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Will Social Media Take Down Politicians Like Andrew Cuomo And Lauren Boebert? – Forbes

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On Tuesday afternoon, news broke that a sixth woman has come forward against embattled New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. To date Cuomo has maintained that he has no intention of stepping down from his office, even as calls for his resignation and impeachment grow louder on social media.

Among those was Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan), of the six accusers and who has since blasted him as a monster. She posted on Twitter on Tuesday, “This smear was a blatant abuse of power by @nygovcuomo. He retaliated against me and others for speaking up. I look forward to the AG investigating this.”

However, many users on Twitter also noted that many liberal voices have remained silent on the issue.

“Kamala Harris said she believed Christine Ford and called for Brett Kavanaugh to be impeached but she can’t say a single word about Andrew Cuomo harassing multiple women,” wrote @CassyWearsHeels.

#LaurenBoebert4Prison Trending… Sort Of

It wasn’t just Cuomo whose name was circulating across social media on Tuesday. Earlier in the day the hashtag #LaurenBoebert4Prison began to trend – and it wasn’t really because of anything the outspoken Republican Congresswoman from Colorado actually did or said.

It apparently began in the late morning when user @TG22110 posted, “I feel like getting #LaurenBoebert4Prison trending today. Who’s with me?”

@TG22110 then added, “I have one goal on Twitter today, and It’s to make the above tweet trend. Please retweet above, quote tweet, etc. We can do this. I bet we’ll get 10k retweets by end of Tuesday.”

It didn’t take long for the hashtag to make the rounds on Twitter, and by the early evening it had become the number one topic in politics with more than 15,000 tweets.

Of course it wasn’t just those opposed to Rep. Boebert that took to social media. Early in the afternoon the Congresswoman posted, “#LaurenBoebert4Prison? Really? The Left is so terrified of me they literally want me in prison. Newsflash: I’m not going anywhere. Donate $17.76 to my campaign today because as you can see they’re going to do EVERYTHING they can to get rid of me!”

As has been said many times by publicists over the years, there is no such thing as bad press and by Tuesday evening, Rep. Boebert’s post had been retweeted more than 750 times, and received some 3,000 likes.

Some users than shared a series of memes with Rep. Boebert, including one from a 1930s Ku Klux Klan march in Washington, D.C. with her image superimposed. She took it in stride and posted, “Fake news! I don’t march with Democrats.”

While the original tweet, which included the #LaurenBoebert4Prison received 940 likes and was retweeted about 400 times, Boebert’s response was actually retweeted more than 1,400 times and had well over 8,200 likes.

Such Direct Outrage

There is no denying that social media has the ability to influence public opinion and it was just last month that Disney and LucasFilm responded to the public outcry over comments made by actress Gina Carano on social media that resulted in the actress’s firing from The Mandelorian.

The question is whether social media will actually put pressure on elected officials. In the case of Cuomo, it is possible he will see the tide of public support turn against him but with Boebert it seems more are standing by her. While 15,000 tweets responding to #LaurenBoebert4Prison is not insignificant it isn’t actually breaking any records.

“A widely held misconception is that strong activity on social media reflects a topic’s genuine interest to people,” explained Jim Purtilo, associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland.

“That might be so, but just as commonly such volume reflects the business interests of corporations which are served by an illusion of popular support. We’re in the era of big data, where machine learning technologies can harvest nuanced insights about public opinions,” added Purtilo. “But people have not yet learned to be choosy consumers with data, which means hucksters can manufacture sentiment just by manipulating key choke points where sentiment is harvested. This is why we now have social influencers, right? To drive folks to generate data which serve corporate interests. An entire industry revolves around the fact that the public can be made to show support for just about anything.”

In other words things that look scientific and came from the Internet then it must be true.

Not really suggested Purtilo.

“The Gina Carano firing makes this point,” he noted. “I frankly doubt there was much organic interest in her political view, in fact I bet a lot of people (including me) didn’t know who she was outside her film role in The Mandalorian. The big money of special interest groups opposed what she said, though, and put their muscle behind the manufacture the sentiment which was used to press for her to be crushed. Voila! Overnight they had ‘evidence’ that people who’d previously never heard of her were outraged. Maybe a few people were, but based on what I know of algorithms driving the influence industry, I presume she was just another victim of a digital drive-by.”

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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck pictured kissing as ‘Bennifer’ returns

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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have been pictured exchanging passionate kisses, apparently confirming weeks of fevered rumors that they have rekindled a romance that dominated celebrity media almost 20 years ago.

Paparazzi photos printed in the New York Post on Monday showed the two actors kissing while enjoying a meal with members of Lopez’s family at Malibu’s posh Nobu sushi restaurant west of Los Angeles on Sunday.

Representatives for Lopez, 51, declined to comment on Monday, while Affleck’s publicists did not return a request for comment.

Lopez and “Argo” director Affleck, dubbed “Bennifer,” became the most talked about couple in the celebrity world in the early 2000s in a romance marked by his-and-her luxury cars and a large 6.1-carat pink diamond engagement ring. They abruptly called off their wedding in 2003 and split up a few months later.

The pair have been pictured together several times in Los Angels and Miami in recent weeks, after Lopez and her former baseball player fiance Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement in mid-April after four years together. Monday’s photos were the first in which Lopez and Affleck were seen kissing this time around.

Celebrity outlet E! News quoted an unidentified source last week as saying Lopez was planning to move from Miami to Los Angeles to spend more time with Affleck, 48, and was looking for schools for her 13-year-old twins Max and Emme.

Max and Emme, along with the singer’s sister Lydia, were also photographed walking into the restaurant in Malibu on Sunday.

Lopez married Latin singer Marc Anthony, her third husband, just five months after her 2004 split with Affleck. Affleck went on to marry, and later was divorced from, actress Jennifer Garner.

 

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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TikTok debuts new voice after Canadian actor sues

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TikTok

After noticing a new female voice narrating the videos on the popular video-sharing social networking service, users of TikTok were baffled as to why. It actually turns out that the Canadian actress behind the old voice filed a lawsuit against the platform for copyright violation as her voice was apparently being used without her permission.

Bev Standing, a voice actor based in Ontario, is taking China-based ByteDance to court. TikTok’s parent company has since replaced her voice with a new one, with Standing reportedly finding out over email after a tip-off from a journalist. On the matter, Standing said: “They replaced me with another voice. I am so overwhelmed by this whole thing. I’m stumbling for words because I just don’t know what to say.”

TikTok is said to be considering a settlement for Standing outside of the courts, but nobody knows whether or not this is true. According to legal experts, the fact TikTok now has a new voice on the popular social media app suggests they acknowledge Standing’s case and potentially understand that she may have suffered as a result of the company’s actions.

Thanks to the emergence of the powerful smartphone devices of today, alongside taking high-quality images for Instagram, getting lost down YouTube wormholes, and accessing popular slots like Purple Hot, people are turning to relatively new platforms like TikTok. The service has 689 million monthly active users worldwide and is one of the most downloaded apps in Apple’s iOS App Store. This latest news could harm the platforms future, although many of its younger users potentially aren’t aware that this type of scenario is unfolding.

For Bev Standing, the ordeal is a testing one. She wasn’t informed of the voice change, there is no mention of it in TikTok’s newsroom online, and the development is news to her lawyer also.

 

This all comes after her case was filed in a New York State court in early May after the voice actor noticed a computer-generated version of her voice had been seen and listened to around the world since 2020. Speculation is rife as to how TikTok managed to obtain the recordings but Standing believes the company acquired them from a project she took part in for the Chinese government in 2018.

(Image via https://twitter.com/VoiceOverXtra)

The Institute of Acoustics in China reportedly promised her that all of the material she would be recording would be used solely for translation, but they eventually fell into the hands of TikTok and have since been altered and then exposed to a global audience.

According to Pina D’Agostino, an associate professor with Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and an expert in copyright law, the fact that the hugely popular social media platform has now changed Standing’s voice could result in a positive outcome for the distraught voice actor. She said: “It’s a positive step in the way that they are mitigating their damages. And when you’re mitigating, you’re acknowledging that we did something wrong, and you’re trying to make things better.”

When assessing social media etiquette and how both companies and users should act, this type of news can only do more harm than good. Not only does it make the company look bad, but it could have an effect on revenues and, ultimately, TikTok’s reputation.

With a clear desire to move on and put this whole process behind her, Bev Standing is eager for the case to be resolved and get back to the daily work she loves and has been doing for a large part of her life. TikTok has until July 7 to respond to her claim.

 

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Nigeria orders broadcasters not to use Twitter to gather information

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Nigerian television and radio stations should not use Twitter to gather information and have to de-activate their accounts, the broadcast authority said following the move to suspend the U.S. social media giant in Africa’s most populous country.

Nigeria’s government on Friday said it had suspended Twitter’s activities, two days after the platform removed a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish secessionists. Nigerian telecoms firms have since blocked access to Twitter.

International diplomats responded with a joint statement in support of “free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria”.

Buhari, who was Nigeria’s military ruler in the 1980s, has previously been accused of cracking down on freedom of expression, though his government has denied such accusations.

Twitter has called its suspension “deeply concerning” and said it would work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on the platform to communicate and connect with the world.

The National Broadcasting Commission, in a statement dated June 6, told broadcasters to “suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately”.

“Broadcasting stations are hereby advised to de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source of information gathering,” it said in the statement, adding that “strict compliance is enjoined”.

The statement comes two days after the attorney general ordered the prosecution of those who break the rules on the ban.

The foreign minister on Monday held a closed door meeting in the capital, Abuja, with diplomats from the United States, Britain, Canada, the European Union and Ireland to discuss the ban.

It followed the statement by their diplomatic missions on Saturday in which they criticised the move.

“These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue…. as well as share vital information in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said in their statement.

Nigeria’s information minister on Friday said the ban would be “indefinite” but, in a statement late on Sunday, referred to it as a “temporary suspension”.

The minister did not immediately respond to phone calls and text messages on Monday seeking comment on the altered language.

 

(Reporting by Camillus Eboh and Abraham Achirga in Abuja; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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