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Songbird Stories: The Rest from the Nest of Social Media

Sometimes it snows in April, and sometimes one of the most iconic, unparalleled forces of nature in the history of music is taken before his time. If it wasn't obvious, I'm a little bit broken up about Prince's passing. In the same week, we also lost Victoria Wood, Chyna and Doris Roberts, so the prevailing mood has been a tad low. For now though, as per usual, we'll focus on the social media side of things, and round up all the happenings that we missed over the past week.

Surge of Twitter Support for Greenpeace Activists Arrested in London

Mere days after Downing Street was flooded with demonstrators in the wake of the ongoing 'Panama Papers' scandal, Greenpeace turned up to make a point of their own. Several demonstrators scaled Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square and strapped a gas mask on the statue's face. They did the same to Queen Victoria outside Buckingham Palace and the Oliver Cromwell statue outside Parliament, to name a few. The stunt was intended to make a point about air pollution. Eight of them were arrested, prompting a flood of support on Twitter.

Mark Hamill Gleefully Screws with Star Wars Fans on Twitter

My love for Mark Hamill seems to know no limits. Not long after posting an amazing picture of himself being carried on Daisy Ridley's back on the set of Star Wars Episode VIII, he decided to give all of his dedicated fans a bit of a tease. As can see above, he posted a tweet declaring that he could show a bit of the trailer for the upcoming film. Naturally, people went a tad mental, and then this happened.

PSYCHE! In fairness, it only takes a moment of thought to realise that the film is nowhere near ready for any trailer footage to drop. At least we've got the Rogue One trailer to tide us over until some actual footage appears.

#WhatYouDontSee Demonstrates What it's Like to Suffer From Depression

Trending topics relating to mental health are far from uncommon, but few have been quite as poignant as this one. Using it, people talked about the issues that are brought about by depression which aren't immediately visible. Examples include spending the day smiling and laughing only to be crushed under the weight of emotional exhaustion, or how difficult and distressful it can be to discuss your problems openly. As well as making the issues clear to people who might not necessarily understand, it acted as support system for those who do. 

Twitter is Crushing on this Brazilian Politician, Hard

EBC / Agência Brasil

The man you see above is Alessandro Molon. He's a representative of the Rede Party in Brazil, and a pretty big slice of Twitter are now madly in love with him. It's easy to see why, he's a pretty handsome chap, but in particular it seems to be the silver hair that's doing the job. The whole spiral of crushing led to a lot of talk about men not dying the grey out of their locks. I can relate, I've been greying since 15 and have made no effort to hide it. I can't necessarily say it's helped my love life, but it certainly hasn't hurt.

Snapchat Release a 'Purple Rain' Filter in Honor of Prince

A death as significant as this one was always going to evoke a big response on social media, and this was a lovely gesture on the part of Snapchat. As the name suggests, the filter drenches your images in purple raindrops, providing a somber, but delicately appropriate tribute to the late star. Some people criticised the company for jumping on the bandwagon, but it seems like they had little to gain from doing this, so I say fair play to them. It also put them out of the line of fire for their inadvertently racist Bob Marley filter, at least somewhat.

A Huge Social Media Hunt Ensues After a Man Finds an Old Photo Album

Oli Lansely probably wasn't expecting to find an old photo album lurking beneath an armchair cushion when he brought said chair home from a flea market, but his reaction is what makes this story special. He immediately scanned some of the pictures onto his computer and put the call out on Facebook to find the original owner. The post was shared 20,000 times in the first 24 hours, and a little while later, he actually found the owner, or rather his daughter, who can be seen as a baby in some of the pictures. The handover has since taken place, and the owner was delighted, having thought he'd lost it forever when the chair went into storage. 

Facebook Open a New Office in the Philippines

This might not seem like a big deal, but in some ways it really is. Filipino Facebook users are overwhelmingly business minded, and tend to use it for brand engagement, and 91% of the online population are on it. That's 49 million people. The new Manila office will aim to capitalise on that growth and further extend Facebook's reach into Asia. Just to spice it up, they've also introduced a company branded bus, one of the Jeepney buses that you see rolling around the city regularly.

"White Savior Barbie" Expertly Mocks Volunteer Vanity

Barbie seems to have become the mouthpiece for a lot of social commentary on Instagram. First we had Sociality Barbie, which viciously mocked the hipster generation, and now we have this. The images depict Barbie posing with African orphans, or in African villages, pointedly making it all about themselves, the captions talking about how 'rewarding' it all is. 'Inspiring' comes up a lot, too. The idea is to draw attention to how many volunteers who post about it seem more concerned about themselves than the work they're supposed to be doing. I'd say it succeeds.

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 @Songbird_Callum

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Songbird Stories: The Rest from the Nest of Social Media Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, April 22, 2016 Rating: 5

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