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social media

Do you take selfies? Do you own a selfie stick? Do you use the hashtag "#selfie" frequently? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, maybe you agree with critics of selfies, who say they are all about narcissism. But is that unfair?

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology say we are putting selfies in too small of a box. We talk to them about the history and future of selfies, the motivations behind them, and what they tell us about ourselves. In studio:

  • Amanda Kearney, RIT graduate student whose thesis was entitled “Uses and Gratification of Posting Selfies on Social Media”
  • Jonathan Schroeder, professor in the School of Communication at RIT

Buzzfeed's Ben Smith, among other writers, are saying that Big Tech is in trouble. He says Facebook and Google are too big, too powerful, too complacent -- and soon, both consumers and Congress will come for them.

Is he right? Is Facebook primed for a fall? We discuss a future in which Facebook falls, Google shrinks, and everyone posts fewer status updates. Our guests:

  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose work focuses on the intersection between social media and the law
  • Mike Johansson, lecturer at RIT and social media consultant with Fixitology

If you’re like most social media users, you want the freedom to post whatever you’d like and the opportunity to access materials that interest you. Yet, when the technology you use to enjoy those freedoms becomes a way to restrict them, it raises a number of issues. This is the theme behind a number of recent news stories involving social media.

Germany just passed one of the world’s toughest laws cracking down on hate speech on social media. Critics say that the law may lead to censorship because it puts too much pressure on social networks to ban questionable content. In the U.S., the Supreme Court recently overturned a North Carolina law that barred registered sex offenders from using some social media sites, saying it limited their free speech. And at Harvard, a number of students’ acceptances were rescinded after college officials found them posting offensive content on Facebook.

So how can we balance the freedom to post with protecting people from hate speech or offensive content? Our guests weigh in on these stories and more. In studio:

  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose practice is focused on the intersection of social media and the law 
  • Mike Johansson, senior lecturer of communications at RIT, and social media consultant at Fixitology

A year ago at this time, Snapchat was certainly a thing, but not nearly the sensation it has become. These days, younger technology users gravitate to Snapchat, and NPR is using it to connect with a wider audience. What exactly is it? What are the risks? What are the benefits?

Our conversation is all about the year in social media, with Snapchat leading the way. We also discuss Facebook's efforts to handle fake news, and we talk about the biggest legal issues facing social media. Our guests:

  • Mike Johansson, senior lecturer of communications at RIT, and social media consultant at Fixitology
  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose practice is focused on the intersection of social media and the law

Our Monthly Science Roundtable looks at the science of political tweeting. Specifically, Donald Trump said that Hillary Clinton would be a failed candidate if she were a man, and then tweeted that she was using the "woman card." Clinton's twitter account responded with, "If paying for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in." Who won that social media exchange?

A team of researchers from the University of Rochester has been digging for the answer, using followers and responses. They believe their work shows who has been winning the so-called "gender wars" on social media. Our guests:

  • Jiebo Luo, associate professor of computer science at the University of Rochester
  • Mike Johansson, senior lecturer of communications at RIT, and social media consultant at Fixitology

Don't feed the trolls? Social media can be ugly. This year, actor Leslie Jones quit Twitter until it went after her tormentors. There have been calls for more stringent policing. And The Atlantic Monthly's new cover story is about what happens when the trolls are ISIS, which uses social media to spread its terrible ideology. 

Our guests come from the upcoming Upstate Social Sessions in Rochester, where handling trolls is just one of many discussions on the agenda. We talk trolls, and preview other themes as well. Our guests:

  • Leah Stacy, conference organizer, and editor-in-chief and co-founder of Boomtown Table
  • Steve Carter, conference organizer and co-founder of Explore Rochester
  • Arien Rozelle, visiting assistant professor at St. John Fisher College
  • Rochelle Bilow, social media manager at Pinckney Hugo in Syracuse

Students in a South Carolina high school are petitioning for the return of a teacher who resigned after a student shared nude pictures of her on social media. The student found the unlocked phone on the teacher’s desk, scrolled through the photo gallery, and took his own picture of the nude photo. He then spread it to other students via text messages and social media platforms.

The incident raises questions about privacy laws and social media: how does the law regulate accessing the phone and sharing the images? We explore these issues and privacy protection related to social media with our guests.

  • Mike Johansson, senior lecturer of communications at RIT, and social media consultant at Fixitology
  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose practice is focused on the intersection of social media and the law

*The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative offers counseling and technical advice to revenge porn victims. The website has links to services that simplify reporting of and making requests for nonconsensual nude images to be removed from major websites/social media. 

On Friday, November 20, 150 University of Rochester students marched and demanded that the university “implement immediate and lasting changes that will reduce intolerable acts of racism that students of color endure at our university.”

University president Joel Seligman has responded, promising to establish a Commission on Racial Relations.

We hear from a student who wants change, and we welcome a pair of University of Rochester administrators. Our guests:

Social media has been a home for racism and misinformation of late. University of Rochester students are demanding that Yik Yak be shut down after numerous racist postings. This hour, we work through a number of recent news stories related to social media with a pair of guests who can talk about how it works, and how the law comes into play with social media. Our guests:

  • Mike Johansson, senior lecturer of communications at RIT, and social media consultant at Fixitology
  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose practice is focused on the intersection of social media and the law

How can we use social media effectively? What are the latest trends? The deputy tech editor of TIME Magazine joins our panel to discuss these and other social media questions. We also preview the upcoming Upstate Social Sessions conference in Rochester. Topics include how to advance a career through social media, how to handle social media (and how not to!) for big brands, and more. Our guests:

  • Jon Alhart, vice president of social and digital media at Dixon Schwabl
  • Steve Carter, conference organizer and co-founder of Explore Rochester 
  • Alex Fitzpatrick, deputy tech editor at Time Magazine 
  • Danielle Raymo, conference organizer and co-founder of the Rochester Brainery

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