Lauren Bickford

MEMO: Fast Food Industry Insights Using Crimson Hexagon

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Dear Matthew,

I am writing to inform you of the fast food social media landscape. I am using Crimson Hexagon software, which allows me to search a number of platforms for keywords and compile a report with various analytics. In this report, I have used the following keywords: (@tacobell OR "taco bell" OR tacobell) OR @jackbox OR (@mcdonalds OR #mcdonalds) OR @KFC, across Twitter, between the dates of 1/1/16 to 12/6/16. From the keywords used you can see that I will be focusing on the social media related to Taco Bell, Jack In The Box, McDonald’s and KFC.

Across the above dates, there was a total volume of 3,550,528 posts on Twitter. Volume peaked on February 7th, 2016 with a volume of 41,035 total posts on that day, and there was another peak on November 3rd, 2016 with a volume 36,310 total posts. Below is the volume of posts across the specified time, with the two highest peaks in February and November visible.


From this, I can conclude that McDonald’s is dominating the conversation not only in volume of posts, but in top mentions, and in top hashtags. The second most used hashtag, #mPLACES is also related to McDonald’s, with #mPLACES being a promotional hashtag where customers check into a restaurant location using the hashtag and are able donate to the Ronald McDonald House Charity. #mPLUSPlaces is a similar promotion used by Taco Bell and KFC customers.

The Fight for Expression: French Cartoonists and Muslims in France

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In this social conflict, the French cartoonists and the Muslims living in France have competing narratives to which a new chapter is told through varying writing forms and styles. The usual rigidity and structure of journalism offers an unbiased, third person perspective of an event. And as with every story, the pursuit of freedom of expression for these two groups has two sides that must be told. Jon Fasman’s article “Charlie Hebdo and PEN: Free all speech” sheds light on both groups’ pursuit of expression and details the way in which Charlie Hebdo’s controversial actions have caused other writers and artists to rethink what they deem appropriate and commendable expression. Despite publishing cartoons that are seen by many as “insulting, juvenile, and crude,” the PEN American Center, an organization of writers founded to defend free expression, awarded Charlie Hebdo the Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression and Courage Award following the 2015 attacks (Fasman). Six writers who planned to attend the award ceremony withdrew from the event and 29 more signed an open letter questioning the association’s ideals of courage in light of how offensive and inflammatory their cartoons have been for Muslims in France and around the world.

Online Harassment and Feeding the Trolls

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For those unlucky enough to be the victim of Internet trolls, is it the victim’s job to find the person behind the screen and make them understand their wrong doings? This question is at the crux of Lafrance’s article, and the answer is as complex as the nature of trolling. Successful trolling often means eliciting a response from a target, and Lafrance’s article weight the pros and cons of feeding the trolls and how doing so can result in positive actions. In Lindy West’s case, her perpetrator sought her out to apologize, but it was her willingness to listen and forgive him that was truly the biggest step toward breaking down her relationship between her and her Internet trolls. While trolls insist on and celebrate anonymity, the affordances of anonymity often clash with their offline circumstances (Phillips 24). It is in this rare space, where a troll is embarrassed by the real world implications of his/her online actions, that trolls realize the Internet is real life and “the boundary between the civilized world and our worst selves is just an illusion (This American Life).