Freelance writing: An article recently published


I’m trying to get as much writing experience as possible so I recently submitted articles for publication. This article was published on Yahoo! Voices.

Facebook Content Filters

Facebook pages sometime contain inappropriate and offensive content. Although it is open to individuals as young as 13 years of age, much of the content is certainly not child friendly. Facebook does have a minimum age requirement but it seems that there is no way to truly verify the age of subscribers. Most of us know people who have violated the age requirement policy.
Social networks have much to offer people who want to share information with many people at the same time. It’s much easier and quicker than writing email. It’s much more personal and the next best thing to actually being right there among your friends and family. Social networks even offer free opportunities to promote a product or a small business. Let’s face it, Facebook is fun and it’s addictive, but is it appropriate for children, teenagers, or even for adults who want to avoid the temptation to view the so-called “adult only” content?

Parental Control Software

Concerned parents monitor their children on the Internet. They even take measures to block web content by installing software, such as Netnanny. However, these monitoring software programs do not filter searches done through Facebook. Anyone can type keywords into the search bar to access hundreds of pages containing inappropriate material ranging from vulgar or profane language to explicit, even partially nude photos. Facebook does not currently have any built-in content filters other than allowing users to report offensive material posted.

Suggestions

The problem is not only with exposing minors to offensive content. Many adults would prefer to be able to browse and search pages on Facebook without finding themselves caught in a web of temptation.

Perhaps incorporating content filters into the site would eliminate a large part of this problem. Users could then choose settings to allow or block particular pages or types of content. Another option would be to charge for posting or accessing those type pages.

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Mind the Gap weekly writing challenge: Animated GIFs: Highschool hijinks or polictical cartoons of the new millenium


This is not a topic that I would typically choose to write about because it’s not a topic that I’ve ever given any real thought to — but since I’m wanting experience at Freelance writing, I figured, why not at least share my opinion.

Luckily this week’s writing challenge was on a topic that I do somewhat understand. I know what a GIF is and I know that people have been creating them and posting them on the Internet since the 80’s.  It’s popular today to “recycle” or to “repurpose” things so I guess it’s no different for old school forms of media.

Are GIFs art? Yes GIFs are a form of expressive art. People use them as their personal avatars on forums to express their personality. However, at times it does make one question what this person is trying to say about themselves. Some that I’ve seen on sports forums that my husband reads, I would not want to repost here but here are a view that I saw today acrobat.gif,   EchoTiger.gif,  sprinter.gif, and this one is the avatar for one member on a local sports forum but it also expresses how I feel when doing grad school research papers.

In answer to the question for this week’s writing assignment: “Are animated GIFs the stuff of junior highschool hijinks or, are they the political cartoons of the new millenium?”  I personally feel that GIFs are the stuff of junior highschool hijinks. There is no real talent in creating a GIF. Most anyone can put a few images together to make one– just search Youtube. Having said that, it does seem that GIFs have also become the political cartoons of the new millenium. Many of the animated images posted during the election campaign were entertaining and made the reader focus on specific points of the article or story using the GIF image.

Cinemagraphs (animated GIFs) are not only being used to recap political debates but are also a big part of  promoting various products. Although, I find many of the amateur GIFs very annoying and juvenile; some of those used for advertisements are very well done and are eye-catching, such as this ad for Coke tumblr_m8i6rmeQDH1r49l3lo1_500.gif and these posted on Buzzfeed.

Although, it may seem that GIFs are a thing of the past. It seems that the media has breathed new life into an old school technique and many companies, and web sites are making use of animated GIFs in very creative and effective ways.

Here’s a GIF that I created quickly for the purpose of this blog post. This is a series of 3 photos and NO, I was not abusing my hubby… just brushing something from his face… honestly, that’s all I was doing.

fyw8n9 on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif