All Articles Tagged "twitter"

#WhyIStayed: The Domestic Violence Tweets You Have To See

September 11th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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It’s hard for a lot of people to understand why Janay Palmer would defend her fiancee Ray Rice on Instagram…until you read the #WhyIStayed Twitter thread started by domestic violence abuse survivor Beverly Gooden. Here are some of the most eye-opening tweets we came across.

It Was The Last Time

Every time.

Either We Claim It All Or We Get Rid Of Black Twitter

September 8th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Can we stop calling Black people, who tweet on Twitter, “Black Twitter?”

No, not an option? Okay. I’ll concede.

But if folks insist on using this terminology, can we all acknowledge that Black people, who tweet on Twitter, or Black Twitter, is a pretty wide and varied, and definitely not one singular voice? Likewise the platform belongs to every single Black body, who uses Twitter, including:

The Black activists, Black researchers, Black feminists and womanists; Black No MA’AM; Black nationalists; Black separatists, Black integrationists; Black Africans; half-Black biracial people, Black Christians; Black Muslims; Black Hindus; Black African spiritualists; Black atheists; Black snobs and elitists; Black commoners and hood ni**as; Black democrats; Black republicans; Black libertarians; Black Alex Jones-followers; Black foodies, Black vegans, Black emos and goths, Black geeks; Black nerds; Black whatever kind of community this is.basically, any Black people, who did the simple task of signing up for a Twitter account and tweeting some shit – possibly to some other Black people.

Can we also admit that Black Twitter is not an actual thing?

There is no url, which leads me to this mythical cyber land called Black Twitter. There are no secret handshakes or head nods to give to a big Black bald-headed bouncer, which will open the velvet rope of regular Twitter to reveal where all the Black people and rap music be hiding at.

Black Twitter is really just a subset of somebody – a non-Black somebody – else’s platform, which we use for free and on their terms (of service). And while our words are copyright protected up to a certain extent (mainly the attribution kind), we give up much of our ownership rights when we allow our thoughts to be shared and reshared. And as such, none of us Black folks, who tweet for free on that other person’s platform are really in a position to tell other users how to use what amounts to public and searchable information. Of course, the caveats are signing out of your Twitter account completely and possibly changing your privacy settings. But that will never happen.

And I think this lack of realization is what I find most frustrating about this recent Black Twitter outrage over a project by the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California, which aims to study, “public discourse on Twitter that explores both macro and micro-scale activity simultaneously in order to draw out particularly active, engaged “neighborhoods” within the larger population.” And that “engaged neighborhood” in which they speak of is, of course, Black Twitter.

Despite original concerns about several of the project team members being White, the project is actually being led by a Black woman, a Ph.D candidate (and who also has a Twitter account, thus making her part of the clan), who is using the data she collects for her dissertation. And she seeks to track this “engaged neighborhood” by focusing on how this group of people helped to propel ABC’s hit television show, “Scandal,” into the number one spot.

Not the most original of topics, considering many other news outlets have noted the greater than average social media engagement the show has and how the show’s creator even gets on the act by tweeting and responding to tweets during the broadcast of the show. And yet folks still continue to trash her research and levy all sorts of accusations that she was trying to exploit the Black social networking, by way of the Twitter, community.

The researcher behind this project, has responded in her own words to all the criticism here. But personally I found this criticism of her alleged “usury” particularly rich considering that on any given day of the year, we can read a headline, written from Black fingers and featured on Black or pseudo Black online media publication (hell, even some of the majors are getting in on the game), going on about “What Black Twitter said.” Or academics sitting up on CNN in Don Lemon’s face, translating what Black Twitter said. Hell, there are even journalists and bloggers at certain news publications, whose main beats are reporting exclusively on what Black Twitter said. So Black Twitter’s indignation now over someone else, who is Black, taking a slice of the “Black Twitter” pie seems a bit selective and short-sighted.

Congrats: Fran Drescher Marries Man Who “Created” E-Mail

September 8th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

“The Nanny” got married y’all! And it wasn’t to Maxwell Sheffield. Alright that’s enough. Fran Drescher the woman who famously played “The Nanny” on television recently married Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai.

The two, who recently celebrated their one year anniversary, married on the beach, near the home they share together. A small group of intimate friends and family attended the ceremony.

Drescher announced the news today via Twitter.

Ayyadurai told the Huffington Post that he met Drescher a little over a year ago when he was giving a talk at an event hosted by Deepak Chopra.

“I was speaking on sages and scientists…and Fran heard my talk and we fell in love, and we’ve been together since that talk.”

He continued: “Every day is a celebration with Fran. Every day is almost a romantic hangout with her. We’re always laughing, always enjoying ourselves.”

So who is this Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai?

Well, he holds the patent for creating e-mail. Yes, e-mail. And get this, he did so when he was just 14 years old.

But you know how it is. Whenever you claim to have invented something as life-changing as e-mail, there is someone to refute it.

A couple of years ago, Gizmodo, published a report saying that Auuadurai had very little evidence proving that he had actually created the electronic mailing system beyond a dubious US copyright form and misleading childhood documents. There are several claims that e-mail was in existence long before 1978.

But still, according to the record, Ayyadurai has the paperwork to prove it.

We’re hoping that this guy does right by Drescher and that he’s not as fraudulent as these reports make him out to be. Because after being married to a gay man for 21 years, she deserves an upright dude.

Comedienne Retta, A Seat Filler, And Commentary On Racial Injustice

August 28th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Please tell me y’all watch “Parks and Recreation,” affectionally known as “Parks and Rec” for those in the in crowd. If you don’t, you’re missing out on a whole bunch of goodness, a lot of goodness.

But that’s only part of the reason why I’m here today.

“Parks and Rec” features the brilliant comedienne Retta. And she is everything. Sharp, in touch, and of course hilarious. In case you’re not familiar, this interview of Retta with Conan will tell you practically everything you need to know about her.

In other words she’s the ish.

And feeling the way I do about Retta, I don’t take it lightly when people come for her. But I also look forward to it because she will read you for filth. That’s exactly what happened at the Emmy’s earlier this week with a random type of dude.

Retta is known for live tweeting and so naturally, she did so with the Emmys.

But before the show even got going, she had to deal with the seat filler dude.

She tweeted the awkward interaction.

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 11.18.59 AM

So once the seat filler got home and saw that Retta was tweeting about him, picture and all, he didn’t take too kindly to it and started insulting her, by calling her fat and smelly…very elementary school.

I’m not really going to discuss his insults because they were unoriginal, irrelevant to the initial altercation and just stupid. What is interesting though is the conversation it’s since sparked. One of Retta’s twitter followers asked her why she said it was “very white of her” to call security. She even used the “Keep It Classy” hashtag as a way to let her know she thought it was tactless.

And Retta let her know umm… the random man challenging her very presence at the Emmys–when she had more reason to be there than he did– was something she was not going to let slide. And she proceeded to educate. See what she said in a series of ten tweets.

This is a classic example of diff points of view. By saying it was “white” of me, I read it as I’m not taking the assumptive stereotypical “black” route by being confrontational and thus putting me in the “guilty of being black” position but rather chose to go the white/safe/appropriate route of seeking an authority figure. 

I haven’t spoken up about it or posted on social media about it because it put me in such a place of rage that I couldn’t see straight but the rawness of the Michael Brown tragedy and the “guilty of being black” inequity is at the front of my (and many others’) mind these last 2 weeks. Yes, you were coming from a place of was race necessary? You are white (drawing from your profile pic.) As a black person ON the day of Michael Brown’s funeral, I was coming from a place of WHAT THE EVER LIVING FUCK?!? For me it is pervasive and pollutes almost every thought. So you are right. My joke didn’t need to be about race. But neither did that shooting on Aug 9th and many others that have taken place in the past. And I guess I just chose your tweet to make my social media statement on how I felt about Michael Brown’s shooting. Probably unfair but there’s a lot of that shit going around.”


15 Celebrities Who Constantly Get Dragged On Social Media

August 27th, 2014 - By Meghan Williams
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Most celebrities get tons of love and support from their online fan bases so we wonder how these 15 celebs who seemingly get no social media love — like ever — must feel. But considering most internet users have absolutely no chill, we’re sure it can’t be too great.


The social media dragging of Draya has been fueled by epic fails like her struggly Father’s Day breakfast, stiff twerk video, and attempted dig at Kim Kardashian’s “azz”. But at least our favorite (non)basketball wife of LA has a sense of humor about the whole thing. Right?

Did Juelz Santana Blast Baby Mama Kimbella For Showing Her Glutes?

August 20th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Juelz Santana Blast Baby Mama Kimbella

Source: Instagram

There’s a new trend taking over social media, Instagram specifically. It’s called “Blast your baby mama.”

“Love and Hip Hop New York” star, model, and the mother of two of Juelz Santana’s children, Kimbella, recently posted one of her standard backshots on Instagram.

Nothing extraordinary about that. But then immediately after, Juelz took to Twitter, saying:

Maybe the kissy faces are to show he meant no harm. 

We’ve seen this before haven’t we? This reminds me of the way in which T.I. tried to come for Tiny after she posted a shot of her in a bikini on the beach. The only difference is that T.I. was very clear that he didn’t approve. And with Santana’s kissy faces, I’m not sure if this is some type of paternalistic shade or an invitation for her to strip for the people. If it really is a jab, isn’t this interesting? It’s always funny to me when men suddenly want to change the very behavior that attracted them in the first place. Kimbella does this and Juelz certainly didn’t have a problem having kids with her, knowing all that information up front. But it could have been the complete opposite. Who knows, maybe Juelz wants homegirl laying spread eagle on a bed of white sheets somewhere. Reading the tweets, what do you think? Then again, the upcoming season of “Love and Hip Hop New York” is coming up, so this could all be a way to start some mess for the show. 

Have You Noticed A Lack Of News About Ferguson On Your Facebook Page?

August 19th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Are some social media outlets omitting the biggest news of the past week from your timeline? Depending whether you are on Facebook or Twitter your news feed about the uproar in Ferguson, Mo., over the fatal police shooting of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown could be entirely different.

The difference is an algorithm, which dictates a lot of what happens on social media. An algorithm is a mathematical formula that decides what you see and when you see it. Twitter’s feed isn’t dictated by an algorithm. Tweets are seen in real time. Facebook, however, uses a complex algorithm to decide what winds up in your news feed. Although Facebook won’t reveal its algorithm, it is partly based on your history of likes, clicks or shares.

Ars Technica’s Casey Johnson tells The Washington Post that Facebook’s algorithm tends to omit controversial content, which racially charged protests could be seen as. “There is a reason that the content users see tends to be agreeable to a general audience: sites like [BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, Upworthy, and their ilk] are constantly honing their ability to surface stuff with universal appeal. Content that causes dissension and tension can provide short-term rewards to Facebook in the form of heated debates, but content that creates accord and harmony is what keeps people coming back,” says Johnson.

Johnson’s theory carries some weight. A Georgia Institute of Technology study of how political content affects users’ perceptions of Facebook, found that “because Facebook friend networks are often composed of ‘weak ties’ where the threshold for friending someone is low, users were often negatively surprised to see their acquaintances express political opinions different from their own. This felt alienating and, overall, made everyone less likely to speak up on political matters (and therefore, create content for Facebook),” summarized Johnson.

Take the situation in Ferguson for example. According to University of North Carolina sociologist Zeynep Tufekci, last Wednesday, when there were riots in Ferguson and arrests of journalists, she heard of the events in real time on her Twitter feed. Posts about Ferguson didn’t appear in her Facebook feed until the next morning.

“Would Ferguson be buried in algorithmic censorship?” she wrote on Medium. Adding, “How the Internet is run, governed and filtered is a human rights issue.”

Facebook, Twitter Making Changes That Impact What You See On Your Timeline. Some Good, Some Not So Much.

August 18th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Facebook will now label fake news articles as satire because users read the articles and think it’s the truth. Satirical media outlets such as The Onion will be the subject of such labeling. Facebook representatives told Buzzfeed:

“We are running a small test which shows the text [‘Satire’] in front of links to satirical articles in the related articles unit in News Feed. This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.”

Chances are, a good number of people have been called out for falling for something that wasn’t real. So helping people recognize satire might be a good change. But Twitter has also put a change in place that’s rubbing people the wrong way.
The social network has started posting tweets on user timelines that have been favorited by others they follow. “Why does my twitter timeline randomly show me what people have favourited and who they follow? I don’t give a sh*t,”writes Rosie from London. Well all righty then. They will also receive notifications when others follow other Twitter users. The Next Web says Twitter is also taking away Bing translations from tweets and sending notifications when people start following a handle (we’ve received notices as people have started following reporters covering the situation in Ferguson).

Pando Daily also reports that Twitter may switch to a Facebook algorithm. By doing so, Twitter timeline content will be selected for users. Pando’s David Holmes says if this happens, Twitter users will not receive important information on breaking news as they do now, one of the major pluses of being on Twitter.

Del Harvey, head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team, exclusively told IT World, that they’re also looking at rules that will curb trolls like those that drove Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda off of social media entirely. “[Twitter] suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules, and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.”

Twitter has yet to respond about it’s recent changes regarding the favorited tweets. Any thoughts on these changes?

Twitter Says 23 Million Accounts Are Actually Just Bots

August 13th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Among the many Twitter users are journalists, Scandal fans, Bachelorette hate watchers, politicians, major corporate brands, and bots. Quartz reports that approximately 8.5 percent of Twitter accounts are automatically updated without user-initiated action.

Also, the accounts that are a part of this percentage are accounts that are not owned by Twitter. Therefore, they only request data from Twitter in order to display tweets on mobile apps. These automated accounts added up to 23 million of Twitter’s monthly active users at the end of June 2014.

These automated accounts should not be labeled as spam necessarily. However, Twitter stated, these bots aren’t useful to advertisers, a critical audience because of the money they spend. Advertisers want to reach potential clients, which these millions of users are not. Because of this, Twitter shareholders should reconsider if the social media platform should have automated accounts at all. With these fuzzy stats and many accounts that are not “real,” advertisers might become weary of investing in advertising campaigns on the social media platform.

It should be recognized, these statistics do not reflect accounts that tweet from other apps, Quartz says. In fact, upon further inspection, there are a number of different kinds of accounts that fall under different categories based on the “legalese” in Twitter’s rules.

“Twitter’s update today specifies that the 14% figure ‘included certain users who accessed Twitter through owned and operated applications.’ Those are likely TweetDeck and Twitter for Mac, which are favored by power tweeters but, for technical reasons, aren’t counted in many of the company’s official statistics.”  

Twitter bots aren’t new to the social network. According to City AM , 20 percent of the chief executive of Twitter’s followers are automated.

Not On Their Watch: Ohio Festival Removes R Kelly From Lineup After Public Backlash

July 29th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Image Source:

Image Source:

R. Kelly is an exceptionally talented musician. But sadly now that all of his dysfunction is out there for the world to see, his illness speaks louder than his talent. While there are still plenty of people who still ride for Kellz and his hypersexual music, other Columbus, Ohio residents weren’t having it. And their complaints resulted in Kelly being removed from the Fashion Meets Music Festival on Labor Day weekend.

R. Kelly was scheduled to perform on August 29, kicking off the three day festival in Columbus’ Arena district.

When news broke that he would not be performing, Kelly’s publicist released a statement: “R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours.” 

As soon as the festival announced that Kelly would be the headliner for the festival, complaints started pouring in from angry social media users. As you might assume, they cited the rape accusations and the indictment on his 21 counts of child pornography.

Here’s a sampling of what they had to say, according to the USA Today. 

  • (function() { var useSSL = 'https:' == document.location.protocol; var src = (useSSL ? 'https:' : 'http:') + '//'; document.write(''); })();
    style="color: #323333;">“It’s actually very common for sexual predators to put on a good show. That is how they lure their victims.”
  • (Rape victims responded to the Kelly booking with) “sheer horror. That’s why we are upset. Support victims of sexual abuse and don’t ignore them.”
  • “Accepting R Kelly as an artist is to ignore the fundamental basics of human dignity. It’s not like he’s just a player and folks don’t dig it. A very real line was very clearly crossed and this is how we choose to express our disdain for the deeds and support for the victims.”
  • “Vote with your wallets.”

Kelly was found not guilty of those charges in 2008 when jurors stated that while they believed that it was indeed R. Kelly in the tapes, they couldn’t be sure of the age of female participants.

Before Kelly was ever brought to trial, the Chicago Sun Times started publishing an investigative series which detailed Kelly’s history with underaged girls as young as 15.

Initially, the festival organization stood by the choice of R. Kelly but after the noticed the backlash the decided to ask Kelly to step down. Other performers for the weekend include Michelle Williams, Paper Diamond and Destructo, Future Islands and more.

Personally, I think Columbus made the right decision and I wish other individuals, organizations and venues would keep sending this same message until people realize this man has a very real problem and he should seek help.