Sunday, January 20, 2019

Boo Is Gone

Boo was the social media sensation of a dog.  He was considered the 'world's cutest dog'. He died yesterday at 12.  He really is cute - he looks right at you with a smiley face.  Boo belonged to a San Francisco-based Facebook employee.  She created his Facebook page and posted 'cute' pictures which gathered more than 1.75 million Likes on Facebook.  Boo got a big boost when Khloe Kardashian wrote about him on her blog.

Boo had his own book:  Boo:  The Life of the World's Cutest Dog. He became a celebrity for charities and the official pet liaison of Virgin America, featuring pictures of him and advice for people travelling with pets.  
 This is his poster picture.  Doesn't he look like a little teddy bear!

The Wikipedia entry on Boo identifies that in April 2012, Boo was the subject of a death hoax after #RIPBOO appeared on Twitter.  This is interesting in retrospect, given all the investigations of influencing in national elections of various countries.  And the increased use of social media to harass people with hoaxes and lies.

It took only one post by Gizmodo writer Sam Biddle for the rumour to spread wide and be treated as fact.  Moreover, the Gizmodo writer pursued the hoax by continuing to post tweets of Boo's death in a duck pond - which the New York Times retweeted. And then Twitter followers played along with the hoax, including photoshopping a gruesome image of Boo's demise.  In retrospect now, this type of distortion and manipulation would have broadcast social media's vulnerability far and wide.  Is this different than in the past? A report by New Oxford says it is growing at a larger scale, despite efforts to combat it.

Our storm story of yesterday has come about as fact. It is to continue during Sunday with blowing snow.  The Weather Network's chart is amusing.  It has the row names out of sync with the data.  So the hours of sun on Monday is 51, 23 on Tuesday, etc.  That's supposed to be the wind gust.  On the theme of white, here are some images from the Minneapolis Arboretum in September.

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