Posts tagged with "Facebook"

And this little piggy is photogenic

September 21, 2020

A newborn piglet “hogged the camera” recently—and the resulting photos are being greeted with oohs and aahhs all over social media.

Oklahoma-based photographer Cashlie White, who typically takes photos of families, newborns and weddings, photographed the piglet—who is named Dynamite and is just a wee bit over two weeks old.

“I usually don’t do pictures of pigs,” White told ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, noting this was her first pig photoshoot.

The 34-year-old photographer and mom of two said she got the idea to do a newborn piglet photoshoot after seeing a photo of Dynamite shared by her friend, Connie Hamilton. Hamilton breeds pigs like Dynamite for competitions.

White said taking photos of the piglet was just like taking photos of a newborn baby.

“She got a bath before the shoot and I used all of my newborn ‘shoosh-ing’ and swaddling tricks, just like a reg

Photo source: Cashlie Joy Photography

ular newborn session and she went to sleep in my arms!” White wrote on Facebook. “We kept her warm and the room quiet and she was OUT and in Hog Heaven! After the shoot she woke up and was on the run back to momma!”

“With any newborn session, I have a small little space heater … kind of just keep them warm and cozy. And that’s what I did with the pig,” White said.

White shared the photos on the Cashlie Joy Photography Facebook page and said she didn’t expect to receive such a positive reaction.

White said she hopes to keep spreading smiles with more photos of baby animals soon.

Research contact: @GMA

The meaning behind the #FilterDrop campaign you’re seeing on Instagram

September 9, 2020

While “authenticity” is highly valued these days, you wouldn’t know it by looking at social media: Just as many women wouldn’t leave the house without some form of makeup, many Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter users wouldn’t post a selfie without a filter.

In the age of image-altering apps like Facetune and seemingly flawless influencers, many would likely admit to being filter-dependent. In fact, according to a survey results posted by Bustle, fully one-third (33%) of girls and young women will not post selfies online without using a filter. 

The findings, published by the UK-based charity Girlguiding, highlighted that two out of five of the young women (40%) surveyed “feel upset” that they can’t look like the way they do online.

Between influencer culture and social media ads and posts, more than half of the girls said they have seen ads that have made them “feel pressured to look different”—and this figure is higher for girls who identify as LGBTQ.

The findings also revealed girls from Black, Asian, and minority backgrounds are “more likely” than their white peers not to use social media “because of fear of criticism of their bodies.”

As part of their 2020 survey, which spoke to more than 2,000 young women aged 11-21, Bustle reports that Girlguiding is calling out the apps, filters, and online adverts that “knock girls’ confidence.”

In reaction, a new #FilterDrop campaign has emerged online—but what is it and how is it helping?

UK-based model and make-up artist Sasha Louise Pallari launched the #FilterDrop campaign after noticing influencers “advertising a makeup brand with a beautifying filter on.” Taking to Instagram, the 28-year-old claims “false advertising” in this way is contributing to low self-esteem.

“I so strongly wish you would realize the vast scale of damage the constant use of filters are,” she wrote in the caption. “Flawless, poreless, scarless, wrinkle-less skin does not exist and it’s only because of the overuse of these [filters] we believe it does.”

In a video posted to her Instagram page, the model showcased how drastically different filters can make you look. In the clip, she’s seen heavily filtered and with her “normal skin.”

And, following the response to her filter-free images, Pallari has since devoted her Instagram page to normalizing skin blemishes on the app, as well as exposing the deceptive nature of filters.

She writes in another post: “Please think about what using filters all the time is doing to our already damaged society. A LOT of money is made from us not feeling good enough. So let this be a reminder that your pores, wrinkles and the texture on your skin are beautiful, yet still the least interesting things about you.”

The model also questioned the lasting damage filters could have on children who may base their self-worth on “how beautiful they are” and “the filter they need in order to even be beautiful.”

It’s a legitimate concern.

People seem to be watching. The #FilterDrop campaign page on Instagram now shows hundreds of photos of people ditching the filter and sharing what they really look like. Here’s hoping for a more unfiltered reality.

Research contact: @bustle

Facebook, Twitter move to suppress Trump posts about trying to vote twice

September 7, 2020

Facebook and Twitter have moved to limit President Donald Trump’s posts encouraging Americans to vote in person, as well as by mail—saying that his messaging violates their policies, Fox Business reports.

Facebook said it would remove videos of Trump’s remarks, if the users who post them do not provide context; or if they appear to support the message. A spokesperson told Politico that the video “violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud” and that the content will be taken down “unless it is shared to correct the record.”

Voting twice constitutes a felony in every state nationwide. In the video, Fox Business reported, Trump said that voting both way would not be a problem, if there are proper safeguards in place to prevent fraud. He claimed that if the system is working properly and a person’s mail-in vote had been processed already, poll workers would be aware of this when a voter tried to cast a ballot in person.

“And if their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote,” Trump said. “If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote.”

Trump reiterated the message Thursday, September 3 in a Twitter thread, but Twitter added a  “public interest notice” on two of the tweets, limiting how widely they could be shared.

Twitter users may “quote tweet” the messages, but may not not “like,” “reply,” or “retweet” them, the company said.

“To protect people on Twitter, we err on the side of limiting the circulation of Tweets which advise people to take actions which could be illegal in the context of voting or result in the invalidation of their votes,” Twitter wrote.

“Per our policies, this Tweet will remain on the service given its relevance to ongoing public conversation,” the company said. “Engagements with the Tweet will be limited.”

Also Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a slate of new policies to fight voter misinformation–including cutting off new political ads a week before Election Day and limiting forwarding on Facebook’s Messenger app.

Advertisers still will be able to run political ads in the week before the election, but Facebook will not green-light new political or issue ads in the week leading up to Election Day.

Research contact: @FoxBusiness

You can now transform your dog into a cartoon character using a new Snapchat filter

August 20, 2020

If you think your pet simply couldn’t be any cuter, try the new cartoon face filter on Snapchat. Suddenly, your “fur-ever friend” will look like a character out of a Disney animated film.

After the filter was discovered by a dog owner named Danielle Sugdenm, she took  took to the Facebook group, Dogspotting Society, to share the news, the UK’s Daily Mirror reports

Sugdenm wrote: “For those that don’t know… Snapchat has a new filter and it basically Disneyfies your dog. YOU ARE WELCOME. Plz post your Disney dawgs here.”

People went wild over her post and it quickly garnered over 9,000 likes and more than 3,000 comments. What’s more, her fellow dog lovers soon began sharing their own photos.

“Aww omg,” replied one user.

Another said: “So I guess I’m getting Snapchat now.”

A third added: “I just woke the baby from laughing so loud.”

The filter seemed to work on most pups – but there were a few users who couldn’t use it on their dogs. In one hilarious instance, the filter was applied only on the end of the dog’s nose. Its owner joked: “He looks just like a prince now from Disney.”

Research contact: @DailyMirror

Google will extend employee work-from-home policy until Summer 2021

July 28, 2020

We doubt that there will be much pushback from employees, now that Google has once again pushed back the date when its offices will reopen—this time, to Summer 2021., The Wall Street Journal reports.

Previously, the search engine platform had said that employees would return to the office on July 6 of this year; then, had postponed reopening to September. The latest change of plans reflects the current COVID-19 landscape—with more than 4.2 million cases nationwide and deaths mounting—which has grown immeasurable more dangerous just since May.

Indeed, the Journal reports, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made the decision partly to help employees with children who may be facing a partly or mostly remote school year.

“To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021 for roles that don’t need to be in the office,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an email to employees obtained by the Journal. “I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Rob Copeland first reported that Google would announce as early as Monday, July 27, that it had pushed its return-to-office date back to July 2021 for nearly all of its 200,000 employees and contract workers.

Google closed its offices in March as the coronavirus hit the San Francisco Bay Area. Management is now looking at the situation in California with an abundance of caution; although Pichai said in his memo to employees that Googlers had returned to the office “with robust health and safety protocols in place” in 42 countries where conditions have improved.

Google is one of several tech companies mulling how and when to reopen offices. Microsoft has said employees will work from home through at least October, while Amazon has said employees will work remotely until January. Both companies are based in Seattle, where coronavirus cases are still on the rise.

Twitter, based in San Francisco, announced in May that employees could work from home forever if they wanted. For Facebook, which appears to have sent some employees back to the office in July, as many as half of all employees will most likely work from home permanently, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said.

Research contact: @WSJ

Twitch muzzles Trump: Platform suspends president’s channel for ‘hateful conduct’

July 1, 2020

Twitch— the live-streaming platform that millions of people use to chat, interact, and make their own entertainment together—announced on Monday, June 29, that it was suspending Donald Trump’s personal channel for “hateful conduct,” in what appeared to be the first deliberate suspension of one of the president’s social media accounts, The New York Times reported.

The site, which is owned by Amazon, said two recent streams on. Trump’s channel violated its rules:

  • One stream was of a rebroadcasted 2015 campaign event in which Donald Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” adding, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
  • The other stream documented the president’s May 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he described a scenario involving an immigrant in the following way: “It’s one o’clock in the morning,” Trump said, and “a very tough hombre is breaking into the window of a young woman, whose husband is away, as a traveling salesman or whatever he may do. And you call 911, and they say, ‘I’m sorry this number is no longer working.’”

“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch,” a Twitch spokesperson said in a statement. “In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed.”

It was unclear how long the suspension would last.

With its move, Twitch went further than other social media platforms, the Times noted. In recent months, some tech companies have become more proactive in handling speech issues by Trump and his supporters. Twitter began adding labels to some of the president’s tweets; Snap has said it will stop promoting Mr. Trump’s Snapchat account; and Reddit on Monday said it would ban “The_Donald” community, which had been a highly influential digital gathering place for Trump’s acolytes.

But unlike those efforts, Twitch directly clamped down on the president himself, temporarily shutting down his ability to post videos on a channel. The only other time when the president had one of his social media accounts suspended was by accident in 2017, when his Twitter account was unexpectedly disabled by a rogue contractor who was leaving Twitter that day.

One company that has maintained it does not want to police free speech is Facebook. Last week, the social network announced it would expand its hate speech policies and label posts from political figures who violate rules as “newsworthy.” But the labels, which do not explain what is inaccurate or hateful about a post, fall short of what Twitter and other companies have done.

Twitch’s suspension of Mr. Trump comes as the platform, which is popular with gamers, is under fire for other instances of hateful rhetoric. Streamers have accused it of allowing racist and sexist comments to thrive unchecked, and the company said last week it would permanently suspend a handful of users after a torrent of sexual harassment and assault allegations rocked the video game industry.

Cindy Otis, a disinformation expert and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, told the Times that Twitch’s suspension of the president might pressure other companies to ratchet up their actions.

“You have to sort of wonder, if smaller platforms start taking more aggressive or harder action on what they consider harmful content or on the disinformation side — will that end up pressuring the larger platforms to do more as well?”. Otis asked.

But, she added, “If stuff gets removed from one platform, it simply migrates to another.”

The Trump campaign did not directly address the actions by Twitch and Reddit on Monday. Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign, said in a statement that people should download the Trump campaign app or text the campaign’s automated number to “hear directly from the president.”

Twitch is not one of Mr. Trump’s top social media channels, according to the Times report. His channel began streaming on the service last October, amassing more than 125,000 followers and 113 streams, compared with his more than 83 million followers on Twitter.

Research contact: @nytimes

In tweets about Minneapolis protesters, Trump is accused of “glorifying violence” against them

June 1, 2020

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” President Donald Trump threatened by tweet early on Friday, May 30, as Minneapolis and other urban centers nationwide faced violent protests—touched off by the murder of a black man by a white police officer, who placed his knee on the victim’s neck for more than five minutes, despite hearing his cries of “I can’t breathe.”

That officer and four other backup cops have been fired by the Minneapolis Police Department; however, they have not been arrested and no charges have been filed, while the department and federal authorities investigate the incident.

Trump began tweeting about the unrest in Minneapolis around 1 a.m., as cable news showed the police station— where the four city police officers involved in the death of George Floyd were assigned—Inengulfed in a fire set by protesters a short time earlier, The New York Times reported. Protesters also had begun looting businesses in the area.

By the time the president had posted his string of tweets, Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota already had activated and deployed the National Guard in response to a request from local leaders.

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis,” Trump said on Twitter. “A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” the president wrote in another tweet, which was flagged by Twitter. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

In saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” the president intentionally echoed a phrase coined by a Miami police chief in the 1960s about crackdowns on black neighborhoods during times of unrest.

Twitter officials responded to the threat by appending the tweets with a note saying the posts were “glorifying violence.” The social media site also made it more difficult for readers to see the feed of those comments:  “Mr. Trump’s post can now only be seen after users click a box with a notice saying it violated Twitter’s rules against encouraging violence, but it otherwise remains visible.”

The official White House Twitter account repeated Trump’s comments in a Friday morning tweet, and Twitter appended the same notice to that tweet. The same comments appeared on Mr. Trump’s Facebook account without a cautionary notice.

“We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance,” Twitter said on its official communications account.

Research contact: @nytimes

Obama tweets ‘vote’ after Trump promotes ‘Obamagate’

May 18, 2020

Now that his Attorney General Bill Barr has dropped DOJ charges against Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump has asked Republicans to take on the Obama Administration—promoting a planned political take-down with the term, Obamagate.

The issue, he says is that Obama-era officials “unmasked” the former national security adviser—gaining knowledge of his identity—after his call to reassure then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that sanctions on his nation would be expunged after Trump took the oath of office in January 2016.

Although, intelligence officials routinely “unmask” the identity of those who are in communications with the nation’s foes, President Trump demanded on Twitter that Senate Republicans call on Obama to testify, blasting what he called “the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA” and claiming that Obama “knew EVERYTHING.”

Indeed, on Wednesday, May 13, the White House sent lawmakers a declassified list of Obama-era officials whom Trump and his aides claim requested documents that led to Flynn’s identity being “unmasked” in intelligence reports.

According to a report by The Hill, former President Barack Obama had a simple message for the public on Thursday after his successor went after him on social media: Vote.

The former president shared similar messages on Facebook and Instagram, calling on supporters to “vote.”

Trump repeatedly lashed out at Obama last Sunday after the former president criticized the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case against Flynn. In a call that was subsequently leaked, Obama warned that the move to drop the Flynn case threatened the “rule of law.”

Trump declined to name a specific allegation when pressed by reporters on Monday, May 11, about what crime he was accusing Obama of committing following his tweets over the weekend.

Research contact: @thehill

‘Betty the Weathercat’ is a TV star in Indiana

April 30, 2020

When TV meteorologist Jeff Lyons of Channel 14 News in Evansville, Indiana, set up a green screen at home during the coronavirus lockdown in order to do his 10 p.m. live report, he didn’t know that, out of adversity, a star would be born, reports The Washington Post.

Three weeks into his new routine, things were going pretty smoothly when Betty—Lyons’ 11-year-old cat— showed up for her closeup: Shortly before Lyons’s three-minute weathercast on April 13, Betty sauntered out from beneath the dining room table for a little attention from her owner.

Is that your cat?” the news director asked Lyons. “You should put her on the air.”

Lyons wasn’t sure that was a great idea, he told the Post. “But I did it,” he said. “I held the cat up and on it went from there.”

He cradled his gray and white longhair feline in both arms and introduced her to his viewers. Betty lazily looked at the camera and twitched her tail. That’s all it took for the station’s viewers to fall in love.

The next morning, Lyons posted a screen shot to his Facebook page of him holding Betty in front of the weekly Evansville forecast. “I didn’t think much of it,” he told the news outlet, “but then I got a text from my nephew. He said, ‘My God, you’re trending on Reddit.’”

That was his first inkling that Betty was becoming a celebrity. But Lyons had no idea just how famous she would become. She is now so popular that she has her own Instagram page and is on the Channel 14 weather segment most nights with her own “Betty the Weathercat” graphic.

Lyons built a small “throne” for her next to his green screen, and he uses computer-animated graphics of Betty as a catalyst for his forecast. (An umbrella on her tail means that rain is on the way, while sunny skies usually get a paws-up.)

Viewers regularly leave comments for Betty, along with snapshots of their own cats.

“I think she will need a raise soon,” wrote one fan. “That 1 can of tuna is just not gonna cut it.”

“So long Jeff, it has been great watching you over these past years!” posted another. “Betty has taken over! She is a purrrfect meteorologist!”

Lyons, who has worked at Channel 14 for the past three decades, said he learned a long time ago to have fun while doing the weather. “When the weather is threatening, you have to be serious, but for the rest of the time, it’s important to be happy,” he said. “My sense is that people want a diversion right now during this horrible pandemic. They’re looking for something that’s kind of fun. So at least for now, doing the forecast with Betty fits right in.”

Research contact: @washingtonpost

‘Porchtraits’ by Minnesota photographer capture life under coronavirus lockdown

April 21, 2020

As millions of American families gather on their porches daily during the nearly nationwide lockdown just to get some fresh air and sunshine, as well as to sing and dance, to wave to neighbors, and to thank healthcare workers, one photographer is capturing the Coronavirus Culture for posterity.

Since launching what he calls his “Porchtrait Project” on March 18, Dave Puente has photographed over 200 homes for the project. Although he’s based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, the photographer and filmmaker has driven over 2,000 miles in search of the perfect shot, mostly taking photos in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

“ I wanted to give somebody something that they can hang on the all and in a few years look back on it and in such a frantic and scary time see there was some silver lining to it,” Puente explains on his website.

He promoted the campaign by posting his hashtage, #porchtraits, on Facebook and Instagram, along with photos of his friends and clients. Word spread quickly and Puente has been contacted by interested subjects ever since.

“Business had come to a halt for me and for so many. I just felt I had to do something,” Puente told Fox News of his initial inspiration. “‘So I decided to give from what I did have: plenty of time, and my craft.

“About 175 of the families [photographed so far] are people I’ve never met before! Currently, there are about 350 people on queue in our email database and hundreds more reaching out on social media,” he told told the network news outlet.

For now, Puente is taking the “porchtraits” for free and intends to continue the project for “at least” the duration of the pandemic. He told Fox, “It’s not just a passion project; it’s a compassion project …. It’s a big metaphorical hug and a keepsake for people during this difficult time.”

Research contact: @FoxNews