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Article #1: Beyoncé Rejects Tradition for Social Media’s Power

(Summary)
​In this article, the writer talks about Beyoncé’s extraordinary album that had come with “marketing moves” such as booking many television appearances to lining up big popular brand sponsors. Although, this time, when she released her latest album, that included fourteen songs and seventeen videos, she wrote “Surprise!” to her fans instead of doing those things above. By just the first day, the album was sold to thousands of people. The writer also explains that Beyoncé had done all this to bond more with her audience. Beyoncé herself agreed that she wanted her album to come out from her personally straight to her fans, instead of listening about it from other places. More than it already is popular, the album had even gained more publicity due to many celebrities including Katy Perry and Lady Gaga promoting it through their twitter accounts. Beyoncé also states that her main focus of her albums is to be appreciated. By saying that through Facebook, more of her albums have been sold. She had been busy for the passed year, and people knew about the album and that it would be delayed which made even more people interested in buying it when it first releases.

(Opinion)
​In my opinion, I think that social media has helped and impacted a lot in this case. Due to many people having social medias, it is a great way to market in. Especially having celebrities talk and market a specific product or thing in social medias, it makes people want this product even more and eventually purchase it. According to Beyoncé’s most popular and sold albums, after marketing it on social medias, it sold even more. I personally agree with the writer of this article because in this generation, everyone has at least one social media and can be persuaded easily by anything.

Article #2: Twitter power: how social networking is revolutionising the music business

(Summary)
​In this article, the writer states that there are many music-lovers out there and would do anything to purchase good music. Social medias have marketed many songs and albums that targeted audiences who are strongly willing to purchase them. Mostly celebrities who market songs using social medias target these people. Also, the writer explains that many years ago, before social media, teenagers would go purchase songs and chat about them in small record stores. This was how they met new people through music taste and exciting conversations face to face about music. Later on, online music social networks have been invented particularly for these people. The writer introduces a new social network that was created and runs entirely by its users. This social network has attracted many users due to its main goal, which is discovering new music. Not only that, but also discovering new music through celebrities and many other users. Most social networks are now in the hands of fans.

(Opinion)
​My opinion about this article is that I agree on how social networks include music that can be discovered among users. It makes them bond according to their different taste in music. Also, they can suggest to one another latest song and album releases. Celebrities can also share some favorite songs of their own and suggest them to their fans, which to me, seems that it is a good way of marketing. If there wasn’t social networks like these and instead just record stores, not everyone would be interested in going there to purchase songs. Instead, they would rather have everything right there in front of them and can get in touch with thousands of different users. This social network has a huge impact on music due to many downloaded and purchased songs made just by the network itself and the users running it. My opinion about social networks being in the hands of fans is that I strongly agree with it because without fans, there wouldn’t be any records sold.

71% of Facebook Users Engage in ‘Self-Censorship’ and ‘How American Adults Remain Anonymous Online’

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In the article 71% of Facebook Users Engage in ‘Self-Censorship’ that was posted to Das’ website makes us understand the idea of censorship and the reasons as to why people do censor on Facebook. Self- Censorship is basically filtering what is about to be said before being officially posted on Facebook. The main reasons as to why people decide to censor are the following: Not wanting to start an argument or heated discussion, fear of hurting or offending people, had a feeling of their post getting redundant or boring, the post misrepresenting how they really are, and a glitch in the system. Indeed, if Facebook users do not share due to censorship for reasons like racist content, Facebook won’t be gaining a lot from it because it depends on people’s sharing and it’s going to lose value. I found it very odd that men who have male friends tend to censor their posts more than people who have a mixed group. It is natural for men to feel more comfortable and relaxed with men rather than women. Men can be themselves in front of each other and say/post the silliest stuff without being judged. When men have women on their Facebook, they would most probably act much more mature than they really are try to be as macho as they can, not showing their real identity. I found it utterly surprising. In our society, in comparison to the States, as stated, men post way more with men around them only, as do women. In the second article, How Americans Adult Remain Anonymous Online, they show us ways that American’s get ride off the things they search on the internet. 64% of cleared cookies and browser history and the top other three were deleted/edited something you posted in the past, set your brewer to disable or turn off cookies, and not used website because it asked for the real name. In all honesty, most of the things that are erased in the case of cleared cookies and brewer history is porn. A study shows that 50% of men deleted and clear their cookies and history in fear of their wives finding out what they have been searching and watching. The 21% of “asked someone to remove something about you” in my opinion, should be the highest of the charts for many reasons. First of all, it can make someone lose their job, by his/her superior’s seeing what they have been posting (inappropriate partying, doing illegal things, etc). Secondly, it can ruin a person’s personal life, because someone can go to a place without anyone knowing he was there, but then, someone posts a picture and tags him, letting all of his people on Facebook know where has been and what has he been doing. Thirdly, exclusivity. People don’t want to be known to other people whom they do not know, which would make them feel very uncomfortable since strangers know things about them, and that person doesn’t know that others are aware of his actions and the places he/she goes to. It’s a very dangerous situation to be in, thus censorship and clearing off things are much safer and keeps a person protected.

Social Media And The Psychology Of Sharing

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“Social Media” all started off by people sharing information about one another which made it grander and made more way for applications and communication methods. In this article, it talks about “user share” at first about how 2 percent is generated by the user and the rest are all retweets and pass-alongs, which links people together since it is relatable and people link to it. Also, it talks about the pyschology of sharing and the many types of people who are within this technology sharing world. Hipsters, careerists, altruists, selectives, boomerangs, and connectors are the main groups who surface through those social medias like Facebook, twitter, Instagram and youtube. The highest percentage for reason to use those social media is for value and entertainment, ranking 94%, being followed by promoting causes, nourish relationships, self-fulfillment, and defining identity. Almost all of us check our Facebook accounts more than 5 times a day, Instagram almost all of our day due to easier access (the mobile invention) which allows us to check wherever and whenever you are. Ironically, 68% of Fortune’s 500 have no social presence at all, I believe because they are too busy letting people consume what they create instead of getting sucked in with them. Companies have changed drastically because they have easier communication with their buyers through social media, which would make them feel much more safer and secure before buying or going into a company since almost everything is visible to them. 82% of buyers say they trust a company more when its CEO is active in social media. I believe that the reason for this is the fact that they would be able to get their message across to the main person himself rather than emails that won’t be read. For example, a man in Kuwait went to a car company to fix his car, the car company said they would take care of the issue, but they never did. He wrote them an official email to the mother company, which was located in Germany, but still, nobody responded nor acknowledged his demands. Furious, the man had no other choice but to vent it all out on twitter. He wrote his complaints on twitter and pretty much trashed the company. A huge amount of retweets were made from his tweet and comments siding with him and sharing their problems and complaints about the same company. Immediately, the company contacted him and took action, fixing his car and giving him 3 years of free service. Everybody has access to social media as mentioned, and people are more free to express their concerns across in a faster and more impactful way, as shown in the previous example of the man with the car company. From these situations, public figures and companies are more exposed and more reachable to the public to the point where some’s reputations depend on social media and on people’s feedback. This made it more easier to share because it can be access not only through computers, laptop, or tablet, but on the most crucial, the mobile.

China Pressures U.S. Journalists, Prompting Warning From Biden

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The article deals with the reaction of the American government to the news that China is in the process of not renewing the visas of over 24 American journalists based in China by the end of this year.  It also provides an overview of what are the causes of these tensions that led to the possibility of not renewing American journalist’s visas in China.  The article describes that the relations between these two countries have more recently been difficult and strained.  For example, the military issues surrounding territories involving Japan and  the American’s accusations involving China’s electronic spying on US government and business entities.  As a result, Vice President Biden publically condemned the Chinese for not clarifying the visa non-renewal issue, and the Chinese are not responding to Biden’s condemnation and responding that all journalists no matter from where are being rated equally under the law of the country and that journalists also should abide by the laws of the country that hosts them.   Various important Media outlets such as The Times are outraged, as they see is important for their journalists to be stationed in China, especially because it is the largest competitor to the United States.   In addition, China also has a history of blocking news web-sites, especially when it concerns news that deal with negative information that China doesn’t want the public to know about such as corruption and scandals concerning their government officials.  At the same time, the American government finds no easy solution to the problem as it is not quite sure how to retaliate.  For example, it may be thinking about restricting visas to Chinese journalists into the United States or even expel some Chinese journalists.  However, these sort of tactics would be counter-productive as the Americans do want the Chinese people to read about America, and want American news to reach China.      

The information that this article provides clearly shows how media, news and politics are very much linked and intertwined.  The idea that the public has a right to know, and that news outlets have an obligation to the public in terms of information and information sharing is important is a principle that is and should be supported by any free society or a society that values these ideas.  However, media which is a mechanism by which people are provided important information is political as the article clearly shows.  On the one hand China threatens to throw out American Journalists because it has tensions with the United States because of political issues unrelated to media, and then because these journalists apparently do not abide by the reporting practices of the Chinese.  On the other hand, the Americans also use media as a way of bringing information about America to China which is political also.   I believe that the genuine principles of journalism and the value of why media is there in the first place has been completely lost in this case.  News outlets and newspapers and journalists should remain and be respected as independent entities and people and not hampered by government control.  Although China is more obviously controlled, the United States has also made this issue a political one.      

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/06/world/asia/biden-faults-china-on-foreign-press-crackdown.html?ref=media

Beating a Woman Is Wrong

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We were all shocked when Chris Brown beat up Rihanna in his car after the music awards they attended together. According to the article, Rihanna had Chris Brown’s phone and was using it without his permission, as she looked through his phone. Apparently, he lost it and just started beating her up. Pictures immediately circulated of her face beat up with bruises and she poses sad looking down, rather into the camera. Chris Brown was charged and was taken to court. The whole attention was on how bad Chris Brown is and how Rihanna is the ‘victim’ and she did nothing wrong. All the celebrities turned again Chris Brown and fans turned against him too. In the article, it mentions that Chris had said earlier that his father used to beat up his mom that it affected him so much that he turned to his girlfriend and did the same to her. This doesn’t give him any reason to do that, however, but according to the court, it is a possible reason for this aggressive attack. The media has a huge way of changing the line of the story. In every article, they mainly focused on how Chris Brown just started to beat her up. In reality, she was the one who started all of this. In the car, after the awards that night, she grabbed his phone out of his head while he was driving and was opening his messages, after asking her with respect not to look, she stared swearing at him heavily and acting like she is greater than him. After that, he punched her. He did not kill her however and I am not fighting for him, but it’s just annoying how the media likes to take sides. He was mistaken and apologized all of times on national TV and nobody took that in consideration. How is he supposed to act normal and alleviate that from happening again if the media won’t get off of his back. 2 years later, Rihanna went back to Chris Brown and started to date him, publicly. Why would she do that if he was completely wrong and she went on TV fighting for women’s rights to walk away from men who abuse them. She’s a hypocrite so is the media. Nobody saw her face as bruised as the photos were, they probably edited it like they do with everything. The idea of her dating him publicly and admitting it to Oprah, shows that a part of her knows that he is blamed more from the media than he should have been, and that she has a huge part of this thing, and she did not even step up once to apologize to what she has done. She did not stand up for anything because the media was too busy making her a ‘hero’ in front of everyone and she was enjoying it, which lead her to release an album during that time for more publicity and success as he hid in the dark for along time.

 

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2302323/Chris-Brown-Rihanna-assault-I-finally-learned-beating-woman-wrong.html

As the Clothes Come Off, the Magazines Dress Up

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Steve Shaw, a publisher that is ‘trying’ to follow the infamous Hugh Hefner’s career in pornographic magazines with his own twist, however with his magazine “Treats”. He mentions that all the girls at the playboy mansion are always naked, old, cheap looking people. Mr. Shaw mentions that he wants to create “chic porn”- for example, a girl would be naked wearing only a black cape. It would leave a lot of imagination for the readers. Also, he mentions that his type of girls that he hires are not the typical pornographic girls, instead, people run to him telling him that they have never met such classy ladies. He is eager to create the “upscale pornography”. It is mentioned that men would want to buy these magazines because Mr. Shaw sells photos as limited-edition collector’s items. In my opinion, I think what Mr. Shaw is creating is a really good idea because all the other magazines have women nude and leaves nothing to the imagination and easy access. It’s a mind game when one thinks of it, the more you hide that mysterious element, the more people want to put the effort and walk the extra mile to find out about it. It would be a great teaser to put a picture of gorgeous woman on the cover dressed up and inside one would find more photos but limited ones as mentioned before, which makes the men want to buy it since they will never get the chance to have their hands on it again. In contrast, Hugh Hefner gave way too much to the people that they got over it very quickly because when you give away the whole package, people would not appreciate it and take it for granted. One must make oneself difficult to get and exclusive to be introduced as sexier and more alluring. Mr. Shaw mentions that when he is shooting, he doesn’t think of nude women or pornographic images, he thinks of a narrative to what’s happening in the photo, which creates more sex appeal than a nude woman with no story. Having a story lets the man think of the situation and imagine it in his head with detail to seem like it’s reality. Mr. Shaw also mentions that he is not looking for sex, rather, he is looking for seduction. Thus, the title of this article, “As the Clothes Come Off, the Magazine Dress up” in other words, its implying how on the outside is covered up and conservative, and when you open it, you find the seduction and narrative inside it all. I find this one of the most successful methods that anyone could create in a time like this, where everything is just free and open. He is going against time, which gets a certain specific attraction and mystery. Mr. Shaw is one of these people who do not go with the trend, and people who do not go with the trend always have a distinct way of capturing the medias attention.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/fashion/In-a-surge-of-upscale-pornography-Steve-Shaws-magazine-Treats-aims-to-titillate.html?ref=media&_r=0

Two French Journalists Killed

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Two French journalists were killed after interviewing Ambeiry Ag Rhissa, an official with the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad. The journalists were forced into a truck by a couple of men from the local area as they resisted being pulled in.  The first thing that the media linked this situation to was the hostages held earlier that were released by Al Qaeida. However, there are other people and types of people who hold others as hostages not only Al Qaeida. I am not fighting for Al Qaeida, but I am saying that why does the media just assume if they don’t have real evidence. Besides, the french government didn’t care that much for the journalists because they didn’t even bother sending forces to rescue them or let the higher powers know what happened to them. The criminals had so much time on their hands that the French government could have helped them but decided not to. When the kidnappers saw that nothing is happening they just decided to slit their throats since they have nothing to their name and accomplished nothing from this kidnap. Why were two journalists from France walking around a place that has so much tensions with France without being watched. Moreover, they did not offer them security because the place where they left from is unsafe, interviewing an important political leader in Kidal. When they were kidnapped, the two political men that were being interviewed saw them taking the journalists in and did not do anything. Why doesn’t anyone shame these two men? Instead, they shame any name that has a bad reputation already just to put people in silence and assume so they don’t have to do their investigations. “That’s the idea that’s circulating in town now: All you have to do is kidnap a Westerner, and you can get millions,” that’s the mentality there, which is true. It literally says it all there because they wouldn’t even bother searching for these criminals, just give money until the country runs out of it. Instead of finding these criminals to deter other people from doing the same doings, they just get paid off to be silence and get over with it. I truly believe that the media makes random assumptions and are the reason for all those crimes due to the talks that they put and portray between everyone. It has a huge affect on the people that are also not involved in politics nor are from that specific country, like me as an example. After reading this article, it actually really bothers me that they always jump in against anything Arab and say that they are to blame. Yes, Arabs have created a bad image for themselves, but it doesn’t mean that one should assume its them all the time in every negative situation that happens anywhere around the world. Next time, France should worry about their foreign journalists and hire more security around them to avoid situations like these in the future at any time.