017) Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2017/03/23/twitter-premium-version/

 

 

Why Students Should Subscribe to The Washington Post

(Written by Jesse Priest.)

One thing that I’ve learned while studying journalism is that nobody these days wants to pay for their news. Nobody wants to subscribe to a newspaper. Nobody wants to spend about $15 a month for something they can get for free from almost anywhere else. Students my age just want to read news quick and free and take Buzzfeed quizzes about which Beyoncé album you should listen to if your zodiac sign is a Taurus.

We are too accustomed to having information for free and readily available. And we always hate having a pop-up blocking us from accessing that much-needed news of the day. But ever since the election of Donald Trump, and “fake news”, factual information has indeed been more valuable than ever.

We need to know what is actually going on in the world. We can’t just trust what Trump says because we should all know by now, that a lot of what comes out of Trump and his administrations’ mouth isn’t always trustworthy. So, students like me now have the most perfect way to get the news that they need without having to pay for a subscription.

The Washington Post now offers students free digital access subscription. All you have to do is create an account with your student email address and follow the instructions under the “My subscriptions” tab to begin reading news from one of the most respected news organizations on the planet.

the-washington-post-my-profile

With this free subscription, you can access The Washington Post’s website and mobile app for free, with unlimited access. I’m really glad that the WaPo started this initiative. College students need to know what’s going on in the world and everybody knows that as a student, funds are hard to come by; except, of course, funds for video games and weekend parties that involve lots of alcohol and drugs.

But money is still scarce even with that in mind. And college students are undoubtedly the ones who are carrying the torch into the future.

Why not give them the public good and service of high-quality information and reporting that The Washington Post offers?

Sources:

Garafano, Lauren. “Community Post: Which Beyoncé Album Should You Listen To Based On Your Zodiac Sign?” BuzzFeed Community. Buzzfeed, 4 Mar. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

Cillizza, Chris. “Donald Trump’s Streak of Falsehoods Now Stands at 33 Days.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 21 Feb. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

The Day PewDiePie took over gaming social media

By Daniel Portales

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, otherwise better known as the most subscribed channel on Youtube ever PewDiePie, no doubt has a tremendous reach and audience. This is both in the Youtube sphere as well as any social media site he is involved with, most notably Twitter and his mass following on that site as well.

pewdiepie-brofist

He made his start as doing a series of videos called, “Let’s plays,” where he records himself playing video games while showing reactions and adding commentary of his impressions of any given game, a popular type of video to this day. However, he has recently branched out to do different kinds of content that he finds fun and would provide different kinds of content for his viewers to watch, mostly comedic and simple in nature. Often times however, being a comedy channel and the absolute most popular at that, he often threw criticism at online media that covered him and wrote about him. So he very often made tweets, and most notably videos that often poked fun at media that took certain things he has said and done out of context to put him into a bad light, and that anything ever written about him in the media are almost always written with a negative connotation.

In response, he often made jokes that he was actually a Nazi and a die hard Trump supporter, dressing up in stereotyped costumes of said people in videos, poking fun at their image as well as online media taking things out of context at times. Later on, he would make a video where he would have fun with a website he found where he would pay 5 dollars, and they would make any video saying anything he wanted. So he tested the limits of the website by having them say awful things like, “Kill all Jews.”

Normally, it can be obviously inferred that the joke doesn’t work unless what was being said to be considered awful, however the Wall Street Journal, what was seen as one of the more trustworthy publications out there, actually took many of these sets of videos and wrote a very damning hit piece on Felix. With no sense of irony, they took the many videos he uploaded for the sole purpose of parodying the things taken out of context, and used the clips out of context to frame him as a White Supremacist Neo Nazi.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/disney-severs-ties-with-youtube-star-pewdiepie-after-anti-semitic-posts-1487034533

(You must have a subscription with the Wall Street Journal to view the written article in question, but the video is public for everyone)

In reaction, the Wall Street Journal lost many subscribers, their video version of the events have been down voted immensely, and fans who already know about who Felix is and his character, have defended him fiercly on social media websites. A vast majority of gaming personalities, developers, and writers all showed support on Twitter in various ways, numerous Youtube videos were made in response to the Wall Street Journal and how they bizarrely they handled the coverage of Felix. Of course, this met with people taking the WSJ’s side on the matter as well. Most notably, J.K. Rowling herself actually debated with a large number of people on Twitter on the matter.

This would spark a really great debate on many social media platforms whether what was considered acceptable as jokes, and whether some jokes were harmful for society, and the nature of jokes themselves. Youtube itself for a week had many popular Youtubers coming to PewDiePie’s defense that would heat up the online debate and cause a pseudo intellectual/culture war on the Internet.

Since then, Felix has made a video responding to all of these articles written about him in response to Wall Street Journal, saying he apologizes for anyone he may have offended, but that he does not promote hate in any manner. But he still condemmed the WSJ and the media in general for trying to bring him down by being dishonest as well as call out hypocrites who have also joked about Nazi’s in the past. With one of them, surprisingly being Ben Fritz, one of the writers of the WSJ article.

Sometimes even the biggest names, like J.K. Rowling and the Wall Street Journal, aren’t immune to vast criticism on social media. And the exchange of ideas on Social Media might spark an otherwise interesting debate.

To Blog or Not to Blog… that is the question

By Krysta Overton

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http://www.shakespeare-navigators.com/hamlet/Hamlet_with_skull_of_Yorick_Selous.jpg

The thing about interests is, everybody has one.

(Yes, compare that to the joke about opinions and everyone having the same disposal region and this is officially the best intro of all time.)

I think that one of the best and most interesting things about humanity is that everyone is unique. So much so that according to Quora.com, in 2013 there were approximately 152 million blogs on the internet. 152 million various opinions about food, art, travel, sports, hair, socks, DIY’s, design, phobias, writing, reading, lint, paper mache crafts, bobble heads, music,  golden showers (no judgement), collecting stamps, furniture making, makeup, coffee, you, get, the, point. Every single one having a plethora of personal experiences and new outlooks to contribute to the awaiting reading.

why-blog

https://howtostartablogonline.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/why-blog.jpg

The Huffington Post produced an article about why people blog, and gave a list of reasons for this growing population of writers. Aside from sharing passions and knowledge that cover a vast amount of topics, bloggers can also make money through their endeavors. Blogging spans both the personal and professional, and can be as simple as a grandmother sharing her life and relationship with her grandchildren to a multi-billion dollar company CEO expanding on best business practices. Regardless of the reasons individuals’ blog, the big picture is that blogging is a medium to share information with world.

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https://youtu.be/0sn7eCs6nEQ

So how does one start blogging? GOOD QUESTION! I did a little research on the easiest ways to join the Blogosphere via Bloggingbasics101.com and amylynnandrews.com, and came up with some quick tips on getting you on your way.

The first is the most obvious—Pick a topic to write about. I empathize that every facet of life may be interesting and type worthy but for the sake of not shell shocking future readers…let’s hone in on one topic or genre.

The second thing is to take the steps necessary in setting it up. Both of these sites go in depth on how to find a platform and host for a future blog space. At this point, it’s important to pick a name that’s catchy, interesting, and maybe even a little obvious to let the reader know what exactly they are getting themselves into.

The last thing is designing the page to fit a theme. Depending on which platform is used, design options may be slightly limited. Remember however, the look of the page is almost as important as the content. People definitely judge a book by its cover, so make sure the cover is TOO LEGIT for them to QUIT coming back. (Get the song reference?)

Good luck!

Dekmezian, G. (2016). Why do people blog: The benefits of blogging. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-dekmezian/why-do-people-blog-the-be_b_8178624.html

Lee, R. (2015). How many blogs exist in the world? Quora. Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/How-many-blogs-exist-in-the-world

Knapp, J. (2016). How to start a blog: Beginner’s guide for 2017. BloggingBasics101. Retrieved from https://www.bloggingbasics101.com/how-do-i-start-a-blog/

Andrews, A. (2017). How to start a blog. Amy Lynn Andrews. Retrieved from https://amylynnandrews.com/how-to-start-a-blog/

Oscar my Tweets

By Abisola Adeyemi

This evening Oscars hosted their 89th award ceremony and i experienced it from the red carpet to the actual event from the comfort of my twitter feed. The hashtag #Oscars was pretty lit if i do say so myself.

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I experienced most from the official twitter account @TheAcademy account which was poppin’.

The page is following 1156 accounts which are majority of celebrities and other media organizations, and they are followed by 22.8k followers. The feed was updated every time there was something not to miss on the red carpet, a quote or when there was an Oscar winner.

I thought the award presentations via twitter were cool. This was a brilliant way for followers to experience the ceremony as if they were watching it or there themselves.

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https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5o544GU4AAzoS2.jpg:large

This was the many of the twitpics shared to their twitter feed to honor award recipients.

The fact that it is a red envelope like the one presented at the ceremony was pretty cool.

They also featured quotes like this one from Emma stone, which captures in words the way she felt when she received her award for Actress in Leading Role.Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 11.30.15 PM.png

Engagement during the show with the followers was high which ranged from 200-4.0 k likes or retweets.

I would say this was a remarkable evening for social media, a chance for the public to take part in the excitement of their favorite stars and directors received recognition of hard work.

I couldn’t help but to think of the team behind this account that made this happen. From the looks of how every moment from the show was updated The Academy’s social media team was on top of their “a game” i would say.

To show how much of an engagement twitter had on the ceremony.  Stars were chosen to read mean tweets about them. I thought this was awkwardly funny, particularly because the tweeters probably had no idea that their tweets would even make it to national television, but to see the reactions from the stars they talked about was priceless. They didn’t seem to be too bothered about it, it was all banter i would say.

Felt like we were all present and winning.

References:

https://twitter.com/TheAcademy

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5o544GU4AAzoS2.jpg:large

https://twitter.com/jimmykimmel

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Lit