July 22, 2021

In the coming months, regular drinkers of the sugar-free soda brand Coke Zero might notice a slight change in the taste of their favorite beverage. According to company officials, the formula for Coke Zero will be altered in order to “deliver an even more iconic Coke taste.” While this might seem like a relatively harmless change, any alteration to a Coca-Cola product draws plenty of public scrutiny after the company’s disastrous launch of “New Coke” in the 1980s.

Back then, Continue reading

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July 15, 2021

Those who have concerns about privacy on smartphones often focus on apps that track users’ internet browsing history or even their movements through GPS. But while such violations of privacy are becoming more well-known to users, many others appear to be unaware that some apps have open access to their contact lists. For instance, therapist Gabriela Buendia was shocked to discover that the payment app Venmo had shared a list of her phone contacts as well as data about everyone Continue reading

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January 21, 2021

At the start of the pandemic, fast food chains like Taco Bell suddenly had to close their dining rooms and serve all customers via drive-thrus. Many of these companies altered their menus to increase efficiency so that the lines of cars would move as quickly as possible. For instance, Taco Bell got rid of items like the Mexican Pizza and Nachos Supreme to reduce its packaging needs while also ditching all potato items so that it could keep its ingredients Continue reading

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November 10, 2020

When lockdowns started to be put in place in March and April, parents across the country took to social media to find out which products would keep their kids entertained at home for extended periods of time. The overwhelming favorite among Facebook groups and blogs soon became the Nugget couch, a microsuede fabric couch that is specifically designed for kids to go crazy on. Although it certainly can be used as regular furniture, the Nugget is mainly designed for fort-building, Continue reading

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September 2, 2020

The video sharing app TikTok has become a big hit with millions of Americans over the last few years. According to the federal government, however, the Chinese-owned company presents national security risks that could lead to a ban on the app in the U.S. This video looks at the controversy surrounding TikTok’s American operations as well as the larger dangers of a fractured global Internet. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the federal government considering a ban on TikTok? 
  2. Do you Continue reading
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August 26, 2020

For decades, clothing designers, magazine editors, and photographers at publications like Vogue decided what the fashion world would see and how they would see it. Although models received plenty of opportunities to pose in front of the cameras, they got almost no say in the decisions that were made behind the scenes. That started to change as social media platforms like Instagram gave models direct access to audiences, granting them more individual power over the creative direction of their brands. Continue reading

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For weeks, thousands of people across the country have been protesting against police violence following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th. In response to these historic events, many companies have voiced their support for the fight against racism on social media. Adidas, for instance, released a statement on Twitter expressing how the sportswear brand was “deeply saddened by what we see happening to our black community in America.” The company even retweeted an advertisement made by Continue reading

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December 17, 2019

During December, the Hallmark Channel’s schedule is chock full of Christmas movies to keep the holiday spirit strong throughout the month. But last week the usually jolly TV network behaved more like Ebenezer Scrooge in the eyes of many fans and users on social media. The controversy began when Hallmark received a complaint from an advocacy group whose stated mission is to “fight against indecency.” The organization complained about four ads that featured same-sex couples from a wedding planning company Continue reading

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November 7, 2019

Airbnb has grown into a multi-billion dollar company by providing people with an online platform where they can temporarily rent out their house or apartment to guests. Although this app has changed how millions of people travel, it’s also generated a lot of controversy since launching more than a decade ago. In some popular travel destinations, landlords have displaced longtime residents in order to make room for as many Airbnbs as possible. As a result, cities like London and Barcelona Continue reading

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October 31, 2019

For this year’s Halloween festivities, Americans will spend an estimated $8.8 billion on items like candy, decorations, and costumes designed for all walks of life. Along with shelling out $3.2 billion on outfits meant for kids and adults, consumers will also spend $490 million on costumes for their pets. According to a recent survey, 51 percent of dog owners plan to dress up their pups for the holiday, spending an average of about $20. 

Retail experts say the popularity Continue reading

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