Let’s Chat: Cyber Bullying/Harassment on Social Media

By Alexis Long

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What is it about social media that makes people want to harass and bully people? Is it the fact that they can hide behind their screen and not face any repercussions? For the person being bullied/harassed, is it really as simple as just ignoring it and getting off the website?

Cyber bulling isn’t a new thing.  “Then why are you talking about it, Alexis?” Because over the weekend, Allie Rose-Marie Leost, a female animator at EA, received tons of backlash over Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s flawed facial models.

It began with a post by gaming blogger Ethan Ralph (The Ralph Retort). Angry ME:A fans pointed fingers at Leost, alleging that she was the primary reason behind the flawed facial models in the game. Ralph, as well as many others, suggested that Leost earned her position by doing sexual favors, according to a Kotaku article.

Yeah, the facial models look kiiiind of bad, but can you really blame one particular person? Leost served as one of many facial animators. I understand that people will complain if something is done poorly (obviously), but even if she was the sole person who worked on every face in the entire game, this was signed off on by higher management.

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Although Loust was not physically hurt by the harassment, a lot of cyber bulling cases end in the loss of a life. At the end of spring break, many members of the La Marque community rallied at the high school’s Etheredge Stadium, hoping to raise awareness about the dangers of cyber bulling. Raul Vela, who helped plan the event, lost his 18-year-old daughter, Brandy, from an apparent suicide in November 2016. Shanda Lundy lost her 15-year-old daughter, Bailie, earlier this year. According to an article by KHOU’s Brandi Smith, “Senate Bill 179 and House Bill 306 are under consideration. Called ‘David’s Law,’ the bills would offer protection for cyberbullying victims and make cyberbullying a misdemeanor crime.”

I always hear people say, “Well, just get off the internet and ignore it.” One of the issues with cyber bullying is that it can start online, but lead into real life actions. A lot of situations does end up staying online. Some choose to ignore it and just move on, but others can be really fed up with it and decide to fight fire with fire, by choosing to meet with the person in real life. Of course, you can talk it through (after all, if the cyber bully is meeting you in person, they may not say too much since they don’t have their screen/anonymous persona to keep them protected), but you never really know what to expect. This could just make the situation worse.

Yeah, being on the internet does mean that we should develop a bit of a thick skin, but it is okay to be hurt sometimes. HelpGuide.org provides some pretty good tips like, “save the evidence of the cyberbullying, reporting threats of harm and inappropriate sexual messages to the police, preventing communication from the cyberbully by blocking their email address, cell phone number, and deleting them from social media contacts.”

Don’t be afraid to report the account. The harasser may be violating the website’s terms of service or, may even warrant criminal charges depending on your location.

“What if they create a new account?”

I say keep reporting every bullying incident until it stops. There is no reason for anyone to ever put up with cyberbullying.

References:

Gach, E. (2017, March 19). Scumbags Harass Woman for Working on Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Animations. Retrieved March 19, 2017, from https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/03/scumbags-harass-woman-for-working-on-mass-effect-andromedas-animations/

Smith. B. (2017, March 18). Cyberbullying Victims’ Families Rally for Awareness, Legislative Changes. Retrieved March 19, 2017, from http://www.khou.com/news/local/cyberbullying-victims-families-rally-for-awareness-legislative-changes/423635373

How Social Media Influences the Fashion Industry

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 By Jacqui Simses

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Social media has been impacting the fashion industry in numerous ways. The traditional approaches to various areas in the fashion world that have been practiced for many decades have shifted using various social media platforms to interact with the consumer, as a means of networking with others in the industry, and as a way of building an online presence. Social media has impacted not only the way in which the public can instantly access runway shows and keep up-to-date with favorite designers and models, but it has also influenced the choices of models that are currently being used as well as even providing inspiration to designers for their newest collections.

Inspiration for Designers

Designers and major influencers in the fashion industry have traditionally found inspiration for their designs and creations in various ways whether their inspiration derives from a random object, a specific place, a piece of artwork, a certain time period or anything else really that a designer views as inspiration which eventually can be translated into a collection of clothing.

More recently, though, the fashion industry is recognizing a major shift in its inspiration for designs and trends, all thanks to social media and blogging sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Social media has influenced a number of designers in recent years in unique ways which are changing the way many designers go about creating new fashions.

One example to consider is ZAC Zac Posen’s Spring-Summer 2015 ready-to-wear collection which was strictly influenced by comments and suggestions from his over 640,000 Instagram followers. This all began when Posen posted images of sunsets from a vacation on his Instagram account and followers began asking for prints in these hues, and “through the comments and pictures we got a new perspective about out creations,” said Posen. As a result, a maxi dress in the hues of the sunset from that Instagram image was part of his 2015 collection.

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Now, a fashion designer’s inspiration can be made easier by a speedy trip through social media sites such as Pinterest. Clare Waight Keller of Chloé observed that “A mood board that would have taken a few weeks of solid research now can be assembled in an afternoon on Instagram.”

Another example is the Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez who had claimed Tumblr as a point of reference for their Spring 2013 collection, citing the social media platform’s unexpected juxtapositions of imagery and all-but-infinite content.

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Social Media’s Influence on Choosing Models

The influence of social media has also rapidly changed how today’s models are chosen. Kendall Jenner, for example, has been dubbed the “ultimate Instagirl” for her huge social media fan base: 48 million followers on Instagram and 15.3 million on Twitter.

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The same goes with recent models who have climbed the ladder of fame within the modeling industry within just a first few short years with the help of social media such as Hailey Baldwin, Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid and her younger sister, Bella Hadid.

Pinterest’s Influence

Take a picture now and save it for later. Pinterest is the hot spot for categorizing photos from this year’s New York Fashion Week. If you want to take a look at a clothing line from a particular show, see the collaboration of designers involved in Fashion Week, or Pinterest is your social media resource.

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Twitter’s Influence

When it comes to NYFW show updates, Twitter is the way to go. By following @NYFW, users can get a first look at runway video replays, hair and makeup moments and updates about shows in progress.

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Snapchat’s Influence

This year, low and behold, one of the most popular apps for tracking New York Fashion week 2016 is Snapchat. Here’s why. With Snapchat, users get the utmost “behind the scenes” or “feels like you’re there” experience. Snapchat users can not only follow celebrities and watch them attend the shows of their favorite designers, but NYFW followers on Snapchat can also gain personal insights about designers, and featured clothing items. Here’s the real kicker, in a way, Snapchat users also gain access to a free front row seat and a first look at NYC Fashion Week shows as they are happening! What a way to save a pretty penny on fashion week tickets. While we’re at it, let’s not forget about the way Snapchat let’s fashion lovers be their own reporters. Snapchat users, located in NYC and the surrounding area can submit photos and videos of their own to be featured on the New York Fashion Week Snapchat Story.

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So the point is, with social media sites only growing from here and fashion trends, designer influences, the choosing of models and more are all shifting to show major influences from social media sites, it’s a brave new world for the fashion industry!

 

References

Banks, L. (2014, December 2). Inspiration meets social media. NY Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/02/fashion/in-fashion  inspiration-meets-social-media.html?_r=1

Hope, K. (2016, February 5). How social media is transforming the fashion industry. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/business35483480

Kline, J. (2016, September 15). New York fashion week used these 5 social media apps. Growing Social Media. Retrieved from http://growingsocialmedia.com/new-york-fashion-week-social-media-apps/

Social Media and Fake News

By Mackenzy Hand

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By this point we have all heard of the viral phenomenon sweeping the globe. It goes by many aliases: fake news, alternative facts and what have you, but one thing remains the same, it just isn’t the truth. What makes this “fake news” such a problem is that it is so easy to circulate and share that it is almost impossible to regulate. What’s more is that it is quickly becoming difficult to differentiate between fact and opinion. How to we stop this? How do we get to a place where we can share real, factual information, and be okay with it?

In order to stop fake news, we must first understand and address its origins. A perfect example of a fake news story that went viral is Texas native, Eric Tucker’s tweet in which he mentions paid protesters being bussed into a demonstration against then-President-elect Donald Trump. Tucker’s tweet read “Anti-Trump protesters in Austin today are not as organic as they seem. Here are the busses they came in. #fakeprotests #trump2016 #austin,” and was accompanied by this photo:fullsizeoutput_2a1

The post blew up. It was being liked and shared left and right. Did Tucker think that his post was going to get this kind of attention? Probably not. But that’s the way this fake news stuff works. People latch on to these ideas that in some way fit their agenda or their personal feelings on a matter, and they go nuts with it.

The director of corporate affairs for the bus company that Tucker spoke of and displayed in his tweet, Sean Hughes, had some thoughts on the matter. In an interview with a Fox television reporter, Hughes said “You’re the second journalist to actually call me to see what was going on…and we’re easily accessible on our website.” Hughes added, “I just kind of wish people looked into the facts before they go ahead and do something like that.” This just goes to show the lack of effort that many people make in putting truth into the things that they say or report.fullsizeoutput_2a3

Tucker later deleted his original tweet and reposted it with a “FALSE” watermark across the top of it. But by that point it had little effect. It had already been put out there into the twitterverse and had jumped from social media platform to platform, and people were rolling with it. In my opinion people were enjoying the sensationalism of it all.

What needs to happen is a serious talk about the severity of the fake news situation. Stanford News reported that television remains the go-to place for political news, but it is clear that social media is quickly coming up in the ranks. The problem is that anyone with an opinion and internet access can spread whatever garbage they want, and the even bigger problem with that, is someone will believe them, and someone will believe them, and it spreads from there. We need to address this. We need to fix this problem, we need to stop reporting fallacies and be honest with each other. It is the honest information that counts, and we need figure out how to spread the truth, and nothing but the truth, before trust in the media is lost all together.

Sources:
Twitter
Stanford News
New York Times
Fox 5

Photos:
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New York Times
Twitter

Is Social Media Making Us Look Dumb Even with Higher IQ’s

robotIt’s hard to remember a life before social media today. The first social media account I used was AIM, and the only reason I had that was because I hacked into my sisters and talked to all of her cute high school boyfriends (Yes, I was only in 3rd grade). It used to be so entertaining to see what new social platform was going to come out next, but now I’m almost “over it”. I’m just to the point I think social media is on its way to making us robots. I mean, come on… We all kinda look stupid walking around 24/7 with our eyes glued to our phones guessing which Kardashian just broke up with her hubby or what tweet Trump just blasted. We the people can’t even walk while being on our phones… check this out. Epic fail. So, is social media making us dumb? According to Sonia Simone, we are distracted. That’s a nice way to put it. Simone also said, “If you’re looking for reason to despair at the future of our civilization, all you need to do is get into a car. The roads are blocked with drivers pulling ever-more random moves while updating Periscope and playing game after game of Dumb Ways to Die, Cruel Irony Edition.” Is that seriously what our society is coming to? Swerving and risking our lives to updating your newest app out on the market. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a AVID social media addict. I spend at least 3 hours on my phone a day just scrolling (more so creeping) through my social media timelines. As much as I’ve been contemplating how dumb I believe social media is making us, apparently I am wrong. The American Psychological Association claims we are indeed getting smarter as day turns to night. The average person in 2012 had a higher IQ than 95% of the population in 1900! Okay, so maybe I’m just the dumb one for thinking we are all progressively getting dumber as the days go on. This particular article by Lea Wireman is super interesting. Just chatting it up about how much our IQ has gone up in the best decades. Even though studies say our IQ is on the rise, I think social media is making us into robots. It may not be making everyone more dumb, but I think social media is swaying us that direction. All I have left to say is, be careful next time your walking in a mall while on your phone, and try not to fall in.

 

 

Work Cited:

Simone, Sonia. “Is Social Media Making Us Dumb?” Copyblogger. N.p., 09 Feb. 2016. Web. 19 Feb. 201

Wireman , Lea. “Smarter than ever? .” Pardon Our Interruption. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.

Dailydot. “5,000 animated humans walking and texting in Japan looks like a disaster.” The Daily Dot. N.p., 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.

Blog By: Ashton Presley

How Important Really is Social Media to the E-commerce World?

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by Jacqui Simses

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So really, how important is social media to the E-commerce world? It’s MASSIVE! In order to survive this digital retailing phenomenon that has been on the rise, social media is a marketing strategy that has been (and is more than ever) vital for any online website where products or services can be purchased. Its purpose, online marketing that is, is to help companies establish a stronger web presence, generate leads and increase traffic.

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 The Use of Online Marketing

It’s a new world in marketing with the use of social media to promote E-commerce businesses. How many times have you seen an ad for a specific store or brand that you’ve searched for pop up next to a YouTube video you’re trying to watch? How many times have you been scrolling down your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feed and have seen ads pop up after every few posts? To some it’s annoying. But, what is beneficial for E-commerce businesses is that many social media users click those ads and get redirected into the realm of online shopping. Whether a company chooses to use paid search to have their ads appear more often or have a specific “social media” position within the company to perform these tasks, online marketing is everywhere for the everyday social media user. A significant percentage of advertising campaigns for brands and companies take place through almost all social media platforms.

Connecting with Your Audience

NEVER has it been easier to reach an audience for brands! Clearly, e-commerce marketers recognize the power of social media to connect with an audience. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are present nearly everywhere in our lives. Social media provides an effective way to attract the interest of the large audiences that use social media. Connecting means ENGAGING too! On the other end, people use social media themselves to connect with brands and companies they prefer.

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Overall, it is easy to notice how in order to improve the development of an E-commerce business, a well-structured social media strategy is important. Including social media in an effort to advance E-commence can be highly beneficial and you will start to notice now, if you hadn’t before, how prevalent these online marketing tactics for e-commerce businesses are when you take a closer look at your social media feeds.

 

 

References

Janaway, M. (2016, August 3). 3 Top tips to increase engagement with your e-commerce store. Ecommerce Platforms. Retrieved from http://ecommerce-platforms.com/ecommerce-selling-advice/3-top-tips-increase-engagement-e-commerce-store

Sharma, L. (2015, September 15). Essential role of social media networking in ecommerce. Socialnomics. Retrieved from http://socialnomics.net/2015/09/15/essential-role-of-social-media-networking-in-ecommerce/

 

Zorzini, C. (2015, August 7). 3 ways ecommerce companies should use social media for marketing. Ecommerce Platforms. Retrieved from http://ecommerce-platforms.com/articles/3-ways-ecommerce-companies-should-use-social-media-for-marketing Continue reading How Important Really is Social Media to the E-commerce World?

Potential/Current Employers, Social Media and You

By Alexis Long

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With social media playing a vital role in our everyday lives, it’s no wonder business professionals are looking at future employees’ profiles to get an idea of the type of person they could potentially hire. Of course, there is a difference between managing a personal profile and a professional account, but often, an employer may still gather intel on a personal profile. After all, is it really personal?

Nothing makes me cringe more than logging on to Facebook or Twitter and seeing someone put all their business (dating problems, drama, etc.) online because I have a feeling it could possibly come back to bite them on the rear. Remember this?

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Yeah, she got fired… over Twitter. A lot of people didn’t understand why someone would get fired on a social media platform, but you must realize how big a role social media plays in our lives. However, I do believe the, “Good luck with your no money, no job life,” part was a little awkward.

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There are a lot of professionals who may have two accounts on a social media platform, but as I stated before, future/current employers can still find your personal account.

Back when I worked for a particular retail store, I understood the district manager and store managers would sometimes look at my profile as well as other employees who worked under that district. Why? Well, it’s simple. The managers don’t want employees who don’t know how to maintain themselves on social media to have the company’s name attached to their page. It could potentially hurt the company’s image. A lot of my posts are video game related (gaming industry news, etc.), which isn’t a problem considering the company is known for its pop culture merchandise, plus my posts are relevant for my future career goals.

So how do we use our social media pages in a way that can benefit us? First, we need to understand that our “personal” profile really isn’t that personal. Since I’ve now mentioned it three times, I’m hoping you get it. Everything we post, even if we have it set to “Friends Only”, is public. Secondly, we should consider how we want to “brand” ourselves. Your “brand” should be you (what your interests and hobbies are, etc), but shouldn’t stand in the way of a promotion. If you are one of those people who has a personal and a separate professional account, be sure you are posting on the right one.

So, next time you are wanting to tweet something about your job, relationship, or any other drama related issues, please think twice. It could possibly affect any potential job offers in the future.

References:

Flacy, M. (2015, Feb. 11). Teen Gets Fired on Twitter After Cursing About Her New Job. Retrieved Feb. 17, 2017, from http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/teen-gets-fired-twitter-cursing-new-job/

Rapacon, S. (2016, Feb. 5). How Using Social Media Can Get You Fired. Retrieved Feb. 17, 2017, from http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/05/how-using-social-media-can-get-you-fired.html

Ruesink, M. (2014, Jan. 30). Social Media Do’s & Don’ts: 10 Tips for Keeping Your Profiles Professional. Retrieved Feb. 17, 2017 from http://www.rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/main/guide-to-soc-media-dos-and-donts/

Political Social Media

By Maritza Ramos

In these times of political turmoil, social media has served as a way for the average American citizen to express their political opinion. Including our president, Americans have curated their personal profiles and feeds to express their opinions and beliefs about the way in which they believe the American government and its politicians should function. What’s interesting, alongside the information on fake news and government censoring, is how these very same social media platforms that allow us to broadcast our opinions tell us more about ourselves. For example, the data garnered about certain groups of people is plenty due to surveillance on the part of these organizations.

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http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/05/12/liberal-democrats-most-likely-to-have-learned-about-election-from-facebook/

 

For example, a New York Times article from August 2016 details the ways in which Facebook can determine your political ideology. Usually, it goes off of the pages you like and what you declare yourself on your profile but if you do not particularly like anything, it can determine it from the other tastes that you have in common with most people of a certain ideology.

What’s more important about this, besides, you know, the fact that your social media providers are categorizing you, is that this data is being strategically collected in order to make “feed” stuff to you or purposely place certain ads in your way that can influence your behavior.

But besides social media serving as a place to document how certain people lean politically, there are many people that believe Facebook or Twitter are not the place for one to share one’s beliefs. An article on the NYPost by Karol Markowicz titled “You’re ruining Facebook (and friendships) with political rants” states that though one should always have a voice, Facebook and other social media platforms are not the place to go to use one’s voice. This is particularly interesting to me because though Markowicz argues this, it does not stop these social media platforms from wanting to categorize people by political party or ideology and then using this data to influence people politically.

 

Sources

 

Markowicz, Karol. “You’re ruining Facebook (and friendships) with political rants”. Nypost.com October 9, 2016. http://nypost.com/2016/10/09/youre-ruining-facebook-and-friendships-with-
political-rants/
February 5, 2017.

 

Merrill, Jeremy B. “Liberal, Moderate or Conservative? See How Facebook Labels You.” August 23, 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/us/politics/facebook-ads-politics.html February 5, 2017.