social media

cop car
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Detroit man is facing a terrorism charge for making threats against police officers on social media.

Nehru Gowan Littleton, 40, made a series of threats against police officers on Facebook in July, according to Detroit Police. They included statements like “All lives can’t matter until Black Lives matter!!!! Kill all white cops!!!”

That amounts to a “terroristic threat” under Michigan law, according to state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is bringing the charges.

Photo of a cell phone with online comment section.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

You may have read the recent news that NPR decided to discontinue online comments at Editors at NPR reasoned there are better ways to connect with people than what these sections at the bottom of news articles provide.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new Michigan State University study suggests, if you spent time this past weekend with a beer in your hand, it may be because of something you saw on social media.

MSU researchers say when participants in a study of social media’s influence were exposed to ads touting beer, as opposed to those selling bottled water, they were more inclined to consider drinking alcohol.

They studied the behavior of 121 test subjects. They were divided into two groups. Group one was exposed to beer ads on Facebook. Group two saw ads for bottled water.

Emails released by the governor's office indicate that Michigan State Police are monitoring social media for threats against public officials.
flickr user Glen Schaillie / HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Emails recently released by Gov. Rick Snyder's office indicated that Michigan State Police were aware that a Copper City man made a potentially threatening Facebook post against Snyder over the Flint water crisis. 

The Flint Journal reports that a state police senior intelligence analyst alerted commanders about the post. The man who wrote the post was on probation after being involved in a 12-hour armed standoff with police.

There was an effort to charge the man with violating his probation, but a judge ultimately decided not to move ahead with the violation. 

Grand Rapids Public Schools get new social media policy

May 3, 2016
English 101 / Flickr Creative Commons

The Grand Rapids School Board unanimously adopted yesterday a new policy to regulate employees’ use of social media.

The policy holds employees accountable for posting inappropriate content on social media and includes a list of examples.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint area business leaders are turning to social media as a way to counter negative publicity about the city’s drinking water crisis.

The Flint/Genesee Chamber of Commerce has launched a #ChooseFlint campaign, where it encourages people to share images of Flint on Facebook and other social media.

Heather Kale is with the Chamber. She hopes #ChooseFlint will persuade people to visit Flint.

On Thursday, Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith took to Twitter with Reveal to answer your questions about the Flint water crisis. 

If you missed the Q&A with Smith, who produced the documentary Not Safe to Drink, catch up here: 

Twitter user @khakibluesocks

Earlier this week we asked you to send us selfies that show how you're feeling about this year's elections.

This week on Stateside, we're talking election feelings.

NPR's National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson gave us this look into why voters have such strong emotions this year, on everything from terrorism, to jobs, to elitism.  

Now we want to hear from you:

How are you feeling about this year's election? 

Screen Shot / House TV

During last night's State of the State, Governor Rick Snyder apologized to the residents of Flint, saying "I'm sorry, and I will fix it."

He traced a timeline of the government's failings, and promised to release his emails related to the handling of the crisis. He also asked the Legislature to approve $28 million in a supplemental budget for aid to Flint.

The top 10 Michigan stories you read this year

Dec 28, 2015

Ready to count down the seconds on New Year's Eve? You've still got a couple of days, so kill some time counting down the biggest stories of 2015. 

Here are the Top 10 most-read stories on our website this year:

Maria Elena/flickr /

A dusty old Facebook hoax that was debunked years ago has flared up again being passed from friend to friend like a bad cold.

It's the "Facebook privacy status" hoax – the one that reads "As of September 29, 2015, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future" ... and so on and so forth.

Cliff Lampe, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information joined us to talk about why so many people are falling for this again.

Doug Coombe

Carson Brown wants to make people think critically about what he calls the American landscape, and he’s not talking about mountains and vistas. He’s talking about the American landscape of consumerism.

“I want people to look around the space of a big box store and ask, ‘Is this space necessary? Do I need all these things? Is this a healthy way of living my life?’”

Emojipedia /

The recent announcement that new emojis are coming to a keyboard near you in 2016 caught our attention. The emoji powers that be (and yes, that exists!) are now deciding which new ones will make it onto our keyboards next year.

Flickr user Wonderlane /

When it comes to getting credit and being deemed a good risk for a loan, the choices made by lenders can be hard to understand. Many potential borrowers who earn a paycheck and pay their bills but don't have a credit history can be seen as untrustworthy.

Now, we're seeing some lenders look to social media and Internet use to determine whether someone can afford to borrow.

Senior citizens may be way more tech savvy than you think.
flickr user Jason Howie /

It's happened to the best of us: you shot off an email while you were hot under the collar, or you fired off an angry Facebook post or a tweet.

Then, remorse set in.

Is there anything you can do to take it back? Or will your unfortunate emails, tweets and posts somehow live forever?

According to Michigan Radio’s social media producer Kimberly Springer, it's complicated.

Screenshot from

Venmo is a payment application with a social media aspect built-in. Users can easily transfer money to others who use the app, and anyone who is Facebook friends with them can see what the transaction is for.

But the app is attached to users’ bank account, debit card or credit card, and its safety has been continually questioned.

Two of Stateside's interns brought up the application's popularity at the daily production meeting, and host Zoe Clark was taken aback. Why would people want to see what others are doing with their money?

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A new bill in the state House would require schools to adopt policies on social media interactions between students and school employees.

Supporters of House Bill 4791 say social media can be a great tool for teachers to communicate with students.

Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the F8 keynote in 2008
flickr user Brian Solis /

It’s been almost a decade since Facebook was opened to the general public.

Many initially saw it as a ripoff of then-powerhouse social networking platform MySpace, but since then it’s grown to take the top spot as ruler of the social media kingdom.

Some will argue, for better or for worse, that Facebook is now a permanent piece of our cultural landscape.

Just a few years ago, we had never even heard the word "selfie".

These days, our social media feeds are filled with them. And that's sparked conversations and questions: Are they ridiculous? Are they little more than a deep dive into narcissism? Are they important ways to record our lives?

SEO / flickr

More and more, consumers are realizing that social media is a much better way to get a company’s attention than getting lost in a voice mail jungle when you call some 1-800-phone line.

Michigan Radio’s social media producer Kimberly Springer joined us to talk about what companies and consumers are learning about using social media.

Flickr user Scott Beale / Flickr

Crowdfunding. The word itself wasn't even known less than a decade ago. But crowdfunding has become a powerful way to raise money.

EquityNet tells us that more than $20 billion in funding transactions will happen around the world this year. That is a 100% increase from $10 billion last year.

Flickr user Adam Fagen / Flickr

Since it was launched in 2013, the anonymous application Yik Yak has spread across college campuses. Messages are sorted by geographic location and only posts within a mile and a half radius appear.

So it's perfect for saying what you want, about whom you want without anyone knowing it's you, and that is posing problems and challenges for schools around the country.


As much as we seem to love checking our Facebook feeds, the result may not be what you’d expect.

Ethan Kross from the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan recently published some of his findings involving Facebook in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.


Matt Green said that Grindr, perhaps the best-known location-based gay dating app, is not only about looking for love or hookups. It can also be a platform for finding spiritual, or even religious connections.

Hailing from Ann Arbor, Green is a second-year rabbinical student at New York City’s Hebrew Union College. He’s known as “The Grindr Rabbi” and uses Grindr to reach out to gay Jews in New York City.

Green said it all started when he came back from rabbinical school in Israel last year. He downloaded Grindr and posted to his profile that he was on his way to becoming a Rabbi.

A student's letter in an effort to bring Pope Francis to Detroit.
User: Let's Bring Pope Francis to Detroit in 2015 / facebook

The last time a pope visited Michigan was 27 years ago this very week. Pope John Paul spoke to crowds at Hart Plaza and Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, visited Hamtramck, and celebrated Mass for 90,000 people at the Pontiac Silverdome.

Word that Pope Francis is planning a visit to the United States has ignited a letter-writing and social media campaign called "Let's Bring Pope Francis to Detroit in 2015"

The spark of the campaign began at Cristo Rey High School in southwest Detroit. And the movement is drawing support from some big names, including Detroit's mayor and deputy mayor. 

Cristo Rey Principal Sue Rowe and Detroit Deputy Mayor Ike McKinnon spoke to Stateside about their effort.

First on Stateside, Gov. Rick Snyder joined us from the Mackinac Policy Conference, followed by Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

The prevalence of social media has changed a lot in our world, and in the wake of graduation season social media may affect job prospects for applicants. Having social media profiles that are professional may be the key to landing a job. 

University of Michigan researchers have developed a new app for smartphones that can detect mood swings in bipolar patients via voice analysis, so that patients can get the help they need. 

In the midst of all of the recalls, General Motors is approaching its five-year anniversary of declaring bankruptcy. 

*Listen to the full episode above. 

user: Chris Messina / Flickr

The graduation ceremonies are over, the caps and gowns stored in the back of the closet, and the photos of college grads and proud family members are posted on Facebook. 

Now comes reality for new college grads: the job search. 

And in this digital world packed with social media, the old-fashioned one-page resume and cover letter might not cut it anymore. 

What do recruiters and companies want to see from applicants? 

For advice, we turned to someone who has been a career counselor for 13 years at the University of Michigan School of Information. Joanna Kroll is the director of career development, and she joined us on Stateside. 

*Listen to the full interview above.

Image made by Mark Brush

Bad roads, the Rust Belt, the largest city in bankruptcy: These are some of the negative visions that people have of Michigan. 

A recent Gallup Poll showed that only 28% of Michiganders said Michigan was the best or one of the best possible states to live in. 

But you're still here.


That's the question Michigan Radio is asking as part of our Why I Stay project. 

Mark Brush of Michigan Radio is running it, and he joined us on Stateside. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

When it comes to support for emergency care services, the U.S. just barely squeaked by with a passing grade, at least according to a new state-by-state report card put out by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

And how did Michigan measure up, you might ask? Well, it turns out we're failing in access to emergency health care. We heard some recommendations about ways to move forward.

Then, we met a woman who’s trying to help people come together to have some uncomfortable, but enlightening, conversations about race, class and more.

And, we spoke with Daniel Howes about Tom Lewand, Detroit’s job czar.

Also, “Saturday Night Live” just hired its first black female cast member in five years. Will this bring more attention to other black comedians?

And, a Michigan historian gave us a closer look at how Michigan milkweed helped us in World War II.

Also, the Michigan Human Society has a new way to find homes for their animals: social media.

First on the show, how do you best measure the progress of students in Michigan's classrooms and, by extension, the effectiveness of their teachers?

It's one of the thorniest challenges being debated in Michigan education.

For years, the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) and the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) have been the assessment tools. Now, with the move to the Common Core Standards, it's out with the MEAP and MME and in with the what?

Districts around Michigan are gearing up for an online adaptive assessment test in the spring of 2015.

The Michigan Department of Education says the state has only one option for testing students on the Common Core State Standards for the next three years.

And that option is the Smarter Balanced Assessment – the SBA.

But state lawmakers haven't made that official.

We wondered how districts  are preparing for the SBA or whatever test they're told to administer next year.

William Heath is the superintendent of the Morrice Area Schools and principal at Morrice Junior and Senior High School located in Shiawassee County. He joined us today.