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Elon Musk Killing Twitter May Have Done Us All a Huge Favour



Elon Musk’s decision, which seemed to have come out of left field, to replace Twitter’s blue bird with an “X” may not be a death blow, but it is another nail in the coffin. Basically, Twitter’s press release read, “As of Monday, July 24th, Twitter will be known simply as X.” While questionable, this is Musk’s boldest move since purchasing the social media site last October for $44 billion.

Predictably, Twitter’s constantly irritable users condemned the move as irresponsible, risky, and wrongheaded. Founder of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, undoubtedly is chuckling at the boost rebranding Twitter as ‘X” will bring to his newly launched Twitter rival Threads, a venture he founded to capitalize on the opportunity Twitter’s decline under Musk’s ownership presents.

Twitter’s core strength is its relevancy. It never made money, nor did it ever become the most prominent social network. However, people immediately go to Twitter to learn more when something happens. Twitter’s appeal lies in its ability to collect information about the present moment, whether it is the death of a notable member of society, a weather event, or traffic. Due to Musk’s missteps, Twitter is losing its relevancy and giving other platforms an opportunity. (e.g., TikTok introducing text-only posts.)

Zuckerberg wants threads to be friendly and news-free, which is all nice and good, but is this what most social media users want? Such a business model does not satisfy the primary reason for being on social media, which is to get news and updates. Furthermore, Threads lacks the features that make Twitter “Twitter.” There are no hashtags to find like-minded individuals or groups. There is no direct messaging, no desktop version, and no way to view only the feeds of those you follow.


Twitter is widely used for informative purposes. It is also a place where people can post relatively freely, which unfortunately has attracted people looking to spread fake news and conspiracy theories or troll to express their anger against those with differing views, making Twitter a toxic digital soup.

As with any platform, Twitter faces the same tension regarding how much to moderate content, not just for users who want hate speech curtailed but also for advertisers who want to avoid risking their brand’s reputation. Instead of addressing this ongoing tension, Musk drove Twitter further into a free-for-all direction. Musk has been quoted saying that Twitter’s increasing moderation was one of the reasons he chose to acquire the company and transform it into a “free speech” platform.

Instead of criticizing Musk for his poor business decisions, we should be praising him. By making Twitter increasingly unappealing and frustrating, Musk has given millions of people a golden opportunity to reduce their social media addiction.

The 37% of Canadians who visit Twitter monthly can now eliminate this time thief. Twitter’s impending demise — yes, I could be wrong; after all, Musk has a business success record far beyond mine — is a chance to reduce the need for the dopamine hit that Twitter gives. The last thing anyone should do is replace the gift Musk is giving us with another social media time-sucking, anxiety-inducing platform, which Threads is no different; it steals time and self-worth.

When a product sucks, users leave or use it less. By making Twitter less useful and fun, Musk is forcing us to reduce our dependence on his product, which is a gift. Imagine he was in the cigarette business and suddenly rationed our access to only 10 cigarettes a day unless you paid extra for a pack stamped with a blue checkmark.


Now, smokers (READ: addicts) are faced with two choices.

Option A: Switch to a similar cigarette company such as Threads, Mastodon, BlueSky CounterSocial or Discord.

Option B: Drastically reduce smoking.

Most will consider Option B.

We are increasingly living our lives online. According to Statista, Canada had 3.3 million Twitter users in 2012. By 2019, the number had risen to 7.6 million. Today, there are approximately 7.9 million Twitter users in Canada. Additionally, according to Statista, 45% of Canadians use Twitter daily.

Due to its addictive properties, social media has rewired our brains. Collectively, we are more angst-ridden, less self-assured, less socially skilled, and more withdrawn today than we were post-social media.

Indeed, consciously uncoupling from a 24/7 short-content service has downsides and will be met with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I have yet to quit Twitter. However, in my defense, I have not joined Threads or any other alternatives. Since Musk announced that non-paying users would be limited in what they can see on Twitter, my phone shows that my “Twitter time” has plummeted.

I may not have kicked my Twitter habit completely, but by fundamentally spoiling his product Musk is setting me on the road to recovery. Fingers crossed, I have the discipline not to pick up another social media platform habit.




'ET Canada' cancelled by Corus Entertainment, blames 'challenging' advertising market – CTV News



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Entertainment Tonight Canada to end after 18 seasons



A woman wearing a large pink dress holds a microphone and speaks to a camera while attending a red carpet event.
Cheryl Hickey, longtime host of ET Canada, speaks to the camera on the red carpet of the 2019 Canadian Country Music Awards at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. ET Canada will end on Oct. 6 after 18 seasons. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Canadian media company Corus Entertainment has announced it is ending flagship entertainment program Entertainment Tonight (ET) Canada after 18 seasons.

“The costs of producing a daily entertainment newsmagazine show in a challenging advertising environment have led to this decision,” read a statement posted on the company’s website on Wednesday.

“We recognize the impact this decision has on the dedicated team who have worked on the show and we thank them for their meaningful contributions over the years.”

The show’s final episode will air on Oct. 6, with reruns airing in the same time slot on Global TV until Oct. 31, a Corus spokesperson told CBC News.


The cancellation won’t impact Corus’s obligation to produce Canadian content under the rules set out by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the spokesperson said.

ET Canada’s website and social media platforms will also be shut down. The spokesperson declined to comment on how many people had been laid off as a result, but said the program’s hosts were impacted.

The network said it has no plans for another entertainment news show.


An hour-long, magazine-style show that focused on entertainment, celebrity, film and TV news, ET Canada began airing in 2005 on Global TV, which is owned by Corus Entertainment.

The program has been hosted by Canadian media personality Cheryl Hickey since its launch, with regular appearances by entertainment reporters, including Sangita Patel — a co-host since 2022 — plus Carlos Bustamante, Keshia Chanté and Morgan Hoffman.

The cancellation leaves ETalk, CTV’s weeknight show, as Canada’s lone major entertainment news program.

Andrea Grau, founder and CEO of entertainment publicity firm Touchwood PR, said ET Canada offered a Canadian perspective that made it stand out in the U.S.-dominated entertainment landscape.

“There was this great Entertainment Tonight brand that was going on in the U.S. — we all watched. And the idea of a Canadian arm of it was very special because it could give a different slant,” she said.

ET Canada’s demise comes during a major shift in the industry, she said, as publicists struggle to find entertainment outlets that can shine a spotlight on emerging Canadian artists and projects.

“Even though we share a language with the U.S. and we share pop culture, we are still Canadian and we have a different perspective,” Grau said, noting that ET Canada’s hosts were a mainstay on the U.S. press circuit.

“You see those relationships that have been built over the years of having Sangita [Patel] standing on a red carpet interviewing someone, or Cheryl Hickey interviewing someone. They’re recognizable to [celebrities] after all of these years, too,” she said. “They’ve created such a strong brand.”


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Canada just had its lowest number of births in 17 years. What’s behind it?



The number of babies born in Canada dropped to a 17-year-low last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a declining fertility rate, data shows.

A Statistics Canada report released Tuesday showed there were 351,679 births registered across the country in 2022, which was a five per cent decrease from the previous year. This was Canada’s sharpest drop recorded since 2005.

Before 2022, the lowest number of births recorded was in 2005, with 345,044 babies born nationwide.


While the number of births in all provinces and territories declined last year, Nova Scotia was the notable outlier with a 12.8 per cent increase in live births.

The biggest decrease was in Nunavut, with the number of births dropping 11.8 per cent compared with 2021.

Canada, like many other developed countries, has been seeing declining birth trends over the past several years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people’s plans to have kids, said Kate Choi, an associate professor of sociology at Western University.

“Although the fertility decline was indeed part of a larger trend of fertility decreases that have been occurring in Canada, the magnitude of the decrease is larger than what we would have anticipated in the absence of COVID-19,” she told Global News in an interview.

Click to play video: 'Infertility: Shedding light on a common problem'

Infertility: Shedding light on a common problem

The high cost of living has magnified the size of the drop in births, Choi said.

“It’s very expensive to have children and right now, when everything is expensive, it’s very hard for young adults to be able to have the type of lifestyle that allows them to have children, which is contributing to delayed and forgone fertility,” she added.

It’s a concerning trend for Canada, according to Choi, who said decreasing birth rates have the potential to exacerbate population aging issues.

Canada is considered a low-fertility country and its fertility rate has been declining over the past decade.

The latest Statistics Canada data from 2021 reported a fertility rate of 1.44 children per woman that year — marking a slight increase following a steady decline since 2009.

The fertility rate is an estimate of the average number of live births a female can be expected to have in her lifetime, according to StatCan.

As some couples delay their plans to have kids for a variety of reasons, egg freezing and other fertility treatments are on the rise in Canada.

Click to play video: 'More IVF babies born after summer egg collection: study'

More IVF babies born after summer egg collection: study

Lifestyle changes and work decisions are contributing factors, with a shift toward smaller families, said Mark Rosenberg, an expert in geography and professor emeritus at Queen’s University.

“I think mainly the factors we should focus on are first and foremost women’s decisions around the labour force and delaying birth until they’re in their 30s,” he told Global News in an interview.

There is also an increasing number of younger people living in single-person households, Rosenberg added.

Despite the drop in births, Canada’s population has been growing at a “record-setting pace,” surpassing the milestone of 40 million people earlier this year, due to a focus on increasing immigration.

Meanwhile, the StatCan report Tuesday also showed a rise in the proportion of babies who were born with a low birth weight — less than 2,500 grams.

Seven per cent of all babies had a low birth weight in 2022 compared with 6.6 per cent the year before.

Babies with a low birth weight are at an increased risk of complications, such as inhibited growth and development and even death, according to StatCan.

“When we see higher rates of low birth weight babies or higher rates of babies that are born who are overweight, those are issues that we should be concerned about because they reflect on people’s health,” Rosenberg said.

— with files from Global News’ Katherine Ward


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