Social Media


Fraudulent Fundraising for a Good Cause

Flickr: Images_of_Money

Blogger Mari of “In Shaw” alerts us to a possible scam:

There is a scam going on where a youth will knock on the door of a resident and ask for money for…the Eastern Branch Boys & Girls Club, which has been closed for 5 years. As far as I can tell minors are not supposed to do any fundraising of this sort (going door to door, going on the Metro, etc) for the Boys & Girls Club.

Unfortunately there wasn’t any guidance on what to do when one encounters one of these youths.

The Eastern branch has been closed for five years, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Gigi Ransom confirmed on the MPD-5D listserv, an email list hosted by MPD to alert subscribers to news and information for the fifth police district.

“Report it as a crime. Call 311 and report it, like any other crime,” said Sgt. Raul Mendez, public information officer for the police department. He added that having a description of the kids and where they are targeting people for donations would be helpful.

“But when they approach you, ask them for identification, a call-back number, something official” and give the information to police, Mendez said. The documents could be fake, in which case police would consider that fraud.

‘You know there are two Twitters, right?’

You know there are two Twitters, right? #REM trending, but the top TT in the US is #youknowyoughetto. (Black Twitter 1, Other Twitter 0.)
J. Freedom du Lac

African Americans make up 25 percent of Twitter users, despite only making up about 12 percent of the general population, according to a 2010 Edison Research study.

Twitter is relatively “blacker” than the United States in part because of how easy it is to access the popular status-updating program via cell phones. Sending a tweet uses nearly the same number of characters — 140 — allowed for text messages. Half of all Twitter users send tweets with their mobile phones, and people of color are more likely to access the Internet using cellphones. So, high-speed internet is wonderful, but unnecessary for using Twitter.

Circling back to the tweet above from Washington Post reporter J. Freedom du Lac, it would behoove us to be mindful that black people may also listen to R.E.M., non-blacks are probably using or reading tweets classified with the “#youknowyoughetto“-hashtag and trending topics are not a zero-sum game. If “Troy Davis” is not trending, that doesn’t mean people aren’t talking about him. It just means more people are talking about “#newfacebook,” or whatever else is popular at any given moment on “black” and “other” Twitter.

Kanazawa is Grounded for a Year by LSE

Flickr: indiekidsdontdance

The London School of Economics.

In May of this year, Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics penned a controversial blog post for Psychology Today asking, “Why are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” Kanazawa was widely condemned for his views and Psychology today removed his post from their site, then fired him.

Meanwhile, students at the London School of Economics called for Kanazawa’s dismissal. According to Racialicious, which published an update to Kanazawa’s situation, the students didn’t get the outcome for which they were hoping:

The LSE has now published the findings of an internal investigation into the affair, ruling that Dr Kanazawa had “brought the school into disrepute” and barring him from publishing in non-peer-reviewed outlets for a year.

The inquiry, details of which were released to staff on 15 September, also concludes that he had “ignored the basic responsibility of a scientific communicator to qualify claims made in proportion to the certainty of the evidence”.

It found that “some of the arguments used…were flawed and not supported by evidence, that an error was made in publishing the blog post” and that Dr Kanazawa had not given “due consideration to his approach or audience”.

In addition to the 12-month ban, he will not teach any compulsory courses this academic year.

Racialicious’ Andrea Plaid characterized this reaction as a “slap on the wrist.” What do you think?

“Lazy Policing” and a Hate Crime in Columbia Heights: Your Take

Flickr: aliciagriffin

Columbia Heights Metro, as seen from 14th Street NW.

There are some lessons that can be learned from an incident late last month when five women were assaulted by two men near the Columbia Heights Metro, according to observers. Originally, the men were flirtatious, but when one of the women identified another as her partner, the men shouted homophobic slurs, then physically attacked them.

Chai Shenoy of Holla Back DC noted that it was a bystander who called police. “Kudos,” Shenoy said. “Community engagement is key to creating safe spaces in DC.”

She said Police Chief Cathy Lanier was smart to send a strong signal by investigating the police officers who were involved.

Shenoy said that’s key “with the increase of gender-based crimes happening in the LGBTQ community.”

D.C. residents used social media to air their concerns about the case:

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America’s Widening Wealth Gap: Your Take

Zeal Harris/Flickr

"Grace" Mixed Media on Wood, by Zeal Harris

Earlier today, The Diane Rehm show discussed how the widening wealth gap in America is marginalizing African American and Hispanic families:

That’s the finding of a new study by the Pew Research Center. The median wealth of whites is now 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households. And though the recession cut across all races and ethnicities, Hispanics were especially hard hit. Hispanic families accounted for the largest single decline in wealth in the last few years.

Some listeners took the time to comment on the show’s official site. Commenter
had a request:

Please include in this discussion how the role out of wedlock births and the exploding number of single parent households figure into these wealth gap figures. Single parent households, black 70%, hispanic 50%, white 30%.

The effect of government welfare subsidies that in reality destroy the work ethic of minority groups. Also the cultural disrespect of education.

This Black Voices article from 2010 corroborates those numbers for single-parent households; “Compared to the 72 percent in our communities, 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008″.
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In Your Words– Psychology Today on Black Women and Beauty

Psychology Today blogger and evolutionary scientist Satoshi Kanazawa set off a firestorm of tweets today with his post, “Why are black women less physically attractive than other women?”:

science also proved the earth was flat... so i can't be that mad that they "proved" black women less attractive...
David Meares

A collection of local reactions, below the jump.

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Tweet of the Day, 04.05

On the Mayor Vince Gray diss track:

Semi-serious question: Is this first-ever hip-hop video about government rates at hotels for relocating bureaucrats?
Mike Madden

On Your Mind: The Search for Emily Hershenson


One of the many flyers on Irving Street NW, as of 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Emily Hershenson disappeared on Monday morning; in less than 48 hours, her family mounted a frantic and ultimately successful search for the 33-year old wife and mother, who was last seen in Adams Morgan. Hershenson was found earlier today, and that good news spread as quickly as the initial pleas for help with her search did. Since social media played such a prominent role in this story, I thought it might be interesting to use storify to collect your tweets about it. Read all about it, after the jump.
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