Anyone can post anything that they want on the internet, regardless if it's true. We saw big problems with this with the spread of fake news on social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Fake news increased distrust for journalism, a field that has already been struggling due to the decline of newspapers and television. While this is certainly a big blow for journalism right now, it isn't a fatal one.
Social media has made it extremely easy to spread false information, but it has also made it easy to spread the truth. Finding details for stories and topics for new stories is so much easier for journalists thanks to social media. It's hard not to come across story ideas when you open up Facebook or Twitter.
Sure, people do post things that aren't true, but journalists can fact-check using other information found on social media sites and from different sources. Even though sifting through a ton of posts is time consuming and can be a lot of work, having extra information is never a bad thing. Also, if there is something that journalists miss or make a mistake on, social media makes it so much easier for readers/listeners to let everyone know.
Social media allows for direct contact between audiences and journalists. This can be helpful when journalists are looking for specific information or when people have something to share, be it corrections, tips or personal opinions.
Additionally, social media let's us get our news so much faster than we ever have. Journalists and news outlets are constantly posting story updates online. This makes it so much easier for people to get their news on the go (or while laying in bed). News alerts on smart phones also make sure that we don't miss any breaking news. I know that I am much more informed now than I ever have been because I use social media to get my news.
Like with any new medium, social media poses unique problems for journalism. I think that journalism will overcome these issues and be better off. Technology is constantly changing, so in the future there will be something that overtakes social media as a primary way people get news, but what could possibly edge out social media? We're just going to have to wait and keep an open mind.
Ever since the rise of Instagram, food bloggers and restaurants alike have been trying to come up with the next viral food sensation. One of the most recent trendy foods to hit our feeds is glitter food.
This past spring, Dagwood Pizza in Santa Monica California gained national attention for its "Magical AF" glitter pizza.
Image from Nerdist
People aren't just eating glitter; they're also drinking it. About one year before glitter pizza became a thing, Coffee By Di Bella made headlines for selling glittery coffee at its Mumbai, India locations. The "Diamond" and "Gold" cappuccinos come topped with silver and gold holographic glitter, respectively.
Image from Today
If you think that the glitter you see on food pictures looks like crafting glitter, that's probably because it basically is. While sugar can be used to make colorful and shiny sprinkles, it doesn't give the same effect as actual glitter, holographic or otherwise. Real glitter is made from small pieces of plastic.
According to the Food Network, some glitter products that are marketed for food use are considered nontoxic, but the FDA does not classify them as edible. Nontoxic glitter entered the food scene for cake decorating purposes, but was not intended to actually be consumed. Despite this, nontoxic glitter use on food gained popularity.
Image from Pink the Town
Even though viral foods tend to contain nontoxic glitter rather than the edible kind, the companies call the glitter edible on their menus and on social media. Because of this, it can be hard to distinguish what you're supposed to eat from what you can, but probably shouldn't.
Nontoxic substances aren't harmful, but they still aren't edible. For context, crafting products commonly used by children, like paint, glue and markers, are also nontoxic. Making materials nontoxic is more of a safety precaution than anything else. Unfortunately, real edible glitter doesn't usually go viral like the fake stuff does.
Sugar sprinkles do add a nice pop of color and shine to food, but they certainly don't pack the same punch as real glitter, especially the holographic kind. Would you ever consider eating pizza covered with glitter? I think I'd rather stick with plain cheese.