Donut trashing & TikTok bashing

By: Samantha Puleo

(Snippet from Bryan Johnston’s viral TikTok video, where he shows how many donuts are thrown out each night. Image credit: Yahoo!News)

We all know and love the franchise Dunkin Donuts. Their donuts are classic and their coffee has always been a staple for people, especially in New England. Through the years we’ve come to the realization that Dunkins throws away any leftover donuts on its shelves by the end of each day, but this was never truly publicized within the media until, February of 2021. Where Dunkin’s employee, Bryan Johnston had gone viral for posting multiple videos of himself throwing away more than 300 donuts at the end of of his shifts on TikTok.

(A featured comment on one of the videos Bryan had posted, where it is requested that they be given to homeless people. Image credit: Bored Panda)

After posting this video, there were many demands in the comment section of the video requesting for these donuts to be sent to homeless shelters and questions of why Dunkin continuously throws away the leftovers each night? The main answer to this would be that it is company policy and if Dunkins were to freely distribute the donuts to these shelters and someone was to get sick from them, Dunkins could easily be sued. It may not sound like the best method of throwing away food but for the companies financial well-being this is the solution. If Dunkins was to send donuts to a homeless shelter it is said that they would have to create a specific program to do so. So, until this happens these left over donuts will be thrown out, whether the public agrees or disagrees.

(Bryan’s confirmation that he was fired from Dunkin, this was taken through Snapchat. Image credit: Bored Panda)

So what happened to Bryan after this occurred? Well, the corporate office of Dunkin found out about the videos and immediately ordered Bryan’s manager to fire him. Later, Bryan had started to buy from Krispy Kreme and give away to frontline healthcare workers. This I assume to be a retaliation against Dunkin. But this all begs two questions, was it ethical to fire him over this and does this show the public where Dunkin’s loyalty truly lies? A lot of people believe that it was indeed unethical to fire Bryan over this matter. In my opinion, it was definitely harsh in the eyes of someone who is not in the food industry, but thinking in terms of this industry, I have to agree with Dunkin’s actions. I think for them this is just a clear message of bad publicity. Also, by firing Bryan, this can be an example to other employees of what can happen to them if they exploit Dunkin’s policies. This then brings around the thought of Dunkin’s loyalties. I would definitely say that they have a clear loyalty to the self by immediately firing an employee that can potentially harm their brand. As for a loyalty to society, I’d say yes and no. On the yes side, they are technically still protecting people from getting sick from their leftover food, but also on the no side, they could be more proactive and try to create programs for feeding the homeless and discontinue this notion of them wasting food. Maybe this role situation just goes to show us that even when we think we are making a difference, we may actually be hurting ourselves.

Downplaying or “playing” it just right?

News reporting during the pandemic and the many ethical concerns.

Written by Trinh Ho

The Pandemic spread rampantly across the US and around the world in 2020.

It has been more than a year and a half since the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. As healthcare workers have been working tirelessly to combat the spread of the disease, journalists have also been at the forefront. Since everyone was forced to be home for an extensive amount of time last March, the need for accurate and factual data was needed more than ever. But as to any news that revolves around politics, the public or seemingly taking away “personal liberties” as Americans like to put it, different news outlets always have a way to fabricate messages to fit their various different demographics. The media’s role as a reputable source of health information has been called into question, with charges of misinformation and politics coming from both sides of the political spectrum. 

Death and different data points that involve people and diseases have long been a sensitive topic for the media to cover. In the US, where the media is plentiful and all have different opinions on different topics, news channel often leans toward their political affiliation. For example, during the first couple months of the pandemic, more left-leaning news fails to deliver the different data points that highlight the importance of containing the pandemic while on the other side, news coverage about the pandemic was widespread and sometimes even seem exaggerated. As the death and infection rates were rising, news channels like Fox News remains steadfast in “underplaying” the seriousness of the pandemic and choose to pick topics that don’t relate to the pandemic. This is how the rise of “fake news” during the pandemic has become mainstream. Turning our backs on the world’s worst public health disaster in almost a century has had far repercussions. It is unfortunate that some media outlets have influenced coverage of the pandemic based on their political affiliations. 

The pandemic gave us a different perspective on how we see the media. Since the public would only follow the news channel that aligns with their personal beliefs, the different opinions from the two major political parties splits the country in half. The obvious split has had some identifying a shift in how the public sees the power of the news. The repercussions of some conservative media’s persistent bad coverage of the pandemic are that attention is diverted away from a problem that is clearly out of control. You can get the misleading idea that the pandemic is going away and that the liberal media is making a big deal out of nothing if you get your news from certain websites. If you believe the epidemic will pass, you will be less inclined to conceal your face, which might save your life, the life of a loved one, or the life of someone else’s loved one. COVID-19 is unconcerned if you are a conservative, liberal, or neither; all that matters is that you are a human being.

Being somewhat of a 3rd party looking at the different media outlets and how they choose to report the pandemic, it is concerning that how a political outlook can sway the public away from the issues that need to be dealt with. 

If you watch Squid Game, don’t call the number shown in the series. Don’t be that guy.

Written by: Kara Haase

First off, I just want to start off and say there are no spoilers past this point, so continue to read soundly. Second off, I am going to raise the question to you, have you watched the series Squid Game? If not, I strongly advise you to. Squid Games is on its way to be the biggest Netflix show ever. It is definitely the biggest non-english show ever. Despite the show’s popularity there is some controversy circling the series.

Image Credit: Screenshot off Netflix

Imagine this. You’re going through your day and you start to receive thousands of calls with people asking if they can join the game. What would you do? How would you handle this situation?

This is exactly what a Korean woman was asking herself when she started to receive 4,000 calls a day. So many calls that her phone just kept dying. She soon realized that the reason she was getting these calls was because her personal phone number was leaked during the series.

In one of the many scenes throughout the show a business card is given to one of the characters and on that business card is a phone number to “join the game.” We have seen this happen time and time again where someone’s phone number is leaked in a song or a show then called an unbelievable amount of times. I think everyone knows the song Jenny, also known as, 867-5309. Side note, I’m sorry I just got that song stuck in all of your heads for the rest of the day. Anyways, the owner of the phone number, 867-5309, and people with similar number combinations, received thousands of unwanted calls. It’s hard to live a normal life when you get spammed by random numbers for hours on end.

You may ask yourself, well how did Netflix and the series let this mistake happen? I would answer by saying foolishness. When phone numbers show up in American TV shows or movies, the production team usually uses a phone number with “555,” which is a fake phone prefix. The series did attempt to create a phony number by removing the first three digits, but people were still able to reach the phone number locally.

Image Credit: Screenshot off Netflix

In this case, I disagree with Mill’s Principle of Utility because Mill would have believed mistakes happen and it’s not hurting the majority of people. Even though I know this mistake was not intentional, the outcome is still unethical. This foolishness created a complete mess for the women and other people with similar digits to her. The women who have been receiving these calls said, “It’s hard for me to go on with daily life.” She further explained that she has had this number for one then ten years and uses the phone number to contact clients. This is not only affecting her personal life, but her work life too.

The owner of the phone number has turned down two offers of compensation for the ownership of the number. I don’t believe money is going to solve this situation, especially because her phone number is how she communicates with all of her customers that give her business income. Netflix Korea came out with a statement addressing how they are going to handle this situation. “Together with the production company, we are working to resolve this matter, including editing scenes showing the phone number where necessary.” I believe this is an ethical way to solve this sticky situation and I don’t believe Netflix will be making another mistake like this in the future.

Can Misogyny Lead to Anything Worse in Professional Sports?

Written by: Connor Powell

Picture this. Some of your most revealing and personal messages you send with close friends gets released to the public for everyone to see… How would you feel? How would you handle it? Would it even be that bad based on what was said? Well, the worst of the worst in this instance happened to former National Hockey League player, Brendan Leipsic, just last year. Let’s take a closer look at the whole situation and decipher whether or not Leipsic truly got what he deserved.

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Let’s first look at what exactly came out about Leipsic and why it is bad (after reading it will be blatantly obvious).

Where to even begin with this guy honestly, but I guess we’ll start with a message directed at his teammate Jake Virtanen. The former Vancouver Canuck forward posted to Instagram with some friends with the caption, “What a crew #Cabo” to which Leipsic shared to a group a friends saying, “Easily the worst crew in the world”. Next up in terms of teammate slander was when the Washington Capitals posted a podcast with two of Leipsic’s former teammates. Leipsic shared it to the same group of friends saying, “My linemates” which was followed up with, “F**k they’re losers”.

Personally, this just can’t happen in any way, shape, or form. Going behind someone’s back and saying things like this is bad no matter the instance, but to make matters worse he is saying this about teammates. These are the guys you go to war with on a nightly basis during the season to try and win the Stanley Cup, but you sure as hell won’t be accomplishing that with a teammate like Leipsic on your team.

Just when you think that was as bad as it got for Leipsic, there was questionably worse messages that came out about women. Now there is simply too many things to touch on in this blog, which is a problem within itself, but let’s touch on some of the worse messages by Leipsic. Just to take note of a couple of the messages in reference to women, Leipsic said things like, “lmao she’s so funny looking”, “look how fat Pearson’s wife is”, and “oink oink”. That is just a few of the misogynistic comments that he had used in Instagram private messages. There are far worse things said too, but in the interests of keeping this blog somewhat PG13, you can do that research on your own time.

Once the messages were leaked to the public for all to see, Leipsic’s hands were tied so this is how he responded. “I fully recognize how inappropriate and offensive these comments are and sincerely apologize to everyone for my actions. I am committed to learning from this and becoming a better person by taking time to determine how to move forward in an accountable, meaningful way. I am truly sorry.”.

(via NHL)

To me, how Leipsic handled it wasn’t quite enough for me. Just stating that you are sorry and not showing how you are going to get better down the line doesn’t seem genuine to me. Nothing about that statement shows to me that he won’t just continue saying stuff like this again once the fog clears. He did get cut from the NHL almost entirely and now plays in Russia for the KHL, but here he is…still playing hockey professionally which is not okay to me. We can’t let this standard continue any longer for people like Leipsic because who knows, it might go one step further from just misogynistic comments to maybe domestic violence.

Volkswagen’s “Scarlet Letter”: Dieselgate

by Nicholas Paolino

It was a dark day in 2015 when the story broke of supposed emissions violations on nearly a half-million Volkswagen-built vehicles. The company reportedly installed emissions software on their vehicles that would allow them to sense the set parameters of the testing cycle that is done by the EPA. When a car is tested for emissions compliance by the EPA it is set into a “test mode”. The stated “defeat devices” would be used to alter the car’s performance while in test mode, therefore, allowing the emissions compliance test to be passed. However, as soon as the vehicle was switched back to its normal operating mode the original parameters that would have violated emissions compliance would be resumed.

When the vehicles were in normal mode, the car’s computer would drastically change things like the fuel pressure, injection timing, and exhaust-gas recirculation. By changing these variables the vehicles were able to make the horsepower they could as well as get the incredible fuel mileage that was advertised for Volkswagen TDI diesel engines.

Volkswagen heavily advertised their “clean diesel” engines during this time before the scandal eventually broke. The advertisements ranged in medium from print ads to social media campaigns, to Super Bowl ads, often preaching that their diesel engines have such low emissions that they lower NOx emissions by ninety percent. These claims couldn’t have been further from the truth as NOx emissions were found to be “4,000 percent more” than the legal limit that the EPA has set for their testing.

“Dieselgate” as the scandal was so coined, has since cost Volkswagen approximately $33.6 billion dollars.

Volkswagen used advertising to deceive their customers, and this wasn’t to go without notice. The Federal Trade Commission charged that “Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. deceived consumers with the advertising campaign it used to promote its supposedly “clean diesel” VWs and Audis, which Volkswagen fitted with illegal emission defeat devices designed to mask high emissions during government tests.” The charges called for the Volkswagen Group of America to compensate their American consumers that bought or leased any of the vehicles that fell under the “dieselgate” testing. These vehicles ranged in manufacturing dates from 2008 to 2015. This clearly shows that Volkswagen had been lying to its customers about its “clean diesel” engines for approximately seven years.

Volkswagen is still dealing with the repercussions of their deceitful tactics to this day, and their overall standing with consumers is now greatfully tainted. The Federal Trade Commmission had every right to stand up for the consumers who had purchased or leased these vehicles with the mindset that they were going to be bettering the environment while also getting great gas mileage and saving money because of it. They used advertisments that were widely viewed to sell vehicles that were greatly attributing to the detriment of our atmosphere. This could easily be described as one of the largest dsiplays of mistrust in consumer history and will forever create skeptics of the automotive industry and the push for a cleaner future.

Justin Bieber: Cultural Appreciation or Appropriation?

By Geena Levine

Justin Bieber has been in the eyes of the public since his rise to fame in 2009. Becoming famous at such a young age can be hard for anyone, but growing up under the spotlight can lead to many controversies. A recent issue that has been brought into the media was in April of this year, Justin Bieber shared a picture of him with dreadlocks on his Instagram. Although Bieber is a known advocate for social change and the Black Lives Matter movement, many were quick to judge him on social media. 

Image credit: Justin Bieber’s Instagram account posted April 26th 2021

He received many comments on his instagram such as, “”It’s really disappointing to see you with dreads, I thought you educated yourself.” Although many of the comments were negative towards Bieber and his choice of hairstyle, he did receive some positive comments. One Twitter user tweeted that “”I think there are a few thousand people who would say there are more important stories at the moment, that are WAY more important than JUSTIN BIEBER’S HAIRCUT. Happy to tell you more,” @AlekseyShinder said. 

In June, Bieber posted on his Instagram stating that, “My style, how I sing, dance, perform, and my fashion have all been influenced and inspired by Black culture. I am committed to using my platform this day forward to learn, to speak up about racial injustice and systemic oppression, and to identify ways to be a part of much needed change.”

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin step out for dinner at Craig’s after a trip to Miami
Image credit: Page Six Style

The main issue that I see in this instance is that Justin Bieber did not post an official apology for this incident on social media sooner. Knowing his platform and how popular he is on social media, Bieber should have focused more on making sure that the public saw that he felt remorse for his actions and where he sees where his issue is. It seems through his posts on social media and his decision to keep the dreadlocks for a month, showed that he did not see the wrong in his actions. It seems very inauthentic for him to post all over social media how he advocates for social change, yet not seem to care when he is in the wrong. 

Through this decision he has undermined his own credibility and authenticity in showing people that he does support social change. Cultural appropriation is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.” With this being such a longstanding issue that people of color have had to face daily, you would think that Justin Bieber would be cautious of creating an issue in this. 

Bieber also states a lot that he “gives back to the black community”, but he does not show that much in his actions. His recent album Justice, included a song using Martin Luther King quotes, which he did get permission from MLK’s granddaughter. But in the long run does that do much benefit to the black community, or more to him. He is profiting off of using black culture in his work, but does not do much advocacy on change that can be made. Benefiting off black culture is very different from actually supporting the culture. 

I believe that Bieber did not handle this situation correctly and overall uses black culture as a benefit to himself. He made no apology when called out for his inappropriate actions, displaying a lack of respect of black culture. His actions on social media show quite the opposite of his words and overall show an inauthentic image about his views. 

Lululemon – Managing Media Crises

In April of 2020, when people were trading in business casual for pajamas and the only storefronts that were open were Starbucks and grocery stores, Anti-Asian rhetoric was bleeding into our social media feeds. It wasn’t coming from the expected Facebook articles, but from retail brand Lululemon Athletica.

Tyler Fleming, the art director for Lululemon, had shared a link to a tshirt that had the image of “bat fried rice.” The shirt was the work of artist Jess Sluder. The image immediately received backlash over racist imagery. 

Lululemon Athletica Storefront | Tsawwassen Mills Outlet Shopping Mall

Although Fleming shared this link on his personal Instagram account, users quickly started to leave angry comments on the official Lululemon account. Once the issue came to the company’s attention, they immediately fired Fleming and released 2 statements.

“We apologize that an employee was affiliated with promoting an offensive T-shirt, and we take this very seriously,” it said. “The image and the post were inappropriate and inexcusable. We acted immediately, and the person involved is no longer an employee of Lululemon.”

While every ethical person can agree that racism is bad, especially for business, should Fleming have been fired and taken all the heat for a shirt he didn’t make?

During this time, there was a lot of fear in the air, along with COVID-19. Infection numbers were on the rise everyday and people didn’t know where COVID-19 was coming from. With a lack of information everywhere, this left everyone searching for their information online. 

Ahhh, the internet. Where every thought can be aired to an audience of strangers and where people think that google is a fact checker. At this time, since COVID-19 had originated out of China there was a lot of anti-Asian prejudice that was wrongfully placed. The terms “kung flu” and “China virus” adorned newspapers and social media feeds, leaving a racist undertone everywhere people looked. 

Jess Sluder, the designer of the tshirt, claimed that when he made the shirt it wasn’t racially motivated and that he was just making a joke. He did apologize if his shirt offended anyone, but I don’t buy it. Racial tensions were high in America at this time and this was not the time for jokes.

The internet and Lululemon found Fleming guilty by association. After being fired, Fleming removed himself from social media and deleted his accounts as he should have. The last thing this world needs is another racist and dividing voice, no matter how quiet that voice may be.

As a global company, Lululemon made the right call in this situation. Cutting down issues at the root to avoid becoming a larger issue. In fact, they have a good track record of having zero tolerance for employees who take their personal opinions to the Internet.

In 2013, the founder of Lululemon, Chip Wilson, claimed that women’s bodies don’t always work with the company’s clothes.

Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon Athletica

This statement came months after claims that Lululemon’s leggings were too sheer and called the quality of the luxury athleisure clothes into question. Rather than fix the quality issues within his own company’s product, Wilson said “some women’s bodies just don’t actually work [for the yoga pants

In an interview, Wilson made the statement that women were buying sizes that are too small for them and that the rubbing of their thighs had weakened the integrity of the fabric. 

As you can imagine, a media storm formed after that. If it is one thing women do not stand for it is body shaming, especially coming from a man who wants to charge them $100 per pair of leggings. 

Wilson eventually stepped down as chairman of the company and Lululemon recalled its leggings for quality issues. 

So never fear yoga pant fanatics, you can sleep easier now in your overpriced leggings knowing that Lululemon is a socially ethical company. 

Written by Katie Bonney

SeaWorld: Where does their loyalty lie?

By: Samantha Puleo

SeaWorld 50th Anniversary Celebration
Image credit:

Since March of 1964, SeaWorld has been one of the biggest attractions the US has to offer. The parks features orcas, dolphins, sea lions, and various other marine life, along with rehabilitation centers. For a long time, SeaWorld had a great reputation and received much praise, until tragedy struck in February of 2010, where trainer Dawn Brancheau was fatally attacked and killed by one of the orcas, Tilikum. After this, The parks’ marine mammals have been under debate and criticism over the years. With lots of critics saying that the park entails animal abuse.  This grew further when in 2013 the documentary, Blackfish, was produced and highlighted the mistreatment and abuse these orcas had been put through over a span of 35 years in various parks. But, the most talked about orca in the documentary is Tilikum and his experiences of being hopped from one park to another and not to mention the three people he had killed in his life span. During the documentary it is shown that Tilikum had previously killed a trainer at the first park he was featured at, Sea Land. So you’re probably asking yourself , why would this literal “killer whale” be picked up by a franchise as big as SeaWorld and why would they subject their own trainers to a whale like this? Well, don’t worry, I can answer this question.

Tilikum, the largest Orca ever recorded in captivity.
Image credit:

This is essentially where SeaWorld’s loyalties come in. During the Blackfish documentary, the past trainers from SeaWorld that worked personally with Tilikum had said that they were never made aware of the fact that Tilikum had killed a trainer at his previous park. This seems down right unethical in my opinion. It also shows me that SeaWorld definitely didn’t have a loyalty towards its employees, otherwise they would have fully disclosed every detail of this whale’s past to these trainers. I mean, these people really are the ones who should know everything about these animals since they’ll be physically working with them. What this should show you is that SeaWorld had financial loyalty to itself and only itself for purchasing Tilikum, but why is that, why would Tilikum specifically bring more money to them than any other orca, don’t they all look the same? Well yes they do for the most part all look the same, but SeaWorld only had females and they needed a breeder, so seeing Tilikum up for sale was a huge asset for them, no matter the circumstances of the whale. This purchase seemed like a great strategy but this was only the beginning for SeaWorld’s problems.

A family of Orcas
Image credit:

It is a known fact that the orca species as a whole is based in family and tradition. Scientists have found over the years that these mammals don’t leave their families as they mature and look for new territory, they stick together for life and even go so far as to breed with other family members. That is how close-knit and territorial these families can be, so when random whales from all different cultures are put into tanks together, which is exactly what SeaWorld had done with Tilikum and the other females, there is a really bad reaction. In the Blackfish documentary, the past SeaWorld trainers had said that Tilikum was constantly abused by the female whales, causing him to bleed during shows and have rakes on his skin from their teeth. This is due to the females urging to show dominance over him and because of the fact that none of them knew each other, there was no family ordinance. Family order is crucial in orca cultures. So SeaWorld putting these different animals in with one another not only puts them in danger amounts each other but it also puts the trainers working with these orcas in danger because the animals could take our their frustrations with each other out on the trainers. Not only that, the documentary also shows that SeaWorld employees would tell visitors that the orcas would on average live longer in captivity than in the wild, to about 35 years old, when in reality these animals live to almost 100 years old in the wild. This narrative that SeaWorld is trying to put out is a blatant lie and a clear relation to their strong loyalty to themselves and their finances. This then shows that SeaWorld’s lack of psychological and physical care had to have taken a serious toll on these animals, resulting in a break in their psyche, resulting in Dawn Brancheau’s tragic death. I feel like if there were a loyalty to both these parties, these whales would’ve never been in captivity on the first place. If SeaWorld had taken initiatives to support education towards these animals in the wild, rather than keep them in captivity for their own financial benefit, this would not only have been great for the orcas but also could’ve saved the lives of the trainers that died. Based on all of this, SeaWorld definitely needs to take a look at itself and its ethical standpoints. They need to ensure that their loyalty always lies with the well-being of their trainers, but most importantly their animals.

Reaching the Golden Mean in Tabloid Journalism: How do we shift from “Celebrities vs. Paparazzi” to “Celebrities & Paparazzi”?

by Lara Guvelioglu

(Britney Spears surrounded by the paparazzi while running errands in Beverly Hills, November 2007 Image Credit: © Shutterstock)

The term paparazzi comes from the character Paparazzo in Federico Fellini’s 1959 movie, La Dolce Vita, the story of a relentless street photographer who teams up with journalists to report the scandalous and glamorous lives of celebrities. While the name Paparazzo had no association with tabloids at the time, Fellini loved how well the name fit the character since the dialect reminded him “of the buzzing of an insect you can’t get rid of.” Little did he know that his humorous analogy would be the center of our modern day ethical and legal dilemmas surrounding the tabloid industry.

By definition, being a public figure comes with a certain level of sacrifice to an individual’s privacy. These individuals are expected to accept living their lives in front of the public eye, sharing milestones and certain personal details with hundreds of thousands of strangers, keeping up public appearances and interactions with their fans even at the cost of their own comfort and interruption of their daily lives, and the list keeps growing. Especially with the advancement of technology and social media, audiences expect celebrities to sacrifice more of their privacy, creating an increased demand for tabloid journalism (the world of salacious celebrity gossip and exaggerated/sensational reporting), pushing paparazzi to seek juicier and more personal content. Such shifts in demand have become increasingly toxic over the years. 

(Examples of tabloids – celebrity gossip and exaggerated sensational journalism aimed to appeal to their audience’s emotions through bold statements. Image (credit) taken from Remove Gossip & Tabloid Magazines from our checkouts! by Sarah Robinson on

It’s no news that tabloid journalism is quick to take things too far and stray from journalistic ethics in its efforts to dig up unique insider looks into celebrities’ lives, to generate louder buzz among competitors: reporters fabricating fake news to one up competition, deliberately crossing lines of journalistic ethics without regard or respect to celebrities’ reputations and personal lives; paparazzi relentlessly stalking their targets even at the risk of breaking laws and putting both their targets’ and their own lives at risk, etc.

One of the most well known historical examples of this dangerous practice is paparazzi’s high speed chase that resulted in the tragic death of Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed, their driver and bodyguard in Paris in 1997. While there were other factors that contributed to the tragedy, Princess Diana’s driver was speeding through the tunnel trying  to get away from the paparazzi on motorcycles surrounding them. Now one might argue that these people were simply doing their job. But at what cost? Additionally, as if causing these dangerous conditions wasn’t bad enough, some paparazzi chose to snap photos for the tabloid while others ran to the injured princess’s aide to save her and others from the wreckage.

(Last footage of Princess Diana Paris, France, 1997 – Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver caught by the paparazzi moments before the accident that killed all three passengers. Princess Diana can be seen hiding in the back seat. Image Credit from SkyNews )
(The wreckage of the accident – Princess Diana’s vehicle being removed from the tunnel in Paris, France, 1997. Image Credit / Getty)

That was 1997. Surely things must have changed by 2021, right? While the circumstances of Diana’s death have led to many nations’ revision of rules and regulations around their tabloid journalism, there are no universal laws that hold paparazzi and tabloids accountable for their questionable practices with any given lawsuit against a tabloid being reviewed on a case-by-case, circumstantial context. Since 1997, and even before then, celebrities have continuously criticized paparazzi’s toxic and dangerous practices – exposing many instances where paparazzi’s behavior have harmed their physical and/or mental health. With people’s health and lives at risk, where is this toxic kind of journalism headed?

(Former One Direction member, Niall Horan was swarmed by fans and paparazzi while passing through LAX in 2013 where he was “dragged to the floor” by a paparazzi. He later criticized his physical treatment through the above message (screenshot credit)on social media. )
(Actress and singer, Selena Gomez, was involved in a minor car accident where her SUV collided into a parked vehicle while trying to avoid paparazzi in 2014. She later took her experience to social medias(screenshot credit), joining the growing number of celebrities frustrated at their treatment by paparazzi.)

In 2021, it’s time we as a society, demand legal and ethical guidelines for how tabloids’ news content is obtained. With respect to tabloids’ freedom of speech and celebrities’ need for privacy, these guidelines should strive to set expectations and standards for both sides through open and transparent communication. These two opposites of the entertainment industry, an industry built on communication & media, should come together to listen and collaborate for safer tabloid journalism standards instead of fighting one another, which might lead to dangerous situations. Only through this mutual respect and alliance efforts can our society reach a golden mean, a golden standard, of entertainment ethics, and we get one step closer to a truly civilized community.

The Continued History of Photo Manipulation and its Consequences on Young People

How far is too far?

Written by: Claire Foley

The fashion and beauty industries have been scrutinized for years for the unrealistic body standards that are illustrated in their work. Photoshop, in particular, has been a major talking point within the case built against these perpetrators. One iconic instance that brought the ethics of photoshop into question was the photoshop fail that Target® had with several items featured on their website in 2014.

In 2014, Target® posted these photos (below) to display their “Xhilaration® Junior’s Midkini 2-Piece Swimsuit”. As viewers noticed, the model is missing significant portions of her body (including parts of her arm, back, fingers, thighs, and groin). And those are just the obvious adjustments!

Model’s back and arm were reduced and left as a sharp protrusion from her underarm.
Portions of model’s back, arms, fingers and bottom are removed. #ThighGap right?

Not only was this a careless and sloppy effort by Target®’s team, but these adjustments are detrimental to the mental and physical health of the models pictured, and anyone who sees it. To make matters worse, this was displayed on the ‘youth’ section of their website.

According to reporting, Target® spokesperson Evan Miller responded to the mistake by saying, “It was an unfortunate error on our part and we apologize…We removed the image from the site and we’re working to get a new image up there.” Truly a heartfelt acknowledgment of their participation in the system that historically deteriorates the body image of women and young girls. If only.

Flash forward to more than seven years later. Facebook® has (nearly) monopolized the social media world, and the mental health of our younger population is at risk. I wonder if the two are related?

Internal documents from Facebook® were leaked to the Wall Street Journal in the Fall of 2021, and uncovered unreported research (conducted by Facebook® themselves), that outlined the platform’s “ill-effects”. It is important to note that Instagram is among the platforms that Facebook® owns.

Facebook Whistleblower speaks out on details of research

Amongst the information in this exposé were appalling details about what Facebook® knew about how their platforms negatively impact teens. The issues that young users are connecting to the platform range from eating disorders to even depression/suicidal thoughts. 13% of British users and 6% of American users point a finger at Instagram as a contributor to their suicidal thoughts. 32% of girls who already feel bad about their bodies, said that Instagram made them feel worse, and 40% of teen boys experience negative social comparison from the app.

Again, the kicker here is that they knew and did nothing – and it concerned children! Legally, those under 13 years old are not even supposed to have social media accounts, but Facebook® is turning a blind eye to both underage use and their duty to protect those they serve.

You may be thinking: What can be done, though?

Just as it is required to disclose an ad on Instagram, in the Summer of 2021, Norway passed a new law that requires content creators to disclose edited photos. This law was supported and ultimately passed because of the concern for the detrimental effects photo editing has on the body image and mental health of young people.

Although this is sort of a band-aid for a bigger societal bleed, it is progress, and progress is absolutely needed. We cannot let anyone suffer in silence, especially such a vulnerable population. Progress must begin with accountability for those who enable the unrealistic standards (Facebook®, other social media platforms, fashion/beauty industries, etc.), but is then ultimately reinforced by legislation, like we see in Norway.

Enough is enough.