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The Rise and Fall of the Sassy Brand on Social Media

Angelo Franco

For approximately four years now, big food brands have enjoyed an almost ubiquitous presence on social media. This is not the run-of-the-mill postings of seasonal promotions and retweets of pictures of syrupy pancakes; rather, food and food chain brands have begun to base their online presence on relatable content and pop culture riffs, using direct interaction with social media users to spread dank memes and savage clapbacks. 

Yes, Limiting Social Media Can Improve Your Health

Rae Ann Varona

Discussions on the link between social media use and mental health are nothing new, but researchers at the University of Pennsylvania for the first time conducted a study based on experimental data that connects the causal relationship between social media use and mental well-being. What they found was that simply limiting social media use could be beneficial when it comes to better mental health, specifically when it comes to depression and loneliness. 

Personal Accountability in the Age of Social Media

Michael Odenthal

This is an age of unparalleled transparency. With the steady grind of an always-hungry-for-content 24-hour news cycle, and the unprecedented window into individuals’ personal lives provided by social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram, so much of what people do or think is documented that, for those who embrace these modes of communication, it would seem nearly impossible for anyone to disown a statement or action expressed through one of these public forums. 

Move Over, Facebook: Welcome to the World of Anonymous Apps

Veronica Mendez

The last year has seen the emergence and popularity of anonymous social networks and apps such as Secret, Whisper and Anomo that promised users anonymity and a diminished digital trace. These anonymous networks seem to be a cultural reaction to the oversaturation of social media and the invasions of privacy on behalf of the corporations and the government. As people become more and more aware of just how permanent and sellable the digital footprint really is, there is a new consciousness growing within the online self. 

Tax Break Hiring Is a Bust in San Francisco’s Tenderloin Neighborhood

Tom Carter, Mark Hedin and Geoff Link

Tech firms Zoosk and Zendesk pledged to hire interns from the neighborhood. Zendesk expected to hire at least two each in 2012 and 2013. Zendesk did hire a pair in 2012, but only one last year. Zoosk executed its first CBA in 2013 and fulfilled its promise to hire two interns. All the interns got only summer jobs, and all came from the neighborhood’s Vietnamese Youth Development Center. 

Denouncing the Hashtag Stifles Investment in Social Good

Stephanie Stark

In recent coverage of the kidnapping of the 274 Nigerian schoolgirls, analysts and experts have begun to turn on the very tool that brought the issue to light: the hashtag. As with major hashtag activism like the (botched) #Kony2012 campaign, the issue of whether or not this kind of movement makes an impact has erupted once again amongst activists and techies alike. “...these are as Islamist terrorists who are intent on killing people based on their Christian belief. And in the case of these girls, look, a hashtag #BringBackOurGirls isn't going to cut it, ” Republican strategist Ron Christie said on NPR. 

10 Years Later: Where is Facebook Headed Next?

Karolina R. Swasey

On February 4th Silicon Valley popped corks to celebrate Facebook’s 10th birthday. What began as a relatively exclusive event for the East Coast elite, very soon hit a central nerve and changed the way 1.23 billion people worldwide communicate, interact, engage, catch up, and bristle. Let’s think about those two numbers for a moment: A company that didn’t even exist 10 years ago, has as many users as India has denizens. 

From Arab Spring to Autumn Rage: The Dark Power of Social Media

Andrew Lam

Nakoula/Bacile is currently in hiding and may in fact be fictitious. Much evidence now points to him as a Egyptian Coptic Christian, who allegedly holds grudges against Islam. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Nakoula was convicted two years ago on federal charges of financial fraud. The jury is out on who instigated the violence against U.S. workers in Libya, resulting in the death of the American ambassador and three other personnel. The attack was carefully planned, it was reported, and not the mere work of angry protesters 

Creating Digital Identities: Recording Our Lives (and Others’) Online

Andrew Lam

So many of us now have been raised on video games, cell phones and iPods. We’ve spent a large bulk of our lives in chat rooms, on Skype and posting videos to YouTube, to the extent that we’ve become news reporters and newsmakers, without even making much of an effort. We announce our actions and, in some cases, our impending demise online without giving it much thought. We have been so conditioned to invest our emotional life in the virtual space that it has become second nature. 

#IHeartPresidentialElections: Obama, Romney and the Social Media War

Loren DiBlasi

Once again, the Obama campaign has done a great job of engaging voters through the two most popular social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, with Romney right on his tails. Ironically, the candidates’ official sites appear to be nearly identical to each other; loaded with pictures, facts, and links for visitors to click if they happen to be feeling generous, they seem more like personal blogs than campaign sites. This sort of behind-the-scenes, intimate approach works well for both candidates. President Obama’s Twitter account, for example, often feels like an extension of his own diary. 

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