Zac Efron is grateful for Instagram and Martin Luther King Day

Yes, this is a celebrity tweet, not a political one, but it’s instructive nonetheless.

Just in case you have no conception of pop culture (and I don’t blame you if you don’t!), Zac Efron is a very popular actor who is appearing in the movie Dirty Grandpa, which is coming out soon.  Related to this is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which we celebrated this past Monday.  How, on Earth, are these two related, you ask?

Yeah…he definitely confused two things that have nothing to do with each other.  Maybe he was thinking that the African-American emoji that he used in response would make things better?  Because they didn’t:

 

Of course, there was also plenty of negative news about Efron’s tweet.  To his credit, Efron deleted the tweet and apologized:

A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on

Okay, so what’s the lesson here?  Do not, ever, confuse serious and silly subjects in the same tweet. Efron somehow managed to make a very special American holiday about him, and specifically, his huge number of Instagram followers.  This, of course, is a blatant attempt to self aggrantize and use a very powerful American icon in a completely unrelated matter.  Making broad statements about diversity, inclusion and the power of Dr. King is one thing – but never, ever use sacred American holidays in an effort to promote yourself.  It’s terrible form.

Tweets and Consequences

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Social Media Logo Collage

What is a video view? Depends on who you are asking

When you are measuring the reach of an internet video, one of the most important question is an obvious one: How many views can that video rack up?

Okay, fair enough.  But, here’s a more important question: What counts as a video view?  It seems straight forward enough, but each platform has a different interpretation of what counts as a view, and this is something you must keep in mind when measuring the success of a video.

So, what are the definitions of a video view?

  • YouTube: How, exactly, YouTube counts a view is unknown.  However, a view has to be “requested,” and YouTube has security that stops a view from counting if it’s viewed for “mere seconds.” Autoplayed videos don’t count.
  • Facebook: Facebook has one of the loosest definitions of a video view.  A view counts as when a video is watched for at least three seconds, even if the video autoplays in the Facebook newsfeed. Autoplay will start on the desktop when 100% of the video is visible in the screen, but only 50% on a mobile device.
  • Instagram: Like Facebook, a view is counted when someone watches a video for three seconds.  Views are not accessible to the general public, however.
  • Snapchat: Very differently measured here – Snapchat video views are counted the instant a video loads.  However, a user has to tap on a video to get it to load.
  • Vine: Views (called Loops) are counted when an entire Vine is watched – usually six seconds.

So, there you have it! Hope this is helpful!

MTV Australia makes racist post during Golden Globes

The Golden Globes were held this past Sunday, and like most award shows, they were not without their share of controversy.  One such example, however, was thanks to the Twitter account of MTV Australia.

The set-up: Actresses Eva Longoria and America Ferrera were presenting an award and joking about who they were, a reference to people who confuse Latina actresses.  At the same time, they were making fun of the Golden Globes Twitter account, which confused Ferrera with actress Gina Rodriguez in a December 2015 tweet.

So, while the actresses were making Hispanic-related jokes, MTV Australia tweeted out this:

MTV Australia Tweet

Ooof.  As you would expect, the internet was less than pleased.

MTV Australia did delete the tweet, and replaced it with this:

A spokesperson also said, “MTV’s tweet was in reference to the joke made by Eva Longoria and America Ferrera at the Golden Globes. We realise it was a poor joke and have taken the post down. We apologise for causing any offence and have decided to leave the humour to Ricky Gervais.”

If you take MTV Australia’s explanation at face value, then you can at least understand how such a mistake could have happened.  That being said, someone should have thought this one through .  It’s obvious to see how the tweet could have been interpreted as racist, and any major business (or politician!) needs to be extremely careful when they tweet about issues as weighty as race and racism.

Tweets and Consequences

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donald trump

Trump tweet implies Paris is in Germany

This is a bit of a weird one.  I say weird because I find myself in the unlikely position of interpreting a tweet sent by Donald Trump in a more positive light than others.  Yep.  That’s weird.

Anyways: Last week, in light of a series of crimes occurring in Paris, Donald Trump tweeted out the following:

 

As you can see, the tweet mentions Paris, then Germany.  A possible interpretation of this tweet is that Mr. Trump thinks that Paris IS IN Germany…which, of course, it isn’t.  And that is exactly how Trump’s opponents took the tweet:

 

The tweet also inspired a variety of news stories and briefly made #ParisIsInGermany a trending topic on Twitter.

My opinion?  This was a poorly worded tweet.  Donald Trump is many things, but I don’t think he – or anyone on his campaign – really thinks Paris is in Germany.  Germany has had a spike in violence, including as many as 80 sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, and that is likely what Mr. Trump was referring to.  However, the phrasing of the tweet – which is obviously condensed by the 140 character limitation – lent itself to the interpretation that Mr. Trump thinks Paris is in Germany.

The lesson here? Careful with how you tweet things.  Again, I don’t think the Trump campaign was saying that they think Paris is in Germany, but you always have to be careful with how you phrase your tweets.  As frequent readers of this blog know, you can do a lot of damage in 140 characters or less, and your political opponents certainly won’t give you the benefit of the doubt.  Don’t make anything easy for them.

IBM’s way of getting women involved in STEM HackAHairDryer

Someone at IBM has a whole lot of egg on their face.

This one is a bit older, but here goes: The technology giant came up with a great (sarcasm) campaign to get more women involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics: Have them hack a hair dryer!  After all, nothing works better at getting women involved in a male dominating field than by appealing to them via stereotypical female product, right?

The campaign encouraged women to hack a hair dryer in order to “blow away the misconception, dissolve the stigma, blast through the bias, and bring innovation culture into balance.”

Users on Twitter – particularly women already involved in the STEM field – did not take kindly to the marketing effort:

I think this analysis from Fortune nailed it:

…“feminizing” science and technology in order to attract female talent propagates the myth that math, science, and technology are somehow inherently “un-feminine,” directly conflicting with the good intentions of these initiatives.

To their credit, IBM ended the campaign, admitting it’s failure.  In an Emailed statement, IBM said:

“The videos were part of a larger campaign to promote STEM careers. It missed the mark for some and we apologize. It is being discontinued.”

The company also sent out this tweet:

IBM tried to blow apart stereotypes in science.  Unfortunately, they did so in a manner which merely reinforced the same stereotypes they were trying to break.  Someone should have caught this.  However, credit to IBM for recognizing their failure, acknowledging it and apologizing for it.

Tweets and Consequences

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Tennessee State Representative tweets support for Bundy Militia

As you are probably aware, a group of armed ranchers has taken over a federal building in Oregon, as part of a “protest” of federal government land use and ownership policies.  The protest, of course, isn’t a protest, it’s an act of violence.  As such, the action has been condemned by even the most conservative of Presidential candidates like Ted Cruz.

However, not ever lawmaker has voiced their objections, and some have even tweeted their support.  Enter Tennessee State Representative Andy Holt (R):

That tweet from Representative Holt was deleted, but as you can see, some grabbed a screenshot of it.  After the tweet was deleted, Representative Holt added:

When asked for comment, Holt did say,”I do lend my moral support to the Bundy militia, or whatever they call themselves.”

So, to summarize:

  • A sworn government officer tweeted their support for an armed insurrection so extreme that even some of the most extreme Republicans running for President have disavowed it.
  • He deleted the tweet in which is expressed his support, then tweeted comments alluding to his support, then got into a flame war with others who attacked him for it.  If you’re going to do all of those things, why delete the tweets in the first place?

Tweets and Consequences

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Carly Fiorina sets new low for pandering: Roots against her alma mater in Rose Bowl

Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is a Stanford graduate.  As such, yesterday should have been a big day for her, since the Stanford Cardinals were playing the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Rose Bowl, one of College football’s biggest games.

However, given the upcoming Iowa Caucuses, Mrs. Fiorina switched loyalties:

The internet, of course, wasn’t having it:

This is a fail on so many levels.  First, as the responses showed, it’s just so blatant: The pandering is so, so clear.  Second, it is incredibly insulting.  Does Mrs. Fiorina – or her campaign – truly think that Iowa voters are so stupid that they can be manipulated into voting for someone, not based on their policy positions or experience, but because of their loyalty to a football team?  Third, it was so unforced.  It’s not as if the average Iowa voter was sitting down, thinking, “Gee, when is Mrs. Fiorina going to weigh in on who is going to win the Rose Bowl?  I simply must know her position before I cast my vote!”

Incidentally, Stanford obliterated Iowa, winning 45-16.  This, of course, spawned a new hashtag on Twitter: #CarlyCurse, in which fans blamed Iowa’s loss on Mrs. Fiorina.

Tweets and Consequences

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