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The US State Department recently issued an internal memo that shows growing frustration in the effort to combat the Islamic State on social media. The US has tried launching "countermessaging" campaigns that have only been "trumped" by recent IS efforts, according to officials.
"The memo is an assessment not of the larger counter-ISIL messaging effort, but how the small group of coalition members communicates internally and externally, said John Kirby, State Department spokesman, while speaking to the New York Times.
There is concern that the Obama Administration is leading a failed effort to combat IS in Iraq, with the extremist group trying to solidify its so-called caliphate.
The ISIS terrorist group suffered an attack from three Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) missiles, based on social media intelligence collected by the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group. It took just 22 hours following the US military identifying the online posts before an airstrike that destroyed an ISIS headquarters building.
"It was a post on social media to bombs on target in less than 24 hours," said Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of the Air Combat Command, in a statement published by Defense Tech. "Incredible work when you think about (it)."
ISIS is rather clever in its continued use of social media, which the US and other governments have struggled to keep up with, but mistakes have been made by the extremist group. This is the latest example of social media-related issues leading to real-world destruction - and unknown casualties.
It looks like social media and adult hookup apps are one of the high-risk behaviors contributing to new cases of HIV and other STDs increasing in Rhode Island - and possibly in other states.
The department in Rhode Island noted it saw gonorrhea cases increase 30 percent, HIV cases by almost 33 percent, and syphilis cases skyrocketed by 79 percent.
"The increase has been attributed to better testing by providers and to high-risk behaviors that have become more common in recent years," said the Rhode Island Department of Health. "High-risk behaviors include using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters, having sex without a condom, having multiple sex partners, and having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol."
The Islamic State continues vicious attacks in Iraq and Syria, taking over new territory while also suffering setbacks - and the fight continues on another front: the Internet.
The US State Department's Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) tries to monitor how IS uses the Internet for its own purposes, though has struggled to counter its evolving online strategy. Secretary of State John Kerry has hired Richard Stengel, former Time managing editor, to help create a new strategy to publish the harsh reality of citizens living under IS control.
Here is what Stengel told the Houston Chronicle: "You say the Caliphate is heaven on earth? We're going to show you pictures where sewers don't work. You're winning on the battlefield? Here's a satellite picture of you guys retreating."
A 21-year-old Russian woman just wanted to take a selfie with a 9mm handgun... but accidentally shot herself instead.
There are conflicting reports about the weapon, with some reports claiming the security officer left it unattended in an office before leaving for holiday. However, the RT says the security guard reportedly allowed the woman to use his weapon to take a selfie, and then the woman began to pose for a picture. She grabbed the trigger, the weapon discharged, and a bullet ricocheted off a wall and into her head, according to a witness.
If true, the guard faces a negligent weapon possession leading to injury charge, and could face up to six months in a Russian jail if convicted.
If you weren't currently aware, California is currently going through a serious drought with water officials reporting that "growers have been sucking more water from the ground than nature or man has put back for decades" with many more sobering statistics involved.
Now as members of the public are being warned to watch their water usage, celebrities have been brought into the spotlight as some of our biggest water wasters.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been pointed out as a specific example among many others, sporting lush green lawns and full swimming pools amid a barren desert landscape, without any real measures put in place to curb their water usage in the immediate or distant future alongside. Adding to this, some companies are continuing to bottle water despite the severe shortage.
Dr Michael Salzhauer has become quite the 'internet celebrity' recently through the power of Snapchat - posing as his alias, Dr Miami, Salzhauer has been using his Snapchat story feature to broadcast videos of what he's been up to in the office.
While most users will post photos of their morning coffee, business lunch or absurd amount of incoming emails, Salzhauer has been showing off his handiwork in the medical sense, describing it as the most fun he's had since medical school.
Would you identify as having a dirty mind or are you simply wanting to keep your kids out of trouble? Either way, Instagram recently announced that they will be adding emoji hashtags if you're really wanting to search for more of the same but they're barring the eggplant from this service, Gizmodo has reported.
The aubergine is apparently too much like a phallus to be respected and therefore must be chopped. It's said that not only does this look a little like male genitalia, youth of today are using this hashtag as a way to represent such things (I have never felt as old in my life as I did writing that sentence).
The banana and corn emoji's are still running wild alongside the peach, dripping needle and more. If you're an activist and looking for a change, finding other minded people in regards to this issue will be hard however as we already mentioned it's not searchable.
During Facebook's Q1 2015 earnings report, the social network has said that there are now over 1.44 billion people using Facebook each month, which is up 13% year-over-year. From those 1.44 billion users, 1.25 billion of them were on mobile, which is a bigger increase of 24% year-over-year.
Facebook has 936 million daily active users, and 798 million mobile daily active users (an increase of 17% and 31% year-over-year, respectively). This is something worth noting: around 65% of Facebook's users are using the social network daily, with 64% of those on mobile using it every single day. The numbers are continuing to grow, where if we compare the mobile-only monthly active users from Q1 2013 (just two years ago now) where it was at 189 million, compared to 581 million in Q1 2015.
Other noteworthy numbers: there are 800 million people on WhatsApp per month, 700 million on Groups per month, 600 million people using Messenger each month, and 300 million people using Instagram per month. Insane numbers, which are joined by 45 billion messages sent daily, 4 billion videos viewed per day, 650 million people connected to sports Page of some kind, and there are now over two million advertisers using Facebook.
Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton has won over support after turning to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to make an announcement of her upcoming presidential campaign. Even though Clinton is a well recognized name in politics, it's expected she will try to use social media to promote a clear message in an effort to win over voters.
The following Tweet has garnered more than 100,000 retweets and has been favorited more than 97,000 times:
I'm running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion. -H https://t.co/w8Hoe1pbtC- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 12, 2015