Social media ‘fully weaponized’

The internet might well be the innovation that liberated access to ideas, but the social media it spawned are swiftly evolving into the jackboot that suppresses them.

To put what’s happening today to an increasing number of editors into perspective – Ian Buruma of the New York Review of Books is just the latest victim – one has to go back to the pre-internet days, when those of us within newsrooms were pretty much the only ones who knew what was and wasn’t in the paper or on the TV.

We spent our days scanning news wires for the information we thought was important and/or useful to our readers. We controlled the flow of information and people trusted us to do so in a responsible manner.

There were all kinds of interesting little decisions made every day that, in general, people didn’t know about. We never reported on suicides, for instance, because they inspired others to do the same. The editorial pages of one newspaper I worked for had, as many still likely do, banned commentary from anti-abortion perspectives. Others declared that the debate on global warming was over and skeptical perspectives would no longer be presented.

This ensured that ideas within the “contentious social issues” category didn’t inflame or divide public opinion, as if, provided they didn’t appear in the paper, they didn’t exist.

We kept the gates. We did our best, or so we said, to ensure the mob was not inflamed. When it was and we were at fault, we would beg and usually be granted forgiveness. But when we were right, we and our advertisers would defend our principles, chief among them freedom of speech.

And then the internet came along, and everyone we had excluded got a voice again. Many of us saw it as the dawn of a new age – one that would leave little room for prejudicial behaviours and would apply more pressure on professional media to behave even more professionally. This, surely, was a chance for people from all perspectives to become exposed to alternative and fresh points of view, inspiring a richer intellectual tapestry within the public square. The world would be a better place.

Well, not so much.

No one expected that people would attempt to express complex ideas within 140 characters and that others would be willing to respond without even a millisecond set aside for pondering and politeness.

Yes, liberty flourished, but the Eden-like public square many envisioned was swiftly overrun by a collection of cacophonic rabble dedicated to crushing ideas to which they’re opposed. This post-modern neo-puritanism is far more threatening to the polity than the soft paternalism practised in most “back in the day” newsrooms.

Social media are now fully weaponized. What happened in New York is similar to what happened to former editors Hal Niedzviecki at Write (the Writers’ Union of Canada magazine) and Jonathan Kay at The Walrus.

Buruma resigned under pressure after publishing a personal essay by Jian Ghomeshi, the once wildly popular CBC host accused of sexual assault only to be found not guilty in March 2016. According to the Canadian Press, “critics swiftly denounced the piece as a self-serving bid for public rehabilitation” – as if people found not guilty in the courts are forbidden to do so.

“It is rather ironic: as editor of the New York Review of Books I published a theme issue about #MeToo offenders who had not been convicted in a court of law but by social media,” Buruma told the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland. “And now I myself am publicly pilloried.”

This is certainly not a defence of Ghomeshi or, for that matter, any other particular point of view.

It’s merely a plea for civility and liberal order – a world in which people who wish to influence opinion should shoulder the responsibility to, at the very least, engage in an argument before winning it.

— Peter Menzies is a former newspaper publisher and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission vice-chair.

Source

http://princegeorgecitizen.com/opinion/columnists/social-media-fully-weaponized-1.23445496

Social media ‘fully weaponized’

The internet might well be the innovation that liberated access to ideas, but the social media it spawned are swiftly evolving into the jackboot that suppresses them.

To put what’s happening today to an increasing number of editors into perspective – Ian Buruma of the New York Review of Books is just the latest victim – one has to go back to the pre-internet days, when those of us within newsrooms were pretty much the only ones who knew what was and wasn’t in the paper or on the TV.

We spent our days scanning news wires for the information we thought was important and/or useful to our readers. We controlled the flow of information and people trusted us to do so in a responsible manner.

There were all kinds of interesting little decisions made every day that, in general, people didn’t know about. We never reported on suicides, for instance, because they inspired others to do the same. The editorial pages of one newspaper I worked for had, as many still likely do, banned commentary from anti-abortion perspectives. Others declared that the debate on global warming was over and skeptical perspectives would no longer be presented.

This ensured that ideas within the “contentious social issues” category didn’t inflame or divide public opinion, as if, provided they didn’t appear in the paper, they didn’t exist.

We kept the gates. We did our best, or so we said, to ensure the mob was not inflamed. When it was and we were at fault, we would beg and usually be granted forgiveness. But when we were right, we and our advertisers would defend our principles, chief among them freedom of speech.

And then the internet came along, and everyone we had excluded got a voice again. Many of us saw it as the dawn of a new age – one that would leave little room for prejudicial behaviours and would apply more pressure on professional media to behave even more professionally. This, surely, was a chance for people from all perspectives to become exposed to alternative and fresh points of view, inspiring a richer intellectual tapestry within the public square. The world would be a better place.

Well, not so much.

No one expected that people would attempt to express complex ideas within 140 characters and that others would be willing to respond without even a millisecond set aside for pondering and politeness.

Yes, liberty flourished, but the Eden-like public square many envisioned was swiftly overrun by a collection of cacophonic rabble dedicated to crushing ideas to which they’re opposed. This post-modern neo-puritanism is far more threatening to the polity than the soft paternalism practised in most “back in the day” newsrooms.

Social media are now fully weaponized. What happened in New York is similar to what happened to former editors Hal Niedzviecki at Write (the Writers’ Union of Canada magazine) and Jonathan Kay at The Walrus.

Buruma resigned under pressure after publishing a personal essay by Jian Ghomeshi, the once wildly popular CBC host accused of sexual assault only to be found not guilty in March 2016. According to the Canadian Press, “critics swiftly denounced the piece as a self-serving bid for public rehabilitation” – as if people found not guilty in the courts are forbidden to do so.

“It is rather ironic: as editor of the New York Review of Books I published a theme issue about #MeToo offenders who had not been convicted in a court of law but by social media,” Buruma told the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland. “And now I myself am publicly pilloried.”

This is certainly not a defence of Ghomeshi or, for that matter, any other particular point of view.

It’s merely a plea for civility and liberal order – a world in which people who wish to influence opinion should shoulder the responsibility to, at the very least, engage in an argument before winning it.

— Peter Menzies is a former newspaper publisher and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission vice-chair.

Source

http://princegeorgecitizen.com/opinion/columnists/social-media-fully-weaponized-1.23445496

Social Media Updates October 11

Social Media Updates October 11

Holy moly can you believe it’s already October and Thanksgiving is just around the corner?

Have you ever had to spell your Instagram username over and over again to someone?

If you have, you’ll love nametags. Instagram nametags are scannable codes that let you share your account easily. Go to your profile, tap on the 3 line icon, select the nametag tab and customize your own.

Why This Matters to Your Business

Now it’s easy for people to find your Instagram account! Add the nametag code to the back of your business card, print and display in your store, add to your website, and people you meet can quickly follow you on Instagram.

Have you ever wanted to create an Instagram story longer than 15 seconds? Soon you may be able to do just that! This new feature is in test mode and we’re eagerly awaiting its arrival.

How it will work is that you will be able to load a video to Stories and Instagram will automatically break it down into 15-second segments for stories that are stitched together.

Why This Matters to Your Business

Instagram stories are growing 15x faster than feed content. They’re an important way to interact with your audience. The ability to have videos longer than 15 seconds will expand the creative ways businesses use stories to display their products, build brand loyalty and more.

Google+ is officially done by August 2019. In the beginning, Google+ was a rapidly growing network that has since been in decline.

Why This Matters to Your Business

Users may have already quit using Google+ but for those who haven’t, it’s important to think of the next steps for your Google+ content and the platforms you should focus your attention on now.

I use Google+ primarily for SEO reasons. I would share a post on Google+ in order to get it indexed by Google right away. Now this can still be done but you need to shift to the Google my Business area in order to share a new blog post and get it indexed by Google.

Facebook launched premieres, a new video feature that allows you to release a pre-recorded video as a live moment along with interactive video polls and making top fans product available to all eligible pages globally.

Why This Matters to Your Business

Video is vital and Facebook is building more ways creators and publishers can grow their audience and connections through video. Your business can create a premier ahead of your live video and it effectively promotes the video. Polls are a great way to get user engagement and now you can reward top fans for their activity and engagement with your page.

It’s been spotted! Cross-posting from Facebook business pages to Instagram is here for select pages. But it’s only been seen on desktop. We’ve been able to cross-post from Instagram to Facebook for a while now, and we are excited to see that we are soon going to be able to post the other way.

Why This Matters to Your Business

While cross-posting can be beneficial for your business it is important to remember that Instagram and Facebook pages may have different audiences and may require different content on occasions.

Seems like updates keep rolling out!

What’s the most significant update for you?

Check back in two weeks for more updates on what is happening in the Social Media world!

7 unconventional Christmas work party ideas that go beyond the usual

The standard Christmas work party is almost formulaic. Beginning with cocktails and polite conversation, followed by wine, beer and food, before perhaps, a little dancing. Then, just as Grant from accounts is performing his ‘hilarious’ David Brent impression, and the intern is oversharing with the boss, you bundle up your belongings and call it a night. It’s fun, if not a little repetitive. So this year, in an endeavour to change up the Yuletide celebrations, we have rounded up five less predictable party plans so that you can mix things up a bit.


If you’re after something a bit more cultured (but no less entertaining) consider the Basement Theatre’s Christmas Show your cue. This year, award-winning comics Alice Sneddon and Rose Matafeo are joining forces to bring you their ‘Christmas Party gone wrong’, a belly ache-inducing tale featuring a litany of Basement Theatre’s best talent. The best part about it, aside from the laughs, is that there’s a good chance your boss will have to put their pride aside and get up on stage. And the fact that you’ll be supporting a worthy, not-for-profit organisation, of course. Purchase tickets here.

The Gallery By Candlelight
Newmarket gallery Sanderson is teaming up with neighbouring eatery The Candy Shop to offer a truly unique end-of-year affair. Dubbed The Gallery by Candlelight, the partnership will see a three-course meal unfold within the gallery where guests are surrounded by contemporary New Zealand art, illuminated by candlelight. They can accommodate up to 20 people, where for $90 a head they will receive plates of nori tacos, spicy pork belly, tantalising mains and dessert with the option of BYO beverages or provisions of Craggy Range wines. Click here to inquire.

Holey MoleyIt’s the grown-up activity for big kids at heart that has caused quite a stir in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour. Tapping into our penchant for all things nostalgic, the new locale will offer a wide range of themed drinks and a delicious selection of food to enjoy with your intrepid round of minigolf. Promising to inject a fair amount more ‘fun’ into the idea of going out, Holey Moley is the vibrant activity that’s worth booking the office into. 

Cork and Canvas
Hosted by a local artist, wine and art collide at this cultured event where you are invited to first examine a famed work before picking up a palette and emulating it in your own style. The wildly popular series has sold-out all of the public events for the rest of the year, but there is still space for private and corporate bookings. It’s particularly entertaining for those with a competitive streak and a fitting chance to bring out your inner Picasso.

Escape Rooms
Team bonding and seasonal get-together in one, if you haven’t yet tried to mastermind your way out of an escape room, now is the time to do it. Pitting team against team (or maybe management vs. others?), you and your colleagues will battle it out to solve the clues and break out of the room the fastest. There are plenty of options in Auckland, with Escape Masters, Great Escape, Escape Rooms NZ and Escapade being just a few of the finest.

Pamper Sessions
Moving onto something more indulgent, East Day Spa’s Corporate Christmas Parties are a relaxing way for the bosses to show they care. With 12 individual treatment rooms (five of which can be double suites), a generous relaxation area, a steam room, and group manicure and pedicure lounge, it’s the dream way for small teams to round off the year. Boasting an all-encompassing array of treatments for men and women, you can discover more about the luxurious services, here.

Ever since it launched in August, Akai Doa is living up to expectations of being a ‘theatrical dinner experience like nothing else’, making it the perfect place to take the work troops. Inside K’ Road’s famous Las Vegas nightclub, acclaimed chef Yukio Ozeki takes the stage to deliver some crazy delicious and somewhat experimental food using the influences of Japanese cuisine and Asahi beer. Having extended their season due to popular demand, there are sessions available up until 21st December with ‘late night surprises’ in store for the silly season. To book, click here.

Nightmare Before Christmas Party Ideas

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” can be the ideal party theme for just about any type of celebration, whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, birthdays or even a baby shower. If you want the Pumpkin King to be an integral part of your next gathering, check out these frighteningly fun and creepily clever “Nightmare Before Christmas” party ideas for any occasion.

Zero The Ghost Dog

Jack Skellington’s pet is a ghost dog named Zero. Krista Nash shared her DIY floating Zero decoration on her blog, Scrap Happens. All you need is some white fabric, felt, a pompom and wire (Krista recommends using white wire clothes hangers). 

Scrap Happens

Black And White Table Settings

Used for a boy’s birthday party, these “The Nightmare Before Christmas” table settings are black and white with a touch of orange for the perfect pop of color. Shannon at Partying with the Princesses used a combination of DIY and store-bought decor to create this festive look.

Fog Juice And Wine Glasses

Serve green punch in a glass bowl tucked into a pumpkin shell. Turn it into Sally’s fog juice by adding dry ice. You can find even more ideas like this at Mad Like Alyce.

Jack Skellington Marshmallows

All you need are some paper straws, a bag of marshmallows and a black, edible marker to create a delightful and delicious centerpiece. Michelle Sterling shared this and other “Nightmare Before Christmas” birthday party ideas on her blog, Avery and Augustine.

Glow In The Dark Cake

This amazing dessert made by Colorado-based Bold City Confections really takes the cake. The baker used special ingredients in the frosting to make the layers and decorations glow under a black light.

It’s October 1st!!! Bring on the Halloween fun! #nightmarebeforechristmas #nmbc #jackskellington #halloweencake #glowinthedark

A post shared by Bold City Confections (@boldcityconfections) on

Jack Skellington Cupcakes

If a large cake is not your cup of tea, think smaller and go with cupcakes. Lynlee North Beckett made orange cupcakes, topped them with fondant Jack Skellington toppers and wrapped them in black and white striped paper for a scary Christmas party. She shares other details on her blog, Lynlee’s.

Favors And Treats

No tricks, only treats at this Halloween party. Guests received sweet oranges decorated like miniature pumpkins, jack-o-lantern-adorned milk bottles and goodie buckets with Jack Skellington, skulls and other black and white accents. Laura at Make Life Lovely used her trusty Cricut machine to create custom embellishments.

The Pumpkin King

Paint pumpkins to look like Jack, Oogie Boogie and other “The Nightmare Before Christmas” characters. Bonnie at A Compass Rose used pumpkins, squash, paint and other supplies to craft a collection of party-perfect gourds.

A Compass Rose

Halloween/Christmas Countdown Clock

The countdown clock hangs in Halloweentown in the movie as well as over the main entrance to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion during the holiday season. Kristie at Nightmare Before Christmas Props explains how to make a replica of the wreath for your party.

Oogie Boogie Treat Bags

Send guests home with unique goodie bags filled with treats or favors. Tessa Smith at Mama’s Geeky stitched up these handmade containers. All you need is some burlap, yarn, a drawstring and black cloth for Oogie Boogie’s face.

Jack Skellington Chocolate Bowls

An edible bowl made to look like Jack’s face is a fun party addition. Fill the bowls with cookies and cream cheesecake mousse and your guests will be wowed. Beth at Hungry Happenings provides a tutorial for the bowls and a recipe for the mousse.

Sally’s Potion Bottles

Jack’s sweetheart Sally is an expert when it comes to powerful concoctions. Decorate your party with replicas of her potion bottles. Angie at Big Bear’s Wife turned plain old glass bottles into elixir containers using spray paint, mod podge and a few other simple materials.

Man-Eating Wreath

Jack drops off a wreath as a gift at an old woman’s house in the film. Shortly after, it opens its eyes, sports tentacles and attempts to eat its recipient. Learn how to make your own party prop with help from Chrissy at Adventures in DIY.

Banners And Bats

Don’t forget to deck the halls and decorate the walls. Lindsay at Artsy-Fartsy Mama used a Cricut to create a “This Is Halloween” banner and flying black bats. However, you could cut the shapes and letters out of paper by hand, as well.

[h/t: PopSugar]