Posts tagged with "Twitter"

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

Insufficient funds? Trump defends his campaign’s spending as cash advantage evaporates

September 9, 2020

Just like the nation and the electorate he serves, President Donald Trump is experiencing a cash crunch that can be traced to the Oval Office.

On Twitter on September 7, the president defended his campaign’s financial decision-making, after a report that surfaced in The New York Times provoked new scrutiny of his reelection team’s spending habits. Reportedly, Trump has squandered his cash advantage over Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“My Campaign spent a lot of money up front in order to compensate for the false reporting and Fake News concerning our handling of the China Virus,” Trump tweeted on September 8. “Now they see the GREAT job we have done, and we have 3 times more than we had 4 years ago – & are up in polls. Lots of $’s & ENERGY!”

According to Politico, the president’s social media post came after the Times published a story detailing how the Trump campaign has already spent more than $800 million of the $1.1 billion it raised in coordination with the Republican National Committee from the beginning of 2019 through July.

The Times report raised questions about former campaign manager Brad Parscale’s financial stewardship of Trump’s war chest, which was once viewed as an historic asset ahead of the fall’s general election campaign. Among the campaign’s expenses were a car and driver for Parscale, who was replaced atop the campaign in July by Bill Stepien.

Biden, meanwhile, has seen his fundraising soar in the final weeks of the campaign. Last month, the former vice president and the Democratic National Committee raked in a record $365 million in contributions — doubling Trump’s $165 million record haul from July and also surpassing the $193 million raised by Barack Obama in September 2008, Politco notes.

Trump has yet to report his August fundraising numbers, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Tuesday that he did not know when that campaign announcement would come. “I don’t know. I have zero visibility into that decision,” he said.

Research contact: @politico

 

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

A 13-year-old boy delivers his speech with a stutter—and elevates DNC to an emotional high

August 24, 2020

Twenty seconds into his speech on August 20, Brayden Harrington struggled to say his next word, as he undoubtedly knew he would. There was a long pause before the 13-year-old was able to triumphantly say that word: “Stutter.”

It was one of the most moving moments of the night, Vogue reported—and perhaps of the entire Democratic National Convention: a young boy speaking to a national audience about his disability and the 77-year-old man who, drawing on his own experience, was trying to help him overcome it.

Introduced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the evening’s celebrity emcee, Harrington, dressed in a dusky orange tee-shirt and reading his speech on a white sheet of paper he held with both hands, opened by saying, “My name is Brayden Harrington, and I am 13 years old. And without Joe Biden, I wouldn’t be talking to you today.”

He continued, “About a few months ago, I met him in New Hampshire. He told me that we were members of the same club: We”—and then came the long pause before he completed the sentence—“stutter. It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became [the] vice president. He told me about a book of poems by Yeats he would read out loud to practice. He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud. So I did the same thing today.

“My family often says, ‘When the world feels better,’ before talking about something normal, like going to the movies. We all want the world to feel better. We need the world to feel better. I’m just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me more confident about something that’s bothered me my whole life. Joe Biden cared.

“Imagine what he could do for all of us. Kids like me are counting on you to elect someone we can all look up to, someone who cares, someone who will make our country and the world feel better. We’re counting on you to elect Joe Biden.”

Harrington and Biden had met in February at a campaign event in New Hampshire. After they first spoke on the rope line, the former vice president invited Harrington backstage to continue their conversation and told him about how he had worked to overcome his own stutter.

Biden’s own stutter emerged when he was a child, he told The Atlantic earlier this year. At times, he was tormented for it. He recalled one nun at school calling him “Mr. Buh-Buh-Buh-Biden” and demanding that he repeat a passage from a book, and high-school classmates nicknaming him “Dash”—as in Morse code staccato.

According to the Vogue report, Harrington’s was a stunning opening to a night that would later see Joe Biden accept his party’s nomination for the presidency, and based on the reaction on social media, there were few dry eyes on viewers at home. (According to The Washington Post, a video of Harrington’s address that was shared on Twitter by the Democratic National Convention had been viewed more than 3 million times by Friday morning.)

“I want to say this to Brayden Harrington (the precious young man with a stutter): Young, Sir: You humble me. I am in TOTAL AWE of your courage,” tweeted Pam Keith, the former Navy JAG running for Congress from Florida’s 18th District. “You have a titanic spirit and unshakeable will. You made the worst bully look pathetic, ridiculous, and so very small. I salute you.”

On MSNBC, Claire McCaskill, the former U.S. senator from Missouri, contrasted Biden’s empathetic outreach to this young boy—and then giving him a high-profile speaking slot at the party’s national convention—with Donald Trump’s widely reported mocking of a disabled New York Times reporter during the 2016 campaign. She said his speech might have been, “the most important moment of the night.” (That same point was also made in a tweet by Matthew Miller, a former spokesman for the State Department: “As I watched Brayden Harrington talk about Biden helping him with his stutter, could not stop thinking of the clip of Trump mocking a disabled reporter. What a contrast.”)

And CNN’s Chris Cillizza said, “Holy cow. The Brayden Harrington speech. The courage. My god. I am going to remember that one for a long time.”

But perhaps the most moving tribute came from a woman who herself has struggled to recapture the power of speech. “Speaking is hard for me too, Brayden,” tweeted Gabby Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was almost killed during a mass shooting in 2011 and is still recovering from those near-fatal injuries. “But as you know, practice and purpose help. Thank you for your courage and for the great speech!”

Research contact: @voguemagazine

Elon Musk says goat-mimicking horn sounds are ‘definitely coming’ to Tesla fleet

August 18, 2020

If you happen to hear the sound of a bleating goat while you are out on the road, it might just be a Tesla electric vehicle, reports USA Today.

In 2019, the automaker’s outrageous and brilliant CEO Elon Musk tweeted that new horn features were in the works such as goat noises and fart sounds. (Without such features, electric vehicles are largely silent, unlike internal combustion engines,)

 “And that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said last October. However, the company hadn’t mentioned the update since then. 

However, on Friday, August 14, a follower on Twitter asked Musk if the horn development was still underway, and Musk confirmed that newer versions of the electric cars will make bleating noises to alert the car up ahead, USA Today says.

“Will only be on relatively recent cars, as we didn’t have an outside speaker until about a year ago. Can change inside sound easily,” Musk said.

USA Today reached out to Tesla for more information. The reason? It’s unclear what type of timeline Musk has in mind. Tesla electric vehicles receive new features periodically via over-the-air updates, similar to smartphones. What’s more, the news outlet notes, It’s important to also remember that the CEO has previously made unconfirmed promises on Twitter that have landed him in hot water. 

In 2018, Musk tweeted that he lined up the financing necessary to take Tesla private in a buyout. The buyout never happened and the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Musk of misleading investors.

Musk and Tesla eventually reached a $40 million settlement and the CEO stepped down as chairman for at least three years. There was also a stipulation that his tweets be prescreened by the company for accuracy.

Posting on social media got Musk into trouble again in 2019 after he tweeted about Tesla’s projected production numbers. The SEC alleged the tweet was another misleading statement, and the situation resulted in another settlement.

Research contact: @USATODAY

Double or nothing? Microsoft’s dual-screen Android phone will arrive September 10

August 13, 2020

Microsoft announced on Wednesday, August 12, that its new Surface Duo—a dual-screen smartphone powered by Alphabet’s Android operating system—initially will be offered at a price point of $1,399. It will arrive in stores beginning September 10—and is available for pre-order now.

According to a report by Reuters, the device will fold closed like a book. Unlike devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2—which uses special flexible glass to create a single display—the Duo will feature two traditional screens separated by a hinge but synchronized to work together.

At a media briefing ahead of the Surface Duo announcement, Microsoft executives positioned the phone as a tool for getting work done with its productivity apps, similar to how many business users employ dual-monitor setups with PCs.

In the company’s Teams chat app, for example, a video chat occupies one screen while the other screen displays chats. In Microsoft’s Outlook email app, clicking a link in the body of an email opens the link on the opposite screen, so the user can continue reading or responding to the email.

 “I’m not trying to reinvent the phone,” Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, told reporters. “But I do believe this is a better way to get things done.”

The dual-screen setup also allows users to pair up non-Microsoft apps, such as running social networks Twitter and Instagram side by side, notes Reuters. Panay said that one of Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella’s favorite combinations was using Amazon.com’s Kindle app to read books while taking notes with a stylus in Microsoft’s OneNote app on the other screen.

Panay said Microsoft chose Google’s operating system because it would give users access to Android’s large ecosystem of mobile apps. “Having the Play Store is critical,” he said.

Microsoft said pre-orders for the device begin Wednesday at its own site, AT&T, and BestBuy. Devices will work on wireless networks from AT&T, Verizon Communications, and T-Mobile US.

The device does not have 5G connectivity and is only available in the United States at launch. Microsoft gave no timeline for other markets, Reuters said.

Research contact: @Reuters

Getting the brush-off: Clarisonic is shutting down and its devoted fans are panicking

July 30, 2020

Clarisonic, the brand that invented vibrating skin cleansing devices, stunned fans earlier this month when it announced that it was shutting down for good, CNN reports.

The news originally came via an Instagram post on July 14, in which Clarisonic, owned by L’Oreal, said the brand would shutter its operations on September 30 after “more than a decade of game-changing innovation.”

The brand—which has sold has sold more than 15 million devices and counting—has become part of the daily skincare rituals of both women and men worldwide, CNN reports.

Now, fans are responding with a mix of shock, denial and fear: One Twitter user even asked investors from the ABC-TV show Shark Tank to step in, tweeting, “@ABCSharkTank can’t help out @Clarisonic??? We don’t want this to be the end.”

Lawyer Jessica McElfresh tweeted at @LOrealParisUSA: “Do not do this! Everyone knows Clarisonic is the best. You are making a massive mistake.”

McElfresh has used a Clarisonic device since college. She said the news “just came out of nowhere” and confused her because she didn’t think there was any problem with the device or any valid reason to discontinue the brand.

“Every aesthetician I’ve ever visited uses one,” she said. “The market has more facial cleansing devices all the time, but I truly don’t believe any are as good.”

Clarisonic said the decision to close the brand was made in an effort to help L’Oréal “focus its attention on its other core business offerings.” L’Oreal did not respond to requests for comment from CNN.

In recent years Clarisonic has been grappling with competition in an increasingly crowded marketplace where other lower-priced alternatives have been winning over consumers.

A more immediate problem for all Clarisonic users now, is how to get replacement brushes since the device requires users to buy a new cleansing brush every three months.

In an FAQ section on its website, Clarisonic said it won’t sell devices, brushes, or other attachments after September 30, and all of its subscription services for replacement brushes will be inactive after July 31.

In 2018, Clarisonic owned 14% share of the U.S. market for skin cleansing devices, according to market research firm Kline & Co. As the market grew, it became fragmented with newer brands like Foreo and NuSkin, which ate into Clarisonic’s share and following.

It remains to be seen if these options will help placate disappointed Clarisonic users. “I’ve tried other options before and just didn’t like them as much,” said McElfresh. “They’re not the same as a Clarisonic.”

Research contact: @CNN

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

As he continues to trail Biden in the polls, Trump demotes campaign manager Brad Parscale

July 17, 2020

President Donald Trump announced a new campaign manager for his 2020 re-election effort on Wednesday, July 15—less than four months before voters head to the polls—in an effort to reset a campaign that has already been through multiple failed reboots, according to NBC News.

The announcement comes as the president lags further behind his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in most national polls.

It also comes as The Raw Story reports that Twitter users are speculating this week that Trump demoted Brad Parscale because he was caught “canoodling” with Trump “crush” and former White House staffer Hope Hicks.

Indeed, The Raw Story notes, during Trump’s 2016 run for office, then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski also was demoted after he was said to have dated Hicks.

Trump said in Facebook post, and later on Twitter after the cyberattack on the platform, that he was removing Parscale—and tapping deputy campaign manager Bill Stepien, a veteran Republican operative, to take over.

Stepien was campaign manager for both of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s gubernatorial runs and served as his deputy chief of staff, but he was fired in 2014 in the Bridgegate scandal that plagued Christie.

“Both were heavily involved in our historic 2016 win, and I look forward to having a big and very important second win together,” Trump said. “This one should be a lot easier as our poll numbers are rising fast, the economy is getting better, vaccines and therapeutics will soon be on the way, and Americans want safe streets and communities!”

Stepien was named deputy campaign manager in May in an effort to layer Parscale, who had been campaign manager for more than two years but had come under fire in the last few months for lagging poll numbers. He will keep his digital and data strategy duties, the campaign said.

Parscale had boasted that millions of tickets were sold for Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month, which brought lower-than-expected turnout and left the president fuming. His demotion comes as polls show Biden holding a double-digit lead nationally over Trump, with 70% of voters saying the country is on the wrong track.

In Stepien, NBC News notes,  the campaign gets a much more analytical, traditional political operative. Before going over to the campaign, he served as the White House’s political director through the 2018 election cycle, during which he was responsible for having a granular, county-by-county understanding of the political landscape.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Billionaire Tim Draper invests in a startup that has totally transformed aircraft spacing and seating

July 15, 2020

Zephyr Aerospace, a startup that hopes to totally transform the way in which economy class passengers experience air travel, announced on July 14 that it had  raised an undisclosed amount of funding from billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, who has previously backed Tesla, SpaceX, Coinbase and Twitter.

The investment will enable Zephyr Seat—a new airline seat and bed that offers a lie-flat accommodation and can be retrofitted to exiting commercial aircraft—to pass rigorous certification by the Federal Aviation Association and to continue direct engagements with prospective airlines and aircraft manufacturers. The “outside the box” design also meets social distancing requirements during the age of the pandemic—and features a double-decker design of single seats throughout the economy section.

“I’m sold on the design, I think it’s a great idea that is going for the right thing. Zephyr Seat is making all of our lives much better,” said Tim Draper. “If you are paying for Economy Class and can lie down, that’s huge.”

With most of the world in quarantine and eager to travel again, Zephyr Aerospace is committed to improving the travel experience for every traveler by making personal space and inflight sleep more safe and affordable.

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on the travel industry and major airlines are faced with a decision to reinvent themselves and find better ways to serve the needs of their customers.

To support Zephyr’s mission to improve air travel and gain a financial stake in their success, visit their equity crowdfunding campaign on Republic (https://republic.co/zephyr-aerospace). This is the first time Zephyr Aerospace has accepted funding from outside investors and they are allowing people to invest as little as $100 in exchange for equity.

Research contact: @zephyrseat