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No Red Or Blue Wave Despite Social Media Predictions

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For months, there was talk of an impending “red wave” that would see the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Except, it wasn’t really ever as certain as some had actually predicted. As Politico.com reported, just seven weeks before the midterm elections, the GOP hope for a “takeback” of Congress was already diminishing.

In fact, after the Supreme Court revoked a 50-year constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade, a previously disengaged Democratic base was suddenly reignited – and throughout the summer there were those on social media suggesting it would be a “blue wave” that would come Election Day.

Breaking The Waves

As the Democratic surge had passed, modeling shifted again, and the GOP seemed predicted to win big. However, there was no wave on either side and that there were barely ripples at best. Everyone who predicted a wave on social media from either side seems to have gotten it completely wrong.

“Social media is the unguarded and largely ungoverned repository of random thoughts, emotions, conspiracies, speculation, and rumors. And once a topic gains traction, it is often amplified beyond proportion,” suggested Craig Barkacs, professor of business law and ethics in the Master’s in Executive Leadership and MBA Programs at the Knauss School of Business at the University of San Diego.

Though it was true that polls were indicating some close races, polls have also taken a reputational hit in recent years.

“To be fair, the notion that a red wave was coming was firmly rooted in empirical evidence, such as midterms that typically go against the party occupying the White House, inflation, a president with low approval ratings, and high gas price – along with the specter of a looming recession,” added Barkacs.

Thus, those proclaiming a red wave was coming were simply following what many pundits were already suggesting.

“Even though social media is not renowned for excesses of logic or reason, pushing back against such conspicuous historical trends turned out to be something few on social media were willing to do,” Barkacs continued.

Current Events

As more and more people turn to social media rather than traditional news outlets, the platforms are playing a significant role in shaping how people perceive current events. However, those “news” sources may not be all that trustworthy.

“People are prone to follow accounts and news sources that confirm their pre-existing beliefs. This means that people were likely to see news coverage that confirmed the version of the world they hoped would materialize,” explained Colin Campbell, associate professor of Marketing at the University of San Diego’s Knauss School of Business and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Advertising Research.

“Social media rewards those voices that stand out the most,” Campbell noted. “This is because more extreme views are more likely to prompt reactions – either likes or comments – from viewers, and thus are more likely to be prioritized by algorithms. This results in more extreme views being over-represented on social media and thus having an above-average influence on users.”

As a result, social media contributed to the belief from each political spectrum that a “wave” was coming, even as polls suggested very tight races.

The various algorithms may have made users think that their beliefs were shared by the majority of voters, when in fact, many of these races were quite close, said Dr. Julianna Kirschner, lecturer for the Master of Communication Management program at the University of Southern California.

“Social media platforms have contributed to polarization in political discourse because they echo back what inputs the users have provided,” she further explained. “The echo chambers in which users find themselves tend to repackage the same political content to which users have already been exposed.”

That can lead users to become familiar with narrow political discourse that supports their existing views, which they can then recycle into posts they write themselves on social media. Kirschner said that another problem for social media is the dichotomous political landscape in the United States.

“As a user, you are categorized as one thing or another: Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, red or blue,” Kirschner continued. “Rarely is a voter given the realistic option of choosing something else, such as a viable third-party candidate. Therefore, social media has followed suit in categorizing users through one of two lenses: Republican or Democrat.”

In essence, social media wasn’t wrong about the midterms per se. Instead, these platforms reflected back polarizing discourse to make us think one perspective was a greater representation of the voting block.

“True representation is actually more of a gray area,” said Kirschner. “Social media’s fault has been over-amplification, and our perception of the midterm elections was swayed by that feedback loop.”

That is especially true as the platforms have also proved to be those echo chambers that are highly partisan or demographically similar.

“It’s a bit ironic that social media, which so often divides people in fierce pursuit of what they think is right,” said Barkacs, “in this case unified people around a viewpoint that turned out to be so wrong.”

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Ryan Reynolds Jokes About Taylor Swift’s Astronomical Babysitting Rates

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Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are a Hollywood power couple with four adorable children. But juggling busy careers and a growing family can be a challenge, even for A-listers. Enter their close friend, pop icon Taylor Swift, who, according to Reynolds, might be their go-to babysitter. However, her services come with a hefty price tag (at least according to Reynolds‘ playful exaggeration).

During a recent E! News interview promoting their upcoming movie “Deadpool & Wolverine,” Hugh Jackman playfully suggested that Swift was the real nanny for Reynolds and Lively’s four children. This lighthearted jab sparked a humorous response from Reynolds.

Known for his sharp wit, Reynolds responded to Jackman’s comment with a hilarious quip. He stated that the cost of having Taylor Swift babysit would be “cost-prohibitive,” implying that her rates would be astronomically high. He even playfully added, “But I think what he meant was, ‘Cost-insane-what-are-you-doing-I’m-no-longer-you’re-accountant.'”

Reynolds and Lively, who tied the knot in 2012, share four children: James (9), Inez (7), Betty (4), and a one-year-old whose name and gender remain private. The couple has maintained a close friendship with Swift over the years. This strong bond is evident in their recent attendance at a stop of her Eras Tour in Spain, along with their three eldest children.

Swift’s friendship with the Reynolds family extends beyond casual hangouts. During the concert in Spain, she gave a heartwarming shout-out to the couple’s daughters. While introducing her album “Folklore,” she mentioned the names James, Inez, and Betty, sending the audience into a frenzy. This sweet gesture further highlights the special bond between the singer and the Reynolds children.

This isn’t the first time Swift has incorporated the girls’ names into her music.  Her 2020 album “Folklore” features a song titled “Betty” that tells a story of a love triangle involving characters named James, Inez, and Betty. Additionally, her 2017 album “Reputation” included a voice recording of James on the song “Gorgeous.”

Whether Swift truly babysits for the Reynolds family or not remains a playful mystery. However, one thing is certain: the singer holds a special place in the hearts of the Reynolds children and their parents.

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The Simmering Feud Between Eva Mendes and Rachel McAdams

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The 2004 romantic drama “The Notebook” continues to be a pop culture phenomenon, captivating audiences with its passionate love story between Noah and Allie, played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. But beyond the on-screen romance, rumours of tension between the actors and Gosling’s current partner, Eva Mendes, have added a layer of intrigue to the film’s legacy.

 

From Clashing Personalities to Real-Life Romance

While their undeniable on-screen chemistry led to a blockbuster performance, Gosling and McAdams reportedly had a tumultuous time during filming. “We inspired the worst in each other,” Gosling admitted to The Guardian. However, their initial animosity blossomed into a real-life romance in 2005, sending shivers down the spines of fans who had rooted for Noah and Allie.

 

Love Found, Love Lost

Their off-screen love story, however, wasn’t a fairytale. After two years, the couple went their separate ways. McAdams found happiness and a family with screenwriter Jamie Linden, while Gosling met his current partner, Eva Mendes, on the set of “The Place Beyond the Pines” in 2011. Together, they have built a life and share two daughters.

 

A Post-Breakup Conundrum: Maintaining a Friendship

While McAdams and Gosling’s romantic flame fizzled out, reports suggest they remained amicable post-breakup.  This friendly dynamic, however, is said to have shifted when Mendes entered the picture.

 

A Shadow of Jealousy? Unconfirmed Rumors of Tension

Unverified reports claim that Mendes is allegedly uncomfortable with McAdams being around Gosling.  Unnamed sources allege that Mendes discourages any interaction between the former co-stars, fearing it might upset her. This has reportedly limited Gosling’s ability to maintain a casual friendship with McAdams.

The validity of these claims remains shrouded in mystery.  Mendes and Gosling are known for their privacy, making it difficult to separate truth from speculation.

 

 

Beyond the Rumors: The Power of “The Notebook” Endures

While the rumors of off-screen tension add another chapter to the “The Notebook” narrative, the film’s enduring power lies in its timeless portrayal of love and loss. Whether Gosling and McAdams remained friends or not doesn’t diminish the on-screen magic they created. The film’s ability to resonate with audiences continues, reminding us of the intensity of first love, the pain of heartbreak, and the enduring power of memories.

The Notebook’s legacy is a complex one, weaving together a captivating on-screen love story, rumored off-screen tension, and a reminder of the film’s lasting impact on pop culture.

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From Mansion to Moat: Drake’s Million Dollar Home Gets Soaked

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Toronto residents woke up to a soggy Wednesday morning after the city was pummeled by record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday. The downpour caused widespread flooding across the city, and even the opulent mansion of rap superstar Drake wasn’t spared.

 

Drake’s “Embassy” Flooded

Drake shared a video on his Instagram story showing the extent of the water damage at his Toronto mansion, nicknamed “The Embassy.” The sprawling 50,000-square-foot estate boasts an NBA-regulation basketball court and an art-deco theme, but on Tuesday, it was battling ankle-deep murky water flooding its halls.

The video shows Drake himself, clad in shorts and holding a broom, wading through the water. Someone else can be seen desperately trying to hold a large glass door shut as water surges in, presumably from a flooded patio or balcony.  Drake captioned the video with a touch of humor: “This better be espresso martini.”

The extent of the damage to the mansion remains unclear at this time.

 

Historic Rainfall Causes Citywide Flooding

The flooding at Drake’s mansion was just one symptom of the unprecedented rainfall that lashed Toronto on Tuesday. The city saw over 100 millimeters of rain in a single day, easily surpassing the average rainfall for the entire month of July (71.6 mm). This deluge makes it the fifth-wettest day ever recorded in Toronto’s history.

The heavy downpour overwhelmed the city’s drainage systems, leading to widespread flooding across neighborhoods. Emergency services were inundated with over 700 calls reporting flooded basements.  A major artery, the Don Valley Parkway, became an impassable waterway, with cars submerged almost entirely and some drivers forced to wait for rescue on the roofs of their vehicles.

 

Toronto Cleans Up After the Storm

As of Wednesday morning, the city is in cleanup mode.  Emergency crews are working to clear debris and assess the damage caused by the floods.  The extent of the financial losses incurred by homeowners and businesses is still being determined.

While Drake’s mansion may have gotten an unwelcome soaking, the true story of this weather event lies in the impact it had on ordinary citizens across Toronto. The city is now focused on recovery efforts and ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents.

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