Category Archives: Opinions

What is a carbon footprint?

Why do so many people fuss about a carbon footprint and global warming? Our Carbon footprint is problematic because we are the primary source of manmade global warming, contributes to urban air pollution, and contributes to oceanic and coastal acidification. Although there are no ways to reverse or stop the effects at this point, there are ways to alleviate its effects to make it possible to mediate the impact of our industrialization. We might even make somewhat of a recovery.

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A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by the entirety of mankind, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Every individual, event, organization, service, place, or product. The usual suspects of greenhouse gas emissions are transportation, industry, and electricity production. A carbon footprint is bad because it contributes to climate change. Climate change fully encompasses drastic weather events such as toxic and acid rain, ocean acidification, melting of glaciers and icebergs, and urban air pollution.

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According to , The cars and buses we drive account for 27% of greenhouse gases, as of 2020. This is the largest portion of recorded emissions. These gases were counted as the by-product of burning petroleum-based products such as gasoline and diesel from an internal combustion engine. Passenger cars, trucks, utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and mini-vans. These means of travel account for over 50% of the transportation sector’s emissions. The remaining portion is commercial means such as aircraft, ships, boats, and planes. Ways to alleviate the effects of this form of emissions is switching fuels. Things like switching from gas to electric or hybrid and using renewable energies. Even prioritizing public transportation. Using buses and limiting vehicular usage on roads. Another method is lessening travel demands. Optimizing city plans, allowing for easier use of sidewalks and bike paths, and allowing access to pedestrian programs benefits low-emission transportation.

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These contributors are more than enough to cause major problems regarding our carbon expulsion. Every day in transportation and industry, we burn fossil fuels, getting to work and working in factories, farms, etc. Our daily lives are made up of the extreme usage of carbon-emitting devices. Should we, too, be asked to change our way of life in the name of the planet, or should we accept that our lifestyles have exceeded the appropriate bounds of earthly resistance and resources?

Caleb Smith-Sims, Senior

Caleb Smith-Sims is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

A hard look at the internet’s influence on children

With a slew of new kids’ content popping up all over TikTok, YouTube, and any site an unsupervised toddler with an iPad could get to, it’s easy to forget that at one point, the internet was largely untamed, unregulated, and definitely not a place for children. It’s almost foreign to think of an era with no TikTok, YouTube not being nearly as prevalent, and Xbox Live party chats and Skype being the internet’s primary forms of communication. While there are multiple reasons for the internet evolving in the way it has, some of those reasons can be attributed to the kids of the early internet.

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Children In Gaming

Games like Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, and most Nintendo games are commonly associated with children nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that kids can’t be found in games that they really shouldn’t. From mature FPS games like Grand Theft Auto V to obscure indie horror like Poppy Playtime, it’s hard to find a game that hasn’t been played by someone younger than the ESRB rating on the box. While it’s now common practice to ignore games with predominantly young player bases, writing them off as “kids’ games” and leaving them alone to do their own thing, internet users’ first significant experience with an influx of children was not handled quite as deftly as that.

Call of Duty 4 marked a significant change in the series’ history, being the first game to not focus on World War II but on modern – well, modern for 2007 – warfare. The game quickly skyrocketed in popularity due to its revolutionary campaign and endlessly repayable multiplayer modes. With such immense renown came fans of all kinds, particularly fans of all ages.  

I’m not sure what parent thought that getting a COD game for their child – or even leaving them alone with a credit card, for that matter – was a good idea. Still, as young and impressionable kids found their way onto multiplayer servers, they quickly began to gain notoriety as the worst kind of teammate imaginable. While it was possible to ignore their poor in-game performance, it was much harder to ignore a high-pitched and annoying child over the voice chat, screaming their heads off and yelling obscenities at the slightest inconvenience. 

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The issue wasn’t with the games the kids were playing; it was with the community that played them. For those unaware, the COD community has a reputation of being extremely toxic – especially back in the day – so it’s easy to see the problem with dropping impressionable kids into a lobby with server-wide voice chat with them. “Squeakers,” as they were called, quickly became despised by the community, with some players opting to leave squeaker-occupied servers entirely and search for another match to save themselves from getting a headache, while others stuck around to get a rise out of the tainted and easily excitable new players. The latter would often record these antics and post them to a – then growing – site called YouTube, garnering millions of likes and views in the process.

YouTube, Demonetization, And The Future Of Video

In its early days, YouTube wasn’t nearly as mainstream and, as such, wasn’t as highly regulated as it is now. People on the platform could often get away with posting whatever they wanted, so long as it didn’t break any rules or infringe on any copyrighted material. The idea of monetizing YouTube content – or at least be entitled to it – is a relatively modern concept. Back in the day, monetization was saved for the most prominent creators on the platform. However, as the years passed, the bar for being allowed to monetize content grew lower and lower, and eventually, some pretty offensive content was making reasonable amounts of money.

Around 2017, a lot of YouTube’s advertisers threatened to pull out of the company unless the company cleaned up its act and ensured that the content hitting the front page was clean enough to be suitable to the advertiser’s wishes. YouTube, very interested in keeping its bottom line stable, started demonizing mass amounts of content in what was referred to as the “adpocalypse.” While the terms for demonetization were extremely vague – and sometimes entirely unjustified – it led to a massive change in the image of the platform, even leading to the death of some forms of content in the name of making the platform more advertiser-friendly.

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While not directly trying to make YouTube more accessible to children, the adpocalypse’s aftermath left a landscape that allowed children’s content to flourish, and for years, this was the case. Children’s content – especially the animated variety – was easy, quick to make, and entirely advertiser-friendly. Some channels began using easily recognizable characters in their videos, like Mickey Mouse, superheroes, and Disney princesses. Through this, they spread their content even further, despite the actual content of the videos often being bizarre and completely incoherent at times. Even the comments section of these videos followed this bizarre pattern, with kids seemingly mashing their hands onto the keyboard, letting autocorrect try to decipher the mess they just typed, and posting. YouTube children’s content was an absolute cash cow that many thought unstoppable; however, it would be shipped off to the proverbial slaughterhouse sooner than imagined. 

Around January 2020, the FTC came after YouTube’s predatory ad policy toward children. According to COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule), running targeted ads toward children wasn’t strictly legal, or at least not how YouTube was doing it. It forced another major split in YouTube policy. Now, you have to mark whether your content is targeted toward children 12 and below or not. If you mark your videos as content for younger audiences, you aren’t allowed to run ads before your videos, and the comments section and like number are entirely turned off. Despite doing their best to shun kids’ content on their site, YouTube’s damage had already been done, and children’s media was forever changed. Examples like Cocomelon come to mind when thinking of modern kids’ content, but they aren’t the only thing that comes to mind.

TikTok’s primary goal is to keep us scrolling for as long as possible. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of losing track of time while scrolling social media and later realizing that you’ve spent an hour on mindless scrolling. It’s a pretty solid strategy for TikTok that’s executed pretty well; more time spent scrolling leads to more ads playing, which leads to more money. I’m not wholly against TikTok, but every time I use it, it reminds me of those kids’ YouTube channels with how it presents its content. It’s constantly trying to keep the attention of a demographic with a continually decreasing attention span; it just doesn’t feel like social media to me, it feels like a daycare.

Alex Magno is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism Class.

St. Joe students overwhelmingly choose iPhones, but should they consider Samsung instead?

The necessity of a mobile phone has become more important in an ever-changing world of technology. With this, people want the best phone in terms of longevity and features. Most people believe the iPhone is the most quality phone, as around 50 percent of mobile phone users have an iPhone in the United States. But maybe the iPhone isn’t the best mobile phone. Many people can admit to having an iPhone solely because others around them do, but this prevents the user from being informed about other mobile phone companies. In this piece, we will compare the features of the two new cell phones, the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, and decide which top-notch phone is the better.

Size and Looks

The iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are the largest and newest of each company. The size of the phone is a significant factor when buying phones. The iPhone is 71.5 x 147.5 x 7.85mm (width x height x depth) with a weight of 206 grams and a 6.7″ (diagonal) screen. On the other hand, the Samsung is 77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9mm with a weight of 229 grams and a 6.8″ (diagonal) screen. Although the Samsung is bigger, the con is that it is also heavier but only has a 23-gram difference. Aside from the dimensions of the phones, the looks of the phones are very different. The iPhone has flat edges and 4 colors: Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple. The Samsung has more rounded edges and 7 colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy, Graphite, Sky Blue, and Red. Looks are mainly on preference, but Samsung is the better option if you want a bigger phone.

Specifications and Features

Both phones have similar specifications, but they have several unique features. Both phones have face recognition, a rated IP68 (splash, dust, and water resistant), a 120Hz refresh rate, and three storage options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The differences are that the iPhone has a brighter screen of 2000 nits than the Samsung, which has 1750 nits, the battery on the iPhone can last up to 29 hours while the Samsung can last 18 hours, and the Samsung has the option to come with an S pen, while the iPhone does not have any pen option. These phones have unique features, but the features and specifications come with preference. 


Without a doubt, Samsung has a better camera option than the iPhone. The Samsung consists of 5 cameras on the back: a 12MP (megapixels, which equals 1,000,000 pixels) ultra-wide camera, a 108MP wide-angle camera, a 10MP camera, and 2 telephoto cameras with 100x Space Zoom. It also has one 40MP selfie camera. The iPhone only consists of 3 cameras with 48MP. Although Samsung has better cameras, the iPhone has more features like deep fusion, more video resolution options, retina flash, Animojis, and more. Samsung does have some of the options on the iPhone, but the iPhone has more. Photos can be edited from both phones, so some of the features on the iPhone photo can be applied to a Samsung photo through editing.  


For both phones, the cost depends on the specific phone’s storage space. However, the lowest starting price for an iPhone 14 Pro Max is $1,099. The starting price for the Samsung S22 Ultra is $750, but it can cost up to $1,500 with other accessories. Generally speaking, iPhones have been more expensive after a new release than Samsung phones. Samsung has had 40 different model S22 phones, with 6 being over $1,000. iPhone has 6 models for the iPhone 14, with 2 being over $1,000. Regarding cost, when initially released, Samsung was traditionally the more affordable mobile phone.


With all this being said, the question remains; What mobile phone is the best? Well, it all comes down to preference. Some people like the features the iPhone provides, while others like the features that Samsung provides. We suggest narrowing down what feature is most important to you in a mobile phone and seeing which product offers the best version of the feature. It is hard to decide which company makes the best mobile phone, but we can make an opinion based on what we as buyers want. 

Stephen Avara is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism Class.

Stephen Avara, Junior

Collin Park is a sophomore member of the Multimedia Journalism Class.

How Musk’s Twitter purchase will change the platform forever

On October 27, 2022, both Twitter and the world of social media would change forever. On that fateful day, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, bought Twitter for $44 Billion. It is safe to say Twitter hasn’t been the same since Elon Musk purchased the company. Elon aimed to improve the platform, allowing for an environment where freedom of speech prevails. However, Elon’s decisions have debatably left a negative impact on the platform, with some questioning whether the platform is knocking on death’s door.

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In the first week of Musk’s domain of Twitter, hate speech surged on the platform due to Elon’s approval of unfiltered freedom of speech. The usage of the N-word in the first week was three times the usage for the entirety of 2022. 

However, Musk recently announced a new policy on freedom of speech. While this change allows harmful and hateful speech on Twitter, it will only make those types of tweets visible to those seeking them out. With this change, Twitter remains a place of freedom of speech but also allows users to avoid seeing hate speech on Twitter. With time, according to Musk, hate speech impressions have actually decreased from before the purchase. 

Along with his belief in complete freedom of speech, Musk unbanned Donald Trump, Ye West, and Andrew Tate. Trump was banned following the attack on the Capital after he promoted the actions taken. West was banned following his usage of anti-Semitic language(and recently had his account suspended again for “inciting violence”). Tate was banned for his misogynistic beliefs. Now, all three are back on Twitter and are free to say whatever they want.

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Not only has Musk shown his belief in freedom of speech, but he has also shown his democratic values while running Twitter. Musk has run numerous polls that have caused significant changes on Twitter. These polls include whether or not Donald Trump should be unbanned and if banned accounts should be given amnesty, barring illegal activity or spam. 

Another issue with Musk’s takeover of Twitter came with the new verification process. Before Musk bought the company, verification was given to companies and people to let users know whether they were reliable. However, Musk implemented a system where verification is given to anyone who pays eight dollars a week. This has caused impersonation issues, as users paid for verification and changed their usernames and icons to resemble a company or person.

However, a solution has arisen in an attempt to fix the problem. Tweets by companies, government officials, or any other powerful or influential person or organization are labeled “official.” That way, there can be a distinction between real, verified accounts and fake, verified accounts.

Since Musk’s takeover and drastic changes to the platform, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have stopped advertising on the platform. In response to this, Musk revealed a plan in which Twitter will match the spending of advertisers who spend $500,000 or more, up to $1 Million, in marketing value. With these advertiser incentives and an all-time high of active users, Twitter appears to be thriving under Musk’s leadership.

While Musk’s tenure had a rocky start, his frequent changes and new policies appear to be leading Twitter in the right direction. It is safe to say that Musk, and Twitter, have changed the social media world forever. Whether or not this new takeover will cause the platform’s demise is still up for debate. In the end, only time and the decisions of Musk will tell the ultimate fate of twitter.

Jimmy Thomas is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Aidan Bajadek is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Is Kanye West’s career over?

Kanye West, or “Ye,” is in big trouble.

Chicago rapper Kanye West has grown to be distinguished as one of the most talented musicians of our time. From The College Dropout to Donda, Kanye’s musical skillset and pure talent injected into his albums have made him millions. However, with Ye’s recent anti-Semitic tweet, his legendary reputation is hanging by a thread.

Following a separation with Gap, Inc., Kanye has tweeted that he is going “Death con 3 on Jewish people.” West’s scuffled with celebrities and politicians, but anti-Semitism is new for the rapper. He’s been under fire from fans, journalists, and politicians alike (rightfully so). Kanye is in the most significant controversy of his career now, and that’s saying a lot.

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(Above) Kanye famously found himself in controversy when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s Video Music Award acceptance in 2009 and said Beyoncé should’ve received the award instead.

The tweet was targeting the execs of Gap. Kanye explained his frustration with the company to CNBC: “Sometimes I would talk to the guys, the leaders, and it would be like I was on mute or something.” Kanye believes that the high-ups in corporations that control artists and athletes are primarily Jewish; this anti-Semitic theory is no stranger to the world and can be traced back to Hitler.

It’s human that Kanye would feel frustrated—he’s had to separate from a brand that helped him achieve his dream—but threatening an entire race and accusing them of corruption is dangerous. It’s happened before and had horrible consequences: six million Jews were killed from 1939 to 1945 in the Jewish Holocaust. And already Nazi hate groups have rallied with the tweet, hanging a banner over a Los Angeles freeway falsely claiming “Kanye is right about the Jews” while raising Nazi salutes.

What’s upsetting is that the situation could still be salvaged if Kanye apologizes and denounces his words. Kanye’s already lost his “Donda Academy” private school and his partnership with Adidas, so he needs to act quickly before losing more. But for someone with a severe arrogance problem, it will be a struggle. In mid-October, journalist Piers Morgan interviewed Kanye West to attempt to give him a platform to explain his perspective and apologize for his harmful comments.

And, of course, Kanye barely apologized. Sure, he said he was sorry for the people he hurt. “Hurt people hurt people, and I was hurt,” he explained. However, Kanye still admitted upfront it was racism. Morgan told Kanye the tweet was as racist as anything Kanye had been through, but Ye simply laughed it off. It seems like Kanye is trying to make a point with his recent comments, but he is acting racist nonetheless and is doing more harm than good.

“Millions of people have had DEFCON 3 on their contracts. I opened it up. I didn’t say that then, but I said it now. If I am going to apologize for the tweet, this is what has to happen first: I need all of the top executives in Hollywood, the NBA, and the NFL, and I want the top executives in music – dealing with publishing, Spotify, Apple Music, and Universal Music. I want to look look at the top ten earners in each of those contracts and compare and contrast the contracts. We need to open that conversation, live, with lawyers asking questions – and we’ll have the top lawyers looking at all the contracts together. After that moment happens, I will apologize.”

-Kanye explaining his tweet

Personally, I think Kanye is a genius – he is adept at challenging the status quo both in music and general – but the issue with him, as many put it, is that he knows he’s brilliant. His self-involvement has hurt him many times already – and, with recent anti-Semitic accusations, it could hurt many others. Before any more wrong is done, Kanye needs to find mental help.

Mr. West is no stranger to mental health issues. Following his embarrassing interruption of the 2009 Video Music Awards, Kanye disappeared and fell into his first significant public downward spiral. Later, in 2010, the unreleased track “Never See Me Again” was leaked to the public and quickly framed as a suicide note written by Kanye; it has grown to be considered one of his best pieces.

And, when the musician later announced his diagnosis with bipolar disorder in 2016, he quickly cleared it up for many as to why he had grown to be such a controversial figure. West described his episodes as “you can’t trust anyone,” and the rapper signaled a new era of awareness for men’s mental health.

Unfortunately, following his separation from Kim Kardashian in 2021, Kanye began to act erratic. It was apparent when he released the abstract Donda 2 single “Eazy,” carrying disturbing cover art and lyrics threatening Kardashian’s boyfriend at the time, Pete Davidson. Kanye later severed his friendship with fellow rapper Kid Cudi publicly on Instagram for associating with Davidson.

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(Above) Kanye West pictured with his former wife, Kim Kardashian. Kardashian is often credited with helping Kanye deal with his bipolar disorder.

And now, following an unrelated separation from the company that helped him finalize his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and designing his own shoes, he has nearly lost it all.

If Kanye is going to fix his mental health and save his reputation, he will have to take some time off and recover. The rapper has had to split paths with his wife, friends, and dreams, all within a year, and now he’s taking out his pain on the world. Before anyone is hurt – because his tweet was truly anti-Semitic – Kanye needs to prioritize his mental health. For now, Kanye’s future is looking grim, but if he can work on himself and give an honest apology, the chances are high that he can recover his legendary reputation.

Jude Danner is a Sophomore member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

The appeal of historically black colleges and universities

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been a staple in Black education since 1837. They allow an opportunity for community, family, and a sense of belonging. So many times at predominantly white institutions, Black students feel like they have to fit in and don’t have people that understand them.

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Representation is everything. Being a black student at an HBCU is the most refreshing thing. You see black excellence and young black men and women thriving. When you see them win, it pushes you to believe that you can win. As opposed to what you see on TV, you’ll see unity. There are people there that really support each other and love to see their brothers and sisters shine. There’s a culture that’s just natural. You’re surrounded by like-minded people. Everyone knows how to get up and dance when that song comes on and what to do. There’s just a shared experience and love of being Black in America. This is great for many black students who are used to education systems working against them.

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One thing about HBCUs is that you will encounter professors who care about you. They aren’t shocked by your greatness, but they expect it. They believe in you more than you’ll ever believe in yourself. They expect and push you into continual growth. Seeing you thrive is their primary goal. They will make time to know you outside of just a student. They want you to push towards your own personal excellence.

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HBCUs give you a home environment. Being the majority helps make you feel comfortable and seen because you relate to things just from skin tone; it doesn’t even matter where people come from, but rather that shared cultural experience makes all the difference.

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You have a sense of security knowing the people around you have the same fight. They go to sleep worried about family like you and pray day and night about the inequality across America. They know the same struggles as you.

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With HBCU homecoming season having just passed, you can see how a school connects so many people with one event. Homecoming isn’t just a game or a day; it’s a week-long experience. It’s a week full of love, people putting on their best outfits, parties, and really everything you can imagine. The homecoming event entails tailgates, a parade, fashion shows, concerts, a coronation, and alumni returning to hang out with people they love. Homecoming is the embodiment of its name; people are coming back home to where they lived some of their best years. Homecoming also helps welcome new students and show them what it is like outside the classroom. Homecoming allows you to run into old friends or even make new friends.

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The student life at an HBCU is second to none with the Divine 9 [fraternities and sororities]. Also, the HBCU Marching Bands are the best in all aspects, with drum majors, dancers, and majorettes on top of that. They also have events centered around having fun as a community.

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HBCUs allow many opportunities religiously with Gospel Choirs, Chapel, and so much more. Many of them are built on faith and also service. They are full of community service, giving back to others, and excelling at doing more for others.

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Special thanks to the current Director of Liberal Studies, and Psychology professor at Hampton University, Dr. Tamara Monet Baldwin Williams (Spelman College alumnus). Also, thank you to two current HBCU students who provided their experiences – Amaya Short, Hampton University, Class of ’25, and Bria Williams, Howard University, Class of ’26.

Nicholas Paxton is a Senior Member of the Multimedia Journalism class.