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Social Media Stars
The latest on the social media stars that are changing this sector, the platforms and the posts...
The latest on the social media stars that are changing this sector, the platforms and the posts...

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Our Social Media Travel Influencer of the week is:

Adam Stewart
Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive Officer,
Sandals Resorts

INSTAGRAM - @adamstewart - 27.9K FOLLOWERS

TWITTER - @AdamStewart - 372K FOLLOWERS

Visit the Social Media Directory :

As the dynamic Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sandals
Resorts International, the world's leading resort company, and The ATLGroup, Jamaica's longest standing automotive and appliance distributors with recently expanded region-wide operations, Adam Stewart is one of the most successful and
admired entrepreneurs of our time.
A philanthropist at heart, Stewart also serves as the
President of the Sandals Foundation, a nonprofit
organisation aimed at fulfilling the promise of the Caribbean
community by improving lives and preserving the natural surroundings, through investments in sustainable regional projects in education, community and the environment.

Born in 1981, the same year his father Gordon 'Butch' Stewart
purchased his first hotel and launched the Sandals Resorts chain, Adam Stewart was raised in Jamaica and later graduated from Florida International University's (FIU) acclaimed Hospitality Management Programme in Miami.

After graduation, Stewart underwent a fast track
immersion course through the company's Caribbean-wide resort operations which today comprises 19 resorts across three brands and seven islands.

A decade under Adam Stewart's stewardship, Sandals continues to follow a trajectory of exhilarating growth that has seen new resorts, new islands being explored and the introduction of industry-changing innovation and developments. Stewart's ambitious leadership has moved
the brand well beyond the all-inclusive concept to its signature Luxury Included® resorts, offering guests unprecendented and unmatched vacation priviliges and experiences in the region's most sought-after

Stewart's leadership has earned the company international
acclaim and has seen the brand being named the World Travel Awards' Leading Luxury All-Inclusive Company for 22 consecutive years.

With Stewart as the pioneer, the company expects even more growth and has plans to double size and triple revenue over the next decade through at least 10 new exciting developents, including the debut of the highly-anticipated over-the-water suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island, the first of its kind for theCaribbean.

This pioneering spirit has been recognised and awarded by
many, resulting in Stewart receiving numerous accolades, among them, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association's Hotelier of the Year 2015, World Travel Awards' Rising Star, Caribbean World's Travel and Tourism Personality of the Year, the Distinguished Alumni Torch Award from FIU and The Gleaner Company's Jamaica 50 under 50 Award. In October 2015, Stewart was named the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association's Hotelier of the Year 2015.

A lover of the ocean and all things adventurous, Stewart was inspired by his passion for sharing the Caribbean with others, and launched the Caribbean's premier luxury tour company, Island Routes Adventure Tours, offering countless unique and exciting tour and adventure experiences throughout the region. Island Routes has since transformed from a small island outpost to a multiple World-Travel-Award-winning
company employing 200 people and offering hundreds of adventures in 12 countries. In just seven years, Island Routes has earned the enviable title of the World Travel Awards' Leading Caribbean Tour Company for four consecutive years.

Following significant investments in new assets such as its first-class fleet of luxury cars and buses, in 2014, the company expanded into destination management services and has since signed landmark partnerships with leading brands such as Air Canada Vacations and Hyatt.

Though he's had many successes in the field, his passion for hotels and tourism is but one chapter of Adam Stewart's story. In August 2009, Stewart was appointed CEO and Deputy Chairman of the family-owned ATL Group comprising the Jamaica Observer, the country's leading daily newspaper and ATL Appliance Traders, a chain of domestic
and commercial appliance outlets combining exclusive distributorship of the world's top electronic brands and 'unbeatable' customer service throughout Jamaica.

Established in 1968, ATL Appliance Traders has been significantly modernised under Stewart's leadership. A re-energized company now encompasses a broad spectrum of new sectors with international aspirations while still remaining faithful to the philosophy of service that Stewart's father created many years ago.
Now in 2016, celebrating its 48th year, the ATL Group is part of the largest private sector organisation in the country boasting over 750 employees nationwide.

In 2010, driven by his love for cars, Stewart changed the face of the automotive industry in Jamaica with the creation of ATL Automotive. With multi-million dollar distributorships and state-of-the-art service centres located in Kingston and Montego Bay, ATL Automotive boasted unrivalled sales and service of Audi, Volkswagen, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover automobiles.
Jamaica embraced Stewart's vision and the revitalized Volkswagen and Audi brands enjoyed huge sales increases in their first years of business, 272% and 346% respectively, with each breaking sales records and making Audi the number one premium brand in Jamaica.
The Honda brand, part of the ATL Group since 1997, also scored big with the Honda Automobile Customer Experience Award for two consecutive years and beating all 22
countries who carry the brand in the Latin America and Caribbean region, for market share.

After registering sales of 146%, ATL Automotive, in April 2015,
announced the termination of its distributorship of the Land Rover and Jaguar brands in order to focus on new brands to better complement the company's growth strategy. Stewart further changed the game when he announced the introduction of ATL Autobahn, a new division under the
ATL Automotive umbrella, through which the company would have sole rights to distribute and service Porsche, BMW and Mini throughout Jamaica. And that was not all. Stewart also revealed that ATL Autobahn would be the master dealer for BMW and Mini for the Caribbean region,with operations in nine other countries: Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Barbados, Aruba, St Lucia, Suriname, and Antigua.

Despite being one of the most prominent young businessmen in the world, Stewart remains a proud Jamaican and citizen of the Caribbean dedicating much of his time to elevating the region he calls home.

In 2009, Stewart founded the Sandals Foundation with the aim of uniting the region under one common goal: to lift its people through education and protect its delicate ecosystem. The Sandals Foundation harnesses the resources, talents, partnerships and awareness behind the Sandals Resorts brand to tackle a myriad of issues affecting the
Caribbean. In 2013, Stewart was named as an Ambassador of the Caribbean-SickKids Paediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Project.
The not-for-profit collaboration between Canada's renowned Hospital forSick Children in Toronto and various institutions across six Caribbean islands works to provide the best possible management for paediatric cancer and to improve outcomes for children affected by cancers and serious blood disorders in the region. Stewart also founded and sits
as Chairman of We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital, a local non-profit organisation that brings together Montego Bay-based individuals to raise funds and improve the facilities of the nearby Cornwall Regional Hospital.

Underlining his reputation as a staunch advocate of education, Stewart established an internationally-accredited private sector educational institute, the Sandals Corporate University/ ATL Academy of Excellence. Launched in early 2012, the Sandals Corporate University pushes the boundaries of distance learning in the Caribbean with over
4,100 team members enrolling in the University to date, and the resorts themselves reaching new levels of excellence.

In 2016, Stewart received the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) for outstanding contribution to tourism and the hotel industry. The Order of Distinction is a national honour conferred by the Government of Jamaica upon citizens who render outstanding and important services
to the country. Additionally, he was appointed a member of Jamaica’s Economic Growth Council and a member of the Board of Directors of the Port Authority of Jamaica by Prime Minister, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness.

These appointments were shortly followed by another
commendable accomplishment when he was asked by Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, to lead the Tourism Linkages Committee in the capacity of Chairman. Stewart also currently holds
the post of First Vice-President for the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association. Stewart also received the award for 2016 Caribbean American Mover & Shaker – Humanitarian of the Year from the Caribbean Media Network.

Within the local community, Stewart continues to serve as ambassador to the University of the West Indies, helping to promote higher education in Western Jamaica and throughout the island and region at large.

Adam and his wife Jill are proud parents to son Aston and daughters Sloane and Camden.

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Paul Frampton Calero

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9 Instagram Accounts We're Thankful For in 2017

Facebook is full of fake news. Twitter is full of trolls. Tumblr is a mess. Our only social media refuge these days is Instagram. Yes, sometimes your friends post way too many drunk stories and the influencers' #sponcon for various health miracle teas gets annoying, but curate your feed correctly and Instagram can still be your retreat into pure digital bliss. Whether it's the beautiful, the weird, or just a picture of your friend's lunch, it's still a relatively stress-free scroll.
As we celebrate the holidays, W's editors share the accounts they're thankful to follow this year. The list runs the gamut from fashion's new eagle-eyed whistleblower @DietPrada to 'Gram mainstays like Justin Bieber. If you're looking to make some additions to your following list, or just hoping to find something to distract you from stalking the account of the high school crush you're suddenly thinking about while you're back home, give these a try:

Justin Bieber, @JustinBieber
Diet Prada, @DietPrada
Candice Bergen, @BergenBags
Maurizio Cattelan, @MaurizioCattelan
Official Sean Penn, @OfficialSeanPenn
Fran Fine Fashion, @WhatFranWore
Pete Souza, @Pete Souza
Overheard New York, @OverheardNewYork


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Facebook to tell users how much Russian fake news they have been exposed to

Facebook plans to show its users if they "liked" content created by Russian-backed fake news sites during the US presidential election.

US intelligence agencies are currently investigating the impact of Russian meddling on the outcome of last year's election.

Earlier this month, Facebook revealed as many as 126 million Americans may have seen content from Russia-based agents on the site over the past two years.

The social network has announced it is developing a tool to let people see whether they followed pages made by the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency.

The agency was behind hundreds of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and posted thousands of politically-charged messages.

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Social media addict? Then China is not the place for you – Here’s why
WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram: Here are some of the top everyday apps banned in China.

Skype | In October, Skype become the latest victim of China's strict cyber security laws and Internet regulations. Reports suggest that Microsoft-owned video calling and messaging application has been removed from the Apple’s app store in China

WhatsApp | Earlier this year, the messaging service was added to the hit list. In China, WhatsApp is dwarfed by WeChat which has more than 900 million users.

Instagram | In 2014, following the pro-democracy 'Umbrella Revolution' protests in Hong Kong, China banned the popular photo-sharing platform.

Facebook | After suspecting that activists involved in the Urumqi riots in the Xinjiang province were using Facebook for communication, China banned the popular social media platform in July 2009. However, the social networking platform is available in special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Twitter | In June 2009, China banned Twitter and a host of other blogging platforms such as Blogger and Wordpress. However, some Chinese routinely manage to breach the firewall.

YouTube | Initially, the video platform was banned for a few months in 2007-2008. A year later, China banned YouTube completely on its soil. However, it is still accessible in Hong Kong, Macau and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Gmail | In 2014, China banned the world's largest e-mail service following months of disruptions. The relationship between Google and China has been rocky. Determined users can still use Gmail through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). In 2010, Google had redirected all its search traffic from mainland China to its Hong Kong arm where it works uncensored.

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Miley Cyrus Celebrates Her 25th Birthday With Several Social Media Posts

Miley Cyrus had a little something extra to be thankful for -- all the love she received from family, friends and fans in honor of her 25th birthday.

The star essentially live-tweeted her day, also sharing posts on Instagram, in order to document her happiness. Here are all the times Cyrus celebrated her birthday on social media in the past 24 hours.

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Who hasn't been a fool on social media? Why 'Tweet shaming' has to stop

In the past week, Stormzy, Jack Maynard and Zoella have all fallen victim to the power of their own words.

Posts containing controversial terms or opinions they had shared on social media – often six or seven years old – have resurfaced in the press, and have been widely criticised for their racist, homophobic and sexist content.

The tweets, which have been trawled through and brought back into the collective consciousness make for uncomfortable reading: YouTuber (and I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! contestant) Jack Maynard was forced to leave the show after a day because he had tweeted words including “faggot” disparagingly way between 2011 and 2013.

Chart-topping grime star Stormzy used similar homophobic language at least 19 times between 2011 and 2014. And Zoe “Zoella” Sugg, one of the world’s most famous YouTubers, was lambasted for insulting gay men and “fat chavs” in tweets dating back to 2010.

Though trawling through celebrities’ old tweets in order to find incriminating evidence of wrongdoing is currently all the rage among the tabloid press, it’s nothing new. People have been hoisted by their own petard thanks to social media for years.

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We will be covering the UNWTO Conference Live from Montego Bay!

#Jamaica has partnered with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (#UNWTO) and the #WorldBank to host one of the most important global tourism conferences in the country’s history and the Social Media Stars team will be covering it live!

We will be bringing you all the latest news and photos from the conference, and will also be live-streaming on our Facebook and Instagram accounts!

Find out more about the conference:

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Making Social Media Social for Families

As I am enjoying my book on a short train ride, a bloodcurdling scream prevails from a toddler across the aisle. The barely 2 year old wants mommy’s smart phone while 8 year old brother sits with an ipad and 6 year old sister with her own smart phone. Mom tries to engage the toddler in several other toys, but the child insists on playing with electronics.

In the opportunity to spend family time together, this family disperses into separate virtual realities. Mom is clearly displeased, yet seems overwhelmed by the force of media intrigue that seems to carry her children into worlds unknown to her - worlds that may teach domination instead of respect, violence instead of compassion, destruction over caring, and many values that ultimately impact society negatively.

Videos, computer games, and apps consume the time and attention of today’s children. Harvard’s Mediatrician, Dr. Michael Rich says, “Children now spend more time with media than they do with parents, teachers or any other influence”. These new media technologies are easily available, and pervasive.

Parents seem displeased, yet powerless - at least many have been sluggish in responding and turn to pediatric experts for help. Those experts tend to focus on the detriments, which further dismay parents. Rich uses his research resources to investigate the positive aspects of pediatric media use and encourages more researches to do the same. Investigating the usefulness of media technology can bring positive values into the center of children’s attention.

One savvy parent, Janice Taylor, created a website and application called Mazu, “We are about creating a safe healthy space for you and your family to celebrate and reflect your core values”. Taylor responded to the pervasive intrusion of social media into a parent’s ability to provide their children with values.

Based on the concept that “It takes a village to raise a child”, Taylor takes the position that every adult has a role to play in the well being of the child and society. Taylor created Mazu to bring the care of grandparents, aunties, Godparents and all of a child’s support system into their virtual world. “As the Internet has evolved and grown, our villages have expanded. But alongside this growth we’ve also seen a sense of removal from the real world. Where the same rules don’t apply. Where core values are not the driving force behind our actions” Taylor exclaims.

Taylor explains the Mazu concept:

By capturing our children’s natural love for videos, family, games, and fun activities at an early age when they still enjoy parental interaction, they are provided with multiple positive adult-child interactions centered around the internet. The Mazu platform is programmed in such a way that parental interaction isn’t optional; it’s mandatory. Automated filters ensure inappropriate content is not submitted, while human moderators do a final approval on content before it’s posted live. The platform did away with ‘likes’, which are less interactive and more mindless forms of interactions. It encourages actual conversations with selected, parental approved people in groups created by each family. It encourages quality time centered around internet activities that capture children’s excitement and attention.

Parents, teachers, pediatricians, police and psychologists are concerned about how the virtual world, social media, impacts the real life of children in bullying, and other both self destructive and socially dangerous behaviors. “Media profoundly affects our kids’ social, emotional, and physical development,” says Seeta Pai, PhD – Vice President of Digital Media at Common Sense Media (CSM) a website that rates and reviews media for children games, so that parents and teachers can determine the appropriate media for their child. These media support tools attempt to give parents the steering wheel of values back into their hands.

Since Social media has become a part of life, parenting needs to include wise guidance in social media. These Internet interactions are just as impactful as the face-to-face ones. So parents need a way to stay present in their children’s life not only with physical presence, but in cyber space as well as. “Because what happens on the internet ultimately shows up in our real life, online relationships become real-life relationships, for good or bad,” Taylor explains adding, “ it’s time for parents to create that village of love for our children and take back the internet.

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The Top Politicians on Social Media

Barely a day passes without another Twitter storm courtesy of Donald Trump. Whether it’s haranguing news media or issuing self-congratulatory missives, the US President is surely aware that his tweets do not just follow the news; they are the news.

And while social media like Facebook, Twitter and WeChat has transformed the ability of citizens to act for social justice, they are increasingly a tool for heads of state to swerve traditional media and control their country’s narrative.

In some cases, such as Russia, China or the Philippines, huge armies of trolls flood networks with confusing or pro-government messages. “Social media has undeniably helped activist movements draw attention to their causes,” reads a recent The New Republic article. “But regimes around the world have figured out how to use social media to build even bigger megaphones, effectively drowning out dissent.”

According to a report by Burson-Marsteller, a communications specialist, in January this year, 87 heads of state, 70 prime ministers and 55 foreign ministers maintain a Facebook page. Considering the company currently has a little over two billion followers, that is probably a sound idea.

Barack Obama was the first leader to open a Facebook page in 2007, and left office with 54m Twitter followers. That has since increased to 97.1m – far outstripping his successor Trump’s 43.2m. Rwanda’s controversial leader Paul Kagame was the first head of state to tweet, in 2010.

When Obama launched his personal Facebook page on November 9 2015, he declared that “This is a place where we can have real conversations about the most important issues facing our country – a place where you can hear directly from me, and share your own thoughts and stories.”

Whether that goal is being achieved, given the number of trolls and propaganda flooding social media, is questionable. But politics and the web go hand in hand. Here are some heads of state that use it better than most.

1. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, India

Modi, elected in 2014, is the most followed world leader on Facebook with over 42m followers. He also has 37m followers on Twitter. He has become a master of the medium, posting frequent behind-the-scenes images and thoughts that are lapped up by his citizens. Three Facebook pictures of Modi with his mother garnered 1.8m interactions – second only to an Easter greeting posted by the Obamas in 2016.

Modi’s “magic”, as the Wall Street Journal recently called it, is to combine intimate, political scenes with family and charity work. A before-and-after shot of Modi sweeping a parking lot in Delhi got 2.4m likes, and over 141,000 shares. When Modi decided to thaw relations with neighbor Pakistan in 2015, he didn’t take to the television nor issue a press statement: he tweeted. Modi is “India’s first social media prime minister,” wrote Britain’s Financial Times.

2. Donald Trump, President, United States

So great has 45th President Trump’s Twitter presence been, that many suggest it could be a savior for the popular but financially-precarious company. Twitter makes just $7.99 for each of its 313m users – far less than LinkedIn, for example, which gets $32.41 from its own 467m users. Trump has used the platform to slay critics, slam citizens he feels do not show him enough respect, and–of course–to cry “fake news” at every possible opportunity.

Some feel Trump’s use of social media is a subversion of democracy. Others have contested that his blocking people is illegal. Trump doesn’t care, and has continually lauded Twitter and Facebook as ways of speaking directly to his base. Many of them disagree, however: a Fox News poll in June found that 70% of respondents believe Trump’s tweets hurt his agenda.

3. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China

Xi, whose thoughts were inducted into the Chinese constitution last month, is not as frequent a user of social media as his other world leader peers. But when he takes to the web, China listens. His first post, on the country’s largest platform, Sina Weibo, garnered 48,000 commented.

Since then Xi has limited his output to official messages and the occasional soccer player selfie. This summer he ordered Sina Weibo to block criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Around the same time images of Winnie the Pooh were banned for the bear’s supposed likeness to Xi. A Tencent game, in which users could applaud the Chinese premier, had been played more than 400m times by this October.

Under Xi a fleet of pro-Beijing messages have drowned opposition via the Communist Party’s Internet Water Army, and the so-called 50 Cent Army, named after the 0.5 yuan ($0.07) cost of each post, has engineered a personality cult unrivaled since the rule of Mao Zedong. China’s state Xinhua news agency recently described Xi as an “unrivaled helmsman”, and praised his role in bringing millions of Chinese out of poverty.

4. Vladimir Putin, President, Russia

Like his Chinese counterpart, Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s social media posts largely consist of official images at conferences and summits. But Putin’s own reputation, as a tough, traditional and benevolent leader, has been carefully crafted – and social media is one of his key tools.

Another striking similarity to Xi is the way Putin has controlled social media platforms behind the scenes. Kremlin-run troll farms are at the heart of a wave of disinformation spreading through western democracies. Much of it is the work of Putin advisor Vladislav Surkov, whose background in theater has, experts say, helped him create a climate of confusion that gives Putin’s message added clarity.

The President’s influence doesn’t end there. Pavel Durov, the creator of “Russian Facebook” VKontakte, stepped away from the company in 2014 amid mounting pressure from Moscow. Alisher Usmanov, Russia’s richest man and a close ally of Putin, bought the firm and sacked two staff for posting anti-Putin material. Social media may have been a way for Putin’s critics to fight him. Today it is hard to see any way its users can challenge his omnipotence.

5. Queen Rania of Jordan

Kuwait-born Palestinian Queen Rania, who assumed her position in 1999, quickly rose to prominence for her use of the Internet to promote philanthropic and royal engagements, and to build her brand as one of the world’s best-known consorts. Labeled “Jordan’s virtual queen” by Britain’s The Telegraph, Queen Rania is present across all major platforms including her own YouTube channel and Instagram account, on which she doesn’t mind sharing personal moments such as eating a burger or hanging out with her husband, King Abdullah bin al-Hussein.

With 8.9m Twitter followers Queen Rania has a fandom almost as large as her country’s entire population. “These are powerful networks and I think increasingly we are going to be able to use these communities to share resources to bring about important changes,” she said back in 2009.

Queen Rania has gone online to campaign for women’s rights and about political situations facing the Middle East. “Stories and our desire to share them are universal,” she told Mashable in 2015. “Technology simply offers new creative ways to tell them, and have them reach more people.”

6. Hun Sen, Prime Minister, Cambodia

In a southeast Asian region that features more than its share of truculent autocrats, Hun Sen, who with a term of 32 years is the world’s longest serving prime minister, might just be its most tech-savvy. His Facebook following numbers some 9m people: in a country of under 16m that is no mean feat.

What makes the former Khmer Rouge member’s profile so popular is its abundance of selfies and personal insights, including trips to the beach and jocular posts alongside friends and family members. He also has no qualms spiting political rivals, and Facebook has become “the key battleground in Cambodian politics,” according to the Phnom Penh Post.

Longtime adversary Sam Rainsy accused Hun Sen of buying Facebook likes this May, and he may have had a point: of Hun Sen’s 7.6m followers then, only 3.5m were located in Cambodia (Rainsy, by comparison, had a domestic following of 3m among his 3.9m followers). The prime minister, 65, who says he will rule into his seventies, had a pithy reply: “Sam Rainsy does not even know the difference between a post ‘like’ and a total page ‘like’.” What a smackdown.
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