Governors refuse Syrian refugees


According to ABC News, at least half of the country’s governors are refusing to take in Syrian refugees in their states amid heightened security concerns following last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Paris terrorist attacks, in which 129 people were killed. Since Friday’s attacks, ISIS has threatened to attack Washington, D.C., and New York.

This chilling effect has influenced several United States governors to refuse Syrian refugees. Ultimately the federal government decides on matters of immigration, not the states.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas has taken to Twitter to express his opposition to allowing refugees.

This tweet caused a mostly negative reaction from his followers and media consumers alike.

An individual with the twitter handle @jonvox responded to Hutchinson’s tweet saying, “ You are a horrible man and make me embarrassed to be an Arkansan.”

Likewise, Facebook and YouTube have been flooded with political comics and videos that compare the current refugee crisis to World War II.

Those who support the relocation of refugees in the United States have compared the current government opposition specifically to the opposition towards Jewish refugees.

The dissenting opinion of the U.S. governors is less likely to be accepted by media consumers on social media because of the chilling effect of terrorism.

Students arrested for threats in Missouri


According to USA Today, police arrested two college students in Missouri on Wednesday for making threats to black students that heightened tensions as the state’s flagship University of Missouri-Columbia campus.

Connor Stolettlemyre, 19, was arrested “on suspicion of making a terrorist threat after he allegedly posted a threat on Yik Yak that read ‘I’m going to shoot any black people tomorrow, so be ready’. He is a student at Northwest Missouri State University.

Another student, Hunter Park, of Lake St. Louis, Mo., was charged with “making the alleged terrorist threat on Yik Yak.”


Yik Yak, the anonymous social media app, does more harm than good. It allows individuals to post on an open platform based on one’s location, creating an open forum where individuals can interact in their environment without their identity.

I think that Yik Yak is irresponsible, cowardly and dangerous. In situations like this, Yik Yak is perpetuating the racism across college campuses. Every individual that has the app is exposed to the feed, which has the potential to desensitize students to harmful content and hate speech.

If Yik Yak made users take ownership of their identity, there would be less harmful speech. I suggest that the University of Missouri closely monitor Yik Yak for more potential danger.

Instagram star quits social media


Australian model and Instagram star Essena O’Neill announced she was quitting social media this week via YouTube.

According to ABC News, O’Neill, who had more than 700,00 followers on Instagram and 260,000 subscribers on YouTube, posted a shocking confession announcing that social media made her “miserable” and that online and mobile-sharing platforms can be unhealthy. She decided that she wanted to shut down all of her accounts.


According to CNN, O’Neill’s social media friends Nina and Randa Nelson published a YouTube video alleging she was doing this as a stunt to get more followers.

All social media platforms have been exploding with both support and opposition for O’Neill’s stance. This debate has been a hot topic for news organizations alike.


I support O’Neill’s stance because her issue with social media is situational. She said that she didn’t like how the pressure to be perfect influenced her mental health. She also said that she wanted to set a good example for her younger sister and show her that she doesn’t have to be perfect and likeable online to be happy.


I do think that social media outlets are informative and necessary in this day and age for the spreading of information. Although, I don’t think that personal business accounts like O’Neill that promote unrealistic body images and clothing brands are necessary.

Myanmar elections and social media


An opposition candidate in Myanmar is recovering after being attacked by men at a campaign rally.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) candidate Naing Ngan Lin was rushed to hospital with head and hand injuries from wielding knives and swords, but the party said his life was not in danger.

The Myanmar government rules its nation through authoritative practices. Since the late eighties, many Myanmar citizens have expressed extreme distaste in the violence and censorship of media.

Myanmar has fallen behind the rest of the world with new technology. The government, however, refuses to adapt to technology since it maintains a stronghold on all information relevant to the elections.

Cell phones and social media have recently become somewhat accessible for wealthy citizens of Myanmar. This allows for virtual communication among individuals, universities, governments and everything in-between.

Mobile phones pose a risk to the Myanmar government during election time because the government will lose authoritative control over content posted.

The upcoming election has the potential to drastically change Myanmar’s participation socially, politically and economically in modern-day society. If Myanmar citizens use social media, other countries will pay closer attention to what the people want.

I plan on closely following the election coverage from Myanmar from news outlets, but more importantly, social media.

Odom found unconscious in brothel


NBA and reality star Lamar Odom was found unconscious at a brothel in Nevada on Wednesday.

According to CNN, Odom had been using cocaine. He was found was in bed at the Love Ranch brothel with a pinkish fluid coming from his mouth and nose.

Support for Odom has been flooding social media from fellow NBA peers including Vince Carter, Paul Pierce and Dwyane Wade.

The media has placed a strong focus on Odom’s condition and famous ex-spouse and reality star Khloe Kardashian, yet has failed to shed light on the fact that he was found in a brothel.

According to Wikipedia, Nevada is the only U.S. jurisdiction to allow some legal prostitution. The fact that Odom was found in a brothel is seemingly more controversial than the constant coverage of his ex-spouses’ family.

Since Odom’s current condition is critical, the focus of the media should cover why he was at the Love Ranch, how long he was at the Love Ranch and when he was planning on leaving the Love Ranch. There should also be a follow up feature story about the Love Ranch.

Prior to learning of Odom’s critical condition, I was unaware that prostitution was legal in the United States. I’m sure fellow media consumers are curious to learn more about the Love Ranch, as well as prostitution in Nevada.

The media should dig deeper into the details of Odom’s story rather than the current conditions and reactions from the Kardashian family.

Joaquin’s trip up north


Hurricane Joaquin, a Category 4 storm, is expected to blow past South Florida and head directly towards North Carolina as well as the entire Northeast coast.

According to Fox News, governors of three states have already declared a state of emergency: Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Since Joaquin will not affect South Florida, is it really necessary to continue so much coverage by our local news outlets?

As a South Florida resident, this news comes as an initial relief. I am used to constantly checking for updates on various tropical storms and hurricanes beginning in August. Residents in the northeast will experience a shift in media over the course of the next few days.

As a northeast native, I am incredibly familiar with news media coverage about blizzards as well as the occasional thunderstorm. When a rare hurricane travels up the East Coast, a sense of panic shocks the population.

The news in the northeast will focus heavily on Joaquin, as well as preventative measures citizens can take to protect themselves. The general unfamiliarity with hurricanes will influence news stations to continuously track Joaquin on all media outlets.

In general, I’ve noticed that news media outlets in South Florida focus more on the logistics of the storm while news media outlines in the northeast focus more on preventative measures citizens should take. As the Hurricane progresses, it’ll be interesting to see if South Florida continues covering Joaquin.

South Florida may get hit with hurricanes more frequently than another other parts of the United States, but that does not mean local reporters should clog local media outlets with constant coverage about Joaquin.

Lady Gaga releases PSA about rape


American singer Lady Gaga released a raw public service announcement for the 2015 documentary film, “The Hunting Ground,” which deals with the issue of sexual assault on United States college campuses.

According to Billboard, the music video PSA called “Til It Happens to You” was released on Sept. 17, and has more than 10.5 million views on YouTube. The music video PSA portrays a sexual assault survivor’s experience.

Lady Gaga tweeted that a portion of the proceeds from the music video will go toward a survivors’ organization. Unfortunately, Gaga is a survivor of sexual assault.


According to Marie Claire, Gaga revealed during a December 2014 interview with Howard Stern that she had been raped by a music producer at just 19 years old.

CBS Pittsburgh reported this week that a recent survey done on 27 campuses across the country concluded that one in four female students reports being a victim of a sexual assault. This startling statistic highlights the importance of sexual assault awareness for college-aged individuals.

Gaga’s new music video will definitely have a backlash due to its disturbingly honest interpretation, but will have great impact in spreading awareness. The video will encourage people to discuss the socially taboo issue.

Will flu shot be effective this year?


With flu season right around the corner, the annual immunization debate has resurfaced. This season, health officials have something to prove after last year’s mishap.

According to NBC News, a new Type A strain of the flu appeared last year after vaccine doses were already brewed. This caused the vaccination to be less effective than in previous years.

Regardless of last year’s mishap, half of American’s didn’t receive the immunization anyway. Consequently, flu kills about 24,000 people a year in the United States.

Health officials have created alternative methods for receiving the vaccination besides the traditional shot, such as a nasal spray, a higher dose version for senior citizens and a needle-free injection for those who have an aversion to needles.

Although the alternative methods are accommodating, I don’t believe that they will influence an opponent of the immunization to change his mind. When it comes to immunizations, most individuals value their own opinion over that of a health official.

If health officials could prove the effectiveness and strategically market the immunization, opponents may comply. In order for health officials to strategically market the immunization, they would need to prove that the effects of the flu are dangerous and prevalent.

Hopefully, this year’s flu immunizations will protect against the new Type A strain and put a stop to 24,000 preventable deaths.

‘Insta-famous’ offers major social capital


According to CNN, Taylor Swift recently surpassed Kim Kardashian West as the most followed user on Instagram. Swift now has 45.9 million followers while Kardashian West trails behind with a mere 45.7 million followers.

Instagram, a mobile photo-sharing app, first began in 2010 and was acquired by Facebook in 2012.

In today’s increasingly visual society, social media popularity now correlates to social capital. This correlation gives celebrities the opportunity to give their fans access into their private lives to benefit their popularity.

Taylor Swift’s goofy personality shines through her Instagram. Her feed frequently features her cats, her notorious celebrity girl crew, and plenty of knit sweaters. Kardashian West, on the other hand, portrays a more glamorous image, featuring mostly an assortment of selfies and family photos.

Both celebrities have strategically created a brand that consumers are actively following. Companies are actively following too.

Online endorsements have become the ultimate marketing move for makeup brands, clothing brands, and even food brands. Celebrities are now serving as the middleman between the brands and the general public.

Since celebrities have an active online following that can be accessed immediately, it makes sense that their virtual popularity would correlate into real life.

Nowadays, social capital is tracked by number of followers and number of likes per photo on Instagram.