WBEZ | twitter http://www.wbez.org/tags/twitter Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Snowden's Twitter account could put domestic surveillance back on the radar http://www.wbez.org/news/snowdens-twitter-account-could-put-domestic-surveillance-back-radar-113113 <p><p>Twitter&#39;s newest high-profile user just might push the issue of domestic surveillance back into the presidential campaign&#39;s conversation.</p><p>Edward Snowden sent his first-ever tweet at noon on Tuesday, asking, &quot;Can you hear me now?&quot;</p><p>One Republican candidate clearly did. Within the hour, former New York Gov. George Pataki had retweeted the NSA whistleblower, calling him &quot;a traitor who put American lives at risk.&quot;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Some say you have courage, I saw real courage on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sept11?src=hash">#Sept11</a> You are just a traitor who put American lives at risk. <a href="https://t.co/RRWtmMzyxE">https://t.co/RRWtmMzyxE</a></p>&mdash; George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) <a href="https://twitter.com/GovernorPataki/status/648895670980583424">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote><div>It could have just been an attempt to generate buzz by Pataki, who is struggling for traction in the polls. A new study by George Washington University&#39;s Graduate School of Political Management and Zignal Labs found that Pataki commanded just 0.2 percent of social media&#39;s political conversation this summer.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But it&#39;s already clear that Twitter will provide Snowden an enormous platform, should he decide to wade into the campaign&#39;s policy debates from Moscow. Within four hours of his first tweet, Snowden had amassed 400,000 followers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Snowden.jpg" style="height: 169px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="A frame grab made from AFPTV footage Edward Snowden speaking in an unidentified location in October 2013. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)" /></p><div>Snowden&#39;s revelations about the National Security Agency&#39;s vast web of domestic surveillance made international headlines in 2013. But until now, the issue has largely been dormant in the presidential campaign.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>One notable exception: an intense back-and-forth between Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during the first Republican presidential debate that ended with Paul repeatedly yelling, &quot;get a warrant!&quot; as Christie called the Senator&#39;s NSA opposition &quot;completely ridiculous.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OKkJ-K8qPXo?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><p>&quot;It seems to me that domestic surveillance has totally fallen off the radar,&quot; said Stephen Vladeck, an American University law professor who edits a national security blog called &quot;Just Security. &quot;I find that both disappointing and surprising.&quot;</p><p>Vladeck said increased attention on the fight against ISIS is partially to blame, as Republican candidates have focused on out-flanking each other, when it comes to aggressive foreign policy platforms.</p><p>&quot;I would have thought that, especially in this Republican primary field, surveillance especially but a whole host of national security issues, in general, would have been fat fodder. What can Congress do about ISIS? What can Congress do about surveillance reform ... Guantanamo?&quot;</p><p>Vladeck recently posted&nbsp;<a href="https://www.justsecurity.org/26278/national-security-questions-presidential-candidates-answer/">six potential debate questions</a>&nbsp;about national security issues, including what candidates would plan on doing when a key portion of the USA Freedom Act expires in 2017.</p><p>But, as much as Vladeck is hoping for a high-profile debate about domestic surveillance, he doesn&#39;t think Edward Snowden&#39;s Twitter account is the thing to kick-start it. &quot;Snowden started this conversation. I don&#39;t think he&#39;s the best conduit for this conversation.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Too many folks have too strong of feelings about him personally,&quot; he added. &quot;I think he&#39;s an important figure, but I don&#39;t think this conversation is going to be led by him.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Snowden%20%282%29.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 405px; width: 600px;" title=" In this Feb. 14, 2015 file photo, Edward Snowden appears on a live video feed broadcast from Moscow at an event sponsored by ACLU Hawaii in Honolulu. The former National Security Agency worker, who leaked classified documents about government surveillance, started tweeting Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)" /></p><p>Regardless, the Twitter community took notice. Here&#39;s a Twitter-produced gif of where in the world people responded to or tweeted about Snowden&#39;s new account:</p></div><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Today <a href="https://twitter.com/Snowden">@Snowden</a> joined Twitter, and here&#39;s the world&#39;s response. <a href="http://t.co/d6HgVvdRsf">pic.twitter.com/d6HgVvdRsf</a></p>&mdash; Twitter (@twitter) <a href="https://twitter.com/twitter/status/648938950812274688">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote></div><p>And it appears that Snowden will be bringing a sense of humor to the social media platform. So far he&#39;s only following one account: the NSA&#39;s.&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/09/29/444531467/snowdens-twitter-account-could-put-domestic-surveillance-back-on-the-radar?ft=nprml&amp;f=444531467"><em> via NPR&#39;s </em></a><em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/09/29/444531467/snowdens-twitter-account-could-put-domestic-surveillance-back-on-the-radar?ft=nprml&amp;f=444531467">It&#39;s</a></em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/09/29/444531467/snowdens-twitter-account-could-put-domestic-surveillance-back-on-the-radar?ft=nprml&amp;f=444531467"><em> All Politics</em></a></p></p> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 15:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/snowdens-twitter-account-could-put-domestic-surveillance-back-radar-113113 Chicago girl receives threat for aiding Syrian protesters with social media http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chicago-girl-receives-threat-aiding-syrian-protesters-social-media-112832 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 150904 Alaa bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Alaa Basatneh was six months old her parents moved from Syria to Chicago. Alaa went to school here but always paid close attention to news from the Middle East. In 2010 what became known as &ldquo;The Arab Spring&rdquo; transformed the region, and Alaa watched closely. She was only&nbsp;nineteen years old and living in the United States, but as Alaa tells her friend Zainab Khan, she&nbsp;felt she had to get involved.</p><p><em>StoryCorps&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p></p> Thu, 03 Sep 2015 09:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chicago-girl-receives-threat-aiding-syrian-protesters-social-media-112832 The digital afterlife http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2014-10-31/digital-afterlife-111035 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Beersheba_War_Cemetery.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The world has changed more in the past 10 years than in the previous 500.</p><p>It used to be that when mankind stopped wandering and settled down with a desire to own property and things, laws or wars were required to settle disputes.</p><p>Property was easy to manage, because it was mostly physical. Land, papers, livestock and personal belongings. Today our music, pictures, books, movies, financial information and medical records are digital, and managing property has become exceedingly complex.</p><p>Somewhere along the way fiduciaries were created, people whose job it was to represent the best interests of those who were either dead or incapacitated. Into their hands, the law gave access to property and things that might be stored on that property or in other places.</p><p>People began to plan their estates and create orders for their handpicked fiduciaries to carry out upon their death. In this way, property passed from one person to another in a more or less peaceful and orderly fashion.</p><p>While most people still have physical properties like homes or cars or businesses, many people have developed digital assets that are increasingly valuable.</p><p>Online banking, insurance, forms filled out for the department of motor vehicles, medical records, credit cards and almost every aspect of our lives is digitized today.</p><p>We have tens if not hundreds of passwords to access our digital lives. And we have the cloud.</p><p>Because the World Wide Web is only 25 years old, we don&rsquo;t have much of a plan for how to pass along our digital property.</p><p>One big difference is that until recently, individuals owned and controlled their physical property, because it was mostly in a physical space where people could go and collect it. In the digital age, for the most part, they still own and control their physical property, but it&rsquo;s often maintained by a third party like your photos on Facebook or your online bank records or your investment portfolio.</p><p>There are three things you need to know about your digital life if you are thinking about how to preserve it should you become incapacitated or die.</p><p><strong>The Fiduciary System</strong></p><p>The age-old fiduciary system still is strongly in place. If you draw up a will and name a fiduciary to handle your business, the courts of law will honor this.</p><p>The problem with fiduciaries is that they can often access your physical property and records without too much trouble, but they might not be able to access your digital property.</p><p>This is because each state has different laws governing digital assets, if they have laws at all, and companies like <a href="https://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/utos-173.html">Yahoo</a>, <a href="https://support.google.com/mail/answer/14300?hl=en">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/150486848354038">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://support.twitter.com/groups/33-report-a-violation/topics/122-reporting-violations/articles/87894-how-to-contact-twitter-about-a-deceased-user#">Twitter </a>and many others like banks or even government agencies have very few policies detailing how loved ones or even fiduciaries can get access to a deceased or incapacitated person&rsquo;s account. And with no overarching law to govern them, it&rsquo;s kind of like the wild west out there.</p><p>That was until the <a href="http://www.uniformlaws.org/Committee.aspx?title=Fiduciary+Access+to+Digital+Assets">Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act</a> was created last summer.</p><p>&ldquo;What the new law does is it extends the old law of fiduciary access to allow people to manage someone else&#39;s property and it extends it to digital assets which are now online,&rdquo; Ben Orzeske, legislative council for the Uniform Law Commission said.</p><p>If you put in your will how you would like your digital assets handled upon your death or incapacitation, UFADDA, as the law has come to be called, should help insure that your digital assets become accessible to your fiduciary.</p><p>This is if you live in Delaware, of course.</p><p>For now, it&rsquo;s the first and only state to have adopted UFADDA.</p><p>Because the uniform legislation was created and approved this summer and most legislative sessions in most states won&rsquo;t begin again until January of 2015, the law hasn&rsquo;t had a chance to circulate widely.</p><p>Legal experts say that the most effective way to handle your digital assets is to include them in your will, so even without UFADDA firmly in place in all 50 states, you&rsquo;re more likely to secure your digital belongings if you include information about them in a will.</p><p><strong>Digital Death Services</strong></p><p>Like digital undertakers, a new type of service is emerging as people using social media pass away. As of 2012, there were upwards of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/death-facebook-dead-profiles_n_2245397.html">30 million accounts of dead people</a> on Facebook alone. And <a href="http://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/digital-assets">a recent study estimates</a> our digital assets average about $34,000 in value, which creates the impetus for entrepreneurs to provide the kind of help that can make it easy to manage your digital estate upon your passing or incapacitation.</p><p>Companies like <a href="https://www.afternote.com/">Afternote</a>, <a href="http://www.b-emortal.com/">b-eMortal</a> and <a href="https://www.deadmansswitch.net/">Dead Man&rsquo;s Switch</a> offer users a way to do everything from distribute their digital assets to providing access by sending emails posthumously. <a href="http://www.thedigitalbeyond.com/online-services-list/">This is a pretty comprehensive list</a> of digital death services, but none of them are the complete package, and few will provide the kind of peace of mind that legally documenting your digital assets in a will could provide.</p><p><strong>Password Management</strong></p><p>The simplest solution to the problem of what happens to your digital life once you die is to just give someone you trust access to your passwords.</p><p>&ldquo;Estate planning experts say the most important thing you can do, if you don&rsquo;t have a will, is just to have a list of your accounts and your usernames and passwords in some secure place, whether that be online or offline or wherever and to let someone that you trust know about it.&rdquo; Maeve Duggan, a research analyst with Pew Research Center, said.</p><p>Password management systems can be a useful way keep your digital assets protected while at the same time creating the peace of mind in knowing that someone other than you, whom you trust, can access your information should something happen to you.</p><p>Some of the best password management systems are <a href="https://agilebits.com/onepassword">1Password</a>, <a href="https://keepersecurity.com/">Keeper</a>, <a href="http://www.roboform.com/">RoboForm</a>, <a href="https://msevensoftware.com/msecure_ios">MSecure</a>, <a href="https://www.dashlane.com/">Dashlane</a>, <a href="https://www.passwordbox.com/">PasswordBox</a> and <a href="https://lastpass.com/">LastPass</a>. There are many others with too many features to mention, but they offer a good way to control where you digital assets go if you don&rsquo;t want to provide those instructions in a will.</p><p>Whatever way you choose to preserve your digital assets for those who come after you, you might want to consider your priorities.</p><p>&ldquo;I kind of see online assets as falling into two general categories,&rdquo; Maeve Duggan said. &ldquo;The first has a really practical or financial value. Stuff like your online bank accounts, any medical records, insurance documents, loans. The second is the sentimental, nostalgic kinds of things. Photos, music, certain emails. But I will say that it depends on which you think is more important to prioritize.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/takimoff" rel="author">Tim Akimoff</a> is the Director of Digital Content at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/timakimoff"> Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/timakimoff"> Facebook. </a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2014-10-31/digital-afterlife-111035 Iraq's new government http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-10/iraqs-new-government-110778 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP840324389257.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Iraqi government has formed a new coalition. We&#39;ll take a look at who&#39;s in it and how this will affect U.S. policy in the region.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iraq-s-new-government/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iraq-s-new-government.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iraq-s-new-government" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Iraq's new government" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-10/iraqs-new-government-110778 How prominent Chicagoans handled their first tweet http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/how-prominent-chicagoans-handled-their-first-tweet-109900 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/firsttweet.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today is Twitter&#39;s 8th birthday, marked by the first tweet ever sent, a short introduction from Chairman Jack Dorsey at 3:50 p.m. on March 21, 2006.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>just setting up my twttr</p>&mdash; Jack Dorsey (@jack) <a href="https://twitter.com/jack/statuses/20">March 21, 2006</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Since that first tweet Twitter has amassed more than 600 million users, with 240 million active every month.</p><p>To celebrate its beginning, Twitter launched a tool Thursday that lets all its users do the same thing by <a href="https://discover.twitter.com/first-tweet">looking up their first tweets</a>. Since then the social network has been flooded with digital nostalgia as users reflect on their first interaction with what has become a major part of communication on the Internet.</p><p>We wanted to take a look at how prominent Chicagoans used their first tweet, so we put together a list of the biggest names and other interesting accounts. Let us know if there&#39;s anyone you think we should add</p><h3>Big Names</h3><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Thinking we&#39;re only one signature away from ending the war in Iraq. Learn more at http://www.barackobama.com</p>&mdash; Barack Obama (@BarackObama) <a href="https://twitter.com/BarackObama/statuses/44240662">April 29, 2007</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>HI TWITTERS . THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY .</p>&mdash; Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oprah/statuses/1542224596">April 17, 2009</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Attention sneaker fiends, future legends and fans of the game: the official Twitter for Jordan is now live.</p>&mdash; Jordan (@Jumpman23) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jumpman23/statuses/27874665743">October 19, 2010</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>One of the surprises you get when growing older is that the people you knew when you were young are young forever</p>&mdash; Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) <a href="https://twitter.com/ebertchicago/statuses/4608482314">October 4, 2009</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>NEW SONG AND VISUAL FROM MY NEW ALBUM BEING PROJECTED TONIGHT ACROSS THE GLOBE ON 66 BUILDINGS, LOCATIONS @ <a href="http://t.co/7BZwfPawwZ">http://t.co/7BZwfPawwZ</a></p>&mdash; KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) <a href="https://twitter.com/kanyewest/statuses/335569132214972416">May 18, 2013</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>GOD IS GREAT!</p>&mdash; Billy Corgan (@Billy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Billy/statuses/1529035061">April 15, 2009</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23aye&amp;src=hash">#aye</a> aye watchu say WATCHU Think I SAY !</p>&mdash; AlmightySo (@ChiefKeef) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChiefKeef/statuses/16339561136">June 16, 2010</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>The Machine</h3><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The new City of Chicago website launched today. Visit www.cityofchicago.org and let us know what you think.</p>&mdash; Richard M. Daley (@MayorDaley) <a href="https://twitter.com/MayorDaley/statuses/10384380367">March 12, 2010</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Ready to tell it like it is? Welcome to the official Chicago for Rahm twitterfeed!</p>&mdash; Rahm Emanuel (@RahmEmanuel) <a href="https://twitter.com/RahmEmanuel/statuses/26591737245">October 6, 2010</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Wait for it....getting the house in order...</p>&mdash; ChicagosMayor (@ChicagosMayor) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChicagosMayor/statuses/76670258823438336">June 3, 2011</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>An official announcement from the CTA: Hello.</p>&mdash; cta (@cta) <a href="https://twitter.com/cta/statuses/131399950058786816">November 1, 2011</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Traffic alert: On July 3-4, the City anticipates closing several downtown streets, as conditions warrant. Public transit is recommended.</p>&mdash; CDOT (@ChicagoDOT) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChicagoDOT/statuses/2443171909">July 2, 2009</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>The Media</h3><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>This is the unofficial Twitter account for the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Follow me for your daily dose of news!</p>&mdash; Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) <a href="https://twitter.com/chicagotribune/statuses/138936822">July 7, 2007</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>A man is facing jail after admitting he stole 1,613 pairs of panties and bras from laundry rooms. http://tinyurl.com/yu38o9</p>&mdash; Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) <a href="https://twitter.com/Suntimes/statuses/656068932">January 29, 2008</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Reform is in the air at City Hall. So is bullshit. http://tinyurl.com/cpy5v8</p>&mdash; Mick Dumke (@mickeyd1971) <a href="https://twitter.com/mickeyd1971/statuses/1309013571">March 11, 2009</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Do you know what Chicago neighborhood you&#39;re in? Don&#39;t believe the Realtors. Read Konkol&#39;s Korner in the Sun-Times. http://tiny.cc/qSoTt</p>&mdash; Mark Konkol (@Konkolskorner) <a href="https://twitter.com/Konkolskorner/statuses/6813694197">December 19, 2009</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Tweet #1. A new post on the WGNtv.com weather blog about some of the T-Storms headed our way &amp; 90 deg temps? http://tinyurl.com/weatherblog</p>&mdash; Skilling (@Skilling) <a href="https://twitter.com/Skilling/statuses/2552095891">July 9, 2009</a></blockquote><h3>&nbsp;</h3><h3>From WBEZ</h3><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>This twitter feed will deliver all stories produced by the WBEZ news team, as well as special programming announcements and breaking news.</p>&mdash; WBEZ (@WBEZ) <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZ/statuses/766752291">March 4, 2008</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>is finally here! Will this take up all of my time?</p>&mdash; Niala (@NialaBoodhoo) <a href="https://twitter.com/NialaBoodhoo/statuses/1131600348">January 19, 2009</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>listening to Andrew&#39;s shared i-tunes. No rap.</p>&mdash; JustinKaufmann (@JustinKaufmann) <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinKaufmann/statuses/868444247">July 25, 2008</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Have joined Twitter, just because somebody told me to.</p>&mdash; Peter Sagal (@petersagal) <a href="https://twitter.com/petersagal/statuses/825474818">June 2, 2008</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 09:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/how-prominent-chicagoans-handled-their-first-tweet-109900 Twitter, fandom, and why ABC's 'Scandal' matters http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-10/twitter-fandom-and-why-abcs-scandal-matters-108838 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/551127_688902614472857_511757039_n.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="(Facebook/Scandal)" /></div><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">The stigma of Shonda Rhimes&rsquo; shows are not unfounded. Now entering its 10th season, <em>Grey&rsquo;s Anatomy</em> has emerged as a constant, if not deeply flawed television show. Although most television shows require a level of implausibility for the sake of plot, <em>Grey&rsquo;s Anatomy</em> jumped the shark numerous times to settle into its role of over-the-top drama.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">But for a show like <em>Scandal</em>, the over-the-top drama works. Set in the highest Washington, D.C. political circles, the more ridiculous <em>Scandal</em> becomes, the more entertaining it becomes for its viewer. <em>Scandal</em> has thus far succeeded by emphasizing its strengths. Its stellar cast keeps the plotlines safe from devolving into utter madness. As &ldquo;fixer&rdquo; Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington is a more than capable lead, inducing both envy and frustration in her show&rsquo;s viewers.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">More than anything, <em>Scandal</em>&rsquo;s near-perfect formula of intrigue, sex, and crazy has created and sustained a community of fans that are dedicated to the show&rsquo;s plot and the show&rsquo;s success.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">There is nothing greater in television watching right now than live tweeting with other <em>Scandal</em> fans.&nbsp;</span>Last night I&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/britticisms/status/385596526140997632" target="_blank">joked</a>&nbsp;that the return of&nbsp;<em>Scandal</em>&nbsp;was a return to the &ldquo;Black Girl Twitter&rdquo; community I loved so deeply. Without provocation, we all began watching and talking about the show as it aired. My timeline explodes with chatter about the show, its characters, the clothing, and the music as it airs.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1238890_680036928692759_691831075_n.jpg" style="height: 207px; width: 310px; float: left;" title="(Facebook/Scandal)" /><a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/Presentations/2009/44--Twitter-and-status-updating.aspx" target="_blank">According</a> to a 2009 study from the Pew Research Center&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/17-Twitter-and-Status-Updating-Fall-2009.aspx">Pew Internet and American Life Project</a>, Twitter users are more likely to be African-American women. As well, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/arts/television/scandal-on-abc-is-breaking-barriers.html?pagewanted=1&amp;%2359;adxnnlx=1358514825-5e%20djvuRuiG14b3JjZiqVg&amp;%2359&amp;_r=1&amp;%2359;adxnnl=1&amp;pagewanted=all&amp;" target="_blank">according to a report from the <em>New York Times</em></a> of Nielsen ratings, &ldquo;<em>Scandal</em> is the highest rated scripted drama among African-Americans, with 10.1 percent of black households, or an average of 1.8 million viewers, tuning in during the first half of the season.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34"><em>Scandal</em> premiered as the first television drama starring a black woman in nearly 40 years. Two years after its premiere, the television landscape is minisculely better. Earlier this year, NBC premiered (and quickly canceled) the drama <em>Deception</em>, starring Meagan Good. The show included similar themes to <em>Scandal</em> (revenge, secrets, affairs), but suffered due to a poor time slot and an even poorer narrative structure.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">Still, <em>Deception</em> was an early sign that broadcast networks are making small strides in creating television shows that feature and cater to more diverse audiences. Successes breed copies. Successes breed trends.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">Earlier this fall, FOX premiered <em>Sleepy Hollow</em>, a supernatural thriller starring Nicole Beharie. If her character&rsquo;s race was needed specifically for the plot remains to be seen. As it stands, this is the third drama on a major network to star a black woman in the past two years. Whereas we waited 40 years for <em>Scandal</em>, audiences now only had to wait a summer hiatus for additional diversity on their screens.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">If a trend is now &ldquo;black female lead,&rdquo; it can potentially lead to the sort of television landscape that is sorely needed. However, if the trend proves unsuccessful, there could be a backlash, a desire to not include diversity on upcoming shows as it has proven (just once) to be unsuccessful.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">&ldquo;<em>Scandal</em> this week!&rdquo; my aunt exclaimed at the dinner table this past Sunday. There sat three generations of black women and each was as duly invested in the show as the other. We all loved it for different reasons.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">My mother and aunt love the plot, but love the troubled and troubling romance between President Fitzgerald Grant and Olivia more than anything. My grandmother invested time in it like other dramas and soap operas she loves (Tyler Perry&rsquo;s <em>The Haves and The Have Nots</em> being her favorite). For me, <em>Scandal</em> is all about the plot twists and Olivia. Each new episode is a moment to watch history unfold. From the beginning, <em>Scandal</em> felt capital &lsquo;I&rsquo; Important and I invested time in it because of that.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">In an interview for the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/arts/television/scandal-on-abc-is-breaking-barriers.html?pagewanted=1&amp;%2359;adxnnlx=1358514825-5e%20djvuRuiG14b3JjZiqVg&amp;%2359&amp;_r=1&amp;%2359;adxnnl=1&amp;pagewanted=all&amp;" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a>, author Joan Morgan said, &ldquo;</span>It&rsquo;s about seeing the show where black women and other women are represented less about race and more about who they are.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-29fcfb70-7e9e-2bb4-96da-46e34161db34">Olivia Pope matters. On a show as ballsy and enthralling as <em>Scandal</em>, Olivia is the constant that keeps the show grounded in reality. With Olivia, we find a lead who is at once strong, vulnerable, and multifaceted. And although that means a lot to black female fans, it can and does mean a lot to <em>Scandal</em>&rsquo;s audience in general. </span></p><p>Hollywood is not merely a system of numbers. It is a system, period. It works through formulas and avoids risks. Audiences certainly suffer for this system, but when the system succeeds, there is little stopping executives from making the same decision, over and over again, wishing for the same results. When it comes to diversity, one can only hope that Hollywood finds this formula a lasting one.</p><p><em>Britt Julious is the co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbezs-changing-channels" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. She also writes about race and culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 03 Oct 2013 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-10/twitter-fandom-and-why-abcs-scandal-matters-108838 For television, Twitter is the new live water cooler conversation http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-08/television-twitter-new-live-water-cooler-conversation-108332 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1017181_141685442694900_462625651_n.jpg" style="width: 600px;" title="(Facebook/Orange is the New Black)" /></div><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7475917e-5df9-bb31-a78e-f85bbf5b22fb">The only thing busier than my Twitter timeline during a live airing of MTV&rsquo;s &quot;Catfish&quot; is my Twitter timeline during a live airing of ABC&rsquo;s &quot;Scandal.&quot; Both shows illicit the sort of rabid fan response that can turn outsiders into insiders. </span></p><p dir="ltr">The same thing also recently happened with the release of Netflix&rsquo;s &quot;Orange is the New Black.&quot; Despite breaking the format of traditional network television by releasing a complete season at once, for a few days after, #OITNB was a trending topic.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7475917e-5df9-bb31-a78e-f85bbf5b22fb">Not every show can create this sort of fire. Nielsen recently released a study called <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2013/the-follow-back--understanding-the-two-way-causal-influence-betw.html">&ldquo;The Follow-Back&rdquo;</a> that analyzed TV ratings and accompanying tweets. It found&nbsp;</span>Twitter messages were shown to cause a &ldquo;significant increase&rdquo; in ratings 29 percent of the time.</p><p dir="ltr">This was especially true for competitive/reality-based television shows, sports, and comedies. &quot;Catfish&quot; corresponds with their findings, but why do shows like &quot;Orange is the New Black&quot; and &quot;Scandal&quot;&nbsp;also have such significant representation in the Twittersphere?</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7475917e-5df9-bb31-a78e-f85bbf5b22fb">Unlike other network dramas, both &quot;Orange is the New Black&quot; and &quot;Scandal&quot; inhabit a special quality often missing: the ability to aggressively interact with viewers. With &quot;Orange is the New Black,&quot; the interaction lies in the ways in which we can view it.&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr">Its release is made for binge watching. But rather than discovering the show on one&rsquo;s own time, it&rsquo;s calculated release and critical acclaim escalated its appeal. Consumers could read a positive review from <em>The New Yorker</em>&rsquo;s Emily Nussbaum, and then curl up with all 13 episodes.</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7475917e-5df9-bb31-a78e-f85bbf5b22fb"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BCjXolgCUAAnFlq.png" style="height: 241px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="(Twitter/darbystnchfld)" />With &quot;Scandal,&quot; the interaction lies with the wild plot lines that dive from one extreme to the next. But like &quot;Catfish&quot; and &quot;Orange is the New Black,&quot; this show&#39;s&nbsp;plot lines make you want to talk about them.<br /><br />In <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=185534670" target="_blank">an interview</a> with Michelle Martin about &quot;Scandal&rsquo;s&quot;&nbsp;Twitter popularity, Gene Demby of&nbsp;NPR&#39;s Code Switch said, &ldquo;It&#39;s like watching the Super Bowl on DVR, right? You want to be in the room with everyone kind of yelling at the screen and rolling their eyes and throwing their hands up and saying all kinds of snarky stuff.&rdquo;<br /><br />There is information to decipher, but unlike a show like &quot;Mad Men&quot; that often requires research to understand its layers of references to things like &quot;Dante&rsquo;s Inferno&quot; or &quot;Rosemary&rsquo;s Baby,&quot; these shows keep you glued to their characters&nbsp;</span>&mdash; what they do and don&rsquo;t say and what will ultimately happen to them. It&rsquo;s almost impossible to not engage.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7475917e-5df9-bb31-a78e-f85bbf5b22fb">The fever of their fandom inspires other people to both start watching the show and to participate in the discussion. I only watched a handful of prior episodes before I started watching the current season of &quot;Catfish.&quot; But while scanning my Twitter feed during the premiere of the first episode, I noticed most people were talking about only one thing: what was happening on their screens. Soon enough, I began participating at well. There was no desire to try and &ldquo;fit in&rdquo; with the discussion at hand; rather the action of the screen was so compelling that there was little I could hold back.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7475917e-5df9-bb31-a78e-f85bbf5b22fb">We consume television in a fractured state. The UK drama &quot;Skins&quot; ended on Monday after seven seasons. I have never watched an episode on my television. Instead, I relied on illegal streaming websites to fuel my passion for a show that perfectly encapsulates the confusion, desire, and melancholy of being a young person. </span></p><p dir="ltr">Other shows I save for massive DVR viewings. If I miss an episode of a favorite series, I can wait until the next morning to find a clear stream on the network&rsquo;s website. And for shows that slipped between my fingers during the regular television season, there are always rentable DVDs. This is Netflix&rsquo;s bread and butter.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7475917e-5df9-bb31-a78e-f85bbf5b22fb">In that sense, social media as a place of community helps fuel the lost group aspect of television watching. Twitter connects TV to its live, collective habits. It is a reminder that entertainment can be even greater when matched with others who equally care about it. </span></p><p dir="ltr">My family and I often watched shows together in my parents&rsquo; bedroom. When we got older and busier, this fell away, but my sister and I still found time to watch our favorite shows together and pause our viewings to comment on the situations before us.</p><p dir="ltr">I live alone now and I didn&rsquo;t realize I missed this social interaction. But with the release of shows like &quot;Scandal&quot;&nbsp;or &quot;Orange is the New Black,&quot; I am finding that the social (with family, with friends and strangers, too) is merely a few clicks away.</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">What is your favorite TV show to engage with online? Let us know in the comments section. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>&quot;Catfish&quot; airs Tuesdays at 9pm CST on MTV. &quot;Orange is the New Black&quot; is available on Netflix Instant Streaming. &quot;Scandal&quot; returns in the fall to ABC on Thursdays at 9pm CST.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Britt Julious&nbsp;writes about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 08 Aug 2013 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-08/television-twitter-new-live-water-cooler-conversation-108332 Morning Shift: Palm oil's unsavory beginnings http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-07/morning-shift-palm-oils-unsavory-beginnings-108314 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Palm Oil-Flickr- cyn_nister.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We discuss the Bloomberg investigation into the unsavory practices in the palm oil industry. And do you care who your children&#39;s role models are? Baseball&#39;s recent PED scandal is calling the issue of role models to the plate.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-37.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-37" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Palm oil's unsavory beginnings" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 08:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-07/morning-shift-palm-oils-unsavory-beginnings-108314 Scott Simon live-tweets his mother's last moments http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/scott-simon-live-tweets-his-mothers-last-moments-108226 <p><p><img alt="Scott Simon, right, with his mother and Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, at the Chicago Cultural Center. (WBEZ/File)" class="image-original_image" height="419" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Scott%20Simon%20his%20mom%20and%20Dave%20Isay%20at%20StoryCorps%20Chicago%20Booth%20Opening.JPG" title="Scott Simon on the right with his mother and Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, at the Chicago Cultural Center. (WBEZ/File)" width="620" /></p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/scott-simon-live-tweets-his-mother-s-last-moments.js?header=none&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/scott-simon-live-tweets-his-mother-s-last-moments" target="_blank">View the story "Scott Simon live-tweets his mother's last moments" on Storify</a>]<h1>Scott Simon live-tweets his mother's last moments</h1><h2>Last week, NPR's Scott Simon broke conventions, and opened his private life to the public in one of the most intimate ways possible: he live-tweeted his mother's final days on Earth. </h2><p>Storified by <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ">WBEZ</a>&middot; Tue, Jul 30 2013 13:26:10</p><div><div><p>Last week, NPR's Scott Simon broke conventions, and opened his private life to the public in one of the most intimate ways possible: he live-tweeted his mother's final days on Earth.</p><div></div></div><div></div><div><br></div>Patricia Simon Newman Gilband&nbsp;passed away Monday in an intensive-care unit in a Chicago hospital.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>Meanwhile on Twitter,&nbsp;Simon's million-plus followers tracked her developments, read Simon's funny and heart wrenching&nbsp;commentary, and watched as a mother and son said goodbye.<br><br>Here are some of those tweets, listed chronologically.&nbsp;</div></div><div>You wake up and realize: you weren't dreaming. It happened. Cry like you couldn't last night.Scott Simon</div><div>The heavens over Chicago have opened and Patricia Lyons Simon Newman has stepped onstage.Scott Simon</div><div>Heart rate dropping. Heart dropping.Scott Simon</div><div>I know end might be near as this is only day of my adulthood I've seen my mother and she hasn't asked, &quot;Why that shirt?&quot;Scott Simon</div><div>The loveli cityscape at the foot of my mother's bed: pic.twitter.com/Bu7AIfLaMsScott Simon</div><div>Mother cries Help Me at 2;30. Been holding her like a baby since. She's asleep now. All I can do is hold on to her.Scott Simon</div><div>I love holding my mother's hand. Haven't held it like this since I was 9. Why did I stop? I thought it unmanly? What crap.Scott Simon</div><div>Was my mother saving this line? My family flies in. My wife &amp; I joke about me sleeping in the ICU (&quot;All the beeps! Can't -Scott Simon</div><div>-you med people keep it down?&quot;) Tell my mother I'll see my wife downstairs, back in 10. Mother says, &quot;Have a quickie!&quot;Scott Simon</div><div>My mother now wakes only to be gracious. &quot;Is Reggie or Don on-duty? They're both such exquisite gentlemen.&quot; (and they are)Scott Simon</div><div>Just spent 45 mins looking for mother' favorite dental floss. Waste of time? Act of faith.Scott Simon</div><div>I just realized: she once had to let me go into the big wide world. Now I have to let her go the same way.Scott Simon</div><div>When my mother woke briefly I sang her My Best Girl. She replied w/ You Are the Sunshine of My Life. Broadway in the ICU.Scott Simon</div><div>By request, my ICU bed. Hermes orange, my mother notes. Note functional nightstand, too: pic.twitter.com/dDMQcOwbJWScott Simon</div><div>I see dawn coming in sky and want to hold it back to keep my mother from what's ahead--to keep my mother, period.Scott Simon</div><div>Mother asks, &quot;Will this go on forever?&quot; She means pain, dread. &quot;No.&quot; She says, &quot;But we'll go on forever. You &amp; me.&quot; Yes.Scott Simon</div><div>I tell my mother, &quot;You'll never stop teaching me.&quot; She said, &quot;Well don't blame me for everything.&quot;Scott Simon</div><div>Mother: what time is it? Me: 6:30. Her: oh let's raise the curtains on the city we love.Scott Simon</div><div>No real sleep tonight. But songs poems memories laughs. My mother: &quot;Thank you God for giving us this night &amp; each other&quot;Scott Simon</div><div>Thanks for all good wishes. Mother says, &quot;We can get through this, baby. The hardest part we'll be for you when it's over&quot;Scott Simon</div><div>Mother can't sleep. We listen to music, her face feels puffy, hot. We talk of much. I say &quot;You need sleep.&quot; &quot;Not really.&quot;Scott Simon</div><div>I consider this a good sign: mother sez when time comes, obit headline should be Three Jewish Husbands, But No Guilt.Scott Simon</div><div>Bought air mattress for ICU floor. Told salesperson &quot;All I know about outdoors is I loath them.&quot; &quot;You looking for Bloomingdales?&quot;Scott Simon</div><div>I am getting a life's lesson about grace from my mother in the ICU. We never stop learning from our mothers, do we?Scott Simon</div></noscript></p> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 12:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/scott-simon-live-tweets-his-mothers-last-moments-108226 Porn stars on Vine: they're just like us http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/porn-stars-vine-theyre-just-us-107535 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Lexi%20Bell.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 320px; float: left; " title="Lexi Belle working on her night cheese. (Twitter/Lexi Belle)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">In the olden days of pornography, the lives of the performers were mostly limited to what we saw acted out on film.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Of course, rabid fans knew who <a href="http://althouse.blogspot.com/2012/03/complicated-story-of-linda-lovelace.html" target="_blank">Linda Lovelace</a> was hooking up with offscreen and whether Jenna Jameson actually dated women in real life; but on the whole, porn stars existed as larger-than-life projections of what their audiences wanted them to be.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">They played to the fantasies of millions, then disappeared back into their private lives. Under the guise of their erotic fake names and strategically-tailored public personas, they could expose every inch of themselves, yet still remain completely unknowable as human beings.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">That is, until social media came along and changed everything.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">While Facebook continues to&nbsp;<a href="http://gawker.com/5746670/why-porn-stars-hate-facebook" target="_blank">lock out</a>&nbsp;porn stars (their &quot;no nudity&quot; policy extends to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/08/chrissy-teigen-nude-photo-instagram_n_2837591.html" target="_blank">Instagram</a> as well), Twitter has welomed them with open arms. Not only can these performers tweet nude photos and other NSFW material to their personal accounts, but they can also use <a href="http://gawker.com/5979387/twitters-vine-is-americas-hottest-new-porn-search-engine" target="_blank">Vine</a>&mdash;Twitter&#39;s six-second video sharing app, the <a href="http://mashable.com/2013/01/29/vine/" target="_blank">moving picture</a> version of Instagram&mdash;to create mini-movies of themselves for the world to see.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">However, not all of these Vines are as titillating or overtly sexual as one might think. In fact, many of them are downright mundane: driving in traffic, cooking dinner, spinning around in parking lots (fun fact: Lexi Belle and I have the same <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10196596/" target="_blank">Ikea office chair</a>) and other activities that aren&#39;t unlike&nbsp;anything you, your sister or your best friend might capture on a given day.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">This disarming display of normalcy is what makes these videos so remarkable. Porn stars are pulling back the curtain on their private lives and showing viewers that despite their &quot;unique&quot; career paths, they&#39;re really just like us.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/stoya.jpg" style="width: 299px; float: right; height: 299px; " title="Stoya posts adorable, non-nude photos of herself to over 3K followers on Instagram. (Instagram/Stoya) " /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">For example, porn actress and activist Stoya wrote a <a href="http://www.vice.com/read/stoya-on-peeking-behind-the-porn-curtain" target="_blank">wonderful piece</a> for <em>Vice</em> a couple of weeks ago that defends this cultural shift, saying that social media outlets like Twitter, Tumblr and Vine have been enormously helpful in allowing viewers to see porn stars as more than just sexual objects:&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;Porn stars can definitely be quirky and are probably more sexually liberated than the average adult, but we aren&#39;t so far removed from humanity that we&#39;re above concerns like bills and laundry,&quot; <a href="http://jezebel.com/5941068/im-a-porn-star-and-if-you-harass-me-i-will-punch-you-in-the-balls" target="_blank">Stoya</a> writes, &quot;To pretend that we are underestimates the intelligence of people who are interested in the lives of porn stars or what goes on behind the scenes of the adult film industry.&quot;</div></blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Dylan Ryan is another porn actress who defends the right of women to be <a href="http://jezebel.com/5963606/sorry-second-wave-feminists-porn-stars-are-actually-emotionally-stable-self+confident-women-who-werent-molested-as-kids" target="_blank">sexually liberated</a> in whichever ways feel right for them, even going as far as to say that the choice of an adult film career can be both &quot;feminist&quot; and &quot;empowering.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;I am the agent of my own experience,&quot; Ryan told the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/08/dylan-ryan-porn_n_3239838.html" target="_blank">Huffington Post</a>, &quot;One of the things that people often think about porn is that the women who are performing in it are distant from their bodies or they&#39;re there because they&#39;re getting paid or because they&#39;ve been sexually abused or because they have a very unhealthy sense of self. And while those stereotypes are based in a lot of realities that exist...that&#39;s not the experience of every performer, and that&#39;s not been my experience.&quot;</div></blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Perhaps one can be a feminist and a porn star, a kinky exibitionist and a down-home girl who likes to Vine videos of her cat jumping onto a beanbag chair. All of us are full of contradictions, some of them surprising and often endearing: that&#39;s what makes us human.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Does seeing photos and videos of Stoya <a href="http://stoya.tumblr.com" target="_blank">goofing off</a> with her friends or Lexi <a href="https://twitter.com/OMGitsLexi/status/341327470303272960/photo/1" target="_blank">shopping for Nutella</a> at the grocery store strip away their fantasy, or make them even more interesting&mdash;and by extension, even more sexy&nbsp;and appealing&mdash;to porn fans and naysayers alike?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Leave me your take on the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/03/porn-stars-without-make-up_n_3379731.html" target="_blank">humanization of porn stars</a> (and whether this has been a positive or negative side effect of our 2013 &quot;insta-share&quot; culture) in the comments section below.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or <a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/porn-stars-vine-theyre-just-us-107535