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Social Hour: Pranks, Vine embeds and gay marriage supporters in the media

by Tiffany Gibson Modified: April 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm •  Published: April 2, 2013

Hello, everyone. Hope you all had a great April Fool’s Day. Google, YouTube and Twitter certainly did.

Let’s start off this week with a look at some of the pranks we watched unfold this weekend.

YouTube put out a video Sunday, announcing that it was merely an eight-year contest to find the best video in the world.

Tim Liston, competition director of the company, said in the video that the winner would be announced in 2023.

“We are so close to the end. Tonight at midnight, youtube.com will no longer be accepting entries,” Liston said. “After eight amazing years, it is finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner.”

Before you panic, you should know that YouTube is not going dark for a decade. The video was merely an April Fool’s Day prank that had a lot of people concerned.

 

Twitter also had a special “Wheel of Fortune” prank planned for its users.

The company announced on its blog that it would be shifting to a two-tiered service on April 1 and charging customers $5 a month to use vowels in their tweets.

“We’re doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we’ll encourage a more efficient and ‘dense’ form of communication. We also see an opportunity to diversify our revenue stream,” according to the blog.

The $5 deal comes complete with the vowels A,E,I,O and U.

Also, I have good news for Vine lovers. The company is now allowing users to embed Vine posts on websites, blogs, etc.

The posts are available in two distinct styles and can be created from a post’s page on vine.co or by using the latest version of the mobile app, the company explained on its blog.

USA Today, a popular Vine client, jumped on board right after the announcement and used short video clips to get readers ready for Opening Day between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros. Pretty neat, huh?

Another story buzzing on the Internet last week was whether or not Facebook would be building its own phone.

Rumors were flying about what the social network’s phone would look like and the features it would have.

But The Wall Street Journal has clarified that Facebook has no interest in building a phone. Instead, they hope to heavily integrate the network in an Android phone.

Finally, I’d like to discuss Huffington Post’s coverage of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 hearings last week. Both cases came before the Supreme Court and were highly publicized in the media. Every outlet was covering them, but Huffington Post took it to a whole new level.

The organization released a statement last week, announcing its support for gay marriage.
“With the marriage equality movement and news of Prop 8 sweeping the web, The Huffington Post is now openly, and socially, voicing its support for marriage equality,” according to the statement.
The Post even changed its avatars on Facebook and Twitter to reflect their support.

Journalists are told to never show bias in their coverage, but does this announcement differ from editorial columns or the backing of a political candidate? Honestly, I don’t see the difference.

But Reuters Social Media Editor Anthony De Rosa was curious and asked his followers if it was poor journalism to take a side in the marriage equality debate. He even compiled a Storify of all of his responses.

So what do you think about the Huffington Post’s decision to announce its support for gay marriage? Is it poor journalism? Why or why not?

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and enjoy the rest of the week. I’ll see you back here next Tuesday. Same time. Same place. Same topic.

- Tiffany

by Tiffany Gibson
News Online Editor
Tiffany Gibson has worked for the Oklahoman since August 2011 and is a member of the digital news team. In addition to writing and web editing, she also creates multimedia features for the website and maintains social media accounts. A Tennessee...
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