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Trending

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In-depth reporting on the world of social media

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In-depth reporting on the world of social media

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27 Ratings
Average Ratings
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4
1
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0

all reviews?

By 2weety - May 20 2019
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why can’t i see all reviews?

Trending is great

By Mmmechi - Feb 15 2018
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I love Trending! My only complaint is that episodes disappear and are only selectively available.

iTunes Ratings

27 Ratings
Average Ratings
22
4
1
0
0

all reviews?

By 2weety - May 20 2019
Read more
why can’t i see all reviews?

Trending is great

By Mmmechi - Feb 15 2018
Read more
I love Trending! My only complaint is that episodes disappear and are only selectively available.
Cover image of Trending

Trending

Latest release on Nov 30, 2019

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 4 days ago

Rank #1: The rise of the 'Brazilian butt lift'

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The Brazilian Butt Lift or as it’s more commonly known, the BBL, is one of the most dangerous cosmetic procedures in the world but that hasn’t stopped it becoming one of the most requested.

Posts on this type of cosmetic surgery are all over social media which show before and after photos to portray this popular body type.

It’s influenced one woman to think about having a BBL. But before she makes a decision, she speaks to social media influencers, her close friends and medical professionals who help guide her through her choice.

Are the deadly risks involved in this type of cosmetic surgery worth taking for a big bottom?

Originally broadcast 10/5/19

Presenter: Anisa Subedar

Reporter: Lola Mosanya

Picture: Credit: BBC

Oct 25 2019

23mins

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Rank #2: Jered Threatin: The fake rock star

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How did an ambitious musician fool thousands of people using social media?

Jered Threatin successfully managed to fake an entire existence as a rock star. He persuaded people he was an award-winning musician who had played to sold-out venues. And as a result of his seemingly popular social media accounts and faked web pages, he orchestrated a European tour, got his eponymous band booked in venues across six countries.

The BBC’s Jessica Lussenhop got an exclusive interview with Jered Threatin, and she helps tell the story of how he was able to dupe people, how he was uncovered and why his desire for global success has now made him famous – for all the wrong reasons.

Presenter: Anisa Subedar
Reporter: Jessica Lussenhop

(Photo Caption: Jered Threatin / Photo Credit: BBC)

Apr 12 2019

23mins

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Rank #3: Antifascists v Alt.Right

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The Alt.Right in the US is locked in a fierce ideological battle with Antifa - a group of anti-fascists. We investigate online dirty tricks by both sides.
And debunking myths in India. How the country is getting to grips with the spread of fake news on an untrackable social platform.
Producer: Anisa Subedar
(Image: Protest, Credit: Getty Images)

Feb 18 2017

19mins

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Rank #4: Can YouTube be trusted?

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YouTube has been criticised for failing to take responsibility for videos posted on the platform. So can it be trusted to control potentially harmful content?

The video-sharing site is just 14, but there's no doubt it has become a giant of global communication. According to the company's own figures, it has more than a billion users around the globe, watching more than a billion hours of videos every day.

At the same time as it has grown phenomenally popular, however, YouTube has also been accused of spreading conspiracy theories and radicalising people into violent extremism. It has also been blamed for allowing hate speech, while failing to protect users from harmful videos.

And so it's only fair to ask: can YouTube really be trusted? In a rare interview with the BBC, YouTube UK managing director Ben McOwen Wilson gives us a glimpse into the company’s thinking about the many challenges and controversies it has faced in recent months.

Presenter: Marco Silva
Reporter: Chris Fox

(Photo Caption: a laptop showing YouTube's logo on its screen is held in front of graffiti / Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Aug 02 2019

25mins

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Rank #5: Why Greek activists are telling tourists to leave

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"Go home!"

That's what some tourists are being told when they visit the Athens district of Exarchia.

It’s been described as an "anarchist enclave", a place where riot police regularly clash with local activists. But it’s also a rapidly gentrifying area where Instagramable coffee shops are adorned with colourful, anti-establishment graffiti.

Its central location and cheap property prices mean that Exarchia has in recent years attracted increasing numbers of tourists. This in turn has stoked resentment among some activists, who say the pressures of tourism have driven rents up and pushed long-established residents out of their homes.

Radical left-wing groups have called for direct action to stop this trend. They hang banners telling tourists they are "targets", vandalise flats rented out via Airbnb, and post videos of their comrades shouting at visitors to leave.

But others in the neighbourhood argue tourism is giving Greece the means to recover from a devastating economic crisis and years of financial austerity.

BBC Trending travels to the beating heart of Exarchia to meet residents, activists and tourists. What happens when Instagram hipsters clash with local activists?

Presenter: Mike Wendling
Reporter: Jessica Bateman
Producer: Marco Silva

(Photo Caption: Activists stencil a slogan reading "Flats for immigrants not for Airbnb" on a wall in central Athens / Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Oct 18 2019

24mins

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Rank #6: The people who want humans to stop having babies

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Have you ever wondered what would happen to humanity if we all stopped having babies? The extinction of the human race may be a scary thought to most of us, but not for the “anti-natalists”.

They’re a thriving online community based on Facebook and Reddit that firmly believes human life only brings suffering and should therefore come to an end.

While some entertain the idea on a purely philosophical level, others say reducing the number of people on Earth is an imperative to combat climate change.

So what exactly motivates the anti-natalists? And how seriously should we take some of their rather controversial views and arguments? We have been following their conversations online and spoken to a number of anti-natalists who want a worldwide birth stop now.

Presenter: Mike Wendling
Reporter: Jonathan Griffin

(Photo: Red ban sign over baby's picture. Credit: Getty Images)

Aug 09 2019

23mins

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Rank #7: Is YouTube to blame for the rise of flat Earth?

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Many people who believe the Earth is not round first heard the idea on YouTube.

While it’s hard to accurately say how many flat Earthers there are worldwide, it is undeniable that their community has grown in recent years. Flat Earth meet-ups and conventions have popped up in a number of countries, while online searches for the topic have reached unprecedented levels.

YouTube hosts thousands of flat Earth videos, some with millions of views. And when you ask flat Earth conspiracy theorists how they got into the movement, they almost always say their introduction came via the world’s most popular video-sharing site. It was on YouTube that many were persuaded to reject centuries of solid science and where they found like-minded people to share their views with.

YouTube says it's taking action to address the proliferation of misinformation and conspiracy theories on their platform. The Google-owned company says it’s trying to limit the spread of flat Earth videos (albeit only in the United States so far) and is taking steps to insert factual information among the conspiracy content.

But is it all just too little, too late?

Presenter: Mike Wendling
Reporter: Marco Silva

(Photo: 3D illustration of a flat earth model/ Photo credit: Getty Images)

Jul 12 2019

24mins

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Rank #8: Cuba’s digital revolution

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A revolution is underway in Cuba. The country’s communist leaders, who normally retain tight control of the media, have encouraged Cubans to become more connected online.

Internet access used to be the preserve of a privileged (and relatively rich) few. But prices have come down, public wifi spots are popular, and less than a year ago 3G data access became available on Cuban phones.

Along with a huge uptake in the internet has come a flood of Cubans signing up to social media accounts. Even President Miguel Diaz-Canel is on Twitter.

And unlike staid and traditional state-run media, Cuban social media is relatively open, freewheeling, full of jokes, criticism of the government and, of course, memes.

Prices are still high and the government keeps a close eye on dissidents or “counter-revolutionaries”. But online, Cubans are exploring new ways to communicate that would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

The BBC’s Cuba correspondent Will Grant and BBC Trending reporter Reha Kansara have been meeting the Cubans at the forefront of their country’s digital revolution.

They meet political podcasters, a lesbian activist, a pro-government blogger, a gamer-turned-protester, a dissident journalist and one of Cuba’s biggest YouTube stars.

How are Cubans making their voices heard in a way they never have before – and how might social media transform the country?

Presenters: Will Grant and Reha Kansara

Photo: A young Cuban standing by the waterfront in Havana accesses the internet on his phone.

Oct 11 2019

50mins

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Rank #9: What happens after you go viral?

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Two stories about viral stories that kicked off deep debate about social issues. What happened when social media moved on?
Randa Jarrar, a university professor, tweeted a provocative – and many would say deeply offensive – message after the death of former US First Lady Barbara Bush. It went viral and hit a nerve in a country riveted by debates over free speech and its limits, especially on college campuses.
And you may remember the story of the jogger who was caught on video throwing a homeless man’s possessions into a lake in Oakland, California. The incident eventually led to criminal charges for the jogger, and also sparked an outpouring of sympathy for the homeless man. But what happened next – yes, you guessed it – might surprise you.

Presenter: Mike Wendling
Reporter: Chris Bell

(Photo Caption: Photo illustration featuring Randa Jarrar (centre) / Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Jul 26 2019

23mins

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Rank #10: Lessons from an Instagram Star’s Failed Tour

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Caroline Calloway built a huge audience on Instagram by posting fairy tale pictures of life as a university student in England, mixing romance and adventure with a dash of personal revelation and grit. But she recently found herself on the receiving end of a wave of abuse after she cancelled a tour of “creativity workshops”. It’s prompted a discussion about influencers – social media stars who have a lot of cultural clout and can often make a lot of money. But what happens when they let down their fans?

Reporter: Anisa Subedar
Presenter: Mike Wendling

(Photo: Caroline Calloway. Credit: Instagram/Caroline Calloway)

Jan 28 2019

23mins

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Rank #11: Nigeria’s Secret Transgender Groups

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After comments by writer and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche divided opinion, we speak to members of some of Nigeria’s secret gay and transgender on groups who rely on each other on social media for support. They communicate with each other in private and closed ambiguously named WhatsApp and Facebook groups.

Joey Daley from Ohio has documented his mother Molly’s dementia. One film in which she failed to recognise him for the first time was viewed nearly 2 million times. Joey speaks to BBC Trending about how it feels to care for someone with dementia.
Presenter: Mike Wendling

Producer: Anisa Subedar
(Image/Credit: Miss Sahhara)

Mar 18 2017

18mins

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Rank #12: The Sextortion Scammers

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We investigate the criminals who threaten to expose you on social media, using password hacking.

Imagine you open your email and there’s a message in there from someone that knows some of your personal information – like your laptop password. Not only that, but they’re threatening to reveal your darkest secrets on social media, unless you pay a ransom in anonymous cryptocurrency. That’s been happening to people all over the world - including our reporter Jo Whalley.

Jo finds out how cyber criminals have got hold of people’s personal information and about the huge sums of money people have been paying to the scammers.

Presenter: Mike Wendling
Reporter: Jo Whalley
Studio Manager: Neil Churchill

Photo Caption: Photo illustration of hackers
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Nov 23 2018

23mins

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Rank #13: How to survive the digital age

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Where did it all go wrong? The liberating promise of the internet and social media has recently been swamped by worries about privacy, misinformation and online radicalisation.

Now that doubts about our digital technologies are all over the news, what should we do about it?

Author and podcaster Douglas Rushkoff wants a new fight against “anti-human” technologies. He says that many recent technological developments – including the rise of social media – have alienated and isolated us.

Rushkoff is not a Luddite – in fact he’s an enthusiastic early adopter and long-time chronicler of the digital world. But in his new book Team Human, and his podcast of the same name, he argues for a critical look at how technology is affecting our brains and our lives.

What does he think is the way forward – and are people really listening?

Presenter: Mike Wendling
Producers: Jonathan Griffin and Ed Main

(Photo caption: Douglas Rushkoff/ Photo credit: Iain Marcks)

May 03 2019

22mins

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Rank #14: What’s boosting the ‘Brazilian Butt Lift’?

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It’s a dangerous cosmetic surgical procedure that’s all over social media. About one in every 3,000 women who undergo a Brazilian Butt Lift - or BBL - will die, but the stark statistics haven’t stopped its popularity. In the United States, for instance, the number of BBLs has doubled in just a few years.

Fuelling the trend are social media photos and influencers who show off their hourglass shapes – including big breasts, tiny waists, and a big bottom. It’s a particularly prized body type in some cultures and, in modern times, it’s been popularised by superstars like Kim Kardashian.

We follow Shami, a 23-year-old who’s considering having a BBL. Before she makes a decision, she speaks to social media influencers, her close friends, and medical professionals who help guide her through her choice. Will she – or won’t she?

Presenter: Anisa Subedar
Reporter: Lola Mosanya

(Photo caption: artist’s impression of a Brazilian Butt Lift/ Photo credit: BBC)

May 10 2019

23mins

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Rank #15: How scammers took advantage of #BlueForSudan

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After a Sudanese protester was killed, there was a wave of sympathy on social media – but scammers took advantage.
In early June, 26-year-old activist Mohamed Mattar was shot and killed in Khartoum. He was one of 100 protesters who died in a government crackdown on a sit-in.
Blue was his favourite colour, and at the time of his death, the avatar on his social media pages displayed a deep shade similar to the colour of the ocean.
Some of Mohamed’s friends and family changed their avatars to the same colour that he used. Within days, a worldwide movement had started: #BlueForSudan.
But along with the authentic outpouring of support came scammers who used the trend to harvest likes, shares and followers.
So how did “sympathy scammers” exploit the crisis for their own benefit? We speak to the teenage boy who took them on.

Presenters: Jonathan Griffin and Reha Kansara

(Photo caption: Some of the fake accounts / Photo credit: Instagram)

Jun 28 2019

23mins

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Rank #16: The Emirati women fleeing their faith and family

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Growing up, Dina – not her real name – would browse social media and imagine a life far from the one she was living. She felt shackled by the rules imposed on her by her parents, religion and the culture of the United Arab Emirates.

So one day she escaped, using social media to navigate through networks of people and ex-Muslim communities, to get to the West.

Several recent high-profile cases of Emirati women leaving the country have been in the news recently. But Dina’s story is more ordinary and indications are it is becoming more common.

We explore why Dina fled the UAE, how she did it and what life is like for her now.

Presenter: Reha Kansara
Reporter: Sophia Smith-Galer

(Photo Caption: Dina, who fled her family in the United Arab Emirates / Photo Credit: BBC)

Jul 05 2019

22mins

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Rank #17: The hunt for red mercury

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Some believe red mercury is a mystical elixir with magical healing powers that has survived from the time of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

Others fear that it is a dangerous nuclear material, which in the wrong hands could bring about the apocalypse.

However, red mercury doesn’t actually exist. So why is it being offered for sale on social media?

We go in search of the many amazing lives of this mysterious mythical material.

Presenter: Mike Wendling
Reporter: Sarah Myles
Producer: Ed Main

(Photo Caption: Illustration of a red splodge / Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Sep 06 2019

23mins

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Rank #18: What is #QAnon?

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Back in October 2017, an anonymous figure posted a series of cryptic messages on an online message board. The user, who signed themselves "Q", claimed to have top security clearance within the US government. Despite there being no credible evidence for the claims, “Q” has sparked a vast, endlessly-complicated pro-Trump conspiracy theory. The far-fetched story has since jumped from fringe message boards to the floor of a President Trump rally. We look at the story behind the mysterious “Q”.
Presenters: Mike Wendling and Anisa Subedar

Producer: Elizabeth Cassin

Aug 17 2018

22mins

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Rank #19: What Do We Really Know About Russian Disinformation?

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We meet investigators looking into social media manipulation and the people behind the Hamilton 68 project, which monitors suspected Russian accounts. Two reports recently prepared for US Senate investigators detailed extensive Russian efforts to influence major social networks.

Trending travels to Texas to meet the people behind one of the reports at New Knowledge, a company that was involved in the development of the “Hamilton 68 dashboard” – a running tally of hashtags and other information on accounts linked to Russian propaganda.

New Knowledge has been one of a number of companies at the forefront of the investigation into the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency and other disinformation campaigns. But the firm has also been criticised for lack of transparency around Hamilton 68 and for its involvement in a project during the US Senate race in Alabama.

How do researchers answer those criticisms – and what are the methods they use to establish the origins of disinformation and social media propaganda?
Presenter: Anisa Subedar
Reporter: Mike Wendling
Studio Managers: Neil Churchill and Graham Puddifoot

Image Caption: New Knowledge co-founders Ryan Fox (left) and Jonathon Morgan (right) at the company’s offices in Austin, Texas
Image Credit: BBC

Jan 04 2019

36mins

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Rank #20: The Influencer Business

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Earlier this year, a baker in Liverpool in north-west England vented her frustration on Twitter over constantly being asked by social media influencers for free cakes. Laura Worthington tweeted: “I wasn't kidding when I said this happens a lot.” Many other businesses publicly sided with Laura Worthington on social media… but were they being fair? We investigate the impact of influencers – people with large and/or powerful social media followings. What are the rules and ethics around advertising and promotion? And can we really trust the people behind big social media accounts? After all, their reputations rest in part on the idea of authenticity.
Presenters: Jonathan Griffin and Lee Kumutat

Producer: Lee Kumutat

Studio manager: Nigel Appleton
Photo Caption: Influencer Lisa Linh promotes a number of brands – including hotels and credit card companies

Photo Credit: Lisa Linh

Aug 31 2018

22mins

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