No Social Media for French Election

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By: Brooke Girton   

France’s social media policies regarding the election are extremely different from what Americans experience. In America, people can post whatever they like, all the time, and especially during the elections. Organizations and politicians can post smear campaigns against their opponents. Last minute scandals can be uploaded to garnish more support. However, in France these tactics are forbidden to news organizations, politicians and to an extent, individual voters. France enforces a 44-hour break from these desperate attempts before the polls close. The country does not want “electoral propaganda” to influence the outcome of their election.

The issue is that this policy is difficult to enforce, mainly on individual voters. Social media, and the internet in general is made up of communities from around the world. Someone in America could post about the French election and there would be no way to enforce the laws of France. The government also cannot enforce this policy to its fullest extent without stifling freedom of speech. One also must ask how much social media actually influences the public opinion. In America, there are really only two parties and most people stick to one or the other. Voters tend to only believe the stories that support their pre-existing beliefs. In France, however, their elections may be more influenced by facts.

Much like in America, France is also dealing with fake news stories on social media. Fake polls and misinformation have been rampantly released and presented as facts. A research group called Bakamo             found that many of the sources for these fake stories were “exposed to Russian influence.” These stories were also spread by fake accounts on social media.

Social media has a strong influence in our world today. Separating fact and fiction becomes increasingly difficult. Even if they could regulate what can be posted, the question remains, should they?

Farand, Chloe. “French Social Media Flooded Fake News Stories From Sources ‘Exposed to Russian Influence’ Ahead of Presidential Election.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 22 Apr. 2017. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.

Satter, Raphael. “Social Media Time Out as French Election Reaches Final Stage.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 22 Apr. 2017. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Reference:

  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

 

Facebook Live in the midst of conflict

By Matt Payne

@PatteMaper

As I sat on a bleacher mid-assignment Saturday during congressman Michael Burgess’ first town hall meeting at Marcus High School since President Donald Trump’s election, my arms and fingers ached from holding my phone up for a Facebook Live stream to the Denton Record-Chronicle audience.

I remember several instances when Burgess would address me and fellow reporters a part of other media outlets, saying, “You know, I wish we could’ve gotten FOX News to show up, but we got these guys instead.”

Before me was a firsthand experience of the current political climate intermingled with the media.

This is a phenomenon that has swept the nation since Trump began spewing his hateful rhetoric a part of his campaign. It’s trickled down to other legislators like Burgess who’ve seized onto the trend of making buffoons and liars of reporters just trying to meet a deadline.

Yet, mediums like Facebook Live require composure and mindfulness from journalists more than ever. As The Media Online suggests, live feeds are a new and developing facet of journalism, one that projects citizen journalism into the limelight. Now, arguably more than ever, reporters find themselves having to cling onto the seemingly dwindling First Amendment right of free speech before brazen insults celebrated by several hive mind diplomats.

This isn’t my first time Facebook Living. However, it was my first time Facebook Living for one of my assignments as an intern for the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Something so fundamentally simple as typing, then tapping a button to go on air turned into a turbid, contested action quickly. Yet, at the same time, I felt invigorated to be one of the soldiers in journalism facing actual, tangible hate toward the industry I’ve chosen to invest in.

Featured image: A headshot of congressman Michael Burgess

A Day Without Immigrants

By TingHsuan(Rose) Kuo

On this Thursday February 16, has become nationally known the day without immigrants.

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Photo Credit: CNN

As a legal immigrant, I found myself questioning where I stand on this day. My current status is F1 visa which granted me an entry to the United State for studying purpose. In order to obtain a F1 student visa for me, I have to get in to an American college who is willing to sponsor me. The sponsorship form from the school is called I-20, I have to renew it almost every year and bring it with me along with my visa every time I leave the States and needs to return back the country. I also have to pay twice as much of in-state tuition plus international student fee and required health insurance that’s offered by the school. I can’t work outside of campus, I am only limited to work on campus no longer than 20 hours a week. We are required to take at least 4 classes each semester and have to maintain a good GPA for us to retain the visa. Each review for all these different documents usually take up at least 2 to 3 months, and each application cost at least $200 and up.

When you have to carry all of that, go through all that process and paying all these ridiculous fees, would you still want to be a legal immigrant? And side note, none of the applications are guaranteed an approval. Illegal immigrant technically is not limited to any rules as long as they don’t get caught. International students can only apply to limited scholarship while undocumented students are offered many scholarship opportunities. I don’t support illegal immigrants but at the same time I understand why they did what they did. I was fortunate enough that my parents can support my decision to come here, but there are people who can’t and are trying to do something to get “the better life”. And this is where my dilemma come in. I was monitoring everyone’s comment on twitter on this day. Different sides of opinion flowed in within seconds, and became the trending subject on twitter’s feed. It was interesting to see everyone’s opinion on the topic of immigration, though I didn’t feel comfortable to post any of my thoughts. Some comments made me see various reasons for whichever side they stood for and some comments were just ignorant and idiotic.

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Photo Credit: abc NEWS

Social media helps us to express our opinions freely, especially twitter. These comments we make, other people choose to like it (agree) or share it. However, people are so obsessed with the amount of “likes” and “shares”, we started to make comments that we think our followers will agree with. The social media platforms become manipulated by the popular and not all posts are truthful anymore. There were many users making post on the #daywithoutimmigrants without actually knowing the facts and data. It seemed like they were making statements and supporting the event to get likes. Those thoughtless comments made me mad from just reading through them. The opinion is not honest anymore and no one seems to care to spend the time to understand the issue. The news information we get from media sometime are twisted and one sided. It is crazy that some of us believe the one-sided story is the whole story.

Reference:

  1. Gardels, N. (2016, October 29). Wael Ghonim: We Have A Duty To Use Our Social Media Power To Speak The Truth. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wael-ghonim-social-media_us_580e364ae4b000d0b157b53a
  2. Pandolfo, C. (2017, February 16). These LEGAL immigrants have a problem with the #DayWithoutImmigrants protests. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2017/02/these-legal-immigrants-have-a-problem-with-the-daywithoutimmigrants-protests

When government dives into your smartphone

Matt Payne

@PatteMaper

U.S. border patrol has the right to seize your cell phone and scour every one of your personal channels before granting you access to the country.

Haisam Elsharkawi, an American citizen who was on the way to visiting Saudi Arabia, had that experience right before his eyes. Were he to keep arguing with a Homeland Security agent, he risked losing his property of the cell phone entirely – 15 minutes of searching his contacts, social media, pictures and more by some unknown agent ensued.

This incident raises the concern of how much reach do government entities have in placing their hands on your property without warrant. Border patrol workers have recently been granted extended access to search through virtually anything they desire, which includes smartphones and other internet devices.

One key stipulation of this power is an appropriate trigger for such applications, so as to limit unnecessary scouring to some extent. However, as we approach a new immigration restriction this week as President Donald Trump has promised, it’s important to note that this is happening at the individual discretion of one worker. It’s also not just toward immigrants, since Elsharkawi was already a citizen here.

Incidents like these, especially in this divided political climate, illustrate the tangible, polarizing effects that social media can have in our real lives and futures.

Thoughts on Immigration

Hey JOUR 4270!

** DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional on the subject of immigration and its current laws in the US, I would simply like to reflect on my own thoughts over the subject and how I feel. I do not mean to offend anyone.

Since the last election, it feels like the nation is divided in two. While there are many reasons for this division, the main one always seems to focus on race and nationality and where you are from. The color of your skin, and what you look like. The texture of your hair and the languages you speak. In a country founded on diversity and equality, it seems the more diverse you are, the worse it may get.

In more recent events, President Trump has issued a travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as has promised America a wall between Mexico and the United States. While these promises may seem far fetched, these acts have been enough to cause real panic nationwide. Because although many immigrants have gone through the painstakingly long process of applying to become a US citizen, he is also beginning to implement these rules on immigrants who have earned it.

As and American and someone who has many friends with immigrant parents and family who have rightfully earned their life in this country, it hurts to see such hard work, sacrifice, and dedication living in the shadow of uncertainty.

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Donald Trump’s actions have also caused nationwide protests, riots, and boycotts, hoping to bring justice and equality for all.

While most of these efforts make no change for the politicians who make the most important decisions, they are starting to open the eyes of fellow Americans, helping them see the pain being caused and how to make it better for everyone in the nation.

Social Media & Groupthink

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By: Lauren Oliver

@laurennoli

The introduction of the internet has drastically changed the lives of humans across the globe. The rate at which we’re able to consume and share information via technology is unrivaled in history. Because of the drastic changes in communication, community, and interaction due to the internet, problems have arisen that look differently than they have historically. The creation of echo chambers, the ability to choose who you interact with online, and the ease of manipulating information from the media has created a situation that mimics groupthink at times.

While ideological echo chambers are certainly nothing new, the internet and specifically social media provide the path to live in a ideological bubble. As Political Polarization & Media Habits states the 20% of people who fall into the far right or far left political categories have a greater impact on the political process than their middle of the line counterparts. In part this could be from the echo chambers platforms such as Facebook creates. Because users are most likely to interact with like minded individuals on social media the ability to spread information through that space is easier. Along with the ability to choose which news outlets or sources you follow on social media, the tendency to interact with only certain people also makes polarization easy. Without a voice from the middle or other side of an issue, it’s easy to loose sight of what’s real and what’s over-zealous.

Because of the presence of echo chambers and the lax regulations pertaining to who can consider themselves an expert or reputable news source, manipulation of the media is accessible and easy. Not only is it easy to find reputable looking but factually incorrect news, but social media platform algorithms are also rigged specifically to encourage an echo chamber as discussed in The Reason Your Feed Became an Echo Chamber.

What can we do to encourage interacting with people who think differently from ourselves and be to coexist with others?  Consuming media analytically and ensuring news comes from multiple sources with different biases and maintaining an open mind when talking to people who think differently than ourselves. Groupthink is a dangerous mind set that prevents people from seeing situations clearly and leads to bad decision on the behalf of the group, and preventing this mindset is vital to an open mind.

Photo Credit: theconversation.com

Citations:

“Political Polarization & Media Habits” Amy Mitchell-Jeffrey Gottfried-Jocelyn Kiley-Katerina Matsa – http://www.journalism.org/2014/10/21/political-polarization-media-habits/
“The Reason Your Feed Became An Echo Chamber – And What To Do About It” NPR Staff – http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/07/24/486941582/the-reason-your-feed-became-an-echo-chamber-and-what-to-do-about-it