Before you hit “out of the office” and grab that cold beverage, these are the stories you need to know about: the Wayfair walkout, backlash over Kim K’s new shapewear line, more ad space on Instagram, Twitter’s new flagging label, why the social media verification process poses a problem, and much more.
Then we’re finishing things off with some Friday Fun you won’t want to miss!
Wayfair Employees Plan a Walkout in Response to Border Facility Furnishing
After discovering their employer was profiting from furnishing US border detention centres, 500 Wayfair staff participated in a walkout protest this week.
News that the online retailer was doing business with BCFS (a government contractor that manages the detention camps at the southern US border) and profiting from the situation was met with disgust by both people inside and outside the company. After an employee petition calling for the severance of these business ties failed to spark desired change, roughly 10 percent of the company hit the streets at their headquarters in Boston.
tl;dr – Wayfair sold beds to furnish border camps; 547 employees signed a petition to ask that we cease all business with border camps; CEO said no —>employees are walking out tmrw at 1:30pm. We ask that Wayfair donate all profits made from the sale to RAICES #WayfairWalkout
— wayfairwalkout (@wayfairwalkout) June 25, 2019
A Twitter account detailing the Wayfair walkout (@wayfairwalkout) has been created and has shared sporadic updates since the news broke, and has already amassed a following of over 24,000 users.
Kim Kardashian’s New Shapewear Line Faces Backlash for Cultural Appropriation
This week, Kim Kardashian shared her newest business endeavour with the world and it faced some pretty immediate backlash — the new shapewear line, known as “Kimono Solutionwear” — is being criticized for cultural appropriation.
While “Kimono” seems to be a play on the reality star’s first name, it’s also confusing; naming undergarments meant to shape and control women’s bodies after a delicate, loose silk robe with cultural significance in Japan has been called “nonsensical.”
People took to social media to express their disappointment and outrage:
Yeah, I see the pun, Kim, but appropriating the name of an ancient Japanese garment with an array of sacred associations for your butt 'n' belly flattening brand is just really…something
⚡️ “Kim Kardashian West launches new shapewear collection, Kimono”https://t.co/rGaOHppcZ0
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) June 25, 2019
— Tamlyn Tomita (@thetamlyntomita) June 25, 2019
Absolutely tasteless and awful. You have ZERO respect to the Japanese culture, do you. What's wrong with you.
I'm from Japan. For us, Kimono represents the beauty & elegance of the country's tradition. Your spandex underwear brand has nothing to do with it. I'm offended.
— TrinityNYC (@TrinityNYC) June 25, 2019
It’s not the first time Kim has been accused of cultural appropriation, previously coming under fire for blackface.
Instagram Denies Listening in Through Your Smartphone
We’ve all had it happen — you’re chatting about something with a friend over lunch and next thing you know, Instagram or Facebook is serving up ads for that very thing. It’s unnerving, and it’s definitely had us wonder if social networks have the ability to listen in to personal conversations via smartphones.
This week, Gayle King asked Instagram head Adam Mosseri about the phenomenon. His response: “We don’t look at your messages, we don’t listen in on your microphone. Doing so would be super problematic for a lot of different reasons.” Um, not the least of which would be invasion of privacy…!?
According to Mosseri, the creepiness could be attributed to “dumb luck,” or our own subconscious activity on the apps.
Hmm… what do you think? Are you buying it?
Instagram to Serve Up Ads on One of Its Last Ad-Free Spots
On Tuesday, Instagram announced it will begin using the Explore feature as a way to show even more ads to users. Ads won’t be discoverable in the main grid, but will be served to users in the feed users scroll through from that post.
According to Mashable, Mark Zuckerberg hinted back in October 2018 that the Explore tab was an opportunity for more ad placement. In their announcement post, Instagram claims Explore is a perfect fit for advertisements since it’s where users come to discover new things.
Facebook’s Dedicated New Tab Could Pay Publishers to Participate
Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg hinted at a “high-quality news” tab for Facebook. The section would reportedly be free for users, although Facebook may pay the publishers whose work is featured.
According to recent news, Facebook is moving ahead with the plan, meeting with publishers and scheduling a rollout for later this year. Zuckerberg believes the news tab could draw an astounding 15 percent of Facebook users.
The new initiative is part of Facebook’s efforts to support journalists, including a pledge to invest $300 million in local newsrooms.
The Problem With Social Media Verification
It seems like more and more users on social media platforms are sporting blue checks of verification on their profiles recently, and it’s causing a bit of a problem. As the rules for verification have become less strict over the years (previously reserved for upper-tier celebs like Beyonce and Madonna) verified users are almost everywhere you turn.
With much unsurety about what exactly makes a user “verifiable”, what the coveted blue checkmark means on different platforms, and an unclear process for vetting users, verification scams run rampant — many have fallen prey to theft and fraud in hopes that they, too, will be authenticated.
Taylor Lorenz at The Atlantic argues that until platforms like Twitter and Instagram take steps to publicly lay out exactly what verification means and what it takes to become verified, scammers will keep taking advantage of the murkiness behind verification and its process.
We have to say we agree.
Twitter’s New Label Allows Users to Flag Tweets from World Leaders
On Thursday, Twitter announced a new plan to hide “controversial content or behaviour” behind a warning label that explains a tweet is against company guidelines, but is too newsworthy to remove.
Users will need to click past the label to see the post, which will also be removed from certain sections of the app, like the explore tab and search.
The new label will only be used for verified accounts belonging to government officials or those running for office with more than 100k followers.
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