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#Songbird Stories: The Rest from the #Nest of #SocialMedia



Happy weekend! It's been a long, interesting week. The US election race raged on, Tesco appeased the idiots of the world by banned crescent-shaped croissants from their stores (no, really) and the Pope endorsed the use of contraception, although only for women at risk of getting the Zika virus. Meanwhile, in the social media world, it's been no less crazy, so here's everything else that happened over the last 7 days.



Tumblr Flounders, Yahoo Hit the Panic Button

Business Insider
Investors are losing more and more faith in Yahoo by the day, and Tumblr isn't far behind. Since they acquired Tumblr in 2013, the site has routinely fallen short of the revenue goals set for it, as revealed by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer last month. Yahoo have now resolved to push Tumblr away and make it more self-contained, removing the sale-integration strategy that's caused them all this trouble in the first place. 


Microsoft Create a Stir with Their Weird 'Dog Recognition' App


Last weekend, Microsoft unveiled a new app and accompanying website designed to use facial recognition as a search function. Sounds pretty normal right? They're kind of obsessed with facial recognition at the moment, but the key difference here is that this one was for dogs. The idea of Fetch (and What-Dog.net) is that you can put an image of a dog in, and it will figure out the breed. Almost immediately though, people starting putting pictures of humans in instead, and the results were unsettling. The app was always outfitted to work on people too, just for the fun of, according to Microsoft, but before long people noticed that whenever you put a person of Asian descent through the search, they came out as either a pekingese or a Chinese crested, almost without fail. Yikes. 



Facebook Block, then Unblock Viz Comics, Don't Explain Why

couchtripper.com
Viz comics have a preceeding reputation for their foul-mouthed, often brutally blunt material, and sometimes it's contentious enough that Facebook elect to remove it, but this time around they took the entire page down for several hours, offering no explaining beyond there having been a community standards violation. The Viz page has been active for 5 years, and knowing whether content is or isn't safe to publish is essential, making this baffling incident all the more disconcerting. Hopefully this won't happen to them again.


Tumblr Briefly Banned in Indonesia, Now Back up, But on Notice


It hasn't been a great week for Tumblr. Aside from the above financial woes, the site was briefly taken down across the entirety of Indonesia, because users are able to post pornography on there. A day later the block was reversed, instead putting in a request for Tumblr to 'self censor' such content. Officials will likely continue to monitor the site to make sure that this is happening, else it might get banned again. Indonesian residents were generally fairly unhappy about the ban, and campaigned on Twitter to get it back up, something which will likely repeat itself if they try to ban it again.


Facebook Erupts into Debate about Bananas, Apples and Coconuts

Facebook
Maths-mania seems to have taken over Facebook of late, and this innocuous puzzle appears to be the culprit. As you can see above, Each fruit equates to a particular figure, but it's up to you to work out the exact denominations and answer the sum at the end. What's catching people out is that the bunches of bananas differ in quantity. As far as I can tell, the answer is 14, if each individual banana equates to 1, and each half of a coconut does the same, but answers have ranged from 20 to 15. Numerous pages have now caught the bug, posting all sorts of puzzles and encouraging people to solve them in the comments, but not explain them, to stop others from cheating.


God Quits Twitter



It appears that even the almighty has no patience for trolls, as @TheTweetofGod Twitter page will soon cease to be. The page has more than 2.2 million followers, and was created by ex-Daily Show writer David Javerbaum. His work on the page attacking the Westboro Baptist Church, and just about anyone else worthy of ridicule from on high, and it's even inspired a book and even a play on Broadway. Like Stephen Fry before him though, Javerbaum is tired of the medium, so God is moving on, perhaps to Snapchat, or maybe Ello, nothing is certain, he moves in mysterious ways.



Twitter's GIF Keyboard is Here

TechRadar
Following in Facebook's footsteps, Twitter have added a GIF search function to their arsenal, applicable to DMs and standard tweets alike. The library, which has been stocked by GIPHY and Riffsy, can be browsed by category or keyword searches, depending on whether you're after something specific or just a particular vibe. Once the ideal GIF is found, it's as easy as anything to insert it directly into a tweet. What a time to be alive. 


A Crowd of Beachgoers Takes Selfies with Two Small Dolphins in Buenos Aires, Dolphins Revealed to Have Been Dead

The Week
You would think that most people have the good sense not to pull a sea creature of the water if they're not planning to eat it, but apparently not. During the week two very small, very rare Franciscana dolphins washed up on the beach at the San Teresita resort in Buenos Aires. Almost immediately, images surfaced on Twitter and Instagram of people posing with them, them having evidently been passed around the crowd. Before long, claims were made that this action had been what killed them. The people who took the selfies have claimed that the dolphins were already dead when they washed up, but even taking that into account, it's pretty grotesque, who takes a selfie with a dead animal? I could make a joke about the fur trade here, but I'm sad enough already.


A Singaporean's Sweary Facebook Rant has Become an Inspiration

Facebook
This one puts me in a bit of an odd quandary, since I can't post, or even quote the Facebook update that's at the center of this story. The man in question, Kai Sheng Si, saw a blind man wandering around an MRT station, not being helped either by staff or passers by, despite apparently looking very lost. Kai and his friends took it upon themselves to help the guy out, and afterwards he posted some images of the act of kindness, including a profanity-laden indictment of his fellow commuters, firstly for not doing anything, and secondly for giving him and his friends a wide berth because of their tattoos, the irony of course being that they was the only ones willing to help, and therefore the furthest thing from a 'thugs' in that moment. As you might expect, the post struck a chord with many, both in and outside of Singapore.


Masses of Live Footage of Kanye West is Removed From YouTube


This is one of about 300 different stories about Kanye West to have broken in the last week, with regards to social media activity. Between the release of his new album, The Life of Pablo, asking Mark Zuckerberg for money on Twitter, getting into it with Taylor Swift and now the leaking of a bunch of additional material from said album, he's been busy. The album itself is currently only available on Tidal, and West has claimed that it will never be available beyond that. In that vein, live footage of him has started vanishing from YouTube, whether it was posted by users, or big pages like Miss Info and XXL. Some pages have even been banned. It could be coming from him, or it could be Universal Music, but no explanation is forthcoming, but if old clips of West live start suddenly turning up on Tidal, we'll have our answer.




Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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#Songbird Stories: The Rest from the #Nest of #SocialMedia Reviewed by Callum Davies on Saturday, February 20, 2016 Rating: 5

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