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#SongbirdStories - The Rest from the Nest of #SocialMedia

Happy new year everyone! As we roll from the confused, congealed mass of 2015 in the twisting cloud of uncertainty that is 2016, one constant remains intact - social media be crazy. Since we haven't been hit with any Y2K16 bugs or bombed into oblivion by North Korea (yet), it's pretty much been business as usual. Twitter arguments, offensive Facebook posts, cats with lightsabers, and so on. As such, our weekly roundup is still present and correct, so let's get moving.

Hollande Blasted Over Charlie Hebdo Memorial Plaque Misspelling

Ah the Twitter backlash, the old faithful reminder that the internet is a dark, black void where sympathy goes to die. On Tuesday, French president Frances Hollande appeared at a ceremony to unveil a plaque memorialising the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, precisely one year after it occurred. The ceremony was a touching, heartfelt reminder of one of the worst mass shootings in recent European history. Twitter didn't care.

Within minutes of the plaque going up it was noted that artist Georges Wolinski's surname had been misspelled 'Wolinsky'. Before long Hollande, who likely had absolutely no part in the crafting or quality control of the plaque, was being accused of amateurism, and the message behind the plaque, as well as the other ones placed elsewhere to recognise the victims outside of the magazine, was idiotically obscured.

DC Mocked for 'Pakistanian' Mistake

In yet another spelling-related story, DC made themselves look a bit silly in their 2015 Superman/Wonder Woman annual, much to the amusement/bemusement of the internet. One story involved the pair saving a group of Shepherds in the Shimshal region of Pakistan from some sort of menacing demi-god, or some such. Pretty unremarkable, right? Well, yes, the problem arose when partway down a page it was noted that all the local dialogue was being translated from 'Pakistanian'. 

That's the trouble with using art software for your text, I guess, no spellchecker. Just for the layman's sake, 'Pakistanian' is neither a word, nor a language. Pakistani is a word, but it is not a language, either. They were after Urdu (or Punjabi, Shina, Sindhi, basically anything except what they wrote). Cue the Twitter mockery, most of which based itself around the fact that DC often markets itself as an 'All American' publisher, and Americans stereotypically have fairly poor geography skills for anywhere outside of their home nation. 

Essena O'Neill is Back Again

The Guardian
As you may or may not remember, Australian model and social media star Essena O'Neill made headlines a few months ago when she announced her permanent exit from that world via a tearful and brutally honest YouTube post. Ironically, said post ended up making her significantly more famous than she already was, and before long she had set up a website which was designed to uncover the ugliness of online approval-seeking. 

Said website has since been taken down and O'Neill has been the subject of a great deal of criticism, suggesting that the whole thing was little more than self-promotion. On Tuesday she finally responded, firing out a 6,210 word email to hear followers addressing all the criticisms in detail. She also announced that she's working on a book about what she's been though, and the wider issue of social media fame.

Billy Manziel - Johnny Football's Bizarre Alter Ego

If you don't follow the NFL, there are few things you ought to know about Johnny Manziel/Johnny Football. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2014, having already gained a reputation for being a bloated, volatile ego and he's done nothing to counteract that since then. He's a personal friend of Drake, has spent more nights in police cells than the town drunk's kleptomaniac cousin and despite being a Heisman winner, he has yet to truly prove himself in the NFL. Part of the reason for that is his seemingly unquenchable thirst for constant partying, usually with paps nearby. 

He's currently on the concussion list, which means he has regular checkup appointments, one of which was at 9am last Sunday, but 6 hours before that he was spotted in Las Vegas. It's alright though, he was incognito, that's why literally everybody knows about it. Manziel was spotted wearing a blonde wig, glasses and a fake mustache, introducing himself as 'Billy'. Genius. Just to compound the incredible subtlety of his evening, 'Billy' went to one of the most popular clubs on the strip, went to the VIP room (still in full public view) and then tried to comp his enormous bill. Well, as you might have guessed, he's a meme now, #BillyManziel has been exploding, there are already T-shirts and everything. Also, suffice to say, he missed his checkup.

Facebook Post Saved Snared Lion from Death

It's Cecil the Lion all over again, except this time with a happier ending, and nobody pretending to have heard of a random African lion just to have an excuse to be upset about something that happens all the time anyway. On Tuesday morning at Kruger National Park, some disturbing images of a male lion caught in a poacher's snare were captured. The animal was seen lying in the road, seemingly in life-threatening condition. Before long people were sharing the images on every social media page relating to the park they could find, sometimes many times over in the hope that someone would see them and be able to track him down.

Thanks to this effort, he was found and the snare was safely removed from his neck. The damage, while gruesome, was also not as severe as originally thought and he was soon back on his feet. The story has raised some fairly significant concerns about the security around the park, since nobody should have been able to lay a snare anywhere within the boundaries, but it seems like the Kruger team are taking this just as seriously as the public, so hopefully this will remain the first and last time this happens.

Investigation Begins After a Snapchat Video Seemingly Shows a Rape

Mauricio Pesce/Flickr (via thelocal.fr)
A few weeks back, a video appeared on the university-geared social media app Yeti which seemed to show a girl being raped. The investigation is still ongoing, but the story also shed a great deal of light on concerns about the whole anonymous messaging format. Snapchat is far less anonymous, and far wider reaching, and on Monday 2 men were arrested in connection with a video that emerged on the platform which showed them sexually assaulting and possibly even raping an intoxicated girl.

There's no direct proof beyond the video, but they were found just outside the Spanish border a few hours later, and the victim was found by herself in a flat, apparently extremely shaken. Sadly it all seems to add up. The perpetrators were allegedly already known to the French authorities, and it sounds like the case has all been wrapped up, but it's still a harrowing reminder that in many cases disturbing content on social media cannot be dealt with preemptively.

Pope Francis States Intention to Broadcast Prayers on Social Media

Christian Post
Whoever said religion was behind the times? On Wednesday, Pope Francis announced during an interview on Vatican Radio that he would soon start broadcasting his monthly prayer intentions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, translated into 10 different languages. The first one is set to go out next Wednesday, and will be themed around peace and justice among all faiths. Fitting, for the most ecumenically minded Pope there's ever been. He's even said he has no issue with atheism, which is kind of a big deal.

Francis is also an outspoken environmentalist, and he clarified further into the interview that caring for the planet would be a consistent, common theme in his prayer intentions going forward. The decision to use social media to broadcast them is likely part of a wider plan to reach more people with important messages, Catholic or otherwise. 

Images of Copenhagen's Famous Little Mermaid Statue Removed by Facebook. Because She's Naked.

The Independent
Oh Facebook, when will you learn? The ridiculous saga of censorship double standards continues to lumber onwards, with images of women breastfeeding still continually being removed, whilst video footage of bullying behavior, or dogs being abused are left to circulate unchecked. In the latest, and perhaps most ludicrous chapter of this embarrassing tale, Facebook actually removed an image of one of the most famous statues on the planet because of her exposed breasts.

Danish politician Mette Gjerskov shared a blog post she'd written for a TV network, with a photograph of the 102-year old Little Mermaid statue as the featured image. The post was promptly banned, despite the terms of use clearly stating that nude imagery in paintings and sculpture is perfectly fine to post. It's little more than an oversight, but it shows just how fallible Facebook's censorship system is, and Gjerskov noted how bizarre, amusing and somewhat unsettling it is that one of Hans Christian-Andersen's most famed children's tales should find itself in the same category as things like child pornography, even by accident.

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

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info: TheSMFGroup.com

#SongbirdStories - The Rest from the Nest of #SocialMedia Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, January 09, 2016 Rating: 5

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