Sunnier Side Of Home Office – August 19, 2020

"It’s an unabashedly sex-positive banger coming from two of rap’s most exciting female stars, with a gloriously over-the-top, cameo-filled music video to boot."

- Billboard article on Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's No. 1 hit song "WAP". Fans love it, conservatives hate it, all the while setting a new record for first-week streams with 93 million in the U.S.

Snapchat Shifts Sharing
By: Jessica Bedussi 

More time at home has led many people to try home workouts, bake sourdough, or pick up a new hobby. But for many others (*takes a look in the mirror*) it’s led to a significant increase in screen time. As a result of this additional time spent on devices, social platforms have all seen an uptick in usage. 

One platform in particular who has benefited from this is TikTok. With a mix of short content, a never-ending scroll, and an engaged user base the app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times. A novel feature of the app that’s aided in its virality is the ability to download content and share seamlessly across platforms. Taking away the requirement of watching solely within the app has allowed content to reach larger masses. 

Now, Snapchat follows suit in an attempt to maintain and grow its user base (up 17 percent year-over-year). The platform announced it will allow users to share Snapchat content outside of the app. This will include “original shows, content from its Discover partners and celebrity Snapchats.” While this is a big step to getting more impressions on content (and hopefully more users), the shared links will redirect people back into the app in order to watch content. 

As shelter-in-place continues to extend, social platforms must shift strategies in order to maintain the influx of new users. 

Call of Duty: Twitch: 1, US Military: 0
By: Jiho Chung 

In efforts to recruit Gen Z to the military, the Army and Navy turned their attention to the very popular live streaming medium known as Twitch. The idea of active military members broadcasting themselves on Twitch, playing well-liked first-person shooter titles like “Call of Duty: Warzone” and “Counterstrike,” and befriending potential recruits all seemed like the perfect basis to enlist the next wave of soldiers especially during a pandemic. However, their presence has had an adverse effect on the platform’s audience, who’ve been banned (a total of 467 accounts) due to their anonymous complaints about war crimes in the military’s virtual channels. 

As it turns out, these bans by both the Army and Navy weren’t justified as rights groups and lawmakers have pointed out that it was rather unconstitutional to block one’s viewpoint in public forums especially when targeting a high number of potentially underaged users. (For background, Twitch doesn’t verify ages of those watching their streaming content.) Furthermore, on July 22, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez filed for a draft amendment for a bill to stop federal funding of military presence on Twitch.

And though the bill didn’t pass, the Army has since unbanned said accounts and returned back to streaming despite still drawing backlash from the Twitch community especially when it came under scrutiny that they were also attracting registrants through electronic giveaways earlier in July. Much like the lawmakers who wanted to regulate Facebook in 2018, this was a campaign that the military wasn’t prepared for or simply just understood despite its firepower.

According to a recent Pew Research study, 69% Americans see pressure, rather than genuine concern, as big factor in company statements about race or racial inequality.