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Social Media Shooting Clips Spark Violence Debate

By September 16, 2015 No Comments

Twitter and Facebook became part of the story when video of the shooting on live TV that killed a Virginia news reporter and a cameraman was posted on social media platforms, enflaming debate over when it’s OK to show violence on social media.


Two videos were uploaded showing the shooter’s perspective of the incident on Facebook and Twitter, where they started to go viral. The footage was quickly removed from both sites. Twitter users, including a number of journalists, had urged others to not retweet the account that posted the clips, according to Bloomberg Business.


The incident added a new wrinkle to the debate over where social-media companies should draw the line on violent content. It may be the first time a shooter posted video of him in the act on a social network, said Cliff Lampe, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information.


Depictions of violence are usually from a third-person perspective, and any widely shared posting can set off a public discussion over whether it should be taken down, as well as a race to remove footage quickly when deemed inappropriate.


Reporter Alison Parker of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, was conducting an interview at Smith Mountain Lake during a live broadcast last week, when she and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed. The man identified as the shooter, Vester Flanagan, later shot himself on a nearby interstate and died at an area hospital, authorities said.


Social Rules


Both Twitter and Facebook have removed the accounts that posted the videos. Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, pointed to company’s media policy, which says it can delete tweets and suspend accounts in violation of its rules. Users can’t post threats of violence, promote violence or use excessively violent media in profile, header or background images.


Facebook’s community standards prohibit using the platform for criminal activity as well as to celebrate crimes committed.


“We have removed a profile and a page for violating our Community Standards,” Andrew Souvall, a spokesman for Facebook, said in an e-mail.


Disturbing Content


Twitter has had to address disturbing content before. Last August, the site removed graphic images purporting to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley.


Lampe said Twitter’s policies on violent content seem to depend on whether a victim’s family might be hurt by the content being shared. Twitter typically doesn’t take down graphic images of violence in the Middle East, he said.


A number of Twitter users included links of the footage on the YouTube in their tweets.


“People are posting content almost as quickly as they can take it down,” Lampe said. “While it’s easy for Twitter to ban an account, with YouTube, multiple people can make copies of videos and upload it.”


Most Creative People in Advertising 2015


Adland has ranked the 10 most creative people in the advertising business so far this year. Here they are, and the work they’ve done:


  1. Adam&EveDDB’s ECDs Ben Tollett and Rick Brim


Rick Brim and Ben Tollett lead Adam&EveDDB’s creative output.

The agency is most famed for its John Lewis campaigns, where Tollett has effectively established the UK department store’s tone of voice and set expectations each Christmas.


Brim, who was also the creative behind last Christmas’ “Monty the Penguin” campaign –John Lewis’ most effective ever – has also been securing new business wins, including Virgin Atlantic and Waitrose.


  1. Jonathan Mildenhall, chief marketing officer at Airbnb


Mildenhall left Coca-Cola in June 2014 to become Airbnb’s CMO.

He says on his LinkedIn page that Airbnb founder and CEO Brian Chesky “will not settle until we are recognized as one of the most creative organizations on the planet.”


Mildenhall set to work straight away. First came the rollout of its new logo and brand positioning. The logo caused a stir on social media about how sexual it looked – but Airbnb was prepared and launched a tool that allowed users to make their own versions.


Since then it has launched two big ad campaigns, one centering around the initial weirdness of staying in a stranger’s house, and another honing in on “the kindness of man.”



  1. Judy John, CEO and chief executive officer at Leo Burnett Canada


John is not only Leo Burnett Canada’s chief creative, but she also runs the business as the agency’s CEO.


She was also the executive creative director on the incredible popular Always “Like a Girl” global campaign. It won a Cannes Lions Grand Prix, the inaugural Glass Lion award, and media, PR, outdoor, glass, and creative effectiveness awards. Most recently, John was chief creative officer of the second iteration of the campaign “Unstoppable,” which has proved a huge viral hit with more than 36 million views on YouTube.


This year she has led Leo Burnett Canada to win agency of the year at the Webby Awards, and the same title at the Young Guns awards.



  1. Ted Royer, Droga5 chief creative officer


Royer has led creative on a number of memorable campaigns over the past year including Under Armour’s touching tribute to NBA star Stephen Curry, narrated by NBA legend Bill Russell; Newcastle “crashing” Doritos’ popular “Crash the Super Bowl” contest; an ad for Clearasil that reminded teens that acne doesn’t last forever; and a fun ad for Motorola’s Moto G phone that showcased its battery life.



  1. Susan Credle, global chief creative officer at FCB


Credle left Leo Burnett to join FCB in June of this year. While she’s not yet on the credits for any FCB campaigns, standout creative from Credle this year includes McDonald’s “Signs” ad, Hallmark’s Mother’s Day film, and an ad from Esurance endorsing same-sex marriage.


5 and 4. Susan Hoffman and Colleen DeCourcy, global co-executive creative directors at Wieden + Kennedy


Hoffman and DeCourcy oversee all the creative work coming out of Wieden + Kennedy’s eight global offices, and they’re both members of the agency’s global management team.


Both have been responsible for the roll-out of some huge, well-known global campaigns in the last year: Nike’s “Risk Everything” for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Honda’s “The Other Side” interactive film that users could control by pressing the “R” key on their keyboards, “Twitch” for Old Spice, and Squarespace’s memorable Super Bowl spot starring Jeff Bridges.


3 and 2. Chloe Gottlieb and Taras Wayner, SVP creative directors at R/GA New York


Gottlieb comes from a design background and Wayner has a copywriting background, which together helped them produce products and campaigns that helped contribute toward R/GA NY winning “agency of the year” at Cannes.


Recent standout campaigns included creating the Gold award-winning Al.vio app that helps kids with asthma strengthen their lungs, and “The Pursuit” by Equinox that turns spinning in the gym into an experiential game. They also produced “Love Has No Labels” for the Ad Council, which was one of the most-viewed PSAs in history.


The “Love Has No Labels” PSA has been viewed on YouTube more than 53 million times.


  1. Nils Leonard, chairman and chief creative officer at Grey London


Leonard was the chief creative officer on a string of Cannes Lions award-winning campaigns this year, including the Grand Prix winner: Volvo’s LifePaint.

The other Cannes gongs Leonard worked on were The Sunday Times Rich List “Fat Cats” (Gold,) Lucozade “Conditions Zone” (Silver), Duracell “Hello Kitty, Monkey, and Robot Skeletons” (Bronze), and The Uniquet Film Series for The Times (Bronze).


In October 2014, Leonard was promoted to chairman while still retaining his position as chief creative officer.


Read more:


Golden Mic | 10 Years After Katrina, Gulf Coast Shines


Hurricane Katrina was a strong Category 3 hurricane when it made U.S. landfall for the second time on August 29, 2005. It was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history, causing about $108 billion in damage. The storm was directly or indirectly responsible for deaths in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

It’s storm surge and rainfall flooded 80 percent of New Orleans. Yet the city – and the entire Gulf Coast – has rebounded and are shining as a golden beacon of resilience. Today, in New Orleans, there is a $14.5 billion levee system protecting the city. It has been coined “The Great Wall of New Orleans” and is designed to protect the city from another Katrina.

Across the Mississippi River in Biloxi, Miss., Casino Row is bustling. So is Keesler Air Force Base. The crack of bats can be heard at the new MGM Stadium from a long-dreamed-of pro baseball team. Crews are working on $350 million in water and sewer repairs and upgrades – the Gulf Coast’s last large Katrina public works project. From the wreckage of a ruthless hurricane, the entire region has emerged stronger, fiercer and filled with hope. For that, the Gulf Coast, a decade after the mayhem, grabs the Golden Mic!