Tag Archives: Social media

Nigerian Military Kills Boko Haram Leader and Captures Hundreds of Militants

Earlier today, the Nigerian military announced that nearly 270 Boko Haram fighters have surrendered this week following a military offensive against the Islamic militant group in northeast Nigeria. A military spokesman also announced that the Nigerian military had killed Boko Haram’s current leader, Mohammed Bashir. The group’s original leader, Abubakar Shekau, is thought to have died back in 2009. Nigerian officials say that following Shekau’s death, Bashir (who looks a lot like the late Shekau) began to impersonate the leader. “[Bashir] had been

5 Months After the #BringBackOurGirls Campaign, Nothing Has Been Done

Do you remember back in April when social media was flooded with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls following the kidnapping of 270 girls from a school in Nigeria by the militant group Boko Haram? Everyone got in on the hashtag, from Queen Latifa to Malala Yousafzai and Michele Obama. But what has been done since then? Pretty much nothing actually. Though 57 of the girls managed to escape within the first few days, not a single girl has actually been rescued. How could this be,

There Are More Single Americans Than Married Ones for the First Time On Record

The U.S. government first began collecting data on the number and proportion of single and married citizens in America back in 1976. In this first year of record-keeping, 37.6% of people reported being single. Since then, that number has been steadily rising year by year. This summer, single Americans officially became the majority. As of August, 124.6 million Americans (~50.2% of the population) are single, marking the first time since record-keeping began that there are more single Americans than married ones. The percentage

A “Burn the ISIS Flag Challenge” Has Gone Viral in the Arab World

First there was the ALS ice bucket challenge. Then, India introduced their own creative version, the rice bucket challenge. Now, yet another social media challenge is rapidly gaining momentum: the burn the ISIS flag challenge. It began a couple days ago when three young men from Lebanon took pictures of themselves burning the Islamic State flag in the middle of Sassine Square in Lebanon’s capital Beirut and then posted the pictures to social media. Not long afterwards, a Lebanese YouTube user

This Recovered ISIS Laptop Includes Plans for A Bubonic Plague Bomb, Among Other Things

Back in January, a group of moderate Syrian rebels raided an ISIS hideout in the Syrian province of Idlib, not far from the Turkish border. Though they didn’t find massive heaps of guns or cash, they did find something that may prove to be much more valuable: a laptop left behind one of the Islamic State fighters. Earlier this week, Abu Ali, the commander of the group that led the raid, handed over the laptop to reporters from Foreign Policy. The contents

India’s RICE Bucket Challenge Just Totally Nailed It

The ALS ice bucket challenge has become a global phenomenon this summer, with people dumping buckets full of water and ice on their heads to raise awareness and funding for ALS. Now, India has adopted the challenge, adding their own spin: instead of filling the buckets with ice and water, they fill them with rice. And instead of dumping the bucket over their heads, they give the bucket of rice to a person in need. The new challenge was started by

Despite All the Depressing News, The World Is Not Getting Worse, It’s Getting Much, Much Better

Today, I woke up and skimmed the world news headlines. 80% of the stories were about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis or the Malaysian aircraft shot down in Ukraine. The other 20% was mostly news on the Air Algerie flight which disappeared earlier this morning and ISIS’s exile and persecution of the Christians in Mosul. It was a very depressing experience. But then, I thought to myself: are things really that bad? And I realized, the answer is undoubtedly NO. What we must realize here

Why Students Chose to Shock Themselves Rather Than Sit Alone With Their Thoughts

We live in a world saturated with sensory stimulations. From our cell phones to our laptops and TVs, almost our entire day is a marathon of sights and sounds, all competing for our increasingly short attention spans. So you would think most people would enjoy the opportunity to get away from it all and gather their thoughts. But a recent study from the University of Virginia found quite the opposite. In fact, many of the participants even started giving themselves electric shocks as

What the Brazil vs. Germany Game Looked Like On Twitter (Interactive Map)

After Brazil was destroyed by Germany in the first World Cup semi-final yesterday, Twitter announced that the match was the most discussed game ever on Twitter, generating 35.6 million tweets. Twitter than collaborated with the interactive map developers at cartodb.com to create an amazing map which shows the mentions of Brazil and Germany on Twitter as the game went along. Click the image below to check out the interactive map: BONUS: Many of you probably saw images of a devastated old Brazilian fan clutching a replica

Facebook Just Manipulated the Emotions of 700,000 Users Without Informing Them

When you sign up for Facebook, you have to agree to a whole laundry list of fine-print terms and conditions (which almost nobody ever reads). One of the things you consent to is Facebook’s Data Use Policy, which gives Facebook the right to use your info for, “…troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.” Well, it seems that Facebook has taken full advantage of the “research” portion of that agreement. A study published two weeks ago in the Proceedings of the National Academy of

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