Tag Archives: Twitter

BLM Replaces Mountain Landscape Photo With Coal Seam On Home Page


The 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline runs alongside the Gulkana River.

April 6, 20177:06 PM ET

Kirk Siegler - Square 2016

Kirk Siegler

Twitter

A quiet change to the website photo banner of a relatively obscure federal agency is causing a bit of an outsize stir on social media.

On the top of its home page, the Bureau of Land Management, which manages more than 200 million acres of public land under the U.S. Department of the Interior, swapped out a photo of a young boy and his companion backpacking across a mountain meadow in favor of one showing a massive coal seam at a mine in Wyoming.

Above:  A cached version of BLM.gov from March 25 shows the Bureau of Land Management’s home page previously featured a photo of a young boy and his companion overlooking a scenic landscape. Bureau of Land Management via Internet Archive/Screenshot by NPR

Above:  A screenshot of the Bureau of Land Management’s home page displays a photo of a “large coal seam at the Peabody North Antelope Rochelle Mine in Wyoming.” Bureau of Land Management/Screenshot by NPR

The agency’s mission is, after all, to manage federal land for multiple uses — which range from hiking trails along scenic vistas and in remote deserts to oil and gas fields and, yes, coal seams.

But on Twitter, environmentalists — along with some satirists — were quick to pounce on the symbolism. The Trump administration hasn’t exactly been shy about its plans to increase fossil fuel development on federal land.

The BLM is downplaying the latest Twittersphere uproar.

More than anything else, spokesman Jeff Krauss tells NPR, the change in home page photos is due to an IT redesign that will once again allow different photos to be rotated through that reflect the agency’s multiple-use mission. That used to be standard practice until recently, Krauss says.

Despite its low-profile status when compared with other DOI agencies like the National Park Service, the BLM has long been a favorite political target from both sides of the aisle. During the George W. Bush administration, for instance, conservation groups criticized — and sued — the agency for approving a rapid expansion of drilling on public lands. Later, under President Barack Obama, mining groups accused the agency of being too restrictive, and Western ranchers led by Cliven Bundy even led armed standoffs against the agency, protesting its authority to control Western lands.

For sure, the stakes are high when it comes to the BLM and the American public’s land, which might explain why a seemingly simple photo change ignited as much controversy as it did in this hyperpartisan political climate.

Things will probably quiet down Friday, when the agency plans to swap out the coal photo for one reflecting the BLM’s recreation programs.

Or will they?

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“Somebody bring me weed. I’ll pay for it,” Twitter user @Rosa_Sparkz said


GoddessA careless marijuana procurer who goes by the name @Rosa_Sparkz received a shock, when her quest to buy the drug online was met with a keen response from the Palm Beach County’s Sheriff’s Office (PBSO), and then went viral.

“Somebody bring me weed. I’ll pay for it,” Twitter user @Rosa_Sparkz said.

In just minutes, PBSO’s Twitter account responded with a joking "Where should we meet you?" The tweet spread like wildfire, and has since received over 30 thousand shares.

“My first reaction was that I thought it was a troll account. That was until I saw the verified check mark and all of the retweets started coming in,” Sparkz told the Deep Commotion blog.

Rather than being scared by the unexpected respondent, Sparkz embraced the moment, also calling out for vodka, and later confessing that she was “high laughing.”

“When it went viral I got really excited. I was having a pretty boring night after work but this definitely sparked some life [in]to my night!” said Sparkz.

“I definitely don’t regret it. I am relishing … these five minutes of internet fame!”

Sparkz said the police made no attempt to contact her in the aftermath, despite possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana being a misdemeanor with a possible jail sentence of up to one year in Florida.

While most approved of the light-hearted exchange over a crime that is quickly disappearing from the US legal landscape, due to a raft of legalizations, others were not amused.

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DARPA Study Included Facebook, Twitter Users


Research Included How Social Networks Influence Behavior

By W. Brice McVicar in Breaking News Social Media

 

darpalogo

 

Social media networks were the focus of a recent DARPA — the Pentagon-run Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — study in a bid to gain insight to their users.

Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter and others were all examined in the study, a report published by The Guardian reveals.

The multi-million dollar project included analysis of tweets from celebrities including Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga as well as collecting scads of information from tweets and other posts on social media sites. Some of the study even involved messaging users to see how they would respond and what was said.

The research went beyond that, though, as the study looked at how social media networks were used to influence society.

“The project list includes a study of how activists with the Occupy movement used Twitter as well as a range of research on tracking internet memes and some about understanding how influence behavior (liking, following, retweeting) happens on a range of popular social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Kickstarter, Digg and Reddit,” The Guardian’s report noted.

The project, known as the Social Media in Strategic Communication, allowed DARPA to get a grasp on how social networks are shaping the world.

On it’s site, DARPA said it’s goal with the project “is to develop a new science of social networks built on an emerging technology base. Through the program, DARPA seeks to develop tools to support the efforts of human operators to counter misinformation or deception campaigns with truthful information.”

The Guardian reported it reached out to experts to weigh in on the matter. One such expert, Emilio Ferrara, who examined how the digital age played a role in the Occupy Wall Street movement, said it appears DARPA was above-the-board in its approach.

“According to federal regulations of human experimentation, for studies that don’t affect the environment of online users, and whereas one can freely gather online data – say, from the public Twitter feed – there is no requirement of informed consent,” said Ferrara. “This is the framework under which our Twitter study was carried out; moreover, all our studies on Twitter look into aggregate collective phenomena and never at the individual level.”

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