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EDITORIAL: Be wary of government social media meddling – Toronto Sun



It would be nice if everyone was nice online. But they’re not.

Every day, too many Canadians toss needless barbs at each other on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The anonymity provided by these forums make it all that much easier to say things to people that you’d never say to their faces.

It’s a shame that so many people choose to say mean and cruel things. Sometimes they even say downright offensive, intolerant and bigoted remarks. That’s wrong.

This holiday season, we’d all do well to reflect on our social media use to determine if we’re holding ourselves to a high enough standard.

For those who are content to keep up the slagging, bah humbug to them and we hope they get a lump of coal in their stocking.

Here’s the question though: Is it the job of government to wade into online offensiveness?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clearly thinks so. He is once again firing up his cabinet with the notion that they need to police the Internet to eradicate online “hate”.

As Brian Lilley explained in a recent column, Trudeau has tasked new Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault with cleaning up the online realm.

Guilbeault’s mandate letter calls on him to “create new regulations for social media platforms, starting with a requirement that all platforms remove illegal content, including hate speech, within 24 hours or face significant penalties.”

They don’t go on to define their terms though. What is hate speech? Is it just speech the Liberals hate?

There are already laws on the books about defamation, libel, making threats against people and more. These are as they should be and they apply to the online realm. How much broader does Trudeau plan to take things?

The mandate letter continues: “This should include other online harms such as radicalization, incitement to violence, exploitation of children, or creation or distribution of terrorist propaganda.”

If Trudeau wants to get public support for this, he’s going to have to define his terms thoroughly and do it soon.

It’s always wise to be wary of governments meddling into matters of speech.

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FOMO-obsessed people risk fraud via social media investment tips: BCSC – Richmond News



Social media is not the place to get your investment tips.

That’s the message from the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), which is detailing new research that shows younger adults and those who experience the fear of missing out – also known as FOMO – are more likely to think social media is a good place to find investment opportunities.

To mark Fraud Prevention Month, the BCSC said it surveyed more than 2,000 Canadians, including 1,000 British Columbians, to measure how age and FOMO influence investment attitudes.

“Results of this new research are particularly concerning because we’ve seen a surge in potentially fraudulent schemes peddled on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Doug Muir, the BCSC’s director of enforcement, in a news release. “We also know that fraudsters put pressure on people to act quickly. It’s important to gather as much reliable information about an investment as you can before putting your money into it, and to not rush into it.”

One warning sign of investment fraud is claiming that an opportunity is exclusive or available only to select people, said the BCSC, while in reality, most legitimate investments for ordinary British Columbians are available to anyone with the money to invest. Another warning sign is rushing would-be investors, telling them they must sign now to get in on the deal.

To educate people about the risk of letting FOMO drive their investment decisions, the BCSC is running a multi-media campaign called Hi, My Name is FOMO. 

“The younger you are, the more FOMO you have,” said the news release. “Half of B.C. residents between 18 and 34 said they experience it, compared to just 19 per cent of adults 55 or older. B.C.’s young adults also seem to have more FOMO than their peers across Canada – 50 per cent in B.C. compared to 40 per cent nationally.”
This online survey was conducted for the BCSC by Innovative Research Group among a representative sample of British Columbians from February 11 to 23, 2021 as part of an omnibus survey. A total of 1,015 British Columbians aged 18 and over completed the survey. The results are weighted to a representative sample of 1,000 by age and gender within each region of the province using the latest available Census data to reflect the actual demographic composition of the population.

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How Unpaid Internships In Sports Media Fuel Racial Disparity – Forbes



The entire media industry suffers from lack of diversity. But the problem is especially apparent in sports media, where largely white reporters and editors cover leagues with majorities of Black and Brown players. Unpaid internships only fuel this gross disparity.

The long-running debate over unpaid internships was reignited this week when NFL Media reporter Jane Slater shared an unpaid opportunity with her followers. When Slater encountered backlash, she doubled down, boasting about her experience working three unpaid internships in college along with a job. Soon thereafter, Twitter users picked up on previous comments from Slater, in which she praised her grandfather for supporting her “emotionally and financially” through college (Slater’s grandfather was the president of Wolf Brand Chili).

“To the people shaming me for my hardworking grandfather and parents who instilled a similar work ethic to achieve success, you are rotten,” Slater wrote.

Slater eventually clarified her thoughts, pointing out she would never support anybody working for free. She did, however, still highlight her work ethic: “I did not grow up rich,” she wrote. “I always had a job and was taught to value hard work and paying my own bills.”

Many of the NFL reporters who defended Slater, including Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, echoed her sentiments about how working unpaid internships is one of the best ways to get ahead in a highly competitive field. And therein lies the problem: college students who can easily take unpaid gigs usually come from privileged backgrounds. That means opportunities are only open to a select few.

Way back in 1979, the American Society of News Editors forecasted that by the year 2000, the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities in newsrooms would mirror the population at large. That pledge was way off. While racial and ethnic minorities comprise almost 40% of the U.S. population, they make up less than 17% of newsroom staff at print and online outlets, according to the Columbia Journalism Review.

The numbers in sports media are just as porous. The last study of the 75 outlets belonging to the Associated Press Sports Editors, which was published in 2018, found at least 78% of all editorial positions were filled by white people. The gender disparity was even more stark: 90% of sports editors and 88.5% of reporters were men.

With those figures in mind, there’s an obvious opportunity gap between white people and people of color when it comes to landing full-time jobs in sports media. One explanation is the staggering wealth gap between white and Black families. The Brookings Institute found the net worth of a typical white family is 10 times greater than that of a Black family. As we all know, wealthy kids are better positioned to grind through that unpaid college internship, because it’s less likely they need to dedicate time to working. (With my parents taking care of tuition, I was able to focus on two unpaid internships during college, one of which resulted in a paying position.)

The racial composition in press boxes doesn’t mirror the racial makeup in locker rooms: the NBA is nearly 80% Black; the NFL is 74% players of color; MLB is 40% players of color. It’s generally considered a positive for journalists to reflect whom they cover. In that respect, sports departments fail miserably.

Racial disparities are prevalent everywhere in sports. In the NFL, there are only three Black head coaches, despite increased efforts to increase diversity in the coaching ranks. Just seven of the 30 NBA head coaches are people of color.

The front offices of professional sports franchises are just as white. The NFL and NBA each has five Black general managers. Of the three major sports leagues, only one principal owner is Black: Michael Jordan.

Black and Brown players aren’t represented in the coaching ranks, front offices or the press. Eliminating unpaid internships in sports media wouldn’t eradicate this entire imbalance, but it would help.

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ISIS claims killing of 3 female media workers in Afghanistan – CTV News



The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the killing of three women working for a local radio and TV station in eastern Afghanistan, the latest in a spike in targeted killings across the war-tor country. Dozens of people gathered Wednesday for the funerals of the three media workers.

The women were gunned down on Tuesday in separate attacks, according to the news editor of the privately owned station and officials in Nangarhar province.

Afghan officials said police arrested the alleged killer of the three, identifying him as Qari Baser and insisting he was a Taliban — a claim promptly denied by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Nangarhar police chief, Gen. Juma Gul Hemat, said Baser had used a pistol with a silencer in the attacks. He was arrested shortly after the attacks by police in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.

The IS claim, posted late Tuesday, contradicted the Afghan government’s accusations against the Taliban. The militants said the three female journalists were targeted because they worked for one of the “media stations loyal to the apostate Afghan government” in Jalalabad.

It was not the first attack against women working at the Enikass Radio and TV. In December, IS claimed the killing of another female employee there, Malala Maiwand.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned Tuesday’s attack, saying that assaults on “innocent compatriots, especially women, are contrary to the teachings of Islam, Afghan culture and the spirit of peace.”

At the funeral Wednesday of 23-year-old Mursal Wahidi, one of the three victims, her father said he had implored her to quit her job after Maiwand’s killing in December. But his daughter refused, fiercely loving her work.

“Journalism was her life’s dream, she studied and was living her dream,” Wahidullah Khogyani told The Associated Press. He said he did not think that she had received any threats because of her job — but if she did, “she was hiding it.”

Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers. Tuesday’s killings brought to 15 the number of media workers killed in Afghanistan in the last six months.

The slaying’s of the women are part of a larger spike in targeted killings in Afghanistan in the past year, coinciding with the signing of a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban in February 2020. The Taliban have denied involvement in most of the targeted killings. Both the Taliban and the government blame the other for staging the attacks to discredit the peace deal or leverage greater concessions.

The Biden administration is reviewing the deal which calls for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops by May 1. Officials say no decision has been made .

Shokrullah Pasoon of Enikass Radio and TV in Jalalabad — the station the women worked for — said Mursal Wahidi was walking home when armed men gunned her down, according to eyewitnesses. The other two, whom he identified only as Shahnaz and Sadia, were shot and killed in a separate incident, also walking home from work. Two other people, apparently passersby, were wounded in the shooting attack.

The three women dubbed popular and often emotion-laden dramas from Turkey and India into Afghanistan’s local languages of Dari and Pashtu, added Pasoon, the station’s news editor.

At Sadia’s funeral, her uncle was among hundreds who had gathered to pay their respects. Abdul Ayaz blamed the government for his niece’s death, saying authorities had failed to provide basic security for the nation.

“Before, these killing were happening in the villages, and now they are happening in cities as well,” he said. “I think now we must leave the city and go back to our villages.”

According to its website, Enikass Radio and TV is a privately owned outlet that broadcasts “news, various political, social, Islamic, educational, satirical, and engaging programs and standard dubbing of serials and movies for the people of Afghanistan.”


Associated Press writers Maamoun Youssef in Cairo and Tameem Akhgar in Kabul contributed to this report

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