Facebook’s Fix on Fake News

The election is over and done with and we now wait for President Elect Trump to take the chair as President of the United States. However, looking back at the recent election has left some people wondering what is really happening with the way our generation is viewing media online and through social websites. Many are beginning to believe that Hillary Clinton’s loss seems to be due to fake news.

Facebook has been notorious for spreading videos like wildfire, creating viral videos and circulating a story around the country within a matter of hours. However, along with silly content like that, a lot of fake news stories and articles have begun to get passed along too.

Facebook has noticed an increase in fake news and has begun to implement procedures into catching, verifying and eliminating stories if they are simply false. However, this now comes into a realm of Facebook potentially limiting what the public can and cannot see.

Yes, there are fake news stories circulating around the internet and Facebook. However, who’s right is it to limit what content someone can or cannot see. Is it not up to the viewer themselves to accept or reject what they are reading into? As adults (or those younger adolescents), it is important to not take everything read off the internet as face value. Has Facebook now become a “fact checker” for all of it’s users? Why are the users not fact checking themselves?

If anything, Facebook is now filtering content based off of what they believe is appropriate to be viewed by the public. This filtering is completely opinionated and may very well be masking true stories that Facebook doesn’t want to leak. As an example, let’s say Facebook has a partnership with Coca-Cola and a TRUE article comes out saying how dangerous the soda is. Coke is going to do everything in their power to try and hide that article from the public so their company does not go down. Being their partner, Facebook will most likely do the same, trying to suppress the article from the public, even though it is true.

Facebook should not be in charge of monitoring what articles the public can and cannot see. It should be up to the user to determine that and believe what they must.

WSJ: Facebook Fake News Filtering

NPR: Tackling Fake News

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NBC’s “Hairspray Live!”

“Hairspray Live” took the stage or really the screen on NBC on December 7th, 2016 at 8pm. “Hairspray” was originally a movie which was then adapted into a Broadway musical and then was pushed to become one of NBC’s iconic live annual performances.

In the past, NBC aired “The Sound of Music” on December 5th, 2013 as their first live musical production. “Peter Pan” and “The Wiz” aired in December of 2014 and 2015 and “Bye Bye Birdie” is expected to be the next live production for next winter in 2017. For  one, I’ve seen all of the NBC live productions, however, “Hairspray Live” seemed to be the one that stood out to me the most.

When a network airs something live, they’re usually trying to bring attention either to something currently happening that’s very important or they’re trying to draw in viewers into their program. With “Hairspray Live”, the catch was that the show was a Broadway musical but it could still be watched from the luxury of sitting on your couch at home. However, with watching a Broadway show from home and seeing it performed live comes with a great deal of trouble.

For one, camera angles are constantly moving. Watching a Broadway show in a theater allows the viewer to observe and see what they want to. With a broadcast show, the camera is forced to follow the action, limiting what an audience can see and experience.

Second, the sets are not in one, central location. In fact, in “Hairspray Live”, a majority of the cast would either sprint to the next set some ways away or take a golf cart and speed to the other side of the studio lot just to set up in time for the next scene. This would take away from the musical experience and therefore create three minute gaps between scenes. In a real Broadway production, the character would usually remain on stage or run off briefly just to have the set change on stage. “Hairspray Live” was just too elaborate and took too long.

Finally, the live audience was not necessary. A majority of the scenes took place in front of a live audience which was fine. However, whenever the scenes changed and the cast would be transported to the next set, NBC decided to film the audience and get their perspective on the musical. One, I would rather have sat through a commercial than listen to other people scream about much they love the show. Two, I go to see a Broadway show to experience it as a whole, not see Darren Criss interrupt the fourth wall after every scene! Shut up! This element took me away from the production greatly.

While I do love “Hairspray” on Broadway, I’ll have to say that this live version is something that I hope I don’t have to endure again.

Rolling Stone: Best, Worst & WTF?

Forbes: NBC’s Musicals Keep Tanking

 

Understanding “Futurama”

So for my final project for my Language of Television class, I was required to pick a television show and criticize it based on it’s demographics, codes and context. I picked the animated TV series, Futurama! For my formal essay, I focused mainly on the writing of the show and how writers David Cohen and Matt Groening pulled in an audience following. Lasting ten seasons, I believe it’s safe to say that Futurama was a very successful show.

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