Social Media in the News

Social media topics often make their way into the news:

Spend some time on the Web searching for recent news regarding social media. Select one article to highlight for this post. Here are the guidelines to consider when searching for your example:

  • Must be from a traditional news source such as a newspaper, magazine, television or radio station (no social media advice websites or online marketing websites).
  • No personal blogs; blogs on a news website are allowed (such as columnists for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, etc.)
  • Must be no older than June 1, 2014.
  • No “How-to” columns. The article needs to be newsworthy.
  • No repeated examples. If someone posts your article before you, please locate another example. Also, you cannot use one of the examples above.

Add a link to the article in your comment to this blog post (so all the articles will be located in one place). In addition to your link, post a brief summary of the article and your reaction to the information. Click here for complete rubric.

Social Media in the News summaries and links must be posted by midnight on July 28th.



About cdgibsonttu

Instructor in Agricultural Communications, Ph.D., Proud Red Raider (Wreck 'Em Tech!), Dog mom to two spoiled Jack Russells, Wife, Agvocat, Believer, Texan

Posted on July 14, 2014, in Assignment. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.


    I found this article to be very relevant in today’s society as social media continues to increase in popularity especially in the younger generations. Laura Holston, author of the article, addressed the issue of too much social media in the lives of teenagers. Teens today are choosing to deprive themselves of sleep so that they can text, browse social media sites, and communicate with friends. The sad part is that sometimes the teens waste hours on social media during the night and do not even realize it. This article addresses the efforts that parents are putting into limiting the access of cell phones, computers, and other devices but most of the time it still isn’t working. Researchers believe that teenagers in the twenty first century are so inclined to spend their time on social media for two main reasons. First of all, teenagers have an honest desire to connect and the seclusion of night allows for intimate conversation. Secondly, they are reacting to extremely busy schedules packed with sports, music lessons and homework which in return give them less free time to pursue personal interests. Even school officials are working to help parents solve and work through this issue. However, researchers have a reason to believe that parents are also at fault. Teenagers do not take their parents seriously when it comes to the use of phones and computers after bedtime because the parents don’t follow their own advice. This article was very interesting as it approached the perspectives of a few different families. I believe that this issue has been present for a while and will continue to get worse. In my opinion, if you don’t want teenagers to be so involved in social media then the parents should limit the number of sites they can be involved in and monitor the time they are on the sites. Asking a teen to leave his or her phone and computer in the kitchen simply will not fix this problem. Perhaps taking away the social media privileges temporarily will help to alleviate this issue as well. Parents have to realize their responsibility and choose to fulfill their duties in order to ever see a change in the teenage behavior. This article caught my attention from the title and I was impressed with the content.

  2. Jaclyn Roberts

    American Apparel was bashed on social media after posting a picture of the Challenger space shuttle exploding on the company Tumblr account. The post referred to the iconic image as ‘Smoke Clouds’. After the public pointed out the mistake on social media, the company quickly took the image down. Following the removal of the post, the company issued an apology and explained the mistake on a intern born after the Challenger tragedy. American Apparel wrote:

    “We deeply apologize for the insensitivity of that selection and the post has been deleted.”

    This mishap supports the need for proofing all posts to social media. Furthermore, it seems this image was used without any reference to its original source. In the communications field, you should always credit an image source. Had the intern checked the origin of the image, this mistake may have been avoided. American Apparel’s quick reaction and removal of the image appears to have kept the issue under control.

    Read the full article here:

  3. katherinesetterbo

    “Plus-Size Woman’s Bikini Photo Inspires Thousands”:


    Jenny Trout, a blogger from northern Michigan, inspired millions when she decided to wear a bikini this year. Her New Year’s resolution, however, was not one tied to changing eating habits or going to the gym. Instead of focusing on changing herself to fit society’s mold of a bikini fit body, Trout focused on changing society to fit her mold.

    Trout, considered “plus-sized” by fashion industry and society standards, refused to be defined by the cultural perception of beauty any longer. Showing off her curvy figure in a trendy two piece, pictures posted on her blog quickly went viral.

    “Not one person would admit that they didn’t want me to wear a bikini because of their aesthetic preference—a preference of what is and isn’t beautiful” Trout said when discussing the reaction of friends and family upon first hearing of her resolution.

    Trout’s mission was to change the “cultural discussion” of body image. At any size, women struggle to identify with their inner and outer beauty because society is constantly telling them their not good enough. Mentions of her blog post ,“Fat Woman Wears Bikini in Public, Earth’s Orbit Unaffected” (, appeared within the Huffington Post and on Good Morning America shortly after its debut; her message of redefining beauty reaching millions.

    Seeing how Jenny Trout was able to inspire and challenge society to redefine beauty by a simple blog post was so refreshing. I am so glad something like this went viral because it was a message of confidence and body empowerment that everyone needed to hear.

    Additionally, as I read Jenny’s article I became envious of her confident and witty writing style. I was so inspired by the way she addresses such a taboo issue in such a realistic, straightforward way. I personally was moved by Trout’s message and found a new found pride within the way I perceived my own body—something every girl struggles with. Without the ability and popularity of social media, the message Jenny Trout had to share about being confident in your own skin, no matter the size or shape, was one I would not have heard. Ultimately, this experience has taught me the power social media gives us and has shown me how easy it could be for my voice to be heard.

  4. ‘A rare blip’ for the world’s most popular social platform was described in CNN’s article “#WhenFacebookWasDown: Widespread Outage Reported”. On June 19, 2014, in the early, early hours of the morning, if you visited Facebook, you would have received the message “sorry, something went wrong.” By dawn on the East Coast all was well again with the social media giant, but not before people flocked to Twitter to describe the horror felt by the downed site. As reported by analytics site Topsy, tweets with the words ‘Facebook’ and ‘down’ were counted over 70,000 times in a matter of hours. A posted tweet light-heartedly fretted that Mark Zuckerberg might have set everything to private. Another Twitter user offered a moment of silence for those that will be forced to now communicate face-to-face. To read the article please visit:

    I think it is interesting that people so desperately depend on social media. I would probably be a bit confused and possibly mildly dismayed if I received the same error message from Facebook. However, I do not think I would go running to other social media outlets to express my sorrow.

  5. America’s Most-Hated Social Media Company is… by Catey Hill, Market Watch

    Article Summary

    The article cites the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which is an independent national benchmark that measure customer satisfaction of different types of companies.
    Social media companies were fourth to last on customer satisfaction. Facebook and LinkedIn received the lowest score of all social media companies due to advertising and its layered approach to communication. Twitter did not fare much better. Pinterest received the highest score within social media because advertisements are not intrusive and it is easier to use than other social media platforms. The index said social media in general probably received a low score because of privacy concerns.
    While this seems to put a dim view on social media, participating consumers were happier with social media this year than last. While consumers are still unhappy with social media, it does not keep them from using the communication media.

    My Reaction

    I am surprised at this. I guess I don’t understand how there are so many complaining about social media, yet it has become a major form of communication. I think one thing people are not considering is sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are all FREE. We don’t really pay anything to consume the communication, yet we want it all our way. I understand, to a certain degree, how annoying some features of social media sites can be, but it is pretty easy for me to tune it out, but that’s just me. From a business perspective, it is difficult to swallow how low Facebook and Twitter, especially, were ranked. On top of that, they were ranked low thanks, in part, to advertisements.

  6. News Article Link:

    Similar to parent company Facebook, Instagram has recently created and leaked what is considered to be the next Snapchat clone. The evening of July 23rd many Android users reported receiving a notification via Instagram that introduced Bolt, “a one tap photo messaging app”. The link, apparently inoperative was taken down soon after; however, this did not keep Instagram users from posting screenshots of the announcement to Twitter. Neither Facebook or Instagram officials could be contacted for comment, perhaps due to the fact that “this is the second time in recent months that Facebook has accidentally released a Snapchat copycat ahead of schedule”. Many believe that Bolt is an Instagram specific clone of Snapchat due to recent failure seen by the Instagram feature called Instagram Direct. Alternatively it has been considered that Bolt could have similarities to Taptalk, a photo app that claims to be “faster than Snapchat”. With growing speculation as to Bolt’s capabilities and unique features I guess we as consumers of social media will just have to try Bolt out for ourselves.

    I found it quite interesting that both Facebook and Instagram are aiming to release Snapchat copycats due to the simple fact that it is typically pretty difficult to beat out a market leader. Snapchat has such a large user base and snap-chatting has become so popular that we are seeing widespread recognition of the selfie in everyday life.It makes me interested to see just how effectively apps like Bolt, Taptalk, and Slingshot will be in replacing Snapchat. While I see there being some market for new photo chat applications I also believe that it is fairly difficult to improve on an app like Snapchat. Although Bolt is just a premature idea right now I do think it will be interesting to see where it will find it’s place in the social media hierarchy of photo chat applications.

  7. I found the following video on CNN, “NASA Re-enacts the Moon Launch in Tweets.” It can be found at:

    A Blast From the Past
    In 1969 they didn’t have social media. As a source for information the public relied heavily on newspapers to learn about the world around them. To celebrate the anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, NASA tweeted a re-enactment of what happened on July 16, 1969, 45 years ago. Corresponding to real events at the time they happened 45 years ago, NASA posted tweets featuring pictures and videos of the astronauts eating steak and eggs for breakfast, suiting up, and waving goodbye as they loaded the shuttle. Apollo 11’s launch was also recreated on Facebook.

    The video also mentioned formed crew member of Apollo 11 who had walked on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, and skeptic Bart Sibrel who persistently hounded Buzz. Looking for a confession that walking on the moon was a hoax, Bart followed Buzz around until one day Buzz had had enough and punched him.

    Walter Cronkite- On Twitter?!
    Many remember news anchor Walter Cronkite who first announced of Apollo 11’s success back in 1969. News correspondent Jeanne Moos from CNN stated, “Walter Cronkite wasn’t tweeting in 1969 but his immediate reaction to the launch was so short and sweet it could have fit in a tweet.”

    Had Twitter existed 45 years ago, I believe his tweet would have looked something like this:

    @WalterCronkite Oh boy! Oh boy! It looks good.They finally did it! #nextgiantleap #Apollo11

    My Reaction
    I think NASA had a great idea in recreating this piece of history. I visited NASA’s Twitter page at to view the pictures and videos from that memorable day. I have heard that skeptics believe the moon landing was a fraud and before I even watched the video I wondered if they would bring up this argument. It surprised me that Buzz Aldrin had gotten so frustrated with skeptic Bart Sibrel that he punched him. Had Buzz Aldrin tweeted about this, I bet it would have gotten its fair share of retweets!

  8. Cailee Gilbreath

    Social Media is increasingly growing as a news source for people, but is this beneficial or hurtful to an organization or business.

    On July 7, 2014 an accident occurred at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles, CA. The ‘Ninja’ ride was stopped suddenly from a tree that had fallen on the ride and caused 4 to be injured.

    @KTLA tweeted (July 8, 2014) A reddit user posted an image he says was taken from inside the stuck coaster by his sister who was among those awaiting rescue.

    Among @KTLA there was @CBSLA, @ABC7, and @LANow and some other news sources that were actively tweeting updates of the status of the rescue.

    According to the Huffington Post there was also a “live streaming video online, of rescuers working those stuck in the cars. CNN shows this video attached to the story, can view by the link above.

    One that that shocked me the most was Six Flags only tweet to the incident was “tonight a branch fell on the Ninja coaster track obstructing the train. Riders are all down and safe. Ride closed until cleared.”

    I thought they would have been a little more activity and updates along with the news. I do think though that social media was utilized in a great way during this crisis. As soon as people began to tweet and post information there was updates on how everyone was doing keeping people calm and having better outcomes of peoples worry at the theme park.

  9. Jeremy Meeks sounds like a normal guy, guess again, his is a convict. News sources have now dubbed him the “Hot Convict”. He is a viral sensation after the Stockton Police Department posted his mug shot on their Facebook page on June 18. His picture gained over 100,000 likes, 12,000 shares, and 26,000 comments.

    Meeks was arrested on multiple felony weapon charges but recently the court has decided to turn the case over to federal prosecutors. He is being held on a $900,000 bond and is considered to be a violent criminal.

    The sudden popularity of Meeks had modeling agents trying to sign him. According to one report he has signed with Blaze Models. On the flip side, the public was upset that a convict was getting positive recognition from the public. On the same Facebook page there was a memorial to a fallen officer who recently passed away. People were outraged that the memorial was getting less attention than the “Hot Convict”.

    I am shocked that people are giving this guy this much attention. At the end of the day he is a criminal and this is not his first offense. We would be condemning this guy if he was unattractive. Our society needs to do a better job of recognizing the role models of the world that truly deserve it. I do believe in second chances but I think Meeks is going to be in prison for a long time.

    For more information please read the full article:

  10. I chose to look at 2 stories. The first story was from a city not far from me because I thought it was interesting how you never know how a photo might be used.
    The article is about how a local graduating senior from a college in Minneapolis back in 2011 agreed to let the school use her photo for publication purposes. She signed a release, giving the school permission to use her photo, and it appeared for a few years on various marketing materials. She also gave the person who took the photo permission to use the photo as he saw fit. Little did she know, that he sold the photo to a stock images site for downloads.
    The image ended up being downloaded from Facebook and used with a caption “Goodbye doesn’t have to be goodbye” during graduation season. Facebook used the photo on their site and in promotions as well. The photo has over 22,000 shares and over 570,000 likes. She had no idea about it until someone told her that they saw her face on a Facebook advertisement.
    I thought it was interesting because it just goes to show how your photo can be used on social media, and you might never even know about it. Obviously, she signed a release for the school and photographer to use it, but at the same time Facebook pretty much has the right to use any photo you post to your personal page. I think it is just a cautionary tale for those of us who use social media to be careful about what we post and what we agree too. It also goes to show how quickly something can get shared and impact others over social media. Social media is both residual and instant.

    Link to the photo:

    The 2nd story I looked at was about how now thanks to a new law, elected officials in Minnesota can use social media starting August 1st. I honestly never knew there was any ruling against these officials using social media in the first place, so I found it surprising.
    I think it is a good thing because then you can use social media to interact with politicians other than just at meetings, but at the same time it could be a slippery slope. They need to be careful about what they post, who they reply to and how they reply.
    I’m not sure if there was actually a law against using social media by elected officials prior to this, or if it was kind of a “use your discretion” type of activity. Either way, it is interesting that this now part of a law. Social media is influencing many things!

  11. taylorhicklen

    New York Presbyterian Hospital nurse Katie Duke was fired over an Instagram post of an empty, cluttered trauma room that was captioned “Man Vs 6Train…The After.” Duke says that she was fired “…for being insensitive.” Notably, New York Presbyterian Hospital is also where ABC’s New York Med is filmed. Katie Duke’s firing over social media was included in the second season of the show.

    This story really took me aback. If a hospital fires a nurse over an “insensitive” Instagram post while simultaneously allowing a reality show to be filmed, they should really reevaluate their employee policies. Accepting a packaged television version of hospital life while decrying an ER nurse’s individual perspective seemed really hypocritical and misguided to me. If the hospital doesn’t want their work to be misrepresented, why not give their employees more agency on social media? This raised all sorts of questions about conflict of interest and transparency.

  12. If you Google the name, Jeremy Meeks, your first search will come up with multiple photos of a guy in a mug shot. So what is so interesting about this particular man? This criminal became known as the “Hot Felon” in the news and covered the newsfeeds of several different social media sites.

    The mug shot was posted to Facebook by the Stockton Police Department, and people immediately started making comments on how attractive he was. His picture was posted on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest as a meme or an edited photo depicting him in a model type setting. The picture was gaining so much hype that news stations and entertainment news were having segments on it.

    Because of the interest that the public has shown in him, he has even landed an agent who is trying to give him a modeling contract after he is released from prison. This story is a perfect example of how social media can make something as insignificant as a mug shot into a media frenzy that everyone wants to talk about. Click below to see the photo that everyone is talking about.

  13. Environmental Leader-Environmental and Energy Management News

    • The article discusses the Sustainable Agriculture Alliance which consists of several Fortune 500 corporations that convene to ensure that that agriculture sustainability practices are being measured annually. The alliance provides information regarding agriculture sustainability and provides an innovative tool called Fieldprint Calculator. This tool can aid farmers in measuring how well their farms are managed along with agriculture sustainability practices. The alliance gathers information pertaining to cotton, corn, soybeans, etc. and monitors how each crop is being managed towards better agriculture sustainability practices. The organization then measures against historical data and calculates if sustainable agriculture practices are improving from previous years. The primary goal of the alliance is to ensure continuous improvements in the areas of not only agriculture, but environmental sustainability as well.

    • I believe that the alliance is a legitimate step towards managing environmental sustainability practices. The key players in the coalition are global leaders, and there is room for many other global corporations to join the alliance as well. The input put forth towards agriculture sustainability is important from a political standpoint to show that these corporations do care about the environment; they also have the monetary means of creating value in their respective markets. For example, the Fieldprint Calculator is a primary indicator of how these corporations are trying to aid farmers by utilizing a tool that measures their agriculture sustainability practices. The launch of such a tool can be a great success for both the corporations and their customers by furthering positive business relationships. This is a great example of how large corporations should be providing a portion of their funds to help further environmental sustainability.


    The article discusses the need for job candidates to have a social media presence in today’s job market since companies are using both traditional and non-traditional techniques for recruiting potential employees. It further discusses the steps that candidates should take to ensure their profile conveys a professional image. For example, the article states that “Creating a polished LinkedIn profile and leaving it abandoned is not a strong strategy,”Jobseekers should update their status at least a few times per week by posting links to interesting, relevant content, which they find online. Its about creating a competitive advantage and providing the recruiters and potential employers with the most current and up-to-date information in order to stand out in the crowd.

    In my opinion, I believe that when looking for employment in today’s market, every advantage helps. The article reinforces a number of the concepts that we have discussed in class, and stresses that you have to be active on a site such as LinkedIn to experience the full benefits of using social media. For example, I have seen an architecture student use the alumni group on LinkedIn from the College of Architecture at Tech to seek opinions on his portfolio. It was an excellent idea, because the student received some excellent feedback and also some potential job leads. It is my belief that if employers are looking for potential candidates that display a diverse skill set, and in order to stand out, you have to think outside of the box and go the extra mile.

  15. I analyzed the story about the man that locked himself in a hot car with the windows rolled up to see what it felt like to be a small child left in the car.

    This particular topic has been all over the news recently with individuals leaving their children in a hot car to deal with the consequences. In this particular instance, the man locks himself in a car, with the windows rolled up and video-s the incident and posts on YouTube to see what the instance is like for children. I personally am a believer in believe what you can see. This individual allows for the public to interact with the incident he is experiencing and shows first-hand what it is like to sit in a hot car. I think with a situation as severe as this, you can never have too many references to what the situation is truly like. It’s a little intimidating to know that an individual actually tried this hot car ordeal, but there isn’t a better way to figure out what is for real and what isn’t. In reality, I think this Youtube video allows people to see what it is like for a grown person to be inside a hot car on their own, much less a toddler or infant. It really shows the side of the story you don’t get from just reading the text in a news column.

  16. Upon searching for something interesting for this assignment, I found more than an interesting story. I found an article about a monster… A shameless, morbid and heartless monster. Her name is Ekatarina Parkhomenko, a childish pro-Russian Ukranian girl, with no ethics or morality. On July 17, 298 innocent human beings, and two dogs, aboard a Malaysian Airlines plane were blasted out of the sky by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine. After the remains of these passengers and their belongings were scattered across the land below, looters invaded the crash site, taking all that they could from the horrid site, with no regard for the deceased men, women and children whose lives were so unjustly and suddenly, so violently ended. One looter happened to give a mascara from the site to Parkhomenko, who proceed to upload a picture of the mascara to Instagram, bragging about where the make-up had come from. This lead to an outrage, and she was even referred to as a dog. However, I believe she is far worse than a dog. She even posted photos of her wearing the mascara. It is so sad to me that anyone could steal the possessions of the dead, and horrifying that anyone would go bragging about it after. It is incredible to me that what she probably thought was a simple hateful post, made it all the way around the world. Social networks have many benefits, one of which is the ability to unveil the vicious monsters and inhumanity in the world. Although it is hard to face, people like this need to be reprimanded for the evil and pain they inflict on others. Shortly after posting, she deleted her Instagram The sad part about social networking is that so many utilize it to broadcast hate to the entire world. It is a tragedy that such incredible, world changing media platforms are so often used as such a weapon. Yet, it is also incredible how quickly such injustices can be broadcast all over the world. Sometimes the outcome is good, and sometimes, it is bad. In this instance, I’d consider it both. She needs to realize that she is wrong. If it takes the voices of millions all around the world to make her realize it, so be it.

    This article covers the explosion of social media during the World Cup. A single game, relative to the Super Bowl, does not cause as much social media interaction, but as a whole, the World Cup blows everything else away in terms of Facebook and Twitter interactions.
    I thought this article was a good look into the globalization of social media. Considering during the opening game of the World Cup, which included host Brazil, there was 12.2 million tweets and Brazil has the fifth most Twitter users, it is not surprising to see so much interaction. I think it also shows how sports always cause major conversation on social media. I know every time a big sporting event is happening and I get on Twitter, it pretty much floods my timeline.

  18. Snapchat being used as a marketing tool or strategy has been brought up in our class multiple times. The first instance I recognized Snapchat being used to share with mass audiences was during this year’s World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. Snapchat sent out a ‘Rio Live’ story to all their users and provided real time Snaps from people in Rio so that everyone could share in the experience.

    This article recognizes the opportunity Snapchat is presented with to have ‘branded or sponsored Stories as a potential way for Snapchat to monetize in the future’. According to the article, responses toward ‘Rio Live’ were mixed on twitter whereas some users loved it and others hated it. AdNews got feedback from Nicola Swankie, at IPG Mediabrands social division Society, saying that the feedback Snapchat received allows them to understand that if they proceed with sponsored marketing it needs to be targeted to specific audiences.

    While I agree that it would be useful for Snapchat to only send certain sponsored messages to target audiences, I do not foresee the organization getting involved with traditional marketing therefore it not being necessary for specific audiences to be targeted. The Rio Live Story did not seem like advertising or marketing to me as a consumer but more as being included as a viewer to the World Cup. Stories on Snapchat are optional for viewing and will eventually delete on their own after a certain amount of time, so I see it as being a positive marketing strategy that does not have to be focused on target audiences.

    On the other hand as a consumer, I do not want Snapchat to become run by sponsored or brand centered advertisement. I would enjoy sponsored event updates similar to Rio Live but advertisement commercials would not be ideal.

    The AdNews article can be found here:

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