Tag Archives: Twitter

Activist tweets may be misinterpreted

Hashtag activists use the speed of              Twitter to quickly amass their ideas into huge protests.

But what good comes of this snowball effect? Just because everyone’s saying it, doesn’t make it true, and the 140-character limit breeds misinterpretation and a lack of accountability.

Just look at the recent #CancelColbert hashtag war, which was an outraged Twitter movement started by activist Suey Park.

If increased credibility to her cause was Park’s intention, the 23-year-old failed miserably.

Park tweeted in response to an out-of-context quote by political satirist Stephen Colbert.

Colbert’s comment was a joke about starting a foundation for sensitivity to Asians: “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

Colbert was making fun of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder for wanting to keep “Redskins” in the football team’s name. Snyder started a charity foundation in honor of Native Americans to give the impression that he is sympathetic, despite his refusal to alter the name.

The joke was meant to ridicule Snyder’s foundation by making an even more ridiculous suggestion, but instead started an uproar among confused protestors.

Ignorant mass protests, especially viral ones, weaken an organization’s credibility.

Now, Park’s and other like-minded activist groups’s social media campaigns will be looked at with disdain and mockery.

Those swept up in the #CancelColbert frenzy only made anti-racism efforts appear excessively sensitive and unable to discern irony from actual racism.

The Twitter-based protest distracted attention from Colbert’s original point. “Redskins” is offensive to Native Americans, and was the real instance of racism, not Colbert’s comment.

Stephen Marche of “Esquire” even claimed the #CancelColbert hashtag was “perhaps the stupidest hashtag movement in history.”

The latest crack at #CancelColbert starters on Twitter are tweets that they “won” or “got their way” after Colbert announced his intention to take over “The Late Show” once David

Letterman retires from the show.

Colbert said it best in responding to the controversy. “Who would have thought a means of communication limited to 140 characters would ever create misunderstandings?” he asked.

That is not to say there’s no point to hashtag activism or that it is not a useful tool for discussing important issues–just look at hashtags aimed at the “Occupy” protests.

There’s no denying the power of social media movements, but danger lies in the capacity for ignorant viewpoints to be hugely amplified in the span of a few hours.


Helen Lee

Photo editor 

Helen Lee can be reached at linfieldreviewphotos@gmail.com

Tweet proves offensive language still exists in media

After the recent uproar regarding The Onion’s offensive tweet about Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, I am left wondering where the line is drawn in our controversy-driven culture for what is appropriate and inappropriate to say in the media.
I also wonder how these definitions influence our daily speech as products of a consumer society, especially on a college campus, where people of different backgrounds, experiences, prejudices and beliefs all interact. How can we respect our peers while still expressing ourselves?
Offensive and derogatory language is found everywhere in the media today. On any reality TV show, in any rap song and basically everywhere on the Internet, this kind of speech is advertised as a daily part of life. But is this really justified?
And when we as individuals repeat these words and sentiments, are we really agreeing with what is being said? I like to think of myself as a person with morals, but I’ll be the first to admit that my language isn’t always the cleanest. I strongly support women’s rights; however, at times, I’ve caught myself using words historically targeted at suppressing women. In fact, I use them a lot.
But when I say these things, it’s not with the intention of keeping my gender subordinated, or any group for that matter, I’m just mindlessly repeating words
I’ve heard over and over. Does the meaning behind the word change the way it should be interpreted, and if that is the case, how can we determine if a word is meant to incite, or is simply part of our generation’s way of expressing themselves?
One word I do not and will not use is the n-word. While walking around campus, however, even in a place like McMinnville, I hear it used all the time. While I can tell that the people saying it don’t mean it as an insult, does that make it any better?
Does our fundamental understanding of the history of that word mean nothing to us in a culture where we can hear the n-word used over and over in popular music being played on the radio [they do bleep it out, but come on, we all know the lyrics]?
Less than 30 years ago it was completely inappropriate to refer to someone by this word, but as the meaning behind it changed, so has the usage. In 30 years, will we all think it’s acceptable for the media to use the c-word to refer to a female, like in the case of Quvenzhané Wallis?
I’ve heard the argument that a new meaning can take away the insulting quality of a word, but can hundreds of years of oppression and mistreatment be forgotten so easily? Should we forget about this history?
Other words like retarded and gay, which have been changed from their original meaning to become something negative, are also a daily part of our lives. I can’t explain how infuriated it makes me when I hear someone use the word retarded. My cousin has William’s Syndrome, and while I know that usually the people who say “that’s retarded” are not evil, and do not believe my cousin is a lesser human being, it still disgusts me. I have many friends, neighbors and teachers who are homosexual, and the discrimination against them is, on all accounts, unjustified.
When we allow ourselves to repeat offensive language, either out of forgetfulness, altered meaning or simply for shock factor, we have to be responsible for the way others might interpret our meaning. I’m not saying that strong language is not, at times, justified, but if the backlash from The Onion’s tweet shows us anything, it’s that words can still make a huge impact on the people around us.

Olivia Marovich

Olivia Marovich can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.

The anatomy of Twitter

Every day, millions go online to write a short message or blurb that consists of 140 characters or less. They are all tweeting to colleagues, friends and family.

Founded in 2006, Twitter was established so that people could send out messages that could be read by a group at one time.

During the past few years, millions have joined the website and have helped it become the latest social media trend.

Following the paths of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, Twitter has become a topic that many people bring up in their daily life. Newspaper companies, celebrities and many others have started to use the site for professional purposes.

Susan Sivek, assistant professor of Mass Communication, uses Twitter to communicate with classes and establish herself as a journalist.

“It gives people a way to connect with each other that isn’t that intimidating,” Sivek said. “Instead of adding someone as a friend, you can follow them in a more casual way.”

Tweeting consists of composing a blurb of 140 characters or less. In a tweet, the users can include links or photos along with basic text. In each tweet, people tend to use mentions and hashtags.

Users can mention other people in a tweet by including the “@” symbol followed by the person’s mentioned username. The person will see it and also everyone who follows you and the person you mentioned.

Hashtags are ways to categorize the tweets that a user posts. The Twitter site compiles all the tweets with familiar hashtags together so you can see all the tweets with similar topics.

Popular hashtags that are used a great deal are referred to as a “mass trend.” After the death of Whitney Houston, millions began tweeting about the pop singer and included the hashtag “#RIPWhitney.”

People use the site for multiple reasons, some for social networking and some just to voice the thoughts they have throughout the day. With access to Twitter now available on smartphones, people can instantly find out information on the go.

Even though there are many people using Twitter now, some still do not want to join the social site. Common thoughts about the site are that it is confusing or it is too simple.

Twitter’s simple format makes it so that more information can be published and any person could use the site for multiple purposes. The site allows users to receive up-to-date information from pages that they follow directly onto their personal feed.

Sometimes, companies tweet about job openings and the latest developments.

Recently, Twitter has become involved in the 2012 presidential election.

Twitter pages have been created for the candidates, which display their campaign themes and ideas. Also, they tweet about upcoming appearances and views on what is going on.

This connection provides the new “web generation” a chance to be more involved in politics.

Individuals are now able to communicate their issues, concerns and even praises in just a few characters. Announcements can be made through a simple tweet, and then every follower will receive the news on their feed.

Besides using the site for professional communication, a majority of the young users are turning to Twitter for personal reasons.

Many share their personal thoughts that connect them with other users with similar interests.

There is a specific lexicon that comes along with the site. The website has a glossary of words that many use to shorten response, giving the site its own personality.

Terms, such as “retweet” and “tweet” have no meaning without understanding the context of what the site has established as its meaning.

Senior Adrienne Berthot decided to use Twitter so that she could follow celebrities and news stories.

“I think Twitter is just a different form of social networking and that it is gaining popularity because of its ease of use in seeing what is happening and in talking to other people,” Berthot said.

On a normal basis, Berthot tweets a few times a week, but checks the site daily. She acknowledges that people can use the site not just for entertainment news but also to see what is going on in the world.

Across campus, the trend is spreading and becoming a popular topic.

Twitter Terms

Tweet: the post that users put up

Tweeter: a person that posts and reads things on Twitter

Retweet: when something is reposted from someone you follow, often referred to as RT

Hashtags: using the # symbol, way to categorize your tweet with keywords

@: used to connect tweet with other users that connects it to their profile

DM: stands for Direct Message, where can privately send someone a message

Follow: subscribing to the posts that a user posts

Ivanna Tucker/ Features editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at linfieldreviewfeatures@gmail.com.

NCAA online exclusive: Social networking changing the game of college basketball

Lucas Oil Stadium is seen on Thursday, April 1, 2010, in downtown Indianapolis. After hosting the 2010 Final Four, the stadium will play host to the 2012 Super Bowl. -James Brosher / IU Student News Bureau

Butler’s Brad Stevens has done it 64 times. West Virginia’s Bob Huggins has done it 14 times. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has done it only once, and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski never has done it and apparently never will.
What practice do the head coaches of the Final Four teams differ on? Recruiting one-and-done players? Encouraging their fans to storm the court after a big victory? Suiting up in practice? Actually, it’s none of the above.
Rather, “it” is to post on Twitter, or to “Tweet”, as it’s called in the online world. Twitter is a micro-blogging Web site that allows users to post updates, 140 characters at a time. Despite the character limit, Twitter has continued to expand and amass more users, many of whom are college basketball coaches.
While some coaches, such as Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford, have taken an aloof approach to Twitter, others have seamlessly added it to their coaching and recruiting repertoire. The latter group includes Kentucky’s John Calipari.
Though he lost to Huggins on the court in the East regional final, Calipari can take solace in knowing he has been dominating Huggins in the Twittersphere, along with everybody else for that matter.
Calipari has more than a million people following his Tweets, compared to the decidedly less 441 following Huggins. With more than a million followers, Calipari now occupies a place in the online world usually reserved for national celebrities and international news companies.
Kentucky Associate Athletic Director of Media Relations DeWayne Peevy said Calipari decided to start using Twitter in April 2009 after he learned about it from Indiana coach Tom Crean. Though he isn’t astonished that Calipari has a large following on Twitter, Peevy is amazed at the sheer number.
“I’m not surprised he has more than anyone else because of our fan base but I never expected over one million followers,” Peevy said. “The Big Blue Nation is spread all over and I will never underestimate its power again.”
Part of the reason for Calipari’s enormous Twitter presence is it provides a new experience and interaction level for fans. Plus, Calipari doesn’t just Tweet about Kentucky basketball. Social events, dinners, personal anecdotes –everything is fair game for Calipari’s Tweets, which number more than 2,000.
Twitter not only has changed the relationship between coaches, players, and fans, it also has impacted how journalists from traditional media cover the sport. Dana O’Neil covers college basketball for ESPN, and also has worked for the Philadelphia Daily News.
“I don’t feel obligated to follow coaches profiles, but I do think it’s a worthwhile effort,” O’Neil said. “They hardly ever contain anything but platitudes and inspirational messages, but every once in a while you can gain something.”
O’Neil also said she has used Twitter to reach out to coaches on occasion. The intimacy and immediacy of Twitter is able to bridge the gap that may exist between coaches, players and the public, but it also gives pause to journalists, including O’Neil.
“Everyone wants to be first and since Twitter is so instantaneous, I think sometimes in the mad rush to get news out, it’s not properly vetted or sources aren’t entirely checked,” O’Neil said. “We have strong policies about breaking news on Twitter —namely, don’t do it — and I don’t have a problem with it. I’d rather be right and second than wrong and first.”
On the other end of the Twitter spectrum is Duke’s Krzyzewski. According to Duke Director of Basketball Operations Chris Spatola, it’s not a matter of convenience, but rather a lack of necessity for Krzyzewski.
“He is at a point in his career where that isn’t something that he’s going to do, and he doesn’t need to do, but our coaching staff is very active in social networking and representing our program from a coaching level through that,” Spatola said.
Despite Krzyzewski’s hands-off approach to Twitter, several Duke players have active Twitter accounts, including starters Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer. Though there aren’t any rules in place for what Duke players are allowed to post on Twitter, Spatola said, “You just have to make sure that they’re putting out appropriate information so that you’re not giving away what is going on in your locker room.”
These same concerns about social networking also exist at Indiana University, where Crean has a Twitter profile, and many of his players have Facebook accounts.
Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations J.D. Campbell said players need to take responsibility for what is on their Facebook page.
“We try and educate our student-athletes that a lot of their privacy ends when you become a highly visible recruit,” Campbell said. “If the right person has access to their accounts, anything that they might say or post can come back to haunt them. We tell them to be smart in what they say and realize there can be consequences because many are considered public figures.”
The one area of college basketball that Twitter hasn’t been able to affect is recruiting, at least not yet.
Indiana basketball players Daniel Moore and Kory Barnett both said Twitter and Facebook didn’t play a role in their recruiting process, noting that both platforms are in an infancy stage with recruits.
Although Twitter hasn’t been a factor for certain players during recruiting, it’s still something the NCAA monitors. Erik Christianson is the Director of Public and Media Relations for the NCAA, and he is aware of this trend.
“We realize there’s direct communication opportunities within social networking, and we encourage our schools and others to be smart about how they’re using it,” Christianson said.
This lack of impact in recruiting could also be due to why Krzyzewski has never used Twitter; it just isn’t necessary.
As Associate AD, Peevy said when asked if he thinks Twitter has impacted recruiting at Kentucky, “I don’t think so. I think recruits know who Kentucky and coach Calipari are.”

John Patishnock
IU Final Four News Bureau

A team of Indiana University journalists is reporting for the Final Four Student News Bureau, a project between IU’s National Sports Journalism Center and the NCAA at the men’s tournament in Indianapolis. The Review, as a paying member of ACP, is allowed access to this content.