Society now requires us to be liked on social media?

Not only is a “strong social media presence” now a prerequisite for many, if not most, jobs, but companies have begun to look at your number of followers as both a measure of monetary value and a career determiner. And according to, employers actually consider people without Facebook suspicious. “If you boycott Instagram, you’re cutting yourself off from a lot of opportunities,” said Emily. “I started posting more selfies, despite being self conscious about it, because honestly—you get so many more ‘likes’ when you post a selfie. And you get so many more followers.”

Even Karimi admitted her social media absence is holding her back.

Source: “,,Why don’t I look like her?”,, How Instagram is ruining our self esteem

Many of us notice that popular social media personalities we  are recommended to follow appear to be mostly young and attractive. I went looking for commentary on that subject and ran into the above item.

Using social media presence and likes would appear to be a new form of potentially illegal job discrimination, particularly when it becomes a de facto proxy to preferentially hire young, healthy, good looking people.

Sad and scary danger for those who live their lives online-crazed fans

An obsessed viewer of a Youtube channel sought to kill a Youtube star. One Youtube star has already been killed by a sick fanatic.

Source: They shared their lives on YouTube. Then an obsessed fan came calling – with a gun – SFGate

A surprising number of people – almost always young couples living exciting or unusual lives – are making a living posting videos of their lifestyle online. Sadly, this activity has put some of them at risk of harm by sick fans.

This post is not about social media propaganda – but about one of the unfortunate side effects of some aspects of social media.

Twitter “This Tweet is unavailable”

This morning I looked at Twitter and saw several shared tweets displaying “This Tweet is unavailable”.

Supposedly, this occurs when you have “muted” someone or if someone has “blocked” you. But that is an incomplete explanation.

One of the Tweets listed as “unavailable” is from a CNN Television anchor. The Tweet links to reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch regarding human rights issues in North Korea; Twitter has censored this Tweet.

I have not muted this individual nor has this famous person blocked me.

Instead, Twitter appears to be “shadow banning” content that Twitter does not like. In other words, Twitter is acting as an editorial director and censor:

A new theory has emerged online called the “Throttling theory”, and it describes how the social media site Twitter, censors your Tweets by convincing your followers that the Tweet doesn’t exist. The system is similar to Reddit’s “Shadow-ban” system. When you are shadow-banned on Reddit, everything still seems normal to you, and you can comment […]

Source: Here’s how Twitter is silently censoring you

Advertisers seek social media platforms that promote positive impact

As this blog has noted, much of social media has devolved into a culture of perpetual outrage by angry people often consumed with hate. This sort of social media is not fun to be around. Advertisers are noticing this too:

“Unilever will not invest in platforms or environments that do not protect our children or which create division in society, and promote anger or hate,” Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed is expected to say Monday during the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting in Palm Desert, Calif.

We will prioritize investing only in responsible platforms that are committed to creating a positive impact in society,” he will say, according to prepared remarks.

Source: Unilever Threatens to Reduce Ad Spending on Tech Platforms That Don’t Combat Divisive Content – WSJ

India finds Google manipulated search results; EU had already reached that conclusion

In its ruling, India’s competition watchdog said the internet giant has “abused its dominant position” that “enables it to operate independently of competitive forces.”

Source: India Fines Google $21 Million for “Search Bias” | Hollywood Reporter

Google, the overwhelmingly dominant search service, was found to favor its own online services and web sites in search results.

This illustrates the power that large online services potentially exert in propaganda messaging.

How to stay happy on social media

Vala Afshar shares wise advise on Twitter:


The flip side of the above describes much social media – filled with negativity, often coming from strangers, avoidance of truth and a sense of the entitled – leading to negative mental health consequences for social media enthusiasts. Vala’s list is an excellent starting point – and aligns with what I began doing in early 2017 to deal with the negative effects of social media and how it was impacting my health.

The story behind the fake DPRK News Service Twitter account

The DPRK News Service is one of the funniest Twitter accounts in existence as it hilariously makes fun of North Korea and a host of world leaders and events.

It’s run by 2 guys in the U.S. who launched it to share jokes between friends.

Not long after launching it, the U.S. media repeatedly cites them as an official North Korean news service.

“It feels like all online media outlets have prioritized being First rather than Right, like it’s some sort of Scoop Race. As mentioned before, a cursory Google search will reveal us instantly, or even a cursory look at other tweets should reveal some level of incredulity. I imagine when some poor journalist is banging out some listicle or whatever on the 10 Ways North Korea is a Horrific Nightmare of Human Rights Abuses, they’re not going to really question things if some twitter account with a sizeable follower count blurts out something that fits within the context of the article.”

Source: The Men Behind the Infamous Fake North Korean Twitter Account

Yesterday, reporter Michelle Kosinski, who has a history of making up news stories, re-tweeted a DPRK News Service tweet.

She is famous for her live report from a dangerous flood, while sitting in a canoe – in what embarrassingly turns out to be about six inches of water. A clear example of fake news reporting.

Watch this short news clip to see a professional journalist honestly reporting the news and protecting Democracy itself… not. When you see this, keep in mind how much “news” is just story telling – and wrap your mind around the role propagandists play in shaping the stories presented as “news”. Journalists should serve as propaganda firewalls protecting viewers and readers from the onslaught but many play along and act as propagandists themselves, promoting their own agendas.

After reading DPRK News Service hilarious parodies, try to read the news headlines without laughing! It’s hard!

Newsweek fires all top staff


Newsweek on Monday fired all of its top staff amid turmoil that has upended the newsroom .In a company meeting, several editors announced that the outlet had fired Editor in Chief Bob Roe, Executive Editor Ken Li and reporters Celeste Katz, Josh Saul, and International Business Times editor Josh Keefe.

Source: Newsweek Guts Its Top Edit Staff Amid Legal Turmoil

Newsweek has a reputation as fake news publisher.

We use the definition of fake news as the use of exaggerated, emotionally laden, often false, click-bait reports as means of generating Likes and Shares for selling eyeballs to advertisers.

Newsweek is discovering that pretending to be a legitimate news service is not the best way to run a news business.

Last time Newsweek went up for sale, it sold for one dollar. What do you think its market value is today?