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- Instagram’s Christmas CrackdownGabe Kenworthy, a 22-year-old freelance content manager for some of Instagram's most notorious meme pages, was up at 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve. He was sitting on his parents’ couch searching for heartwarming holiday content to post when he realized something was wrong.Just after he sent his boss some memes for approval, Kenworthy’s phone exploded with texts. The owner of a network of meme pages with millions of followers, including @SocietyFeelings, @Deep, and @Positivity, told him that Instagram had shut down his accounts without warning, along with a slew of others.Instagram regularly purges batches of accounts that the platform says violate its terms. And this is not the first time Instagram has cracked down on spam during the holidays. In December of 2014, the company deleted hundreds of thousands of accounts in what became known as the "Instagram rapture." But rarely does a strike affect so many notable pages at… ..... Read More.4 weeks ago
- When a Sponsored Facebook Post Doesn’t Pay OffAfter rising to MySpace fame in the mid-aughts, singer-songwriter Kaila Yu amassed a following of nearly half a million fans on Facebook and 70,000 on Twitter and Instagram. Like all “influencers”—people who leverage a social-media following to influence others—Yu now makes her living monetizing her audience with branded content, promoting products and events through sponsored posts.In July, she received an overture from a well-known influencer management platform called Speakr, on behalf of DNA testing kit 23andMe. They were offering her $300 for a Facebook post. “Somebody really likes you! One of our brand partners is running a campaign and we think you’re a perfect fit,” read the email from Speakr, which Yu shared with The Atlantic.Yu agreed to the offer and coordinated with a Speakr account executive via email. Yu followed her directions to a T and on the morning of July 25th she loaded up her Facebook page and… ..... Read More.4 weeks ago
- Why Coal Symbolizes NaughtinessIn 2014, The Killers released a Christmas single, “Joel, the Lump of Coal.” Rather than featuring a traditional Christmas character, the song tells the bittersweet story of Joel, an animated chunk of coal who wants to be given as a Christmas present. Coal, everyone knows, is not a gift anyone desires; it is a punishment and a rebuke.But there was a time when Joel—and coal—would have been happily received by many Americans. Until the turn of the 20th century, coal was a token to ward off winter’s chill. Only as fossil-fuel supplies and access expanded did a gift of coal become a consequence of naughtiness. But a century has passed since coal was in widespread domestic and industrial use. Today, as humans still burn coal despite the known ecological costs, it might better serve as a reminder of collective ecological arrogance.In the 19th century, when the modern forms of both… ..... Read More.4 weeks ago