Tag: controversial

The Ugly Side of Social Media

By Kevin Keegan

I wanted to discuss a recent issue or more accurately, another casualty due to the current state of social media. Stephen Fry, renowned British actor and comedian, as well twitter user that has garnered over 12 million followers, has quit the social media service after backlash from a comment he made in jest about “close friend,” Jenny Beavan during the BAFTA’s.


This is a photo pulled from the film Freedom Fry — “Happy birthday to GNU”, by Matt Lee and is used under Wikimedia Commons license. 

The events began with an easily misinterpreted comment that Fry made about Beavan’s choice of clothing when she accepted her BAFTA for Best Costume Design for Mad Max: Fury Road.

“Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to the awards dressed like a bag lady,” Fry said.

Fry tweeted a picture of himself with Beavan at a BAFTA after-party. This was apparently too late or not enough as Twitter’s vicious mob mentality had already started to snowball. Many taking sides against Fry and a few, likely privy to Fry and Beavan’s relationship, standing up for the actor.

The result was a blog post on Fry’s website summarizing the reasons for his departure from Twitter.

Personally, I have never been a big fan of twitter. I originally used the social media service when I was helping to promote an online magazine that I was Art Director of. Any tweets in the years after that were to vent about XBOX live service outtages or something else, but almost always to express my disapproval of something. It’s this kind of negative propensity that casts a long and dark shadow behind Twitter as it continues to grow.

Cyberbullying, trolling, and abuse are more prevalent than ever in our technology-driven society. Companies will need to take an active role in finding solutions for this behavior and help mitigate it and guide users in a more positive direction. So what will that look like? An article from BBC.com gives a few tips and ideas:

What can be done to stop trolling?

Make it easier to flag abusive tweets – Twitter has tweaked its system and offers advice to users about how to use it here

Users could ignore the post – the troll’s goal is to get a reaction and some say by responding you are “feeding the troll”

Some have suggested a new system that allows those who are being trolled to choose not to be shown accounts that are less than 30 days old, as a lot of trolling is done from a new account

There are tips here for how people, particularly children, can deal with trolling and cyberbullying in this article.

Fry is not the only celebrity to ditch Twitter. Kanye West, Chris Brown, and Lena Dunham have also quit in past years, but have returned since. Maybe Fry will return as well.

Original Article:



Social Media Trumped

by Kevin Keegan

Social media has become a consistent platform that can make or break political campaigns. This trend was most apparent in the both the 2008 election and 2012 re-election of President Barrack Obama. But no candidate or politician has used social media with such frequency or reach as 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump.


Photo by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons License.

Let’s look at his reach. Trump’s twitter following has increased exponentially. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, in 2011, Trump had just 300,000 followers; at the time of this post he has just over 5.8 Million, according to SocialBakers.com statistics.

People are flocking to the candidate’s feed whether they support him or just want to see what he’ll say next. He’s the Howard Stern of politics in the United States. Like Howard Stern’s rise to shock-jock fame, Trumps message on social media is more often than not, controversial, riding the line between telling people ‘how it is,’ versus coming off as belligerent and offensive.


So here’s what I am curious about; a topic that is brought up in the Sydney Morning Herald article that I’ve linked to. How calculated are Trump’s tweets. I believe that he is writing them himself, bad grammar and the like, but are his motivations behind the tweets his own or at the behest of his social media strategist, Justin McConney. I personally think it’s a little bit of both. Prior to his announcement that he will run for President in 2016, I imagine most of his tweets were wholly his own. Their impact notable and often newsworthy. But upon seeing this trend of success, his campaign strategy has latched onto the lingering effects of his abrasive tweets in order to dominate the 24 hour news cycle repeatedly. Fact or fiction, righteous or not, his reach in the social-media-sphere is palpable.