Current Event Friday #103

If you find fame, be clear with your fans in case that fame disappears

If you haven’t heard, podcasts are a thing and so many have their favorites. For those that are unfamiliar, podcasts are an episodic audio program hosted by pseudo-celebrities, celebrities, and experts in a particular field. One such podcast got more attention than they planned on this week and that’s today’s topic of discussion for #CurrentEventFriday.

Call Her Daddy" Host Sofia Franklyn Is Accusing Alex Cooper Of ...
Call Her Daddy with Hosts Alex Cooper (L) and Sofia Franklyn (R)

Call Her Daddy is a weekly podcast hosted by two young women on the Barstool Sports platform. The Hosts Sofia Franklyn and Alex Cooper discuss their personal lives and how to make it as sexually-liberated millennial women. Their frank discussions endeared them to many people who were already fans of Barstool Sports’ unconventional and irreverent platform geared to Millennial and Generation Z audiences.

Surprisingly for those fans, the hosts had been silent on their platform since late March. Many thought maybe it was part of shelter at home orders in New York, but the duo posted on their social media accounts that they were being bound by Barstool Sports not to speak about their situation but they would address their fans called “The Daddy Gang” when it was permissible. Shortly after that post, the hosts encouraged their fans to purchase “free the fathers” apparel to help them while they weren’t recording and restricted by Barstool Sports.

Inside Barstool Sports' Culture of Online Hate: 'They Treat Sexual ...
Dave Portnoy, founder and President of Barstool Sports

Late Sunday though, the president of Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy revealed on the Call Her Daddy Podcast that the hosts were not recording because they had been attempting to gain leverage with Barstool Sports based on their success.

Most would understand that the hosts would be entitled to their belief and the compensation would be given as part of contract negotiations with their employer given their success from the time they had signed a contract to be part of Barstool Sports platform. Yet, the Call Her Daddy women were not honoring their contract and making demands that no other podcast on the platform enjoyed.

The sticking point seems to be that the hosts wanted the Intellectual Property (IP) of the show including the name if and when they moved to another platform. The IP had already been a sticking point when originally signing their contract. Portnoy maintained that the program was product created for Barstool sports in their employment and as such belonged to Barstool. The hosts’ own likenesses were able to be used without restriction, but since Barstool had secured advertising and promoted the program they deserved the IP of the program.

Portnoy also explained that Sofia Franklyn’s new boyfriend, Peter Nelson who is an executive with HBO had been shopping the podcast to a rival platform and hoped to cost Barstool Sports money. For Barstool Sports, they were willing to let the Call Her Daddy girls go after their contract was up, increase their salary, reduce the service time, and even give them the IP if they would honor the contract by continuing to host the podcast until the time was up. Call Her Daddy refused to accept the terms and stopped communicating with Barstool Sports executives. Portnoy maintains that eventually Alex Cooper contacted him and told him that ending the contract negotiation was Sofia’s idea and that Sofia would never sign the new contract or come back to the program. Cooper was willing to accept terms that guaranteed her $500,000 a year and finish the length of the contract.

Sofia Franklyn did address the topic on her personal Instagram and that she felt she was unfairly presented by Portnoy in his reveal. Also, surprisingly for the hosts the Daddy Gang that had felt that Barstool was being oppressive and in the wrong in March quickly turned on the hosts calling them spoiled and gold-diggers. Portnoy has also produced apparel mocking Sofia’s boyfriend using a nickname ‘Suitman” given his executive position at HBO. In addition, Portnoy has also superimposed his face into movie and television clips along with the girls and Nelson that includes Portnoy shaming or attacking the trio. Portnoy’s attacks in the clips are part of his promise to sue the duo if they don’t honor the contracts.

I’ll admit, I listen to several Barstool Sports podcasts, and am vaguely familiar with Call Her Daddy but I’m not surprised that Barstool Sports is coming out looking smart and generous in this. I’d also be interested to see if Alex does finish the contract and has a new co-host. It could find even more success and be a learning experience for her.

Dave Portnoy has also added to his own profile this week by questioning the wisdom of continued lockdowns and earned a retweet from Pres. Trump as well as an endorsement from Tesla & SpaceX’s Elon Musk for political office as Musk has seemingly realized that the woke left and Democrat government may not always be friendly to businesses. So, if you were wondering, yes, we are probably living in Bizarro World and that everything you thought you knew should be questioned.

Should the Call Her Daddy hosts been honest with their fans about the contract negotiations and accepted the terms of the new contract?

Current Event Friday #68

Tragedy in the gaming community

Another week is ending and that means #CurrentEventFriday on the blog. With that in mind, we’re looking at a tragic end to a young girl at the hands of a wholly misguided young man. So buckle up, because today’s topic is not for the faint of heart.

Bianca Devins was a 17-year-old girl from Upstate New York who had achieved a modest amount of fame on Instagram, Reddit, and gaming sites for her abilities with video gaming. Along with this popularity, Devins attracted male fans who were also attracted to Devins’s looks. One such fan believed that his relationship with Devins was more than casual fandom through social media and assigned romantic thoughts to himself and Devins.

Unfortunately for Devins, who met up with this 21-year-old male fan things took a shocking and violent turn. As the pair attended a concert last weekend, an argument ensured about whether the two were an item. Devins did not believe that she was in a romantic relationship with the fan, and that’s when he killed her. As if that was not horrible enough, the fan posted videos and photos on his Instagram and the gaming site Discord tagging Devins’s profile in the media. These graphic images included Devins’s corpse that the fanboy killer had tried to decapitate. As Devins’s body was found Sunday morning in a local park, the fanboy was arrested for her murder.

Admittedly, this is a hard entry to write for the sheer gruesome act being discussed, but also because I’m choosing to omit the fanboy killer’s name because he doesn’t deserve the fame or satisfaction of it being repeated. Several news outlets have not followed that guideline and the killer is getting his infamy and attention he wanted.

The whole episode calls into question what role social media plays with tragedies like this one. Many have objected that Instagram allowed the images posted by the killer to remain on the site before being taken down or obscured and that they should’ve been rejected outright. Other depraved individuals obtained screenshots from Discord and Instagram before the images were removed and began to solicit attention by offering to release them to other depraved individuals.

On a more human level with social media, a discussion is being fostered by female memeebrs of the gaming community and influencers on social media cites about Involuntary Celibates or Incels. The killer has been accused of being part of the incel community. Typically incels are insecure about their appearance and the prospect of dating desirable women. Incels attack women for friendzoning them and dating the more stereotypical attractive men, or ‘Chad’ as these incels term them.

I will freely admit that I probably drift dangerously close to the incel mentality and dislike being friendzoned, but usually this leads to my overthinking and depression rather than violent and hateful speech and actions. More social media savvy women have pointed out that the incel outrage is largely overwrought. Being nice to a woman does not necessarily translate to her choosing to date the man or engage in sex with him. Basically, being kind and decent shouldn’t be a prerequisite for more from a woman, it should be a standard for being a human being with no expectations of anything in return except maybe a smile or a thank you. Realizing all this, it’s best for guys to some degree be more transparent with their feelings with women early on if there’s an interest in the woman for more than friendship, so that clear boundaries are known before anyone gets hurt.

Added to this, guys should pay attention to women’s clear intentions when asked about their boundaries they are setting. If a woman indicates that she wants to remain friends respect that request. Devins and her killer had exchanged text messages that indicated that Devins was not interested in her killer and he clearly ignored the indications and acted according to his own thoughts regardless of the reality that was being communicated.

I get it, I have either gotten the direct rejection when I ask a girl if she’s interested, I’ve gotten the direct rejection of the block without the direct asking, and the indirect ignoring without my direct asking. What’s common in all of those rejecetions, I accepted the response and moved on. I didn’t try to persist, well I didn’t try to persist as much and moved on. I didn’t try to find the girl, arrange an in person meeting, attack, and then kill her. Of course that probably has to do with that I’m for all intents and purposes ‘normal’ or at least what passes for normal these days.

It’s also worth mentioning, unless you know someone in real life and not just on social media don’t meet up with them alone. Always bring along friends if you’re determined that you want to meet in person. If there’s not bad vibes when you meet up, then you can go from there. People are not 100% on the Internet who they are in real life. I’m much more snarky on social media than in real life. Social media, especially Twitter and Instagram are theatre and the people on those sites are actors whether they have the SAG card or not.

If you don’t believe my last point, here’s Brad Paisley to sing that point:

Is incel culture to blame or was the killer just a terrible person regardless?

History Monday #63

How 140 became part of today’s #HistoryMonday and a trending topic.

It’s time for another #HistoryMonday again. Using a hashtag in this introductory sentence is fitting given the event being discussed today.

On this day in 2006, the San Francisco-based podcasting company Odeo officially releases Twttr—later changed to Twitter—its short messaging service (SMS) for groups, to the public.

Image result for twitter

Originally a side project of Odeo, was created to make up for losses after Apple’s in-house podcast service threatened the podcast company. The founder of Odeo, Evan Williams tasked employees to design new applications or programs to replace the expected lost revenue. Jack Dorsey, part of this group came up with the concept of a service allowing users to share personal status updates via SMS to groups of people. By March of 2006, Odeo and the brainstorming group had created and named their new app—Twttr, in reference to the short quick sounds of birds and each status update being a tweet. The first ever tweet was sent by Dorsey “just setting up my twttr” on March 21. Eventually by July 15, 2006 the application was launched to the public.

Within six months after the launch, Twttr had become Twitter. As the website grew, its founders imposed a 140-character limit for messages, based on the maximum length of characters used in text messages at the time. Eventually, this was later expanded to 280 characters. Just a year after it’s public release, a Twitter employee introduces the hashtag (#) as a way to track trends on the burgeoning social network.

fast forward

Twitter would eventually grow to become one of the world’s top social networks, competing with the leader in the field—Facebook. Twitter’s first taste of success was first seen at the South By Southwest Conference in 2007 when users were encouraged to demonstrate the popularity and reach of the platform. Although Twitter users are substantially are substantially less than the 2 billion Facebook, it is still a source of breaking news and information, and especially appeals to younger users.

Somewhat, in contrast to the youth appeal is the company’s popularity with President Donald Trump who is outspoken on Twitter throughout his presidential campaign of and often tweets policy decisions, important announcements, and arguments during his administration (even yesterday Pres. Trump decided to take to Twitter and comment on the Democratic House in-fighting).

As politicians and political commentators have sought to use Twitter along with other social media companies, Twitter and Dorsey, now its CEO, the website faces pressure whether it is correctly and fairly policing content on its platform.

Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook?