Posts tagged with "social media"

Netflix – Cuties

By Cassandra Yany

One of Netflix’s newest films, Cuties, has garnered much attention and backlash since its Sep. 9 release on the streaming platform. The coming-of-age film depicts a young girl as she tries to navigate her life as a pre-teen growing up in a Muslim family living in Paris.

Many critics have spoken out against the film, which currently holds the no. 7 spot in Netflix’s ‘Top 10,’ for its depiction of 11-year-old girls dancing and behaving in an indecent manner. According to the New York Times, the movie was first deemed controversial in the U.S. in August when Netflix released the promotional artwork. The original marketing for the film displayed an image of four young girls in skimpy dance costumes posing provocatively.

This, along with the trailer, prompted opposers to start petitions online and call for the removal of the film from Netflix’s catalog. Netflix apologized and changed the artwork for the film to a more innocent photo of the same four characters walking down the street with shopping bags, donning bras and underwear over their clothes.

Last week’s release of the film has sparked conversation once again amongst parents, politicians and others, causing #CancelNetflix to trend on Twitter. Lina Nealon, the Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has spoken out against the film saying “While we commend Director Maïmouna Doucouré for exposing the very real threats to young girls having unfettered access to social media and the internet, we cannot condone the hypersexualization and exploitation of the young actresses themselves in order to make her point.” She called for Netflix to cut the “sexually-exploitive” scenes from the film, or remove the film from the platform altogether.

On Friday, Hawaii Rep. Tulse Gabbard tweeted, “@Netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children… Netflix you are now complicit.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz penned a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr Friday calling for the Department of Justice to start an investigation into the production and distribution of the film to “determine whether Netflix, any of its executives, or anyone involved in the making of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”

Cruz wrote that “the film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial nudity” falsely claiming that there’s a scene exposing a “minor’s bare breast.” The Associated Press reported that one of Cruz’s representatives, Lauren Aronson, said that the senator has not seen the film.

According to the Washington Times, some critics are even calling on the Obama’s— who have a production deal with Netflix— to take action against the film. Deadline stated that “The reality appears to have been lost in the storm, and the truth is very few of the people reacting so strongly will have actually seen the film.”

Netflix told USA TODAY “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up— and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Director Maïmouna Doucouré defends the film, saying that it works to shed light on these issues so they can be fixed. Cuties first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, where it won the Directing Jury Award for the dramatic film category. According to the New York Times, the movie did not stir up much conversation in France after its theatrical release (as Mignnonnes in French) in August.

Deadline reports that Doucouré did not see the promotional material prior to when it was circulated on the internet. She said that she received death threats as the outrage grew over these images. She told the news site that the film is not apologetic about the hypersexualization of children, but instead is her “…personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home.”

Cuties was Doucouré’s feature directorial debut. Similar to the film’s main character, Amy, Doucouré is of Senegalese descent and grew up in a Muslim culture in Paris. In an interview at Sundance, she said she first had the idea for the movie after attending a neighborhood gathering in Paris where she saw a group of 11-year-old girls doing a stage performance of a “sensual” dance. She was shocked to see girls that age dance like that in short clothing. “We can’t continue to close our eyes about that,” she told the interviewer.

Doucouré researched for a year and a half, meeting with hundreds of pre-teens who told her their stories. She learned about their ideas of femininity, and how their self image is affected by the emphasis of social media in today’s society. According to IndieWire, the young actresses’ parents were on board with the project to spread awareness of the issue, and there was a psychologist working with the girls throughout filming who is still helping them throughout the release process.

The film is centered around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who has recently moved to a housing development in a poor suburb of Paris with her Senegalese, observant Muslim family. She looks out for her brothers, takes care of responsibilities around the house, and is in the process of being taught how to ‘be a woman’ by  her aunt.

One day after prayer, Amy walks by the laundry room and sees a girl her age dancing to music playing from her phone. In a subsequent scene, Amy is seen trying to straighten her hair with a clothing iron, burning part of it off as a result. 

Amy learns that her father, who is still in Senegal, has taken a second wife and will be coming to Paris soon to have the wedding. Her mother, Mariam, tries to hide her reaction to the news, but Amy sees her grow upset and take her frustrations out on herself. This is where Amy’s behavior begins to shift; she starts to reject her culture and identity, and instead tries to conform to fit in with the other girls at school. 

At school, Amy is teased for her clothes and lack of fashion sense, so she begins to wear her younger brother’s t-shirt to match the crop tops that her classmates wear. After seeing a group of girls her age dancing after school, Amy steals her cousin’s iPhone to learn how to dance, herself. She comes across their social media accounts and begins taking selfies, imitating what she sees on their profiles. 

Amy finds herself a spot in the girls’ friend group and dance troupe, and as a result, begins to neglect her responsibilities at home. Amy starts to show more self expression, wearing her hair natural rather than pulling it back. She also begins to explore the internet more, finding videos of almost-naked women dancing rather suggestively and moving their bodies in ways that an 11-year-old probably shouldn’t be watching. 

Taking what she found online, Amy practices dancing with her friends and teaches them how to twerk. This is where the movie begins to make viewers slightly uneasy. It was jarring to see these young, innocent girls tainted by this inappropriate content and doing dance moves that they didn’t understand the implications of. It appears that this was the intention of director Doucouré, as she stated in an interview with Netflix that the film is “…a mirror of today’s society; a mirror sometimes difficult to look into and accept but still so true.”

Some of the scenes, frankly, are very disturbing to watch. These include the girls dancing provocatively for two older male workers at a laser tag facility so that they wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking in, as well as Amy beginning to undress for her cousin once he found she had stolen his iPhone in an attempt to smooth over the situation. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is when Amy takes a picture of her genitals to post on her social media profile so that people at school would think she’s mature. While there was no nudity shown in this scene, the implied action was horrifying to watch. 

At the end of the film, Amy performs with her dance troupe at a local competition. Dressed in revealing outfits, they dance immodestly in front of a crowd of people who quickly seem unsettled. (This is the scene from which the original promotional photos were taken.) Toward the end of the song, Amy freezes as she begins to think about her mom, then runs off the stage crying. She goes home where she asks her mom not to attend her father’s wedding. Her mom continues to get ready for the event, but tells Amy that she doesn’t have to go.

Instead of going to the wedding, Amy steps outside and begins jumping rope. This scene depicts a mixture of her two identities: she is wearing jeans and a crop top with her hair down, but is surrounded by people of her culture dressed in traditional garments. After suppressing her family’s background for a majority of the movie, Amy is finally able to find the balance where her multiple cultures intersect in order to be her honest self. 

After watching Cuties, it is evident that it is not meant to promote this behavior among young girls, but instead provide commentary on what is happening today and warn the adults who see the movie. The harsh reality is that more pre-adolescents are exposed to this type of content than we think. Any child who has access to a smart device and social platforms have the potential to see a video not meant for them. Take TikTok for example: racy dances to Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” as well as a recent trend where women make “thirst traps” to Beyoncé’s “Rocket” are some of the most popular videos on the app right now. Young TikTok users can easily see creators on their For You Page enjoying themselves while engaging in these trends, causing the young viewer to want to do the same.

When speaking to Deadline, Doucouré said, “What happens is young girls see images of women being objectified, and the more the woman becomes an object, the more followers and like she has— they see that as a role model and try to imitate these women, but they’re not old enough to know what they’re doing.” In a separate interview, she posed the question, “Isn’t the objectification of a woman’s body that we often see in our Western culture not another kind of oppression?”

Overall, Cuties shows the dangers of uncensored media for young children and displays how impressionable they can be. It also shows the journey of Amy’s self-discovery and learning how to blend her multiple cultures in order to shape her identity. Unfortunately, the risqué nature of the film overshadows the storyline and the message is lost for a number of audience members.

In various articles, Doucouré is quoted discussing the meaning of the film in the broad context of femininity and what it means for young girls to enter womanhood in this digital age. During her aforementioned interview with Netflix, she stated “The real question of Cuties is can we, as women, truly choose who we want to be, beyond the role models that are imposed upon us by society?”

Duckwrth makes an appearance on behalf of Republic Records in 360 MAGAZINE

DUCKWRTH × GENERAL ADMISSION

Purchase Merch HERE

In celebration of Duckwrth’s newest album SuperGood, he has teamed up with LA based General Admission to bring merch items that complement the West Coast funk and soul feeling from the album. The drop features a tee and hoodie with artwork and colors tying back into the projects warm and soulful color palette. Everything is printed on General Admission’s cut and sew blanks featuring hits of puff prints on garment dyed and washed bodies. All items are made in Los Angeles. Available now at www.generaladmission.com.

Listen to SuperGoodHERE

ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS
A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Zendaya and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G) and Hollywood Records. In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video

Digital illustration for 360 Magazine

Brand Building In A Recession

Building Your Brand During A Recession

By Lauren Howe and Teri Uyovbievbo, co-founders of up-and-coming South Bay marketing start-up, The Social Block

The onset of COVID-19 has ultimately ended a decade-long trend of economic growth in the United States. In it’s place, we now have the highest rates of unemployment since the Great Depression. The unprecedented economic downturn has also ushered in the swift demise of formerly successful corporations.

Although COVID-19 has brought difficulty to many businesses, the high rate of unemployment has left many to focus on what was previously their side-hustle or freelance work. A small percentage of job prospects has left us with gig work, using our marketable skills and furthering our educations.

While this is a difficult time to build a brand, it isn’t impossible. In lieu of attending meetings, speaking on panels and networking in the community, placing the focus instead on the company’s current messaging, graphics, website, public relations, social media and marketing efforts is essential. In order to get your brand in the spotlight, you’ll need to create a memorable logo so that people recognize your brand as soon as they see your awesome logo. COVID has thrust the world into a work-from-home, online shopping, and food delivery reality. Building your brand during this time is not only the smartest move for your start-up or business – it is the only move that will keep you competitive in a post-COVID world. The following steps are what we at The Social Block do for ourselves to build our brand, as well as what we would always suggest to clients.

Take relationship building digital

We know that nothing can replace face-to-face interactions and networking, but in a digital world, it’s not enough to just do one. Looking out for media opportunities, offering discounted services to local non-profits to support your community, participating in roundtables, panel discussions and curating a well-managed social media presence are all essential ways to build your brand online.

Social media has been, and is continuing to be, a method of providing customer service and increasing brand loyalty. Although the recession may be limiting those buying or product or using your service, communicating with your target audience, asking for their success stories or feedback, and showing that you listen, care and are engaged, will keep your business top of mind and keep business flowing when the economy stabilizes.

Don’t stop marketing

Depending on your product or service, you can choose from email or mail campaigns, utilizing ad space in relevant publications, or targeting your audience directly through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn ads. It’s not enough to leave your growth to organic views, shares and customer/client reviews. Getting new traffic in the door and fresh eyes on your business will increase your brand awareness.

Even if COVID may cause a delay in conversions or results, you want to be one of the services or products on your target audience’s list to try after your area has reopened and the economy begins to repair itself.

Assess where your brand is at currently

It may be time to take a hard look at what branding you had going on before COVID, and determine if it is time to make a change. Is your website difficult to navigate wit outdated items? Is your social media active, and is it used to build relationships with potential clients or customers, or is it used almost as a “personal” account, full of successes and company outings? Are you participating in speaking engagements and interacting in you community? Are your graphics, presentations, business cards and logo truly representative of what you do?

Take a hard look at where each area stands, and be honest about what could change. At first glance, are you truly giving off the impression you want?

Times are tough, but it’s an opportunity to pause, reflect and rethink the way you do business.

Nicole Salazar illustrates new web-based application BLEWID for 360 MAGAZINE.

BLEWID

A NEW WAVE SPACE FOR EVERY RACE.

You either ‘blewid out the water’ or you didn’t.

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Naz “ItsNastyNaz” Saleh

TikTok, a phone app allowing users to share fun videos of singing, dancing and skits, has taken the world by storm, and Naz “Itsnastynaz” Saleh is its megastar.

Saleh, or “Itsnastynaz” on TikTok, was a completely ordinary fast food worker yet a complete anomaly. He was born on April 27, 1997, in Bronx, New York, and raised by his Yemeni-descendant parents looking for a better life for their kids. When he turned 12, he started working 12 hours per day, seven days per week. Saleh hit rock bottom when excessive bullying made him drop out of high school, but things changed.

Saleh went from working in fast food to being a man who enjoys all luxuries of life, but what made Naz Saleh who he is today?

It all started when Saleh was watching a YouTube video and a Musical.ly ad popped up. He saw the famous Baby Ariel. The video made him laugh and think he could do it even better than she could if he gave it a try. That was the turning point in his life. He started performing more skits with his brother in his workplace. He became an overnight success when the third video he uploaded was viewed 5 million times, and it didn’t stop there. The video spread like wildfire and was featured on news channels internationally.

His audience skyrocketed to over 6 million followers. He was awarded the “Popular Creator” badge by TikTok after his videos broke the internet and were viewed between 100 million and 350 million times.

That’s when he quit his 84-hour-per-week job to focus full time on his TikTok career. He now sits at 13 million followers.

Saleh is now known as “The Most Generous Man in New York” after filming himself giving food and money to homeless people. His videos also caught the attention of the government, giving some of those homeless people the option to go to rehab. Many said goodbye to their previous lives and moved toward a path of happiness.

Following his quick ascent, Saleh signed deals with iconic brands such as What Do You Meme? and Fashion Nova. He even received sponsorship deals from apps on the Apple App Store. He went from working in fast food to making seven figures and driving luxury cars all in a day’s work.

Though he has found success on TikTok, life isn’t always easy for Saleh. He receives many hateful comments online.

When asked how he deals with hateful comments, Saleh said, “Receiving so much hate can be heart-breaking and really demotivating. It used to have really bad effects on my mindset and my happiness until I realized making skits, helping people and making others happy is my safe place, and no one can make me feel bad about that.”

He admits sudden fame can be a bit overwhelming, but Saleh tries to remain positive, using his power to spread as much love and happiness as he can.

Bodega Picture

Shark illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Mike Tyson Vs Shark

This year’s Shark Week may be the biggest and craziest yet – with plenty of celebrity hosts including Shaq, Mike Tyson, and Rob Gronkowski. Although Mike Tysons’s comeback against Roy Jones Jr was postponed, fans can still see Tyson in action fighting a shark. The shark fight became the number one topic of discussion yesterday, according to international social media analytics firm Talkwalker. 

Mike Tyson was mentioned 1,300 times yesterday, but the event itself – dubbed “Rumble” – with the shark was mentioned 92,400 times. So combined, the Tyson event was mentioned 93,700 times, almost exclusively between 4 and 8 p.m. and representing approximately 60 percent of the total conversation, Talkwalker reports.

Overall, there were nearly 140,000 mentions of Shark Week over a 24-hour period, generating 188,000 engagements, including 100,000 mentions between 4 and 8 p.m. yesterday (Sunday).

For comparative perspective, in the NBA yesterday, Portland played the Philadelphia 76ers at around that same time. That game generated just 19,300 mentions and 36,000 engagements.

The most engaging tweet came from Mike Tyson, garnering 1.9 million views, and more than 26,000 engagements

Demographics show that the Shark Week audience (or at least the engaged online audience) is mostly male: with 86 percent of the social audience, Talkwalker reports. In addition, 50 percent the total social audience tweeting about Shark Week (male and female) are between the ages of 25-34. They are employed parents, holding job titles like executive manager, analyst, scientist or engineer. Their interests range from art to parenting, reading and literature, sports and of course animals. Also, 7.3 percent of the people tweeting about Shark Week mention sports as an interest, compared to only 6.9 percent who list animals as an interest.

Shark Week specific commercials, such as this event specific ad from Geico demonstrate that the event is a big endeavor and worthy of special creative.

The event was also a big win for non-profit group OCEANA who had some of the most mentions for a brand. Other top brands were of course the Discovery Channel, Twitter, and Fortnite. 

For some though the brand feeding frenzy has made them yearn for a simpler time when Shark Week was all about the sharks.

Talkwalker is a social listening and analytics company that empowers over 2,000 brands and agencies to optimize the impact of their communication efforts. We provide companies with an easy-to-use platform to protect, measure, and promote their brands worldwide, across all communication channels.

Talkwalker’s state-of-the-art social media analytics platform uses AI-powered technology to monitor and analyze online conversations in real-time across social networks, news websites, blogs and forums in 187 languages. Talkwalker has offices in New York, Luxembourg, San Francisco, Frankfurt, and Singapore. It is also the home of Talkwalker Alerts, a free alerting service used by over 500,000 communications and marketing professionals worldwide.

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Rise of Influencers and Success Tips

By Krishan Narsinghani

Over the course of the past few years, we’ve seen the term “influencer” unfold into a new category of jobs within the market. Influencers are essentially tastemakers of a certain genre that work prominently via digital platforms to shape a certain trend or lifestyle. We’ve seen influencers on social media, but it also stems further to where creators first started on YouTube and bloggers online.

We’ve even see influencers like ChadGoesDeep fight for influencer rights within the LA community, and reinforcing the fact that it’s a leading industry that hasn’t been been looked at properly in today’s society. Traackr, an influencer management platform, claims that seventy-two percent of notable brands dedicate a strong portion of their marketing spends to influencers.

With the rise of apps like TikTok (which claim they aren’t going anywhere in the US), the most downloaded app on the App Store, teens seem to become millionaires through quick viral moments that in return start a brand for themselves. Now we see influencers in the realms of food, auto, tech, music, fashion, travel and everything in-between. Cultivating your passion through social media can open more doors than you’d think.

Figuring out the algorithm has been a mystery to all. Here are some key tips to remember. Posts tend to do better in the morning/afternoon. Make sure your photos and videos are high res and collect post of your engagement on Instagram during the first to ensure it’s position towards the top of your fans’ feeds. Most importantly in today’s society, influencers need to curate original contest that is authentic. TikTok posts spark vitality with relatable or authentic content that distinguishes itself from all other platforms. It’s suggested to start posting on Triller as well.

With the overflow of new creator platforms and digital agencies, it can be hard to filter with are trustworthy and legit. Try using top choice platforms like Intellifluence that provides opportunities for all people regardless of the size of your social media accounts. If you’re wanting to learn more about how to connect with your audience while looking behind the scenes at an influencer’s creative process, check out this article from the The Drum.

More on Intellifluence:

Our exclusive network is comprised of trusted Influencers in a wide variety of niches – including entertainment. From industry veterans to up and coming social media stars, you’ll find the perfect Influencers for your entertainment campaign. Whether you are in music, film, literature or any other category, you’ll be able to use our Discover tool to search our entire network and collaborate with the best personalities available that are ready and waiting to promote your product or service!

Trump Banning Tik Tok

By Eamonn Burke

President Trump announced Friday night that he plans to ban the social media sensation TikTok, calling it a “severance” from the Chinese-owned app.

“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told officials aboard his Air Force One flight in Tampa. “I can do it with an executive order or [emergency economic powers].”

This comes after TikTok has been accused of being a security threat from China, with whom tensions are currently high. ByteDance, the app’s parent company, has been accused of giving American users’ information to the country. Meanwhile, a Tik Tok spokesman assures that they are committed to their users’ privacy, saying that “TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access.”

The app could be saved from legal issues if the rumored acquisition by Microsoft comes to fruition. The two companies have had discussion and the deal is allegedly in the works, although Trump has voiced opposition to it.

The creators of Tik Tok have also reacted to the ban, and to the ongoing concern for data privacy on the app. One influencer, 18 year old Josh Richards is leaving the app due to the privacy issues after amassing more than 20 million followers on the app. He announces that he will transfer to rival app Triller instead, whose investors include Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and fellow Tik Tok stars like Griffin Johnson and Noah Beck. Other stars are simply just saying goodbye to the app in recent posts.

Graph illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Economic Devastation From Uncoordinated Reopenings

New, peer-reviewed research published today by the Social Analytics Lab at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows the devastating cost of the current chaotic and uncoordinated reopening of states and cities across the US. The study, which used data from mobile phones, network connections through social media and census data, estimates that total welfare is reduced dramatically when reopening is not coordinated among states and regions.

The study showed, for example, that the contact patterns of people in a given region are significantly influenced by the policies and behaviors of people in other, sometimes distant regions. In one finding, it showed that when just one third of a state’s social and geographic peer states adopt shelter in place policies, it creates a reduction in mobility equal to the state’s own policy decisions. When states fail to coordinate in the presence of spillovers as large as those detected in the analyses, total welfare is reduced by almost 70 percent. 

As federal, state and local governments continue opening businesses and relaxing shelter-in-place orders nationwide, policymakers are doing so without quantitative evidence on how policies in one region affect mobility and social distancing in other regions. And while some states are coordinating on COVID policy at the level of “mega regions,” most, unfortunately are not. This lack of coordination will have devastating effects on efforts to control COVID-19, according to the study.

“There have been many calls for a coordinated national pandemic response in the U.S. and around the world, but little hard evidence has quantified this need,” said Sinan Aral, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and a corresponding author of the study. “When we analyzed the data, we were shocked by the degree to which state policies affected outcomes in other states, sometimes at great distances. Travel and social influence over digital media make this pandemic much more interdependent than we originally thought.” “Our results suggest an immediate need for a nationally coordinated policy across states, regions and nations around the world,” he added.

Governors from all states and territories will convene virtually for the Summer meeting of The National Governor’s Association on August 5. The MIT study not only assesses the impact of an uncoordinated reopening, but also gives governors a map with which to coordinate in the absence of national guidance. The research shows for all fifty states, which states affect each other the most and thus maps the states that should be coordinating. These maps are sometimes surprising because, as a result of digital social media, each state’s success with social distancing is impacted by the policy decisions not just of geographically proximate states, but also of socially connected, but geographically distant states. For instance, Florida’s social distancing was most affected by New York implementing a shelter-in-place policy due to social media influence and travel between the states, despite their physical distance. New Hampshire had a strong influence on adjacent Massachusetts, despite being a small state.

As the Governor’s Association convenes, this research highlights the need for states across the country to coordinate, even if they are not near one another and the results suggest which states should be coordinating with which other states based on the strength of the spillovers between them.

Follow MIT Sloan School of Management: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Computer Scams illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Craigslist Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Avoiding the Most Common Craigslist Scams

When you ask people if they’ve heard of Craigslist, the answer is invariable “yes.” Not surprising, as the selling portal is active in more than 70 countries. But what people don’t realize is that craigslist takes in over $1 Billion in revenue each year, but there are only 50 employees in the company! That’s due to the fact that the buyers and sellers on craigslist do all of the work.

But what most people don’t know is people use craigslist to scam others out of merchandise, data and money. Never has “buyer beware” been more important to follow than it has on craigslist. So what are some of the things that you need to watch out for? Let’s look at some of the most common scams.

Big Ticket – Big Scam

If you’re looking to purchase a big-ticket item, like a car or even a house, and the seller doesn’t ask for a credit check before engaging in a transaction, stop! The seller is just trying to get your financial information and will take your money and disappear. Buyer beware on this because without question, this is a scam.

Something to remember: the Internet and social media have the unique identity to mask the identity of the person you’re dealing with, so even though they give you a name or email address, you have to verify that it’s true. Start with Nuwber, an easy-to-use online tool that will verify the true identity of the person you’re communicating with, simply by entering his or her phone number or other pertinent info. Once you’ve received their true identity, if the person whom you’re dealing with is not who they say they are, end all communication immediately. The person is a cybercrook and scam artist and they’re only out to rob you anyway they can. 

Here’s another tip: if someone would prefer to call you rather than text or email you, watch out. They want your phone number in order to gain access to additional data and information, so never give out your number. Always use Google Voice to make or receive phone calls, because it lets you use a phone number that is totally different from your own. And always use craigslist’s proxy email to avoid revealing your own.

Avoid Wire Transfers

A sure giveaway to a scam is when the seller asks you to use a wire transfer to pay for merchandise. This provides an opportunity for the cybercrook to steal your financial data or your money without ever sending any merchandise! Avoid wire transfers. If you do want to use PayPal, use the website to get a link – never use one that’s provided to you by the seller. They’ll simply send you to a spoof site where they can access all the account information you enter.  

By following these simple tips to protect yourself, you should be able to buy and sell using craigslist without any problems.

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