It Doesn’t Meme What You Think: Piggybacking on Celebrity. Is It Dangerous?

Image Courtesy of craftyourcontent.com

Who Said That?

Do you ever question whether or not a quote attributed to someone famous is actually a quote from that person at all? I do ALL the time. I always love to dig deeper to discover the truth. When I point out the likelihood that the quote was not said by that particular person, the response is usually indifference. First impressions are lasting. Sometimes people will say: “It doesn’t matter who said it. The idea is still true!” However, the attributed quote makes its way to the screens of many to become a truth to the masses because of the “celebrity endorsement”. However, and as futile as it may be, I rebut the comment with “If it didn’t matter who said it, then why does the meme use a picture of that celebrity?”

Harmless Fun or Dangerous?

Image Courtesy of melmagazine.com

Some of those falsehoods are harmless fun and provide some comic relief, which I do enjoy, but the harmless fun can lead one down a “slippery slope”. Garson O’Toole, author of Hemingway Didn’t Say That, is also known as the Quote Investigator. Garson investigates quotes randomly assigned to famous people, or “hosts” as he calls them, as well as some “quotes” that are outright fabrications whether intention or accidental. As George Washington once never said: “I cannot tell a lie.”

Again, I believe people use this technique to lend “weight” or “credibility” to the meme. If Bill Gates said it, it must be true. (He didn’t say it.) Again, the indifference that people show is dangerous. Dr. Steve Kelman of Harvard University says “…I am reminded of the famous statement by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels that if you repeat a lie often enough [sic] it becomes the truth.” Joseph Goebbels was the Minister of Propaganda for the German Third Reich. I guess you could say he was the head of marketing for Hitler and the Nazi party. According to a short video (3:06) shown by Encyclopedia Britannica, Goebbels relies on the “mass effect of modern media”.

Memes that fraudulently attribute false quotes to people or organizations can also be hurtful to those people, companies, and brands. If enough people believe the meme without questioning its reliability, then that falsehood becomes truth for many people. When these falsehoods are perpetuated and become viral, they could have damaging effects on the mental health of an individual or cause financial hardships for individuals and companies.

Find Reputable Resources

I always explain to my students the importance of finding at least three reliable sources to support a claim or argument before putting the information into an assignment. I like to use websites such as snopes.com and factcheck.org to determine whether the content that I am reading has validity. I think it is important to create ambassadors for the pursuit of truth. As Voltaire once said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Or did he? There’s a sucker born every minute. Does truth in marketing really matter or do the ends justify the means? What do you think?

Bonus Material: Deep Fakes

Should we be worried? Where is technology taking us? Check out this intriguing but scary video: Everyone Can Make Deepfakes Now!

Social Media Promotion:

Facebook: Are you sure Abraham Lincoln said that? Please read my newest blog to expose the truth about quotes in memes. https://bit.ly/3xDZsDD

Twitter: Are quotes in memes attributed to the wrong people dangerous? Please read my latest blog and add your thoughts. #fakememes #fakequotes #deepfakes https://bit.ly/3xDZsDD

References:

Cain, A. 9 quotes that famous people didn’t actually say. (2018, April 15)

https://www.businessinsider.com/quotes-famous-people-did-not-say-2018-4

Heiber, H. Joseph Goebbels: German Propagandist. (Last Updated: 2021, April 27)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Joseph-Goebbels

Kelman, Dr. S. Goebbels says repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it. (2020, May 15)

https://scholar.harvard.edu/skelman/blog/goebbels-says-repeat-lie-often-enough-and-people-will-believe-it

O’Toole, G. Hemingway Didn’t Say That. (Accessed 2021, August 9) Retrieved from

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33615668-hemingway-didn-t-say-that

These Bill Cates ideas should be posted in all schools and workplaces. (2017, October 18)

https://artinrealestate.ca/these-bill-gates-ideas-should-be-posted-in-all-schools-and-workplaces

Watch Adolf Hitler’s campaign for chancellor and Joseph Goebbels’s role in promoting his propaganda and terror. (Accessed 2021, August 9) Retrieved from

https://www.britannica.com/video/180215/Adolf-Hitler-campaign-chancellor-propaganda-Joseph-Goebbels

Zsolnai-Fehér, K. Everyone Can Make Deepfakes Now. (Accessed 2021, August 9) Retrieved from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUfJOQKdtAk

I Think Someone Is Trying To Hack Into My Facebook Account.

Image courtesy of Tima Miroshnichenko at pexels.com

Why would someone want to hack into my Facebook account or any social media account for that matter? I don’t have anything of value there? I just post pictures of my family and pets, right? I might post links to my music and events, fave foods and restaurants, or perhaps art from time to time. Why would anyone want access to that?

Indeed! Why would someone want your harmless information? What is the end game?

Access to Passwords

Hackers do not discriminate. You don’t have to be famous or have a million followers; hackers will break into anything that is easy and often will use automated programs or “bots” to launch password attacks. According to Janet Fouts (founding member of Tatu Digital Media), “…people do not take the security of their online accounts seriously enough.” Hackers can use your account information about pets, families, birth dates, and photos to help determine your password or passwords.

Often, people do not realize how much information can be found in a photo. You could be providing your work location, your vehicle’s license plate, a child’s school or daycare, or your home address. Combining all of this readily identifiable information can increase the potential for someone to figure out your password(s). Do you use the same password for many of your accounts? Once hackers have that information, how far away are they from banking or credit card information?

Disgruntled Employees or Angry Friends or Partners

A disgruntled employee may be seeking revenge on a company because the employee feels as though he or she might have been unfairly dismissed or treated poorly. Attacks and hacks on company systems or social media accounts might be used to discredit the company, damage company assets, or to seek financial compensation through unlawful means. These hacks can occur when the company is slow to remove an employee’s computer permissions or access to company assets or properties through the use of keys, a pin code, or swipe card. Companies need to take prompt action once an employee has resigned or been dismissed.

Angry friends or partners have been known to use computer passwords to access systems to leave malicious software or spyware such as keyloggers, which could be recording every keystroke you make. One password can lead to many passwords. One basic rule is to never share a password with anyone. Today that person is a colleague and a friend, but who knows what tomorrow may bring? I once had a student whose jealous ex-husband had installed a keylogger on her computer to cyberstalk her. Extremely frightening!

Tips to Help Prevent Hacking or Unwanted Access to Accounts

Interestingly enough, Johanna Aquino Lebouef (YouTube: Traveling Petite Girl), uses WordPress for her website. Some of the tips she discusses are the following:

Employing these tips will help to prevent some attacks but certainly are not foolproof.

I Have Been Hacked. What Do I Do?

If you suspect you have been hacked, contact the social media platform on which you have been hacked immediately to report the attack. The process is similar on all platforms, but the immediacy of the responses from those platforms may vary. If you think your Facebook account has been hacked, follow this link to find out what you need to do to fix the situation.

In summary, you never know who is looking at your information or how that information might be used. Maybe we need to rethink the kinds of information that we post. If you are not going to give more thought to the information you make available, perhaps you should use tighter controls to limit who is able to see the shared information. When in doubt, leave it out.

Have you or someone you know ever been hacked, scammed, or phished? Do you currently use the same password on multiple accounts? Please do not answer the second question in “this” comment thread…lol!

Facebook and Twitter Promotion

Facebook: Are you worried about someone taking over your Facebook Account? Me too! Please read my latest blog to find some useful hacking prevention tips. Cheers! https://bit.ly/3yr6q0f

Twitter: Do you feel safe on social media? Read my latest blog to find tips to help protect your personal and business accounts. Cheers! https://bit.ly/3yr6q0f #socialmediatips #preventhacking #securesocialmedia

References:

Demystifying a Keylogger – How They Monitor What You Type and What You Can Do About It? (2019, December 13) Retrieved from

https://home.sophos.com/en-us/security-news/2019/what-is-a-keylogger.aspx

Garun, N., and Krasnoff, B. How to set up two-factor authentication on your online accounts. (2021, June 10)

https://www.theverge.com/22215571/factor-authentication-2fa-apple-microsoft-google-how-to

Lebouef, J. I’ve been hacked! How do I fix it? | What to do if you’ve been hacked and how to prevent it. (2020, November 20) Retrieved from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e—eJyUkvk

Squirrel, M. Random Password Generators. We Picked 14 for the Best Strong Passwords. (2021, May 14) Retrieved from

https://digital.com/password-generators/

Try Guided Help. Accessed August 2, 2021. Retrieved from Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/help/1306725409382822

Why Do People Hack Social Media Accounts? (2014, April 7) Accessed August 2, 2021. Retrieved from

https://www.pandasecurity.com/en/mediacenter/social-media/people-hack-social-media-accounts/

BLOG2: Have Social Media Posts Hurt Your Employment Opportunities?

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Have you ever stopped to wonder whether what you post on different social media platforms has affected employment opportunities or opportunities for advancement in positions you have held or currently hold? Have employers used your posts to determine whether or not you should be hired? Have employers used posts as a reason to fire employees?  Does your company have a social media policy? So many questions to be answered.

I have informally interviewed many Human Resource professionals, and the answer to all of the questions above has been “yes.” Employers might not admit it openly, but employers will “Google” your name to see what information is available. Posts might be text, graphics, or videos used on many different platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, Instagram, or Twitter, for example. Have you commented before, either positively or negatively, about the company to which you are applying or currently employed with? Filled out a survey? Posted a review? Gone on a rant? Aired your political or religious views? Discussed sexual orientation? Chosen a side on a controversial topic? Demonstrated poor writing skills? These are questions that employers are not allowed to ask during an interview, but many potential employees make the answers readily available in their social media posts.

Do Human Resource professionals use social media to help make hiring decisions? According to The Harris Poll conducted in early 2020 on behalf of Express Employment Professionals, nearly seventy percent of hiring professionals use social media to aid with hiring decisions. When vetting potential or current employees by viewing their social media posts, Human Resource departments know that the information found might have the potential to be considered discriminatory hiring practices. Hiring decisions could be potentially biased and in violation of the Canadian Human Rights Code, but that does not mean that it does not happen. You may never know the “real” reason you did not get that position, promotion, bonus, or scholarship.

Did you know that many companies use data mining tools such as web scrapers? They can use these tools to find out how people respond to or review a company’s marketing campaign or how they comment about new or existing products. However, these tools can be used in other ways as well. Many companies consider web scraping tools a great aid and cost saver for Human Resource professionals. Again, when these tools are scouring the internet for information, might your personal information be caught in that net?

So will you be more careful with your future posts? Perhaps you will try to “clean up” or remove “questionable content”? Maybe you will make some decisions based on privacy tools available through different social media platforms to lock down your accounts? Perhaps your posts will use an alias instead of your real name? In the end, it is up to you! I will leave you to answer this question: Do you think it is fair that some employers seek out your information online and make hiring decisions based on that information? As always, I look forward to your comments. Cheers!

Check out the video below titled Social Media Clean Up | Tips for Students and Job Seekers (5:06) at The Jam TV Show for clean up hints and tips.

Looking for Greater Detail or Interesting Stories? Check Out The Links Below:

Dobson, Sarah. Angry off-duty tweets challenge employers. (March 16, 2020)

Siu, Emily. Caution to Employers Using Social Media to Vet Potential New Hires. (April 15, 2021)

Facebook and Twitter Promotions

Facebook:  Are you your own worst enemy?  Check out my new blog to find out how your social media posts might be causing you to miss employment opportunities. https://bit.ly/3BHuw8U

Twitter:  Do you want to improve your opportunities for employment?  Read my new blog about how your social media posts might be blocking employment opportunities.  https://bit.ly/3BHuw8U

Sources

14 Canadians who were fired for social media posts. (July 12, 2015)
https://careers.workopolis.com/advice/14-canadians-who-were-fired-for-social-media-posts/

10 Social Media Tips For Employees. (Accessed July 25, 2021) Retrieved from Algonquin College: https://www.algonquincollege.com/ac-social-media/10-social-media-tips-for-employees/

Arthur, Mckenna.  Collecting HR Data With Web Scraping (Why It Matters). (September 15, 2020) https://scrapingrobot.com/blog/hr-data/

Canadian Human Rights Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6). Retrieved from the Justice Laws website https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/h-6/page-1.html

Express Employment Professionals. Don’t get “Blocked” From a New Job Because of Social Media. (October 14, 2020) https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2020/10/14/2108532/0/en/Don-t-Get-Blocked-From-a-New-Job-Because-of-Social-Media.html

Dobson, Sarah. Angry off-duty tweets challenge employers. (March 16, 2020) https://www.hrreporter.com/employment-law/news/angry-off-duty-tweets-challenge-employers/326985

Siu, Emily. Caution to Employers Using Social Media to Vet Potential New Hires. (April 15, 2021) https://www.canadaemploymenthumanrightslaw.com/2021/04/caution-to-employers-using-social-media-to-vet-potential-new-hires/

BLOG 1 – Make Money Using Social Media: FIVERR.

What are you really good at at? Passionate about? What if you could earn an extra four or five hundred dollars per month providing skills you already have? Would that be of interest to you? If you answered YES to this question, you have come to the right place! Welcome to FIVERR (https://www.fiverr.com/): a social media platform that allows you to make money doing those things that you already love to do.

What is FIVERR?

FIVERR is a community that allows you to sell your skills or services.  Prices can range anywhere from $5 to $995, hence the name “FIVERR.” There are over 200 categories available. Perhaps you are a writer, a budding photographer, a whiz with Photoshop, proficient with voiceovers, a master presenter, a computer programmer, a skilled musician, or perhaps a marketer with good social media skills. If you have a talent, it is possible to make money using this platform by providing your specialized service or talent to someone who is in need.

For example, perhaps I should have hired bradleebartlett (https://bit.ly/3ilG4G7) to write this blog article for me? His basic 350-word blog would have only cost me C$46.18.  Brad has received 508 five-star reviews. No, Brad did not write this blog…lol!

Image courtesy of fiverr.com

As a musician, it was impossible to rehearse face-to-face with other musicians during covid, which of course was very frustrating. What could I have done if I needed a vocalist to showcase one of my original songs? Apparently, iammissgeist (https://bit.ly/3ihUmHE) would be willing to provide the lead vocals in her basic package for the small sum of C$131.62. She has 55 five-star reviews, pro verified, and selected as a FIVERR Top Choice.

Image courtesy of fiverr.com

Last, maybe you have created the most amazing podcast. Your voiceover talent even rivals that of Morgan Freeman or perhaps you need a celebrity impersonation. However, something is lacking. You need some visual pop at the beginning and ending of your video podcast. What do you do? Why not contact bananashop (https://bit.ly/3xJOBcm) to create a custom intro and outro video for the modest fee of C$65.81 for the basic package?

Image courtesy of fiverr.com

So many amazing people with such diverse talent all gathered in one place! Community!

How Do You Make Money?

First, Joining FIVERR is free. No subscriptions or fees. As a “seller” you get to keep 80% of every completed transaction. Once the work has been completed, the money goes directly to your account. You do not have to worry about chasing clients for money. FIVERR takes care of the heavy lifting. What a relief!

Success Stories

Who am I, and why should you trust me? Well, maybe you shouldn’t. You should always do your own research. Follow writers Jennifer Shealey (https://cnb.cx/2UUfR9l) and Alex Fasulo (https://cnb.cx/3etgL3Q) who both have interesting stories and similar FIVERR journeys.

Top Side Hustles

According to CANVA and CNBC: Make It, the following are the highest earning side hustles by maximum price earned in the United States:

  1. Website Design – $700
  2. Social Media Manager – $675
  3. Proofreading and Editing – $660
  4. CV, Cover Letter and Resume Writing – $600
  5. Website Building – $580
  6. 3D and 2D Modeling – $550
  7. Business Consulting – $500
  8. Social Media Advertising – $500
  9. Graphic Design – $500
  10. Presentation – $450

Pros and Cons

Pro: It is a lot of hard work. Con: It is a lot of hard work. You will have to invest some time learning about the FIVERR marketplace. As well, you can watch some excellent tutorial videos to help get you started right on the FIVERR website: (https://bit.ly/3hLi3sS). Although this will take a bit of research to get started, I think you will find when you are able to do something you truly love, it doesn’t feel like work; and, to get paid for your passion is ultimately rewarding.

Real-Life Experience: The Rabbit Hole

I Paid ‘Pro’ Drummers To Create An EPIC Drum Part For My Song! is the podcast video on YouTube that first caught my attention and led me down the FIVERR “RABBIT HOLE.” Of course it is about music, but that is MY passion. (https://bit.ly/3zbbIgp)

Summary

I hope this blog has piqued your interest enough to venture forth to explore FIVERR to see the offerings to you both as a seller and a buyer. Thanks for sharing this adventure with me. Send me a comment or a link to one of your amazing finds on your trip down the FIVERR rabbit hole! I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers!


References

Murray, Jessica. “How to make money from social media.” (April 2021) https://www.savethestudent.org/make-money/make-money-from-social-media.html

Taylor, Stephen. “I Paid ‘Pro’ Drummers To Create An Epic Drum Part For My Song!” (May 2020) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75J8Ohv3kQs

Velasquez, Francisco. “These are the highest paying side hustles on Fiverr, according to a new report.” (June 2021) https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/18/highest-paying-online-side-hustles.html