Although most people in the U.S. would likely agree that dressing up as a Ku Klux Klansman for Halloween is totally offensive and inappropriate, there’s still that fringe element of Americans who want to push the envelope.
Cary Kent Sharp is apparently on that edge of society. On Saturday, police were called on the Lahoma, Oklahoma, resident after he and several other men were seen dressed in KKK robes and standing around a cross. Sharp is married to the mayor of the predominantly white town.
Theresa Sharp told Enid News & Eagle the incident involving her husband was a Halloween “prank gone bad.” But she was still quick to distance herself from his display.
I was out trick-or-treating with my son, and I in no way support the activities that occurred, she said.
Cary Kent Sharp is not the only one who thinks its cool to rock a racially insensitive costume for Halloween. A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 55 percent of Americans think it’s OK to wear offensive Halloween costumes, including blackface. They weren’t specifically polled on whether a KKK outfit would fit that bill.
While it may have been just a “prank” for some, the history of the Ku Klux Klan as a domestic terror organization makes this incident far more than just a practical joke. A report released by Alabamas Equal Justice Initiative in February found that almost 3,960 African-Americans were lynched from 1877 to 1950. These lynchings were common during the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, when victims were frequently burned, castrated, shot, stabbed and, in some cases, beheaded.
Recruitment flyers for the KKK have been found in various neighborhoods across the nation — mainly small communities like Lahoma — as recently as February, making it harder to take this as a joke, even if it were truly intended that way.
Misty Meister, a local resident, said she witnessed the incident and didnt think it was funny.
“We are a small community, and in no way do I feel this represents our views as a whole,” Meister told the News & Eagle. “It is upsetting due to the fact that we live in a community with families of different ethnic backgrounds, and this is a symbol of hate and intolerance.”
No arrests will be made, according to Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles, because there was no violation of the law.
“Social media comments suggested that arrests should have been made,” Niles said in a statement. “We must have a violation of the law to make arrests, as the fire was legal, the consumption of alcohol was on private property, and no one had stated anyone made threats of violence acts to the deputy at that time.”
At least it appears that Sharp has learned a lesson.
“I never realized that it would be this harmful,” he told KOCO-TV. “I truly apologize to everyone for this.”
Instagram has expanded its app availability tousers of tablets running Microsofts Windows 10. The Facebook-owned, visual content social sharingplatformannounced the new appin a blog post yesterday. Its most notable as theres still no iPad app for Instagram. Although Instagramlaunched a Windows 10 Mobile app back in April.
Instagram says any device running Windows 10 can use itsapp, which is available for download in theWindows App Store.Although,forWindows 10 devices other than tablets and smartphones, it notescertain features maynot be supported such as capturing and uploading videos or photos. (As The Verge notes, the app requires a touchscreen Windows 10 device to actually upload content.)
Features wise, the Windows 10 appincludes the Snapchat-esque Instagram Stories, as well as direct messagesand the Explore feed.
Users can alsocapture, edit and share content directly from theirWindows 10 tablet device, assuming they have the necessary hardware to do so.
While this summer Instagram said its monthly active users had hit 500M, doubling its active usage intwo years.Continue reading
More than three quarters of 10 to 12 year olds in the UK have social media accounts, even though they are below the age limit, according to a survey from BBC Newsround.
The study, marking this year’s Safer Internet Day, also showed more than one in five had faced online bullying.
The global event encourages “safe and responsible” use of the internet.
Social media network Instagram said if anyone suspected accounts were run by under-13s, they should report them.
The BBC Newsround survey, based on 1,000 young people aged between 10 and 18, found social media to be an important part of everyday life.
Among 13 to 18 year olds, 96% were signed up to social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp.
But even when under-13 year olds were not meant to use some of these services, the survey found 78% of these younger children were using at least one social media network.
Facebook was the most widely used by under-13 year olds – with 49% claiming to use the online network.
Instagram was used by 41% of 10 to 12 year olds – and a spokesman said “keeping the community safe” online was the “number one priority”
“We require anyone on Instagram to be over the age of 13, and we have clear community guidelines and in-app tools to help people report anything that may make them feel uncomfortable,” said an Instagram spokesman.
Most of the experiences of users were positive, but particularly for older children, online networks could be used for more destructive purposes.
Among 16 to 18 year olds, two in five had used social media to spread gossip and a quarter had used it to say something “unkind” or “rude” to someone else online.
More than half of these older children have seen online bullying when they have been using the internet.
The Safer Internet Day, backed by technology firms and the government, commissioned its own survey of 13 to 18 year olds, and found that more than four in five had seen “online hate”, such as offensive or threatening language.
More than two thirds of young people knew they could report such offensive language, but in practice people were much more likely to ignore it.
Google is marking Safer Internet Day by launching an online safety roadshow, which aims to reach 10,000 primary school children this year.
Eileen Naughton, Google UK’s managing director, said: “The internet is a great place for education, creativity and entertainment, but we know kids need the right skills to navigate the web and stay safe online.”
A recent study from research agency Childwise showed that young people are now using online services, such as social networking, more than they are watching television.
On-demand services and websites such as YouTube were more popular among teenagers than conventional television channels.
The Nasuwt teachers’ union warned of “deeply worrying” problems with social media being used by parents to target teachers online.
But a report from cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, warned of the dangers of teenagers becoming involved in hacking and cyber-crime.
The report says youngsters are often attracted by the rebellious image of hackers and can be ambivalent about “pushing boundaries” online.
The cybersecurity firm says many teenagers are sophisticated users of the internet, such as knowing how to conceal their identity online.
“It’s frighteningly easy for teenagers to find their way into the dark corners of the internet today,” said security researcher David Emm.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “As a parent I understand the real importance of internet safety in protecting our children. The internet is a powerful tool which can have brilliant and virtually limitless benefits, but it must be used sensibly and safely.”Continue reading
A police team created to handle crimes against MPs has dealt with 53 complaints since the murder of Jo Cox.
The Met’s parliamentary liaison and investigation team saw cases of hate-filled messages, harassment and criminal damage between August and early February.
It comes amid concerns that MPs face increasing levels of online abuse.
Almost 640,000 has been spent on MPs’ security since Mrs Cox’s death on 16 June 2016.
The Labour MP for Batley and Spen was shot and stabbed by Thomas Mair in Birstall, West Yorkshire.
The specialist police squad has received 33 reports of malicious communications – which can include Twitter trolling – as well as 13 reports of theft, four allegations of criminal damage and three reports of harassment.
The figures were obtained by the Press Association using the Freedom of Information Act.
Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, received threats from far-right supporters and had a picture of a body with a severed head mailed to her.
She said: “It is the vile views of individuals who at one point indicated that I should be next to be murdered after Jo Cox.
“It was highly unpleasant but you find your mechanisms of dealing with these things.
“It has obviously hit across gender but there has been a particular focus on women, so I do think that is a wider concern.”
Lib Dem chief whip Tom Brake said MPs had become targets on social media sites such as Twitter.
“I would suspect every single member of Parliament has received this abuse. Perhaps the issue of Brexit will have been the one which will have drawn that out in recent times.
“I received a message from someone telling me ‘you should think very carefully about how you vote for the future of your family’, which I referred to the police.
“You just know [as a man] that for every abusive email I am going to get, women are probably going to get five times as many.”Continue reading
Fans of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team have long cheered Go Big Red so why is the Union Jack now latching onto their tweets?
On the wind-swept plains of Nebraska, the abbreviation GBR means a specific thing to supporters of the University of Nebraska football team.
The Cornhuskers, so named in honor of the home states agricultural heritage, have won five collegiate national titles and 880 games since being founded in 1890, the fourth-most of any top-level university in the United States. Theyre a big deal in the land of cows, corn and college football.
And when a fan of the team roars Goooo Biiiig Reeeed on the way into Memorial Stadium on a fall Saturday, at a pancake breakfast in a church basement, at the gas station or really anywhere in or around Lincoln, the states capital she expects to hear a quick Go Big Red in response.
This is the cadence of a football season in Nebraska, and on Twitter, in Cornhusker circles (fans refer to themselves as Huskers), that traditional chant gets shortened to #GBR.
Lately, however, Nebraska football fans using the hashtag have noticed something new popping up in their social media feeds as the Olympics get under way in Brazil.
A Union Jack.
Thats because #GBR is accompanying tweets about the British Olympic team at the games in Rio. Using #GBR on Twitter now conjures up a hashflag, a small, emoji graphic deployed for big events. The Uefa Champions League final in May had a small depiction of the European Champions Clubs cup, and Februarys Super Bowl had a tiny Vince Lombardi trophy.
Understandably, the hashflag has ruffled the feathers of Cornhusker fans. As sports blogger Husker Mike lamented on Tuesday: … all of a sudden, the #GBR now has the British Union Jack attached to it. Wait … didnt we win two wars against the British so that we were free of England, her Majesty and that flag?Continue reading
Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is examining the website of the Environmental Protection Agency to determine which information will remain, underscoring concerns that climate change and other scientific data might be removed.
Writers such as Zadie Smith and Jonathan Franzen speak of having to tune out the internet in order to write. But is that just tuning out real life?
This will be the year, I say every year. The year when the fever breaks, the addiction weakens, when my attention span and focus becomes a vast, smooth body of water without rips or currents pulling me back and forth, dragging me under, taking me out.
A year not without the internet but having the internet under control. It might look like this: check email three times a day, visit Twitter five times, check Facebook once instead of what it is now: a constant binge, 20 tabs open on the browser, and multiple conversations occurring simultaneously on half a dozen different platforms, from Facebook messenger to Google chat.
It seems like each year its getting harder and harder to switch off. The devices are getting faster, lighter and better, and we are drawing ever closer to them. Social media and our interactions on it seem no longer ancillary to our regular lives but overlaid, cheek to cheek, the skin across our bones.
The phrase digital detox seems quaint, like something from another era (2013? 2014?). Its 2016 and we are past the point of no return.
But what is that point? Is it when you suspect your online life is richer, deeper, more intense, fast and funny than anything you could hope for IRL? When you think leaving the digital world would kill the best part of yourself? But why would you kill the thing you love?
Increasingly, people feel like their real selves online, and its out in the world that they feel false or slow or derivative. The wit on Twitter (they actually are a raconteur like it says in their profile), the hot talking Tinder dude, the Instagrammer who wants to share every sunset out there in the real world eye to eye across a table, or in some bar the words dry up in their throat and there is that passing, melancholy thought: Things were so much better online.
Im surely not the only one left slightly reeling after an online conversation has escalated to something … unexpected … gotten so deep so quickly right down to the bones that Ive found myself sharing things Id never say in real life.
Its not just the personal and profound but the dull details of life that bounce back and forth in endless messages: what did you have for lunch, what are you reading, have you seen this clip?
But this overlay and the constant disruption that occurs can be the enemy of creating anything of depth and substance, whether it is writing a novel or making a garden. Hence my fierce desire in 2016 to break away.
In the Woman of the Hour podcast, Zadie Smith recently detailed how she had to curb her internet use if she wanted to write books. She almost always has an away message on her email and uses an old fashioned flip phone that doesnt have an internet connection.
Its the action of an addict, Smith told podcast host Lena Dunham. Ill go down a Beyoncé Google hole for 4 hours anything but write. First I got the flip phone, it has nothing on it, it barely texts (then) I found something online which takes social media off your computer.
She also uses internet blocking software Self Control, Freedom and Brown Noise to block out sound.
When I started writing, the internet barely existed (Smith is 40) but I have a feeling that younger people dont have these addictive issues because they grew up with it. For us one minute it wasnt there and then it was.
Other novelists, including Jonathan Franzen, talk about the internet as if it is the enemy of creating good art. He wrote in the Guardian:
When Im working, I need to isolate myself at the office, because Im easily distracted and modern life has become extremely distracting. Distraction pours through every portal, especially through the internet. And most of what pours through is meaningless noise. To be able to hear whats really happening in the world, you have to block out 99% of the noise.
Is the solution to scrub the internet out of your home and out of your life to install the software, tape up the plugs, disable the modem, disconnect the wifi, pretend it doesnt exist, reinstate your attention span to pre-internet level? To make it like 1980 when you write your book, and all you have is the home phone, which is off the hook?
Maybe not, because the worlds created with these perfect attention spans cant therefore be a slice of modern life, because this life is now so different from the circumstances under which the work was created.
A recent article in Fader contrasted the songs of Adele and Drake.
Adele is writing songs as if the internet didnt exist, while Drake acknowledges the overlay between our real life and virtual life. (Frank Ocean, novelist Tao Lin and Kanye are others who are good depicting our hyper-connected age.)
According to Aimee Cliff in Fader:
The contrast is uncanny. Not only is Adele a chart challenge to Drake, but shes also his polar opposite and no two songs could illustrate this better than Hello and Hotline Bling. Although both songs seem to be fundamentally dealing with the decades-old, familiar pop subject matter of missed connections, Drakes takes place in our current world, in which you cant escape updates and rumors about your ex even as you travel the world. Meanwhile, Adele sets her scene in a pre-social media universe: one in which shes been calling the person shes trying to reach on their landline for years (when I call you never seem to be home) and doesnt even know if they live in the same place or not.
This is not to say that Drakes music is better than Adeles, but when it comes to making sense of the world we need people who can tell it how it really is, not how it once was.
One can imagine Franzen returning to the world from his writing cocoon and feeling as if hes woken up in a different century.
Early 20th century novelist EM Forster had one perfect plea: only connect. Now all we do is connect. Were blitzing on connections, were mainlining connections, were connecting when we should be asleep, should be alone, should be talking to the people in front of us (IRL).
The future as JG Ballard imagined it is now. We fetishise our machines and devices the way that Vaughan did with vehicles in Crash. But instead of dehumanising us, it has the potential to have the opposite effect. All those Twitter jokes, all those Facebook friends, all those people who would have slipped through the cracks and time, the net is there to catch them.
There are riches here that our Victorian descendants out all day in the paddocks, acres of silence, church and calling on people on Sunday could have never imagined.
We just have to work out a way to write books and make art with this disruption we have to be able to fold it into our work to create new kinds of work. Maybe thats the resolution for 2016.Continue reading
Leicester City are set for a potential 150m boost for winning the Premier League title, analysts at sports data and marketing firm Repucom have said.
The sum comprises Premier League prize money, Champions League participation cash, and increased match day revenues from ticket and hospitality sales.
The Foxes will also enjoy a higher valuation of sponsorship assets, and a growth in fan bases globally, it said.
Leicester clinched a fairytale first championship on Monday evening.
Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with second-placed Tottenham Hotspur meant the north London club could not catch Leicester.
The East Midlands club will now feature in the Uefa Champions League next season, taking them to an even larger European and world TV audience.
Spencer Nolan, head of consulting at Repucom UK and Ireland, said adding fans worldwide remained “central to realising the club’s full potential as a commercial entity”.
“While it is too early to really evaluate the rapidly growing fan bases we are starting to see across Asia for example, social media provides us an opportunity to start to quantify this surge.”
This season, the club’s Facebook page following has grown by a huge 540%, making it one of the fastest growing accounts of any sports team globally.
Algeria’s 500,000 followers represent Leicester City’s largest fan base on the social network (16.7%), thanks to the performances of PFA Player of the Season, team winger Riyad Mahrez.
There have also been large increases in Thailand and Italy, the homelands of the club’s owners and manager respectively.
Mr Nolan said the summer would be an important time for the East Midlands club to build its commercial presence.
“Leicester City FC’s real commercial potential will become clearer in the season break as brands vie to associate themselves to the club and, in turn, the league winners aim to maximise the returns their status could command,” he said.
He also said that in the 2015-16 season, Leicester’s TV audiences had soared by more than 23% globally – “which will help… to increase the value of their sponsorship properties next term”.
“The task now is to optimise the value of those assets and ensure they attract the incomes Leicester City could now generate.”Continue reading
Affidavit says he removed her clothes, preparing to sexually assault her, then hit her twice in the head with a crowbar because she begged to be taken home
A man who allegedly lured an 11-year-old girl and her brother, nine, into his van, attempted to sexually assault her, and left her to die in the New Mexico desert has appeared in court on Wednesday charged with her kidnapping and murder.
Tom Begaye, a 27-year-old Navajo man from Waterflow, New Mexico, is accused of luring Ashlynne Mike into his van with promises of watching the movie Zootopia.
The siblings were abducted after being dropped off at a bus stop after school, about a quarter-mile from their home Monday afternoon. The brother and another boy their cousin said no to the movie offer, but Ashlynne was lured into the van.
The girls brother who, according to a federal affidavit released on Wednesday, also jumped into the van hoping to protect her, was later discovered walking down a desert highway where he had been left by the kidnapper. His sisters body wasnt found until the next day, her head bloodied and bashed with a crowbar.
According to the affidavit, Begaye told investigators he removed the girls clothing, preparing to sexually assault her, and that he hit her twice in the head with a crowbar because she was crying and begging to be taken home.
He also said that the girl was still moving when he left her for dead in the desert. US magistrate judge B Paul Briones told Begaye he could face life in prison if convicted of the murder charge. As he was taken away in an SUV after the hearing, people outside the courthouse yelled bastard and go to hell.
Rickie Nez, a cousin of the victim who was in court to see her alleged killer arraigned on Wednesday morning, told the Guardian: Its horrible. We are a peaceful people; we care about one another. But now [one of] our own people has allegedly committed this thing, and its horrible. [Now] we have to start going to our schools and teach children to stop speaking to strangers.
The case has raised questions about the capacity of authorities to respond to abductions in remote areas of the Navajo Nation. Nez said that while the pairs disappearance was reported by their father to the Navajo police just before 7pm, it took until 2.30am for the FBI to authorize an amber alert, a delay that Nez said would not have happened if the abduction had taken place in Albuquerque or Farmington.
In the meantime, community members who heard about the abduction via radio and social media congregated to join in the search Monday around 9pm and again Tuesday morning, said Graham Binaal, a Shiprock resident who joined the effort. Once someone put it out there that there was this missing child, then the word just spread from there, he said. About 100 people from the community turned out to help look for her.Continue reading
The brother of a teenager left unconscious in a wheelie bin after a night out has posted pictures on social media in a bid to raise awareness about the dangers of drugs.
Darren Gorman said his younger brother Chris had his drink spiked while out with friends at a party in Cumbernauld on Friday night.
He was discovered by police dumped in a bin and taken to hospital.
Doctors said if he had been left 30 minutes longer he could have died.
The 17-year-old had been drinking with friends at a party in the North Lanarkshire town prior to the incident.
In a Facebook post his older brother wrote: “Got a phone call in the early hours of the morning this morning as my 17 year old brother Chris Gorman had been left in a wheelie bin in the middle of Cumbernauld by his “friends” he had his drink spiked and when we arrived the ambulance was already with him and his eyes were rolling while he’s foaming from the mouth.”
Darren Gorman told the Daily Record newspaper that police found the teenager and called an ambulance. He was taken to Monklands Hospital.
Mr Gorman said the family were disgusted to later see that a picture of his brother in the wheelie bin had been shared in online group chats.
However, they then took the decision to post the image on social media to shame his so-called friends and warn others about ending up in a similar state.
Mr Gorman’s Facebook post added: “Scary reality to be told that if he had been left half a hour longer chances are he wouldn’t be here now.
“I apologise for the pictures but if this raises a little awareness and stops someone else ending up in the same state it’s worth it, he’s had a harsh lesson as to who his real friends are and those who would rather get a laugh out of the situation and spread the image of him in a wheelie bin through group chats.”
Mr Gorman’s post has been shared more than 2,000 times.
Chris told the Daily Record: “The only thing I remember is waking up in the hospital.
“I feel terrible. I can’t drink water and eat properly. But I’ve had messages from people all over the place, not just friends, asking if I’m OK.”Continue reading