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All posts by Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch).
  • Married at First Sight SA season 2 will not include gay couples

    Married at First Sight SA's second season will not feature any same-sex marriages, an executive producer revealed yesterday at a DStv showcase. The series -- a local spinoff of a US reality show -- matches two individuals by comparing finances, religion, and "similarities". But it's no ordinary matchmaking show: like the title suggests, participants agree to a legal marriage as the first blind date. It then documents their lives together and, after several weeks, couples can choose to stay married or go their separate ways. So why does the SA show not feature any gay marriages, despite it being legal for over...

  • Instagram ‘advertises’ itself on Facebook with rape threats

    Instagram has come under fire for advertising itself on parent company Facebook's platform with a screenshot of an email that read "I will rape you before I kill you". Instagram is using one of my most "engaging" posts to advertise its service to others on Facebook ūüėāpic.twitter.com/lyEBHQXMfa ‚ÄĒ Olivia Solon (@oliviasolon) September 21, 2017 The Guardian¬†reporter Olivia Solon had posted the image to her feed a year ago. Her caption read: "This is an email I received this afternoon. Sadly this is all too common for women on the internet. I am sure this is just an idiot rather than any kind...

  • Russian Facebook pages may have organised pro-Trump rallies

    Suspected Russian Facebook page Being Patriotic organised pro-Trump and anti-Clinton rallies in the build-up to the 2016 US election, The Daily Beast has found. On 20 August 2016 -- less than three months before the election in November -- the page created a number of events collectively titled "Florida Goes Trump!" It called for supporters to rally together in 17 different cities and towns. The position in Florida is crucial, as it is a swing state that could have reasonably been won by either party. US President Donald Trump won 49.1% of the vote in Florida, as opposed to Hillary Clinton's 47.8%. The Daily Beast found proof...

  • Twitter’s efforts to cull pro-terror content seems to be working

    Twitter's latest transparency report reveals that the platform's effort to cut down on pro-terror content is working. According to the report, the first half of the year saw just under 300 000 accounts removed for promoting internationally recognized terror movements or the violence associated with them. This is a 20% drop from the previous reporting period. The company recently joined forces with the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Microsoft to share information on how to combat pro-terror content, including AI that can swiftly detect dangerous content. The report says that 95% of the removed terror accounts were the result of internal efforts...

  • Stronger review: a nuanced take on the messiness of recovery

    On 15 April 2013 Jeff Bauman was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon to win back his girlfriend. He was next to the bomb when it exploded; he lost both his legs. An image of his rescue went viral, and Bauman was thrust unwillingly into the spotlight. He became the face of the Boston Strong movement, of a city clinging to hope and love in a time when despair would have been easy. Now, three years after Bauman published his memoir, David Gordon Green (Our Brand is Crisis) has brought his story to the big screen. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal...

  • SA’s box office: ‘It’ floats to the top of the charts

    The Stephen King adaptation It has smashed into top spot at South Africa's box office after bringing in over R5-million -- officially making it the largest opening for a horror film ever. The film has already broken plenty records: It's the highest-grossing film ever released in September in the US, the highest-grossing Stephen King film ever, it has the widest R-rated release, and it looks set to overtake The Exorcist as the highest-grossing horror film of all time. But with Pennywise pulling us all down to the sewers, how did the other films manage this weekend? (15 - 17 September) 'It' has already broken plenty records: it's the highest-grossing film ever released...

  • Last week in trailers: Downsizing, Shape of Water, and JLaw’s Red Sparrow

    The last week in trailers promoted A-list faces in highly-anticipated movies, so grab some popcorn because there's bound to be something in this list that gets you hype. The Shape of Water The red-band trailer for Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water has been released, and, no, there isn't any inter-species fish sex, I'm sorry to say. The "other-worldly fairy tale" is set in Cold War-era America, and tells of a lonely mute woman whose life changes when she discovers a top secret "asset" in the form of an alien fish-man. It stars Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, and Michael Shannon, and hits South African...

  • Here’s what the web thought of the 2017 Emmy Awards

    Every year, Hollywood's television bigwigs get together in one room to praise each other and themselves at the Emmy Awards. This year's ceremony, hosted by Stephen Colbert, was rife with political commentary and Hollywood's favourite brand of self-congratulations. But not everyone could stomach the show -- so here's a roundup of the response to what went down Sunday night. The Handmaid's Tale won five awards Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale pulled in the most of awards of the evening: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Elisabeth Moss), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Ann Dowd), Outstanding Directing for a Drama...

  • The US summer box office tanked, but what about SA?

    Hollywood's summer season -- usually rife with blockbusters and massive hits -- took a beating this year as the worst summer in over a decade. US audiences avoided cinemas like the plague, resulting in a 14.6% drop in revenue from 2016. The last time sales were this low, The Da Vinci Code was airing and we were all excited for the second Pirates of the Caribbean installment. There have been a number of reasons put forward for this drop: franchise fatigue, increasing ticket prices, and the demand for online streaming all surely play a part in keeping viewers away from the...

  • Women file pay discrimination lawsuit against Google

    Three women have filed a lawsuit against Google claiming systemic pay discrimination, according to The Guardian. The former employees claim the company consistently pays men more for doing similar work as women in similar conditions. They also allege that Google denies women opportunities for advancement. The class-action complaint, filed on behalf of all women employed by the company in California in the last four years, could see more employees stepping up as it continues. Leading the charge is former employee Kelly Ellis, who has provided detailed evidence of Google's alleged pay gap. Ellis says that when she was first hired, Google placed her in a "Level 3" job, typically reserved for...

  • Donald Trump calls for terrorists’ internet to be ‘cut off’ after London explosion

    US President Donald Trump has tweeted that terrorists' internet should be "cut off" and "use better" in the wake of an explosion in London that saw dozens injured. Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner.The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better! ‚ÄĒ Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017 "The internet is main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!" he tweeted. A homemade explosive caught fire in a tube station Friday morning,¬†injuring 18 people who were taken to hospital in non-critical condition. We have taken 18 patients...

  • Facebook removes ads targeting ‘Jew haters’

    Facebook profiles can be obnoxious. With no vetting procedures on the information provided for education or employment, friends can say they attended Hogwarts or that they work at NASA despite failing high school maths. But while some have been using these self-reporting fields to make harmless jokes, others have been using them to spew hatred -- and it's been revealed that advertisers could have specifically targeted these individuals. On Thursday, a report by Propublica revealed that advertisers, who have the ability to select which demographic they'd like to target, have been able to select the likes of "Jew hater", "how to burn Jews", and "history of...

  • Disturbances in the Force: a timeline of recent Star Wars ‘creative differences’

    This year has taken its toll on Star Wars writers and directors. Venturing in and out of the franchises like indecisive shoppers, seemingly every creative in Hollywood has been a part of at least one of the films this generation has produced. And the chaos can easily get muddled for a fan just trying to keep up. So here's a timeline of how it's all gone down over at Disney and Lucasfilm. October 2012: George Lucas, creator of the franchise, sells the production company Lucasfilm to Disney. "I'm doing this so that the films will have a longer life," he said in an interview. November 2012: Toy Story 3's Michael Arndt...

  • MiniMeme Podcast #8: Should we take the likes of Jake Paul and PewDiePie more seriously?

    Traditional media (and the general population) have a tendency to dismiss YouTubers as silly and not worth taking seriously -- but they are entertainers connecting with massive audiences and what they do matters. In today's podcast, Julia Breakey and Daniel Mpala discuss why and how YouTube should be considered with the gravity it deserves. Take a listen in the latest episode of MiniMeme. Additional reading: Social media is real life Cybercrimes and cybersecurity bill YouTube's community guidelines MiniMeme Podcast #5: Should Dunkirk have been more diverse?

  • SA box office: The Dark Tower rises over charts

    The Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower -- starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey -- has opened in first place on the South African charts despite an underwhelming debut in the US. The film has taken over a decade to make it to screen, and it seems audiences have deemed the wait worth it: The Dark Tower has already pulled in US$107-million from a US$60-million budget. It's unlikely the film will see a second week at the top, though: other Stephen King adaptation It is sure to topple any competition when it opens this Friday. If The Dark Tower maintains its popularity, though, King is likely to take home gold and silver next weekend. So how...