Macabre South African Social Media Trend #Deadpose

A trend that started on Facebook has made it’s way to Twitter and people are not impressed. Participants take picture of themselves posing as though they are dead, this the use of #Deadpose.

Individuals take pictures of themselves posing in unusual positions as though they are dead, thus the use of #Deadpose. The origin of the trend is unclear, however, it has been taken up by numerous individuals, particularly the youth, in South Africa. While those taking part in the trend seem to be getting a kick out of the movement, and others (for some reason) find it humourous, the majority of social media users have been left confused and angered by the craze.

See it for yourself – WARNING: graphic images:

It’s really a bizarre trend to have taken off, and like most trends, no one seems to get the logic behind why so many people are participating. I’m all for online fads, but this one is crossing a line in my opinion. What do you think?

Additional Reading

Gareth Cliff Got Mara Louw Fired?

 Hot Topic of the Week

Former Idols SA judge, Mara Louw was drunk during a live recording of the popular singing competition in 2010, which led to her contract not being renewed. In recent developments, Gareth Cliff’s involvement in the incident has sparked outcry from Twitter Mobs.

Cliff Hanger Book CoverGareth Cliff is no stranger to bad publicity, but after the upcoming release of his new book, Cliffhanger, Cliff has received an onslaught of negativity from the Twittersphere. In the book, several confessions have been outlined, arguably the most controversial of which is the fact that Cliff played a part in costing Mara Louw her job. Cliff allegedly admitted to pouring Louw a drink of Red Bull and vodka before an airing of the show. Mara became emotional, was slurring her words and even cursed on live television, which cost her her job on the show, and has tarnished her reputation.

“I passed Mara her drink and all was well until halfway through the show when she became a touch emotional”. – Gareth Cliff

Twitter users have been vocal about their disgust over the matter since the Sunday Times reported on Cliff playing an integral part in the scandal, which resulted in his name being a trending topic for most of 27 and 28 November. Detractors have gone so far as to liken the incident to rape or brought feminism and race into the conversation. Not only have opinions been shared on social networks, but an online petition has been launched to keep Cliff’s book off retailer’s shelves.

What’s interesting is that the news isn’t brand new information. The fact that Cliff gave Louw a Red Bull and vodka was public knowledge when the incident occurred in 2010. What’s more is Mara was well aware of what she was doing at the time, as she confessed in an interview on 702 and Cape Talk. She has also not blamed Cliff for what happened but rather taken complete ownership of her decision. This demonstrates the power of social media and how quickly negative conversation can spread.

Gareth has defended himself, stating that the title of the Sunday Times article was “sensational and misleading”, and urged people to read his book before jumping to conclusions.

While most have shared negative commentary over the scandal, others stated that, good or bad, the news is publicity for his new book.

What do you think? Do you think he is to blame, or has the story been blown out of proportion? Is this merely a case of Common Cognitive Distortion? Do you think this will have a positive or negative impact on sales of his book?


Facebook Launches Workplace for Enterprise Customers

Hot Topic of the Week

The world’s most popular social network has just rolled out a new offering called Workplace, that allows companies to communicate, connect and collaborate. This platform is an office-communication tool intended to encourage group discussion amongst individuals in an organisation of any size, as well as secure communication between companies.

Facebook Workplace Logo Fantomdan

The tool has been used by over 1,000 companies for the past two years as a part of testing, however, the product was officially made public on 10 October 2016. The enterprise service is modelled after Facebook’s internal corporate network and is available on desktop and mobile. Workplace allows for cultural transformation with a focus on communication and collaboration.

“We’re going to grow Workplace like Instagram and Messenger” – Julien Codorniou, Director of Workplace

Although not the first of it’s kind, Workplace has the competitive advantage of users already being accustomed to the interface, whereas other business messaging software often requires additional training to use the platform. Familiar features such as News Feed, reactions, video and audio calling, direct messaging, live video, events, groups and translation options are included, while all advertising has been excluded (for now).

Facebook Workspace Get Started
Companies can apply to use the platform via the Workplace website. After completing the online form, a sales representative will be in contact with you via telephone.

Unlike the free Facebook we all know, there is a monthly fee required for active Workplace users. While this is unusual for Facebook, pricing is competitive compared to other enterprise software on the market. A free three-month trial is available to try out the product, thereafter a $1, $2 or $3 cost will be incurred depending on how many employees are using the tool. Non-profit organisations and educational institutions may use Workplace for free.

How Is It Different From Facebook?

Rather than having friends as your audience, you create and join groups with your co-workers to be a part of relevant conversations. Workplace is a separate account associated with your company. Posts shared on your personal Facebook profile and Workplace account are kept completely separate, which means that you don’t even have to have a Facebook account to use the company tool. Employers are not able to monitor your personal Facebook profile, however, publicly posted content is viewable by anyone, including Workplace users.

With over 1 billion users, Facebook has undoubtedly changed the way we communicate. Constant innovation has made this social network the preferred platform for many individuals and has also become a powerful marketing tool. Although Workplace shows promise, there are numerous other cloud-based tools available. Time will tell if this is a worthwhile addition from Facebook Inc., or a failed attempt after a lengthy delay in the roll-out while competitors dominate this space.

What are your thoughts? Do you think a tool like Workplace is necessary? Are other offerings just as good, if not better? Do you believe Workplace will replace platforms such as WhatsApp Groups or Skype in a work setting?

For more information on the new Workplace, click here.

 Speaking of Facebook, be sure to like my Facebook page so that you don’t miss out on the latest social media news in an uncomplicated, accessible way.


Internet Censorship Restricts Video Uploads in SA

The South African government has approved the submission of the Films and Publications (FPB) Amendment Bill, which restricts South Africans from uploading videos to online channels, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, unless they have registered as a distributor and have paid a registration fee.

A cabinet statement released mid-August 2016 announced that the Films and Publications Act of 1996 will be adapted as technology has advanced. The Internet Censorship Bill will give the government the right to monitor and censor content on the internet. The bill applies not only to media, companies and organisations but to all South African entities, including members of the public. Although initially started to restrict child pornography and revenge porn, broad terminology and vague definitions allow for the government to tap into any and all internet activity. This means that any video content contributor on any social media platform will be tracked (name, address, and age) and all distributors will need to register with the FPB.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been against the bill since talk of the amendment was brought to light, and has vocalised their concerns of freedom of expression on the internet being curtailed, which is unconstitutional. They have also commented on the feasibility of enforcing such a bill. “This means every single person with a social media account in South Africa would have to register with the Film and Publication Board as a distributor and pay the requisite fee for pre-classification. This is quite clearly unworkable”, said DA spokesperson on communication, Phumzile van Damme. Click on the image below to sign the DA petition to fight against internet monitoring.

DA Internet Censorship Petition
Petition to throw out the internet monitoring bill.

The Internet Censorship Bill will be deliberated today (20 September 2016), and so we as South Africans await to hear the outcome.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section below. Is there more we could do as South Africans to fight against this bill?