The not so cheery side of social media

Social Media leads to confusion and scams

After a disaster, the disturbed normalcy provides opportunities for disorder and emergent deviance. The urgency of a disaster facilitates the spread of information, but a significant portion of that information is incorrect or misleading. Misleading photos quickly went viral: “the photo of the service members at Arlington National Cemetery was taken in September, not Monday. Others that showed ominous clouds over the New York City skyline were screen grabs from a movie or stock photos.”[1] Social media is not exempt from emerging deviancy; in fact the internet as a whole provides a perfect breeding ground for a variety of scams. Immediately after a disaster, citizens across the nation often want to support those affected in some way. National aid and online donation campaigns spring up as soon as a need arises. But how do people verify the legitimacy of these campaigns? “The latest outgrowth of social media is crowdsourced funding, or crowdfunding, which is a way to pool small donations on the Internet from large amounts of investors — or people who want to support causes. It was approved by the JOBS Act, which was passed this year. Crowdfunding can’t be used until next year for investments. But it can be used now for charities — and, therefore, by scam artists.”[2]


[1] Bella, Marisol “Sandy shows darker side of social media” USA Today 31 Oct 12. 3A. Print.

[2] Dugas, Christine “Now, it’s a severe scam warning” USA Today 02 Nov 12. 1B. Print. 

 

Advertising Campaigns

Was it fair for advertising campaigns to capitalize on the moment of vulnerability left by Hurricane Sandy? Which of the four do you personally find most egregious?

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Hurricane Sandy related tweet from The Gap

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An email from Jonathan Adler

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 An email excerpt from Urban Outfitters

source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-9-biggest-brand-fails-exploiting-hurricane-sandy-2012-11?op=1

What about a photo shoot? Vogue decided to celebrate Hurricane Sandy’s first responders while advertising their newest lines. Do these photos truly celebrate first responder’s or beautify (read: minimize) the devastation left from Hurricane Sandy?

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 “Three if by Sea” The U.S. Coast GuardImage

 “Chain of Command” The National GuardImage

 

“Power Trip” Con Ed’s East River Generating Station

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“A New Lease on Life” A neonatal intensive unit in Bellevue 

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“Air NYPD” NYPD’s Special Operations Division

source: http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/storm-troupers-hurricane-sandy-service-men-and-women/#

Thoughts?

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monica byrne

writer . playwright . artist . activist . traveler

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