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GUNTER: Coun. Michael Janz doesn't need a social media censor – Edmonton Sun

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Janz should not be investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner, or as I would recommend renaming the position, the city’s social media censor.

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It should be obvious I’m not a big fan of Michael “Mosquito Mike” Janz, the city councillor most responsible for ending the city’s mosquito-spraying program. The flying pests are noticeably worse this summer; I’ve got the bites to prove it.

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Thanks, Mosquito Mike.

In general, I don’t care for Janz’s politics and especially his anti-police harangues. Check out his Twitter feed. He complains about police about once a month, sometimes even more often.

He accuses them of race and class double standards. He thinks they slough off investigations of alleged crimes against lower-income Edmontonians and routinely mislead the public to cover their own misdeeds.

I find it particularly detestable that he is alleged recently to have retweeted a post from a Calgary account referring to police as “pigs.”

(Calling the police “pigs” is not only detestable, but laughably archaic, too. Hey, Councillor, the late ’60s called. They want their tie-dyed shirt and peace medallion back. Groovy, man.)

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Yet, so long as Janz must account to his voters, he should be free to tweet and retweet as he sees fit. The relationship is between the electors and their elected representative. If they disapprove of his online behaviour, they can vote him out of office.

Janz should not be investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner, or as I would recommend renaming the position, the city’s social media censor.

It should be up to the voters who elected Janz to punish him, if they so desire, not some appointed adjudicator who doesn’t answer to voters directly.

A complaint has been filed with the integrity commissioner, Jamie Pytel, by sometimes local Liberal candidate, Thomas Deak. In the complaint, Deak says Janz retweeted the following post, “So this week a co-worker got a $409 ticket for failing to stop his bike at a stop sign. It was 7 a.m. in a residential area, the roads were empty, except for the pig hiding in the bushes.”

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Get outraged. Compose an email to the Sun. Post your own tweet condemning Mosquito Mike for his retweeting of juvenile, anti-police name-calling.

But don’t go running to the censor asking her to clap Janz in irons just because you find his opinion (in this case his second-hand opinion) infuriating. Grow up. This is a democracy. We get to have opinions, even unpleasant ones, so long as we respect the right of others to opinions we vehemently disagree with.

Remember, that any government tool that can be used to hush-up your opponents will almost most certainly be turned on you one day, too.

I find it hilarious that Janz, in his own defence, insists there is a plot to “erroneously paint me as some sort of anti-police radical.” Nothing “could be further from the truth.”

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Apparently, in his own mind, Janz is a big fan of police.

But remember, Janz was recently also hauled before the integrity commish for tweeting, liking or retweeting nearly two dozen anti-police posts near the end of last year.

Hmm, he certainly has an odd way of showing his love and respect for the Edmonton Police Service.

Own it, councillor. You don’t like the cops much.

But that is his right. He gets to have a seat on council and hold juvenile, archaic, anti-police opinions until the voters in his ward tire of his schtick and punt him from office.

Even after that, he still gets to hold his objectionable views, he just can’t do it as a councillor anymore.

In his run-in with Pytel earlier this year, Janz was not sanctioned by Edmonton’s in-house play-nice-children scold.

And he shouldn’t have been, just as he shouldn’t be reprimanded now.

The whole integrity commissioner ideal just gets in the way of democracy.

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Children Are Increasingly Facing Cyberbullying On Social Media – Forbes

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Social media is increasingly how many younger people communicate these days, but according to a new report from McAfee, there has been an increase of cyberbullying on the platforms. What is especially worrisome is that it isn’t just teens who are coming under attack, as racist attacks are being directed at children as young as 10-years-old.

In addition, more than one in four kids globally now face some form of racism on social media; while online sexual harassment is also impacting one in every six children globally. One in every five U.S. kids is now victim of such harassment, and in India the number is as great as one in three.

More Than Stranger Danger

What is also notable is that the threat of cyberbullying is increasingly coming from someone who the children may know personally. Globally, 58 percent of children said they were victimized by someone they know, with just 46 saying they had been cyberbullied by a stranger.

Children are also more worried than ever that they may be bullied online. Currently, six in 10 kids globally said they were more worried about cyberbullying than last year. The “good news” – if it can even be called that – is that 71 percent of children have told their parents they had experienced cyberbullying.

Are The Platforms Doing Enough?

Even as the platforms have strived attempted to improve safety, some are doing more than others. Meta apparently still has work to do, as the respondents to the McAfee survey said that cyberbullying occurs more than twice as often when comparing social media platforms like Meta’s Facebook to Twitter—and more than four times the rate when comparing Meta’s messaging app WhatsApp to Discord.

Facebook had been found to lead the way with the highest rate of children both witnessing (53 percent) and experiencing (50 percent) cyberbullying worldwide, with Instagram coming in at a close second with witnessing cyberbullying at 40 percent and experiencing cyberbullying at 30 percent.

McAfee has noted that while more than half of parents are talking to their children about different forms of cyberbullying, there is still vastly more that needs to be done to understand the growing threat of online safety for children. What remains a concern is that children may not consider behaviors such as jokes and name-calling to be harmful online – and perhaps may go further than they might when compared to an in-person exchange.

“Despite having some of the most engaged parents, children in the U.S. experience among the highest rates of cyberbullying in its most extreme forms, such as sexual harassment, compromised privacy, and personal attacks,” said Gagan Singh, McAfee executive vice president and chief product officer.

“It’s no surprise that globally we’ve reached the point in the adoption curve where social media is integrated into all areas of our lives – adults and children alike,” Singh explained via an email. “It is especially important to understand how daily social media interactions across platforms impact our children. This data clearly shows where, how, and at what frequency children are experiencing cyberbullying online globally, giving parents the knowledge to help their children stay safe wherever they live and on whatever platform they use.”

Of course it should be noted that adults are hardly good role models on the platforms. In recent years, social media has become an echo chamber that is used to amplify political sentiment and to tear down the other side. Given this fact, many adult users have become bad role models for their children.

It is well-past time that these platforms return to being about the social.

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Social media model arrested in Hawaii on murder charge – The Globe and Mail

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Law enforcement in Hawaii on Wednesday arrested social media model Courtney Clenney on a charge of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon.

Hawaii County police said in a statement they assisted the U.S. Marshals Service as they arrested the 26-year-old in Laupahoehoe, which is on the Big Island. Officers used an arrest warrant issued by Miami-Dade County, Florida.

She’s being held at the East Hawaii Detention Center while she waits for her initial court appearance in Hilo District Court on Thursday, police said.

Her Miami defense lawyer, Frank Prieto, told the Miami Herald that she was in Hawaii while in rehabilitation for substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I’m completely shocked, especially since we were cooperating with the investigation and offered to voluntarily surrender her if she were charged,” Prieto said. “We look forward to clearing her name in court.”

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10 Year Old Actor Sebastian Singh Makes His Toronto International Film Festival Debut in Clement Virgo Film “BROTHER”

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10 Year Old Actor Sebastian Singh Makes His Toronto International Film Festival Debut in Clement Virgo Film

Toronto, ON – Sebastian Singh will appear in his first feature film at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. (TIFF) The ten-year-old actor will play the younger version of the Lamar Johnson’s lead character Michael in Clement Virgo’s “Brother.”   “Brother” makes its world premiere at TIFF in September. The film is the story of Francis and Michael, sons of Caribbean immigrants maturing into young men amidst Toronto’s pulsing 1990’s hip-hop scene and the mystery that unfolds setting off a series of events which changes the course of the brothers’ lives forever.  Sebastian is excited and honoured to be a part of this film and to attend TIFF.

Sebastian Singh is a talented ten-year-old with a bright future ahead of him and an already established work ethic.
The multi-talented young actor has established himself as a new up and coming talent to watch for in the Film and TV industry in Canada. Sebastian was a part of the award-winning PSA Sick kids Mom vs Hard days, has appeared in the popular television series, Suits, Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story, for Lifetime.  Sebastian is also an award-winning filmmaker for the short film H.E.N.R.I, which he co-wrote, produced, and played the lead with his twin sister Ava and father, Ryan Singh.
Everyone agrees, Sebastian Singh’s star is on the rise and can’t wait for what’s next.
**Sebastian is represented by Annie Oakes of Glickman
Alexander Talent Management
Media Inquiries:

 

Sasha Stoltz Publicity: 

Sasha Stoltz | Sasha@sashastoltzpublicity.com | 416.579.4804 

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