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Experts urge task force on antisemitism to penalize uncooperative social media platforms –



An international task force is calling on governments to adopt a clear definition of antisemitism and push social media giants to be more transparent on how they remove hateful content — but stops short of saying those companies should be fined for doing a poor job of policing their platforms.

The group’s interim report acknowledged that many of the experts and civil society organizations it spoke to are looking for more.

The Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism was convened in September 2020 in a bid to cross-promote policies on combating online hate speech in different countries.

The task force includes lawmakers from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and Australia. Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, Conservative MP Marty Morantz, NDP MP Randall Garrison and former Liberal MP Michael Levitt make up the task force’s Canadian contingent.

NDP MP Randall Garrison is one of the Canadians serving on the task force. (CBC)

Imran Ahmed, founding CEO of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, was one of the experts who spoke to the task force. The report says he called for “government pressure or legislation that would affect the platforms’ ‘bottom lines’ as the key way to ensure change in the online space.”

The task force also spoke to Jeff Orlowski, the filmmaker behind Netflix’s hit documentary The Social Dilemma. The report says Orlowski “described the financial incentive that social media companies have to keep you engaged for as long as possible” and warned “without regulation, the platforms do not have incentive to limit content.” 

“We realize that steps will be incremental,” said Brian Herman, director of government relations for B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish advocacy group that also spoke to the task force. His organization was looking to the task force to call for international cooperation on combating antisemitism online and legislative power to compel social media platforms to crack down.

“Overall, we value a road map from the inter-parliamentary task force,” Herman said.

Housefather said he is not opposed to stronger rules for uncooperative social media platforms and hinted that could show up in the task force’s final set of recommendations.

He said it would be perfectly reasonable to introduce sanctions if a company is warned and does not act.

“I don’t think we’ve reached that point yet in our international consensus,” he added.

He said the task force’s interim report was meant to find common ground for countries that “have different rights or different charters of rights and different local politics.”

Antisemitic memes spilling into real-world violence

In May, during the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, B’nai Brith warned that online antisemitic memes were inspiring real-world violence and that its “anti-hate hotline was ringing off the hook with reports of harassment, violence and online bullying.”

University of Windsor law student Tiphaera Ziner-Cohen, a modern Orthodox Jew, told CBC News she experienced hate both online and in the real world.

“I received messages telling me that I killed babies, calling me a baby killer, telling me that I’m going to Hell, I’m going to be burning in Hell,” she recalled.

In May, she said, she and her younger brother were visiting downtown Toronto during a pro-Palestinian protest. She said a group of protesters identified the pair as Jewish and began to chase after them.

“After they punched my brother, they grabbed me, threw me on the ground, someone straddled me and started punching me in the face,” she said.

The federal government announced new legislation to tackle online hate last month and has adopted a clear definition of antisemitism based on the one drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, as recommended by the task force.

Ottawa’s new legislation does not include the power to impose fines on social media platforms, although the government has said it would have separate legislation to govern the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

Canada is also convening a summit on antisemitism next week.

It’s not clear when the task force will issue its final set of recommendations, but its chair, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Democrat, Florida), suggested they will have teeth.

“No matter what the leaders of these social media companies and technology platforms testify to in front of panels in each of our countries, they simply are unwilling to police themselves,” she said.

“We gave them a chance and they have failed to meet the moment.”

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Jennifer Aniston Talks Britney Spears And '90s Media Attention –



Jennifer Aniston discusses the pandemic, dealing with ’90s media attention and more in a new interview with InStyle.

The “Friends” star is asked about people saying the ’90s were the greatest because there wasn’t social media. However, as pointed out in the article, the likes of Britney Spears still weren’t treated well by the media.

Aniston shares, “ feeding on young, impressionable girls. Half of these kids started on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’.

“I was lucky enough to be raised by a very strict mother. The priorities were not about becoming a famous person. It was, ‘Study your craft, learn what you’re doing, don’t just go out there and get lucky.’

“I waitressed for years. I got a Bob’s Big Boy commercial on my 900th commercial audition. I was doing theatre on, like, Long Island.

“I think that group of girls as teens didn’t have any kind of ‘Who am I?’ They were being defined by this outside source. The media took advantage of that, capitalized on them, and it ultimately cost them their sanity. It’s so heartbreaking.”

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RELATED: Courteney Cox And Jennifer Aniston Pay Tribute To Lisa Kudrow On Her 58th Birthday

Aniston also talks about the upcoming second season of “The Morning Show”, saying of the press tour: “I call it the dog-and-pony show — travelling to do press junkets, red carpets, the shiny-penny things. Do people really need all that?

“The work is what I love to do. It’s the promotion of it that creates some stress in me. You get, like, a second of what it is that you’re promoting, and then the rest of it is salacious crap that you somehow got wrangled into talking about. There’s a big appetite for that — and listen, I get it. But if you don’t give it, then they make it up.”

RELATED: Jennifer Aniston Doppelgänger Goes Viral Thanks To Epic ‘Friends’ Impression

Aniston adds of how she’s reset over the COVID-19 pandemic: “My level of anxiety has gone down by eliminating the unnecessary sort of fat in life that I had thought was necessary. Also realizing that you can’t please everybody. And what good does that do if you’re just little bits of yourself?

“Let’s try to be the full all of who we are so we can come to the table. The way the media presents us folk in this business is like we’re always trotting around the world, on beaches having fun. But there are a lot of other, less obvious things that go into it.”

The interview will be featured in InStyle’s September issue hitting newsstands on August 20.

GALLERY: Style Evolution: Jennifer Aniston

© 2021 Entertainment Tonight Canada, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Top 10 Casino Movies You Must Watch in 2021



bar cocktail casino luck

Gambling provides inherent drama for movies since, by definition, they revolve around risk. You likely avoid watching prudent and cautious characters as a casino lover and prefer people putting themselves on the line in desperate, sometimes irrational, hope for a big score.

The gambler in casino movies is like the veteran detective taking up one last case before retirement. They may have a calm home life in the end, but counting their wins makes the perfect backdrop for high octane chases, mysteries, and action. Here are ten films that strap you in for a wild ride through gambling or the world it takes place in.

California Split

California Split is perhaps the most successful classic by director Robert Altman. Altman stars in the film as Charlie, a gambler that befriends Bill, another gambler. Charlie has a severe gambling addiction, but Altman exudes his laid-back charm and casual mastery to delightful effect.

The two friends working side by side reeked of a rakish charm, making the film a high watermark of the 1970s’ hangout cinema. The movie explores a beautiful male friendship with a whole lot of gambling in between. The gut-punch ending may be muted, but it is a perfect ending to such a wild ride.

The Gambler

James Toback based this film on his own addiction, and it ended up being a massive success during its release in 1974. What is great about the classic movie is that the main character, Axel, is obsessed with gambling for the danger and self-destruction. He makes bets to fall deeper into the rabbit hole, even arguing that the fun of gambling is losing for him.

This is such a dangerous situation for any gambler, to say the least. However, Axel, played by James Caan, brings the audience on his desperate chase for the next rush. He may be gambling in casinos, but he’s playing Russian roulette.

Fear and Loathing Las Vegas

This cult-favorite film is based on the true story of journalist Hunter Thompson played beautifully by Jonny Depp. The title character and his lawyer take a psychedelic trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to cover a sports event. In Sin City, the duo blow their money on drugs and venture in search of the American Dream, running into gamblers, drug dealers, police officers, and hitchhikers.

This casino movie does not depict the glitz and glam of Las Vegas but the dark, deranged, and dangerous place it can be when dealing with the wrong crowd.

Uncut Gems

This Josh and Benny Safdie’s 2019 thriller got a well-deserved discussion for its incredible intensity. The film features Adam Sandler as Howard, a hopeless gambling addict who takes players on a nerve-wracking ride and cannot stop until he completely destroys himself.

The brilliance is Howard’s ability to suck viewers into his sickness, having us rooting for the crazy ideas he concocts. The film injects the character’s mania into the audience’s veins that even after the tragic finale, one may want to get right back on the ride for the crazed rush again, just like addiction.

The Hangover

Not all gambling-themed movies are serious and seedy. Some like the 2009 comedy The Hangover are lighthearted with some casino fun thrown into the mix. This movie follows the adventures of a Las Vegas bachelor party that takes “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” to a new level.

We meet the three main characters waking up and unable to recall the previous night’s events and must work it out. Among the biggest mysteries they have to solve is why one is wearing a wedding band.


This must-see work of art is directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Hames Woods, and Sharon Stone. Casino goes behind the curtains of a mob-controlled casino and gives a glamorous high-end rendition of the Sin City lifestyle. Robert De Niro plays the lead, an ex-gangster seeking to turn his life around by working a regular job on a Las Vegas casino floor. However, his search for normalcy is soon interrupted by Joe Pesci, a mafia underboss seeking help with his establishment.


Croupier turns the tables and looks at the gambling world from the dealer’s point of view. Jack, an aspiring novelist, played by Clive Owen back when he was a lightning bolt, is desperate for money and becomes a croupier.

The croupier makes the players his subjects, exploring the sweating anxiety and crippling sadness as consequences of throwing money and lives at the tablets. The film captures the dingy gambling lifestyle in a magnetic and intoxicating way, leaving the audience satisfied with the plot’s complications.


Rounders easily qualifies as the Citizen Kane for pathological gamblers. While the film touches on an issue affecting millions worldwide, it does a great job capturing the swagger and dopey masculinity of going pro in poker. Mike (Matt Damon) discovers a hidden poker talent. He realizes it is not a sustainable career, but his best friend Lester drags him back to the frenzied world of gambling. The poker drama is an educational piece showing a realistic example of how compulsive gambling has severe consequences.

Casino Royale

The Martin Campbell 2006 remake of Casino Royale is among the highest-rated from the 007 series. The movie is a sleek representation of the risk, wealth, and classic in the high-stakes world. Daniel Craig plays the secret agent James Bond on a mission to stop a criminal banker.

Craig plays a high-stakes poker game of Texas Hold ’em at Montenegro’s Casino Royale in one showdown. It still has the extravagant super spy atmosphere, and it shows how criminal organizations use gambling to launder their money.


21 is a movie so compelling with elaborate gameplay sessions and dangerous action that it can be challenging to believe it is based on true events. The film presents a group of MIT students and their professor using a card counting technique to swindle casinos of millions. While they do get caught in the end, the team ends up establishing one of the most effective and frowned upon ways to win in blackjack.

Closing Thoughts

These films are all available to watch online on different platforms. Some of them showcase the glamour that comes with gambling, while others serve as a warning for digging yourself too deep into the casino world.

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Tencent tanks 10% after Chinese media calls online gaming 'opium' as regulatory concerns mount – CNBC



In this article

A logo of Tencent is seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, November 23, 2020.
Aly Song | Reuters

GUANGZHOU, China — Shares of Tencent and NetEase plunged on Tuesday after Chinese state media branded online gaming “opium” and likened it to a drug.

The article also called for further restrictions on the industry in order to prevent addiction and other negative impacts on children.

However, the article was deleted a few hours after publication.

Tencent shares closed around 6% lower, while NetEase closed down almost 8% in Hong Kong, with both companies clawing back some earlier losses. Tencent is one of the world’s largest gaming companies responsible for high-profile games like “Honor of Kings.”

NetEase declined to comment. Tencent was not immediately available for comment.

The article, by Economic Information Daily, a Chinese state-run publication that’s affiliated to the official Xinhua newspaper, said that online gaming addiction among children is “widespread” and could negatively impact their growth.

The article said that in 2020, more than half China’s children were nearsighted and online games affects their education.

The sentiment in the article is not that new. For a long time, the Chinese government has been concerned about the impact of video games on minors.

In 2018, Beijing froze new game approvals over concerns that gaming was impacting youngsters’ eyesight. In China, online games require approvals from the regulators.

In 2019, China brought in rules that banned those under 18 years from playing online games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and restricted the amount of time they could play.

“The article brought attention to gaming addiction among minors. It is reminiscent of older articles where video games were compared to digital heroin,” said Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners.

“The timing of the article has raised concern among investors given the recent crackdown on tech companies and the education/tutoring sector.”

Tencent announces new measures

The article also called for more control over the amount of time children are playing games for and review content of games more stringently to reduce the amount of “improper” information shown to minors.

“For the next step, there should be stricter controls over the amount of time minors play online games. It should be reduced by large amount from current level,” the article said, according to a CNBC translation.

Both NetEase and Tencent have introduced measures to protect young players including real-name registrations to play games. Last month, Tencent introduced a facial recognition feature on smartphones to verify that the gamer is an adult.

But after the publication of the article on Tuesday, Tencent announced further gaming restrictions

It will reduce the amount of time those under 18 years old can play the company’s games on non-holiday days from 90 minutes to one hour and on holidays from 3 hours to 2 hours.

Tencent will also bar children under 12 years old from spending money in the game.

The gaming giant said it will also crack down on identity fraud to find minors who are using adults’ accounts to play games. These new measures will begin with Tencent’s “Honor of Kings” game and eventually roll out to other titles.

Tencent also called for the whole industry to discuss the feasibility of banning gaming for children under 12.

Ahmad noted that most revenue in China is generated by players who are 18 years old and above.

“If more measures come into place to prevent youth addiction to gaming, it won’t stop revenue generating gamers from playing,” Ahmad said.

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