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Social Media Tag

For all the good the joy, one-click shopping, and cat videos the Internet provides, its underbelly is racked with loons of all shapes and sizes. Among them are the 9/11 truthers. Fed up by the "jet fuel can't melt steel" mantra, metalworker Trenton Tye of Purgatory Ironworks finally had enough. So he took to YouTube. "For the undying 9/11 MORONIC JET FUEL ARGUMENT" is a beautiful thing to behold.

Daesh (ISIS) is waging digital war and the Department of Homeland Security refuses to look at an applicant's digital footprint. That seems smart. But that's not even the worst part. DHS kept the no social media policy in place for fear of "bad public relations." Terrorist attacks on the homeland? Meh. We can't peruse a Mrs. San Bernardino Terrorist's Twitter feed because that might look bad! tumblr_mbx25zhydh1qkk6oystupidistthingeverheard_zps95af7487

One chocolate enthusiast is waking up from her sugar coma to discover she is the country's latest social media villain. This Halloween, a San Diego resident and his friends set-up an experiment involving candy and a hidden camera.
On Halloween night, Nathan Brown and his roommates made an impromptu "social experiment" at their house in Serra Mesa.  They set up a table with three boxes of full-size candy bars for trick-or-treaters to come and take. They also wrote a note to the trick-or-treaters, "Help yourself, but please be considerate." "We thought we`ll leave some candy out...of course people are going to help themselves to a lot, but it'll be fun to see who takes what," Brown said. Brown and his roommates left home for about an hour.  They returned to empty boxes. So, they checked the security video to see which kids took the most.

Suppose you were privy to a time machine. Knowing what you know now, would you back to 1889 and kill baby Hitler? That's the question the New York Times Magazine asked readers Friday. The internet responded exactly as you would expect.

Hillary Clinton's campaign is encouraging those digitally inclined to join their digital grassroots army. The process is pretty simple. The first step to joining the astroturf grassroots gang, entering your email address and zip code: Tweet for hillary clinton campaign grassroots digital media sign up scandal email benghazi 2016 democrat Almost instantly, you'll receive an email promising you all kinds of "goodies." We're not entirely sure what "goodies" we might get and we're afraid to ask.

Twitter has effectively shut down a popular and controversial Twitter-scraping service that allowed activists and journalists alike to keep tabs on their favorite (or not so) politicians' and diplomats' online activities. Politwoops and Diplotwoops existed as a way to archive deleted tweets from politicians and diplomats. Twitter cut off their API access (in a nutshell, API access is what allows developers to create programs integrable with services like Twitter) after ruling that preserving and posting deleted tweets violated the site's terms of service. The OpenState Foundation immediately retaliated, claiming that the move constitutes a blow to transparency:
Arjan El Fassed (director of Open State Foundation): ‘What elected politicians publicly say is a matter of public record. Even when tweets are deleted, it’s part of parliamentary history. These tweets were once posted and later deleted. What politicians say in public should be available to anyone. This is not about typos but it is a unique insight on how messages from elected politicians can change without notice.’

Josh Groban joined Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday night. As part of a sketch, a piano-playing Groban sang tweets written by Donald Trump. The tweets are in fact, real. "Josh Groban's The Best Tweets of Kanye West was the number one album of 2011. And now, his highly anticipated follow up, The Best Tweets of Donald Trump. "Donald Trump's tweets will make you laugh, will make you cry, but mostly will make you cry," said Groban.

Mark Twain once wrote that "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." In the age of the internet, that saying should be updated to "three times around the world", as is evidenced by the story behind the resignation of a British scientist. I recently reported that Dr. Tim Hunt, a Nobel-prizing winning physiologist, a British knight, and a leading advocate for science education that is usually promoted by women’s rights activists, made a lame joke about single-sex labs. His punishment in the wake of a vicious social justice campaign was his forced resignation from the University College London. New revelations about the speech and the context of the joke have surfaced. An account of a European Commission Official who took detailed minutes of the event adds key information absent from the original report:
According to the new account, Sir Tim started with: “It’s strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists,” which makes clear he mocking sexism, rather than indulging in it. St. Louis reported this as Hunt simply admitting: “he has a reputation as a male chauvinist.”

I learned a lot during my time on the 2014 campaign trail. I learned how to "cut a walk book" for a block walk, and organize a phone bank, and juggle 15 reporters, 25 volunteers, and one candidate with one hand tied behind my back; but most importantly, I learned how to create a digital campaign that talks to people, as opposed to talking at them. People hate being talked at. It's condescending and boring and there's no hope of making a connection. You're wasting your time, money, and most importantly, your face time with a potential voter. That's why I was surprised and excited to see one of our already-declared presidential candidates taking a new approach to voter outreach. Yesterday, Team Rubio posted a different kind of video to their Facebook page. Watch it:

Members of both political parties descended upon Selma, Alabama earlier today. Partisan politics were shelved as members of Congress were unified in remembering the sacrifice of those who marched for freedom. So how did Republicans commemorate the day? Take a look:

Chicago's Mayor can't be bothered with first person pronouns. At least not when it comes to his Twitter account. Not all politicians have social media pros running their accounts for them. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn runs his own Twitter account. And former Texas Governor, Rick Perry, also personally tweets from his account. And who can forget Senator Grassley's infamous tweets? Like most elected officials, Emanuel probably has someone running his account for him. But for some unknown, yet hilarious reason, whomever is managing the good Mayor's account has opted to go third person. Chris Ziegler from The Verge pointed out:
I'm especially amused by the Twitter feed of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, for some reason. Maybe it's the frequency of third-person tweets; maybe it's the fact that he usually refers to himself simply as "Rahm," not something more formal like "Mayor Emanuel." It's just Rahm talkin' about Rahm. Rahm on Rahm.
Rahm, Rahm, and more Rahm:

Iranian media outlet Press TV made a major error yesterday when they mistook an Israeli satire article for actual news. I realize that most of us have been fooled at some point by a link on Facebook or Twitter making some sort of ridiculous claim, but Press TV reached a whole new level of gullible with this one: they actually believed that President Obama used social media to diss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. By unfriending him. On Facebook. Via Israelly Cool:
The report was based on this satirical piece by The Israeli Daily, which they even cite!
The icy relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu hit a new low this week, with the American president ‘defriending’ the Israeli Premier on Facebook. Though it’s unclear exactly when Obama made the move to delete his Israeli counterpart as a Facebook friend – most likely around the time Netanyahu accepted Boehner’s controversial invite – Netanyahu only learned of the snub yesterday, according to a source close to the prime minister. “Bibi was looking at [Attorney General] Eric Holder’s page, and he happened to check what friends they had in common,” the source explained. “And he sees [Secretary of State John] Kerry, Bill [Clinton], Hill [ary Clinton], Fabio, but no Obama. So he goes to Obama’s page, and sure enough it says ‘Add Friend.’ We were in complete disbelief.” While the White House had no official comment, a source close to the President said Obama had reached his maximum allowed Friends and wished to add Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after a pleasant meeting on Iran’s nuclear program. The source said the defriending wasn’t personal, but conceded Obama had gotten sick of seeing Sara Netanyahu on his newsfeed and the Prime Minister’s daily invitations to play Candy Crush.
How they could treat that seriously is anyone’s guess. Now if only Obama treated their nuclear ambitions this seriously.
The outlet finally removed the article and associated social media postings, but fortunately for you and me, Google cache is forever: Press TV Obama Unfriends Netanyahu FB post

The photograph featured above surfaced shortly after a grand jury in Missouri refused to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown. In a sea of memes, photoshops, and Twitter commentary, the picture went viral alongside its companion photograph (courtesy of Politifact): politifact-photos-Ferguson_sign_original Two different photographs, one very clearly photoshopped to provide some social commentary on a quickly spiraling situation. Predictably, the photograph enraged some, delighted others, but no one with two brain cells to rub together believed that the "rob a store" version of the photograph was real. Politifact, however, dove in headfirst to provide us with an analysis no one asked for (emphasis mine):

When it comes to quantifiably productive debate about politics, Twitter is the abyss. Those who choose to wade into its murky depths accept the fact that they're jumping into the deep end with the hackers, the trolls, and the most enthusiastic dregs of internet society. The government recognizes this, and they're here to help. A new project out of Indiana University, dubbed "Truthy," is fully funded by the federal government and seeks to harvest and analyze your Twitter data. The project's developers claim that they've developed a system that "evaluates thousands of tweets an hour to identify new and emerging bursts of activity around memes of various flavors." Here comes the science, courtesy of Indiana University's Truthy homepage:
We also plan to use Truthy to detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution. While the vast majority of memes arise in a perfectly organic manner, driven by the complex mechanisms of life on the Web, some are engineered by the shady machinery of high-profile congressional campaigns. Truthy uses a sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex networks models. To train our algorithms, we leverage crowdsourcing: we rely on users like you to flag injections of forged grass-roots activity. Therefore, click on the Truthy button when you see a suspicious meme!
Here's a flow chart, which contains even more science: Truthy Architecture

I guess it is not really surprising that Israel is doing well in Chinese social media. Israel and China have signed a series of new trade agreements in recent months, including academic cooperation, as we detailed in Israel-China tech deal another blow to BDS. Those expanding trade connections, based in large part on Chinese desire for Israeli technology and know-how, have continued uninterrupted during the Gaza hostilities:
China is now Israel's second- largest trading partner, with exports of US$2.88 billion and imports of US$7.99 billion last year. Chinese companies are eyeing several high-profile investment deals in Israel. These include tendering for construction of a railway linking Eilat on the Red Sea and Ashdod on the Mediterranean, and purchasing a more than US$1 billion controlling stake in Tnuva, Israel's dairy giant.
Peter Cai at the China Spectator writes on September 2, How Israel is winning the social media war in China:

A few days ago, President Obama made what is probably one of his silliest remarks yet when he insinuated we're only now realizing the world is a "messy" place because of the advent of social media. Really? No one noticed the underbelly of humanity before Twitter? We beg to differ.

That time that jerk Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton.

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Archduke Ferdinand gets capped and a little thing called "World War I" happens

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You may have heard about the upcoming Supreme Court case of Sebellius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
On November 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., a case arising out of commitment of the Green family, the sole owners of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., to live out their deeply held religious convictions by “operating their company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.” These principles were put to the test when the federal government mandated that the Greens and their family businesses provide four specific potentially life-terminating drugs and devices through their employee health plan in conflict with their deeply held religious convictions. While the Green family has no moral objection to providing 16 of the 20 FDA-approved drugs and devices that are part of the federal mandate, providing drugs or devices that have the potential to terminate a life conflicts with their faith. Accordingly, the Greens and their family businesses filed suit in September 2012 to defend their right to religious freedom under the Constitution and federal law. Throughout, the Greens have been assisted and represented in the legal case by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit, public-interest legal and educational institute with a mission to protect the free expression of all faiths.
The case is scheduled to be decided by the Supreme Court by the end of the June term. Apart from the legal work being done on Hobby Lobby’s behalf, the company has also engaged in a fairly strong public relations campaign. They’ve created a number a videos, featured on YouTube and their website, including this one. Hobby Lobby also appears to be engaging in a very active Twitter campaign to help control the narrative — to the extent possible — about their impending case.