Sunnier Side Of The Home Office – October 21, 2020

"Y'all know the answer is always Pratt."

- Twitter user responding to the question who is the worst Hollywood Chris. Chris Pratt took the lead over Chris Evans, Chris Pine, and Chris Hemsworth. Pratt's Marvel co-stars quickly came to his defense, though we all know his Marvel character Star-Lord was the worst. 

AOC, Twitch & Tiktok: One Woman’s Very Viral Week
By: Emily Menken

The campaign trail looks different now. Candidates are avoiding travel and crowds, opting for efforts like virtual town halls and digital fundraising events. The latest political “event” to make headlines: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Twitch livestream. The “Among Us” stream is now the 3rd most-watched stream by an individual, peaking at 440,000 viewers. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a dedicated Gen-Z cult following, the segment is more progressive, green-leaning, and diverse than their predecessors. According to Mother Jones, AOC’s Twitch livestream makes sense considering that some of the largest Twitch streamers are “liberals or leftists like Young Turks host Hasan Piker, who has almost 600,000 subscribers, BadBunny, who has over 150,000 subscribers, and Destiny with over 550,000 subscribers”. Meanwhile, YouTube is where conservative pundits like Ben Shapiro and Steven Crowder host shows.

The livestream’s purpose was to get out the vote to viewers, encouraging them to register to and participate in the 2020 election. On the stream, AOC’s demonstration of technology-savvy adaptability underscored how plugged in she is to Gen-Z culture. Her reputation as a down-to-earth woman-of-the-people was strengthened.

Meanwhile, an AOC sound clip is going viral on TikTok. TikTokkers are using the sound of AOC refusing misogyny, transforming themselves in a celebration of her 31st birthday. The trend is especially prevalent on “Makeup TikTok”, with users dorning red lipstick and black blazers in homage to AOC’s classic look.

Handle with Care
By: Jiho Chung 

With Amazon doubling its Q2 profits (to an estimated $5.2 billion) compared to last year due to COVID-19, online shopping is only expected to intensify as we head into the holiday season. And although consumers are becoming slowly more comfortable with shopping outdoors, many prefer to purchase online with advantages of comparison shopping, convenient return policies, and a plethora of reviews to guide purchases. However, a recent report by Fakespot, a prominent content monitoring analytics company, stated that 42% of 720 million Amazon reviews were found unreliable from March through September, up 36% from last year.

Although Amazon refutes that Fakespot cannot concretely determine the validity of a review since the company doesn’t have access to Amazon’s proprietary data such as product history, Fakespot was able to spot fraudulent activity even within Amazon’s Vine program of selected and most trusted reviewers, in which one user claimed to have reviewed 1,348 products. Its competitor ReviewMeta has also seen considerable rises in bogus reviews with online shopping retail giants, Amazon and Walmart, during COVID-19 citing Amazon’s One Tap Reviews as a culprit, which allows Amazon users to quickly assess a product (zero through five stars) without commenting or profile verification like before, which has led to rising cases of abuse.

As consumers will continue to lean on online reviews to influence their purchases this holiday season, the growing number of fake reviews warrants one to source products locally and continue to survey online options with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Instagram Plans to Crackdown on #SponCon
By: Natalie Chaney

It’s no secret that the FTC and Social Platforms have been cracking down on #SponCon since the (dumpster) fyre festival. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 91% of millennials say they trust online reviews as much as their friends and family.

With the vast majority of those putting their full trust in influencers, it’s incredibly important for both the influencers, social platforms, and brands alike to ensure proper disclosure of what is and isn’t #Sponsored content in order to protect consumers. 

Though the FTC mandates that influencers must disclose a relationship within the post using sponsored/ad or similar terminology (or by using the Sponsored Post feature), a recent study has shown that “more than three quarters of influencer promotions on Instagram hide the #ad or #sponsored disclosure below the main caption.”

Based on this new information, Instagram plans to tackle the issue both from a monitoring perspective as well as directly with the users:

  •  A new prompt that requires influencers to confirm whether or not they received incentives for a post. 

  • A new algorithm to detect potential advertising content. 

Though it’s unclear when these changes will be taking place, it’s worth it to take a look at your influencer marketing to ensure you’re adhering to all requirements prior to the new push.

When New York jeweler Harry Winston donated the famous Hope Diamond – all 45.52 carats of it – to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., he chose a familiar, trusted carrier to transport the jewel: the Post Office Department. “It’s the safest way to mail gems,” Winston told The Evening Star (Washington, D.C.). “I’ve sent gems all over the world that way.”

On November 8, 1958, he sent the precious stone via registered, First-Class Mail, from New York City to the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The postage cost him $2.44, plus $142.85 for $1 million worth of insurance.

On November 10, Letter Carrier James G. Todd picked up the diamond at the City Post Office and drove to the Natural History building. He entered by a side door, took the elevator to the Gem Room, and delivered the package to Leonard Carmichael, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Todd admitted to being a little "shaky," according to a story in The Washington Post the next day, not because of the diamond’s value or reputed curse but because he was unused to so much attention when he did his job. (Source