Things That Matter

Hillary Clinton vs. Marco Rubio: Their Social Media Report Cards

The 2008 Barack Obama campaign was the first in history to use social media to win a presidential race. With over 3 million supporters on Facebook and over 50 million views on YouTube, his social media strategy smoked the competition. How are this election’s candidates stacking up? Here’s a first look at Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio’s social media report cards.


Hillary Clinton: B-

Marco Rubio: B+


Hillary Clinton: B

Credit: Facebook / Hillary Clinton

A few hours after making her announcement on Sunday, Clinton joined Facebook. In just 24 hours she hit 642,144 likes and over 2 million views on her kickoff video. Not bad for a newbie, right? Her feed started off as a list of her milestones, but since kicking off her road trip, Clinton’s Facebook feed is starting to include pictures of the people she’s meeting and the conversations she’s having along the way. Think she’ll check-in next time she stops at a Chipotle?

Marco Rubio: C

Credit: Facebook / Marco Rubio

On the flip side, Rubio can be called a Facebook vet with an account that dates back to 2009. However, his growth isn’t as impressive with only 753,509 likes in it’s six-year span. His anti-Obama and Rubio merchandise posts may account for most of those likes. Lets keep it classy, Rubio.


Hillary Clinton: A-

Credit: Hillary Clinton/YouTube

Clinton gave the first glimpse of her political campaign via a YouTube video that appealed to everyday working American families of all sizes and color. She used her 30 seconds on camera to highlight that she wants to be the “champion” of the everyday Americans. What got ears to perk up, however, was the subtle, yet noticeable use of Spanish to attract Latino voters. Well played Hillary, well played.

Marco Rubio: C+

Credit: Marco Rubio/YouTube

Rubio quickly contested with his own video – a mashup of previous speeches – pledging to move forward into “a new American century” where the next generation will inherit “what they deserve.” Rubio didn’t speak Spanish, but he did include a clip reminding viewers he comes from a working-class family and is the son of a former bartender and maid. This collage of clips has a feel of an assignment that was done the night before.

Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Flipboard

Hillary Clinton: Grade In Progress…

It’s evident that Clinton is late to the social media game and she’s still absent from newer platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Hopefully her new publicist, Kristina Schake, the woman responsible for Michelle Obama’s dance moves on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, will get her up to speed. Oh, and she’s not the only tech-savvy woman on Clinton’s team. Google executive and former Facebook product manager, Stephanie Hannon is charged with running her technology operations. With a team like that, we’re sure she’ll be dominating the social feeds in no time.

Marco Rubio: A-

Credit:  marcorubio16/Snapchat

Rubio’s definitely ahead of the game. Back in June, his team announced they were rolling out even more social media accounts to grow engagement and allow people to “easily discover” content. Their social portfolio expanded to include Instagram, Snapchat, Vine – all which are heavily consumed by millennials. Rubio took it a step further to become the first senator to launch his official Flipboard account.

READ: Hillary Clinton Takes Stance on Immigration


Hillary Clinton: A

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Credit: Hillary Clinton

Clinton sprinkled a few Spanish words in her YouTube video and Twitter feed, but she really outdid herself unveiling an entirely Spanish site. Everything from her slogan to her bio is en español appealing to Latino voters. Don’t miss her surprisingly punny 404 page. Check it out here.

Marco Rubio: B

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Credit: Marco Rubio

Rubio’s site doesn’t have an entire Spanish version, but there is an en Español button under his biography as well as his wife’s. His page is loaded with content with everything from videos of his speeches, to thorough information about his stance in Iran and again takes more jabs at President Obama. Apparently playing with puns on 404 pages is a thing because he also gave it a shot. See his version here.

Tumblr Street Cred

Hillary Clinton: B+

Credit: Tumblr / Texts From Hillary

Clinton unknowingly upped her cool factor after Diana Walker captured her in sunglasses, checking her blackberry on a military plane to Tripoli, Libya in 2011. The picture went viral and opened the door for hundreds of memes to be created and caption imaginary conversations with pop culture icons like Lady Gaga, Jay Z and everyone in between. But the coolness factor doesn’t stop there. Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe launched Texts from Hillary for one week, posted 32 times and got 83,000 shares on Facebook and over 45,000 Tumblr followers. It also gained mention from Morning Edition and ?uest Love. It doesn’t get cooler than that.

Marco Rubio: C


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

Things That Matter

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.

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Twitter Has Busted a Ring of Fake Accounts That Posed As Black Trump Supporters

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Twitter Has Busted a Ring of Fake Accounts That Posed As Black Trump Supporters

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

On Monday, Twitter announced that it has suspended 15 Twitter accounts of “Black Trump supporters” that they discovered were fake. The accounts were similar in nature, tweeting out nearly identical messages, like “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!” and “VOTE REPUBLICAN”. The accounts quickly amassed thousands of followers and retweets.

The fake “Black Trump Supporter” accounts were discovered by social media disinformation researcher Darren Linvill, who flagged the accounts and reported them to Twitter.

The accounts violate Twitter’s rule barring users from using the platform “in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience.”

The Twitter accounts sourced their profile photos through internet image searches. One profile photo even included the search term “black man photo” at the top of the profile photo–proving that someone stole the photo from the internet and (sloppily) cropped it. Others were revealed, via reverse-image searching, to be generic stock photos of Black people.

The accounts seemed to follow a pattern: the Black Trump supporters were devout Christians, veterans, blue-collar workers, police officers…you get the picture. 

“They are impersonating Black Trump supporters, Black authoritative figures such as veterans and police officers, and various prominent individuals in order to gain rapid traction and virality,” said cybersecurity manager Lee Foster to The Washington Post.

Linvill says that the accounts don’t necessarily appear to be a coordinated campaign, although he did find traces of the Russian alphabet  in the accounts’ online records. Linvill hypothesizes that the accounts might have had monetary motives–they often tweeted out links to buy Trump merchandise. 

Another theory is that, based on the timing, whoever created the fake accounts is trying to change what appears to be the persistent narrative that President Trump is racist. The accounts became much more active in recent months, around the time when Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups on national TV. These “Black Trump supporters” make it seem like he actually has the support of Black Americans. 

But polls and surveys prove that Trump is highly unpopular among Black Americans. The Pew Research Center shows that 81% of Black voters support Biden in the upcoming election. 

These most recent fake Twitter accounts are one of the many ways that the Republican Party has been attempting to manipulate voters this election cycle. Along with spreading disinformation, the party has set up unsanctioned ballot drop-off boxes across California. The Governor of Texas, Rick Abbott (R) also made headlines recently for restricting the amount of official ballot boxes in Texas to only one per county–a move that critics slammed as a transparent attempt to suppress the Latino vote.

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