Weekly Social Pulse, Week of 8/28

RIP Mosquito: This one hits close to home for us Minnesotans. A Twitter user had his account permanently deactivated for angrily gloating over the corpse of a mosquito he had killed. The user had tweeted the following in Japanese: “Bastard! Where do you get off biting me all over while I’m just trying to relax and watch TV? Die! (Actually you’re already dead).” Cyberbullying and online abuse is a huge problem for Twitter, who recently announced it would increase action against abusive accounts 10x over last year. We’re guessing their AI moderators flagged the account based on the combination of words like “bastard” and “die.” (LINK)


Netflix-branded Weed: This week the streaming giant partnered with a pop-up dispensary in West Hollywood, Calif. to promote its new series, Disjointed. The promotion featured 12 strains of marijuana based on 10 Netflix shows, including Disjointed, Orange Is the New Black and Mystery Science 3000. The dispensary sold over a hundred jars of the Netflix marijuana (or roughly a pound), and although Netflix didn’t actually touch the pot, the stunt created an international news cycle that filled our feeds with munchie-fueled jealousy. (LINK)


Meme of the Week: A man walks down a city street with his girlfriend, head turned backward, ogling a woman walking the other direction. This is the “distracted boyfriend” stock photo, an image that launched a thousand memes. The meme has been remixed to make statements on things like dogsJessie’s Girlsolar eclipse, and even some brands have gotten into it – like Penguin Random House. Wired tracked down the stock photographer to get his take on the history of the photo. Which came from a photo shoot looking to create “infidelity concept in relationships in a playful and fun way.” Because that’s a thing. (LINK)

Are We Talkin’ PSLs Now, or Nah? In an attempt to capitalize on the inevitable social buzz that accompanies peak pumpkin season, companies have been releasing their pumpkin offerings earlier and earlier each year. It’s a delicate move, because launching too early reeks of greed and launching too late, well, won’t have that intended “buzz-driving” effect. One thing’s for certain though, people are still digging pumpkin. Sales of pumpkin products, are still growing year-over-year (though the rate is beginning to taper). Happy Halloween? (LINK)


Hurricane #FAKENEWS:  We all know social media can be incredibly helpful during natural disasters for organizing aid efforts and letting friends and family in on your whereabouts. However, it’s also when madness ensues, boys cry “Wolf!” and #FAKENEWS imagery is spread. Next time you’re wondering if there really is a shark in the streets of Houston, save the image and take it to Tineye or Google Image Search. Either of those will confirm or debunk the image in question. (LINK)