Facebook Support Filter

The terrorist attacks in Paris have created a sense of unity in the world. For those who do not live near France, it is difficult to show support for those suffering. All over the Internet digital landscape there are signs of support for Paris. Popular websites like Amazon and YouTube have changed their formats to show solidarity. Facebook allows users to cover their profile picture with a blue, white, and red filter. This filter is not automatic; the user has to personally change it. Even though, the blue, white, and red filter is small and insignificant it creates power in unity. All of a sudden on Facebook there is a sea of these filters and those logging on cannot help but think of France.

How does it “Stand With France”? Does it overshadow other conflicts related to terrorism around the world? Why is it important to understand what the filter means? Even though this is not the first time Facebook has created these filters, are they sending an effective message? Is it significant that users have to change their profile picture manually? Does it help those suffering from the terrorist attacks? What does the filter mean to you? Mass media can promote unity – a prosocial effect.


Prayers and thoughts go out to those in suffering in Paris and, as well as, those affected from by terrorist attacks.

“Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”

Jimmy Kimmel has a segment on his show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, called “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”. Celebrities read really crude and rude tweets while R.E.M’s song “Everyone Hurts” plays in the background. While it is hilarious and they are making light of the tweets, there is still a disturbing unidentified aspect. There are people writing these messages, tagging people, and posting them. Kimmel even says he, “…gets bombarded with hundreds of insults a day.” Celebrities are not the only people who get mean tweets. Everyone else gets them too. Canadian Safe School Network posted a mock video of “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”. They replaced celebrities with teens. Teens read crude and rude tweets that their peers wrote. Whether it is to a celebrity or not, writing disturbing, painful and life altering messages is bullying. The internet is an open network and everything is permanent. What kind of public discourse do we want to encourage from our entertainment media? Healthy? Divisive? What are we celebrating when we hold up hatred? How much power does a message under 140 characters have?

To see the videos you can find them on YouTube channels “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Canadian Safe School Network”.

Six Applications that Help Prevent Bullying

Here are some free anti-bullying applications created to help decrease acts of bullying:

  • BullyTagTM –  Timeless Technology – http://www.bullytag.com

    The bystander factor is what BullyTag tries to attack. The app offers a series of ways to alert school authorities of inappropriate behavior. It is a simple screen that links the user to send a photo, video, text messages and voice recording to school authorities. There is also a “help” phone number and a way to get in touch with a guidance counselor. The user is anonymous and everything is deleted from the phone after it is sent.

  • The Bully Boxhttp://bullyboxreport.com

Brandon Boyton created The Bully Box Application. Boyton, seventeen at the time, designed the app so students could report bullying anonymously. Schools can sign-up and register for $499.00 a year to receive photos, videos and text from students.

This application is a tool to educate the user about how to identify and deal with bullying. It is advertised for parents to use with their children, however it is also useful for anyone to help identify signs of bullying.

Stop!t is another anonymous user app. It can alert school authorities of bullying by sending photos, videos and texts. What stands out with this app. is the “panic” button. If the user feels unsafe or threatened they can push the “panic button” and a campus safety officer will respond to the location with GPS. Stop!t also has a two-way messenger and school authority can deactivate an account if the user is abusing the app.

ReThink was created by fourteen year old Trisha Prabhu who was fed up with people being cyber-bullied. The app not just prevents people from being bullied, but it questions the bully’s words and actions before a message is even sent. Before a message a window pops up and alerts the sender that it had detected harmful language. It then asks the sender to maybe rethink the message and if they really want to send it. Prabhu’s application is a new innovative way to prevent bullying, as well as educate users of rude and harmful language.

While Virtual Hope Box is not labeled as an anti-bullying app, it helps promote self-worth, stress relief and positive distractions. The app has inspirational quotes, breathing exercises and pictures to remind you of loved ones. If some one is being bullied or feel like bullying someone, Virtual Hope Box can calm one’s self before making a decision.

Dump Trump from the News Cycle

A New York Times columnist is calling on the press to dump Donald Trump from the endless news cycle that appears to detail—and thereby validate–every outrageous comment spewed by the Republican presidential candidate.

“The never-ending, exhaustive, even breathless coverage of every outrage that issues forth from this man’s mouth is not news. Every offense and attack is not news,” said Charles M. Blow in an Aug. 27, 2015, column.

Blow vowed to eliminate Trump from his own coverage unless the billionaire businessman committed actual news—such as advancing policies that include workable details. Such a pledge is heartening to read when this nation is faced with real issues such as income inequality, immigration reform, and climate change. Reporters and columnists shouldn’t waste another word on trumped up, engineered offenses that generate a lot of squawking but nothing more.

To read the editorial, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/27/opinion/enough-is-enough.html?_r=0.

Don’t Just Change the Channel: Why Pop Culture Matters to Feminism, Activism, and Social Justice

Don’t miss this event, co-sponsored by Whitworth University and Gonzaga University COML program, and the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media!

March 31 at 6 PM, Robinson Teaching Theater, Whitworth University.

Upcoming Events: Don't Just Change the Channel

Upcoming Events: Don’t Just Change the Channel

Talk: Don’t Just Change the Channel: Why Pop Culture Matters to Feminism,Activism, and Social Justice A stock response to complaints about offensive and demeaning representation of women and others in popular media is often, “Well, just change the channel! You don’t have to watch that show/read that book/see that movie.” This presentation explicates why that line of thinking ignores the reality of how media and pop culture permeate every aspect of our lives, and offers an overview of media and pop culture as a locus of feminist activism.Pop culture has long been central to feminist activism, and this presentation looks at this phenomenon with an eye to both history and the present day, noting the ways in which representation, or the lack thereof, has been a key catalyst of feminist action. From the Miss America protest of 1968 to the Saturday Night Live pushback of today, we’ll look at how foregrounding a feminist perspective in media and pop culture makes that culture better, richer, and more representative of the world in which we live.

Workshop: Talking Back 101: A workshop on identifying bias, bad framing, and sexism in media and pop culture, and responding strategically. The Talking Back 101 workshop includes a presentation and slideshow on the power of media response; it includes examples of success stories in which individuals and groups have taken on harmful or offensive ad campaigns and media messages, as well as a number of tips on effective messaging.

The workshop then opens up to audience participation, asking audience members for examples of things that people want to respond to and then collaboratively crafting a plan for making that happen. The workshop is
fun and informative, and is designed to make audience members realized that they, as individual media fans and consumers, have the power to make change in media and popular culture‹whether or not they have previously
identified as activists. – from the words of Nichole Bogarosh Ph.D. Women and Gender Studies, Communication Studies, & School of Continuing Studies Whitworth University.

Media Alert: Charlie Hebdo, The Pen Mightier Than the Sword.

As news has comprehensively covered, the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, France recently published a satirical cartoon of the prophet Muhammad. The cartoon depicts the prophet, saying “100 lashes of the whip if you don’t die laughing” and was highly offensive to many.

These offended feelings led to the heinous actions that left 12 dead, reportedly to avenge the prophet.

An uproar has since ensued over the matters of freedom of speech, whether offensive or not, and the conversation of tolerance freedom of speech must be met with.

Since the attack in Paris, multiple satire cartoonists have responded with their own cartoons, mourning a gross attack on said freedom of speech.

Ruben L. Oppenheimer

Ruben L. Oppenheimer

Satish Acharya

Satish Acharya

MacLeod Cartoons

MacLeod Cartoons

As a media literacy group, the happenings at Charlie Hebdo are extremely important for us to talk about. It reminds us of the power of journalism and the great responsibility that comes with, sometimes deadly.

As many media outlets have reported, the old adage is true, the pen is mightier than the sword, but at what cost? There are indeed limitations to our freedom of speech, but the consequences for crossing the line this cartoon crossed, should be decided by the law, not acts of terrorism.

To access articles on the topic please visit: