Fierce

FAFSA Put A Latina On Notice After She Posted Her Lavish Prom Video That People Read Too Much Into

In late March, 17-year-old high school student Lizbeth Rivas opted to have a video taken of her prom experience, instead of traditional photos. In the prom video, Rivas appears to be living the high life. She dances to the song “Clout” by Offset and Cardi B, models her expensive-looking white prom dress, and flashes a luxury Mercedes-Benz with her crew of friends. To any of her followers, it looked like Rivas was living a life of privilege.

Rivas’s video went viral, prompting comments that mentioned the disparity between her lifestyle and those who can’t afford the same prom experience.

One Tweet in particular took off: Twitter user @_Ferrrg responded to the video with a meme that alluded to FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid organization) watching the video and keeping note of Rivas’s extravagant lifestyle.

Although the official FAFSA account was never tagged, FAFSA itself responded through Twitter with a meme of a little boy side-eyeing and sipping a cup of tea. Translated to internet speak?: “We’re watching you“.

Most found the interaction hilarious and it wasn’t long before the response from FASFA went viral.

FASFA’s tweet received over 13K retweets and 48K likes. Though many users found the interaction funny, some expressed concern Rivas would have trouble with financial aid.

According to Rivas she is just an average student struggling to make ends meet like anyone else.

Rivas revealed that the videographer of the high-quality video wasn’t an expensive professional they hired, but a talented friend-of-a-friend. “We wanted to do something different and memorable to us,” Rivas explained to mitú. “I honestly did not think it was going to blow up like how it did on Twitter nor was I looking for attention.”

Rivas went on to state that she paid for her luxurious-looking prom from money she earned at her job at the mall. “People started speculating that my parents paid all this money,” Rivas said. “When in reality, I have a whole job that I was saving up checks since December”.

According to Rivas, people on Twitter have made wrong assumptions about her financial situation.

FAFSA’s response prompted Rivas’s initial Tweet to go even more viral, putting Rivas in fear of receiving the financial aid she sorely needs.

“How [FAFSA] responded made me upset because that just fueled more people and their misconstrued opinions,” Rivas said. According to Rivas, her parents are neither in the financial situation to give her an expensive prom experience nor in the situation to pay out-of-pocket for her college tuition.

Rivas worries now that the viral video and its response could damage her access to financial aid for college, as well as her dreams of going to art school.

Rivas revealed that due to her financial situation, she’s looking at public universities for a college education. “I wanted to go to art school but it’s really expensive so I’m just looking at public universities,” Rivas says.

This ordeal brings up a larger conversation about privilege, the performance of wealth that many participate in (regardless of their financial status) and the crisis younger Americans are currently facing when it comes to paying for higher education.

Hopefully this will be a lesson for everyone not to assume what’s in someone’s bank account based on what they see on that person’s social media–especially when most of what we see on social media rarely represents reality anyway.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Steve Bannon Permanently Banned From Twitter After He Uses the Platform to Say Anthony Fauci Should Be Beheaded

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Steve Bannon Permanently Banned From Twitter After He Uses the Platform to Say Anthony Fauci Should Be Beheaded

Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Steve Bannon has been permanently banned from Twitter after he posted a video to the platform suggesting that Donald Trump should behead Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

On Thursday morning, Bannon posted a problematic video from his online show, “War Room: Pandemic” to his Twitter account. In it, Bannon said that Trump should fire both Dr. Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

But simply firing Fauci and Wray wouldn’t be enough for Bannon, he also called for their beheading.

His exact words were as follows: “I’d put the heads on pikes. Right. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone.”

The gruesome statement violated Twitter’s policy against citing violence and the social media giant quickly took action by removing the video and permanently suspending his account. And Twitter is not the only social media platform to take action. Both Facebook and YouTube removed the video, stating that it violated their policies against calling for violence. But Bannon’s video had already been live on Facebook for 10 hours and racked up hundreds of thousands of views before Facebook took action.

As a refresher, Steve Bannon was President Trump’s Chief Strategist before he was fired from the administration in 2017.

Before that, Bannon was the head of Breitbart news, a far-right publication that he described to reporters as a “platform for the alt right”. Trump’s former Chief Strategist has long touted extreme right-wing views, opposing immigration and lauding pro-Western nationalism.

He has been endorsed by white nationalists and white supremacists like alt-right personality Richard Spencer and KKK member David Duke. He once told a crowd of members of the far-right National Front party in France to, “Let them call you racists. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor.”  

At such a crucial and high-stakes point in our history, both misinformation and calls-to-violence are unfortunately running rampant on social media–some of which are promoted by President Trump himself.

At this point, social media platforms know they have not only a responsibility, but a duty to discipline users who abuse their platforms. To combat the spread of dangerous misinformation that fuel the flames of anger and division among Americans right now, social media platforms are going to great lengths to flag and remove content that is false, unverified, or directly violent.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Social Media Shows Up To Help Abuela Living In Dire Straights While Taking Care Of Disabled Great-Grandson

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Social Media Shows Up To Help Abuela Living In Dire Straights While Taking Care Of Disabled Great-Grandson

Isabel Zamudio / Getty Images

All too often we hear stories involving social media that don’t paint the best picture of the digital platforms. From trolls coming for people or fights and arguments going public to sexual harassment and doxxing, social media has so often been used as a tool to do harm.

Thankfully, though, that’s not always the case.

Now we get to tell the story of how one viral video has helped rescue a 90-year-old abuelita and her disabled 17-year-old great-grandson from dire straights.

A 90-year-old abuela and her great-grandson will soon have a new home thanks to support from social media.

Last week, a video was posted to social media about the dangerous and unsanitary conditions a 90-year-old woman and her great-grandson were living in. The woman, from Veracruz, Mexico, lived with her great-grandson, Pedro Miguel, in a shack with tarps for walls and rusted-out tin roof.

The shack was furnished with not much more than a bed, which got wet every time it rained. López’s children have died, her grandchildren have abandoned her, and Pedro is basically the only family she has.

Since the video went viral, DIF Family Services agency met with López and her grandson to assess their health and announced both would get the medications they need. Meanwhile, Leonor López, has been housed in a shelter for the elderly and Pedro was placed in a state-run home where each will remain until authorities can find a home for her and Pedro.

The great-grandmother and her great-grandson are all the other has.

Credit: Isabel Zamudio / Getty Images

Leonora has cared for Pedro ever since he was abandoned by his mother shortly after birth. The 17-year-old does not speak and suffers from epileptic seizures.

Before being placed in supportive housing, each day Leonor would leave her house with a rope tied to the arm of her great-grandson as they went out to collect whatever they could to earn money. Some days they’d collect aluminum cans or cardboard to sell and some days they’d visit verdulerías or even private homes to dig through the garbage to find something to eat.

Every two months Leonora would receive her disability pension of $2,500 pesos (or about $125 USD), which she had to use to buy medicines for Pedro. She also told Milenio that she owes money from the last time Pedro got severely ill.

“When he gets sick I take him to the hospital or to the Red Cross, but they charge me a lot, because he has seizures. This time he got sick I took him but they charged me $6,400 [pesos or ($320 USD)] for three days of care.”

However, since being taken into assisted care, Pedro has also been enrolled to receive his own disability pension, which will definitely help address his medical costs.

Sadly, there misfortunes haven’t ended there.

In what is truly a disappointing story, often times when Leonor and Pedro have gone out to try and earn what money they can, they’re home is robbed of what little they have. According to their neighbor Rogelio, the community hasn’t come to their support – instead they steal from the family.

“I don’t see someone coming to help her, on the contrary, what little she has there they steal from her, even though she is alone in her house they steal what little she can gather; people take advantage,” Rogelio told Milenio.

Thankfully, the viral video has helped spur change for the family and they’ll soon have a proper home and the government benefits they’re both entitled to.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com