5 New Stats on Teens and Social Media [Content Made Simple]
Issue #277: Jake Paul, TikTok Misinfo, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK
If you and I are going to help the teenagers in our lives have a more healthy relationship with social media, we need to be willing to evaluate our own. The Pew research clearly shows that social media is a teen issue, but it’s not only a teen and student ministry issue. We ought to check our own lives before we instruct the teens in our care.
Last Thursday, just a bit too late to include it in this email last week, I published this article at The Gospel Coalition. If you haven’t seen it yet, maybe it would be helpful for you!
Social media is not just a “student ministry issue” or something only teens use in excess. But some new data sheds light on why we should maybe pay attention to teens’ use of social media and the internet generally!
THE TRIVIA QUESTION
Nintendo is known for making video games, of course. But what did the company produce before video games?
HITTING THE LINKS
Good coverage of Jake Paul’s “pivot.”
Controversies mounted from there. Paul has been accused of scamming his fans and exposing his young audience to sexual content. He was seen using racial slurs in a video that emerged in 2018. His former collaborator Alissa Violet claimed Paul physically assaulted her “a few times” and that she suffered “mental abuse.” He was charged with trespassing in connection with an Arizona mall looting in 2020, but the charges were dropped. He threw a massive party at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and called the virus a “hoax.”
I don’t use this feature, but apparently lots of people do!
Almost every social-media platform offers its users an option to privatize their account—a way for people to control who engages with their content, often to avoid the judgment, schadenfreude, bullying, and snark that are ubiquitous online. Many of these options aren’t terribly helpful, though. Facebook seems to constantly adjust its privacy settings, and it can be difficult to tell what information your friends have access to. On TikTok, unless you want a fully private account, you have to select who can see each and every video before you post. And Twitter’s protected-Tweets feature isn’t ideal if you have a large following; the “Retweet” button may be disabled, but your followers can still screenshot and share what you post.
Link #3: On TikTok, Election Misinformation Thrives Ahead of Midterms
Man, TikTok is really going to be a huge variable going into the 2024 presidential election season. Both because of its China ties and because of its dominating cultural clout lately.
In Germany, TikTok accounts impersonated prominent political figures during the country’s last national election. In Colombia, misleading TikTok posts falsely attributed a quotation from one candidate to a cartoon villain and allowed a woman to masquerade as another candidate’s daughter. In the Philippines, TikTok videos amplified sugarcoated myths about the country’s former dictator and helped his son prevail in the country’s presidential race.
Now, similar problems have arrived in the United States.
THE FUNNY PART
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