FACE­BOOK POSTS/STO­RIES MAK­ING MA­JOR BUZZ DUR­ING THE MONTH OF JUNE:

ArabAd - - SOCIAL SPHERE -

Me­la­nia Trump, wife of Repub­li­can Party pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump, came un­der heavy social me­dia fire when it turned out that parts of her speech at the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion were strik­ingly sim­i­lar to Michelle Obama's speech at the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion in 2008. The pla­gia­rism case was quickly picked up by Face­book users who rushed to share a video show­ing the two speeches against each other as ev­i­dence. Trump’s cam­paign de­nied the speech pla­gia­rism al­le­ga­tions but this even­tu­ally did not stop the stream of dis­ap­prov­ing sta­tuses and com­ments that fol­lowed.

Out of all the pho­tos that sur­faced online in the af­ter­math of the Nice truck at­tack, a haunt­ing pic­ture of an aban­doned doll ly­ing next to a cov­ered body that was taken by Reuters pho­tog­ra­pher Eric Gail­lard went vi­ral on social me­dia. And while the body has not been iden­ti­fied to date, the heart­break­ing image was widely shared by Face­book users world­wide fol­low­ing the tragic in­ci­dent and has come to sym­bol­ise the sense­less tragedy of the at­tack, which re­sulted in the death of ten chil­dren on Bastille Day in ad­di­tion to 74 other vic­tims and left count­less peo­ple wounded.

An­other story re­lated to the Nice at­tacks in­volved MTV Lebanon an­chor and founder of Bic Aswad Jerry Ghazal who hap­pened to be present among the crowd cel­e­brat­ing Bastille Day on the Prom­e­nade des Anglais in Nice at the time of the at­tack. Ghazal il­lus­trated his trau­ma­tis­ing

ex­pe­ri­ence through a touch­ing sta­tus that was posted to his Face­book page (Bic Aswad) on the morn­ing of July 15. The post earned count­less in­ter­ac­tions and was shared over 200 times in the span of 24 hours.

On July 10, a 16-year-old girl was drugged and gang-raped by three dif­fer­ent young men in Lebanon’s north­ern Koura dis­trict. News of the tragedy spread across social me­dia overnight as lo­cal Face­book went on to voice their in­dig­na­tion by shar­ing a photo of the three as­sailants that sur­faced online shortly af­ter the in­ci­dent and a num­ber of cor­re­spond­ing ar­ti­cles in­clud­ing a blog post ti­tled “A 16-Year-old Girl Was Gang Raped... And Peo­ple Still Blamed Her” that was pub­lished on lo­cal life­style web­site Beirut.com, earn­ing over 170 shares.

Sev­eral in­stances per­tain­ing to sex­ist cov­er­age of the Olympics were raised across a num­ber of ar­ti­cles that were heav­ily shared/com­mented on by Face­book users over the past month. One of them in­volved Hun­gar­ian swim­mer Katinka Hosszu who broke the world record in the 400m in­di­vid­ual med­ley but in­stead of be­ing cel­e­brated for her Olympic achieve­ment, was over­shad­owed by her hus­band Shane Tusup whom NBC sports­caster Dan Hicks deemed to be “the man re­spon­si­ble” for her gold medal. The re­mark sparked out­rage among social me­dia users who started to be more aware of sta­tis­ti­cally doc­u­mented gen­der dif­fer­ences in sports cov­er­age.

With her funny faces and mem­o­rable at­ti­tude, Chi­nese swim­mer Fu Yuan­hui be­came one of the In­ter­net’s favourite ath­letes from the Rio Olympics. But her big­gest mo­ment came af­ter she be­came one of the first Olympic ath­letes ever to talk about her men­strual cy­cle which re­mains a ta­boo sub­ject in sports cul­ture. The swim­mer was in­ter­viewed by a CCTV re­porter along­side her team­mates right af­ter com­pet­ing in the 4x100m re­lay. “My pe­riod came last night and I’m re­ally tired right now. But this isn’t an ex­cuse, I still did not swim as well as I should,” she told the re­porter, be­com­ing the talk of both main­stream me­dia and Face­book users on Au­gust 15.

Be­sides win­ning four gold medals in this year’s Rio Olympics, Amer­i­can artis­tic gym­nast Si­mon Biles had her ul­ti­mate In­ter­net mo­ment when she fi­nally got to meet her long-time celebrity crush Zac Efron af­ter he flew down to Rio spe­cially to sur­prise her and her team­mates af­ter they were done with their in­di­vid­ual com­pe­ti­tions. Pho­tos and videos of the en­counter quickly spread across the In­ter­net and were widely shared and com­mented on by Face­book users world­wide, lead­ing to full-fledged melt­down over the cute­ness of the pair, which ex­changed a cou­ple tweets to­wards the be­gin­ning of the sum­mer Olympics that paved the way for the im­promptu en­counter later on.

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