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Mainstream media has always had a diversity problem. That's why I run my own newsroom. – Poynter

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Kamloops RCMP officer's 'black face' social media posts under review – Kamloops This Week

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A Kamloops police officer’s conduct is under review after he made black face jokes in a series of posts on his personal Instagram account.

RCMP Const. Rupert Meinke’s posts showed him receiving skin treatment. In one photo, a woman is apparently applying a black cleansing mask to his face; another appears to be a selfie with the cleansing mask on.

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The photo of the mask being applied is accompanied by this caption: “Black face session. It’s suppose to help my looks. I don’t think it’s working,” followed by a laughing emoji.

The selfie is accompanied by this caption: “Is my skin racist? Micro aggressions matter.”

Meinke’s Instagram is private and it’s unclear when the posts were made, but screenshots of them began circulating on social media late last week.

Kamloops RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky told KTW he cannot speak to specifics regarding Meinke’s Instagram posts or duty status, but said making black face jokes on social media would not be smart.

“In this day and age that we’re in, that would be a dumb thing to do,” Lecky said. “I would certainly look into it.”

Lecky said he is unable to discuss Meinke’s posts because they were made on a personal Instagram account.

“It’s a social media account that is private and it isn’t linked to policing or the RCMP,” Lecky said. “So, I can’t even confirm to you if it’s a member.”

If he were to be made aware of such posts coming from a constable, Lecky said, an internal code-of-conduct investigation would be launched.

RCMP Const. Rupert Meinke
RCMP Const. Rupert Meinke in a 2013 photo. – KTW file photo

Meinke has also worked as a part-time instructor at Thompson Rivers University. He has taught police and justice studies classes.

University spokeswoman Darshan Lindsay told KTW the institution is “looking into” Meinke’s Instagram posts.

“Our commitment is to create a university where everyone belongs, where we show our respect for one another through our actions and in our words,” she said. “While we won’t be providing further comment on this matter, we can confirm the individual has taught courses part-time at TRU in the past.”

Lindsay said Meinke is not currently employed by or teaching at TRU.

Lecky said he was first made aware of the Instagram posts on Sunday, July 5.

CTV News Vancouver also reported on this story and was among media outlets to reach out to Meinke for comment. He replied, saying: “Sorry I cannot comment other than it is a skin care product. Take care.”

“Charcoal face masks, no harm, no foul,” Vanessa Simon, an activist and organizer for Black Lives Matter, told CTV. “But then you’re posting on your social media for the public to see, asking, ‘Is this racist? Micro aggression matters,’ you’re setting yourself up to be ridiculed by the community and he is getting what is coming to him.”

Simon told CTV News she was frustrated when she first saw the posts, opining they are insensitive and in poor taste.

“It’s concerning to me that there’s someone like that in the police department,” she said.

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Social media sleuths solved the mystery of this Alberta woman's photo – CTV News

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CALGARY —
When a woman shared a photo of her late father in a placed she couldn’t quite place, she turned to social media for help.

It all started when a Reddit user posted a thread Saturday, asking for help from fellow users to identify a particular spot in K-Country.

The discussion ended up spurring dozens of comments, leading up to the point where users not only identified the spot by name, but provided Google Map coordinates for the exact location.

calgary, reddit, photo, kananaskis, highway 40, br

calgary, reddit, photo, kananaskis, highway 40, br

(File/Google Maps)

As a result, the woman said she plans to do a photo tribute at the location for her father.

To make the situation even sweeter, the user said she still has her father’s motorcycle.

“We still have his BMW seen in the pic. Oh boy, that means I’d have to get licensed up. It’s a large bike and I’m a tiny woman, hah!”

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Putting The Social Back In Social Media: 5 Ways To Make The Most Of Social – Forbes

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Social media has gotten a bad name partially based on how negatively it can affect self-esteem and true connectedness. But that may be changing given the coronavirus pandemic which has led to our separation from each other, mental health issues and shifting habits.

In fact, social media has an important role to play—both new and renewed—during the pandemic. It can connect us in profound ways. We are social creatures and it is our instinct to come together. That’s why social distancing has been so hard. Our brains crave relationships, and from the standpoint of evolutionary psychology, we seek safety in numbers when we’re faced with threat or danger. That’s the reason solitary confinement is one of the most severe punishments we can impose. Our humanity demands connections—one way or another.

In the midst of quarantine, social media is a window on the world. For Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing and Head of Social Impact for Hootsuite, the new role of social media takes it back to its origins. “Social media started as a mechanism to connect people, engage people and build relationships. It is returning to its roots,” he says. Evan Kirstel, founder @eViRa and B2B influencer agrees, “Social media is a social water cooler for a lot of people—it’s the importance of the social side of social media.”

Our use of all kinds of media—including social media—is surging.

  • According to a study by GlobalWebIndex which spanned 13 countries, four generations and all income levels, 95% of consumers reported spending more time on media consumption, and an increase in the use of key platforms to connect—a 70% monthly increase in video calling with Facebook and a 100% increase in WhatsApp voice and video. Also, 45% of all global consumers are spending more time on messaging services.
  • In addition, according to the GlobalWebIndex, Pinterest and Google consumption is up for all kinds of media from decorating ideas and YouTube meditation videos (up 51%) to DIY videos for bread making, movie recommendations and live streaming of music and sports events via Instagram. 
  • Almost half of internet users surveyed in Hootsuite’s April Digital in 2020 Statshot have reported spending more time on social networks. In addition, messaging across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp increased 50% in countries hardest hit by the virus, and Twitter has seen a 23% increase in daily users compared with a year ago.

So, what does all this mean, and what actions should you take regarding media, and social media in particular?

Build relationships. Leverage all kinds of media—including social media— to connect, build relationships and communicate with your people. The pandemic has been tough on our mental health and (social) media may be the solution. Video conference with your grandparents, tap into your neighborhood app to stay in touch with friends down the street and utilize your favorite platform to share videos of your new puppy with other new-puppy parents.

Relieve pressure. Social media also has a role to play in alleviating tension and enhancing moments of empathy. Letting others lean on you by sharing a laugh at the latest cat video or humorous meme is good for the soul. “It’s about creating moments of empathy and being there for each other as a community,” says Campher.

Embrace opportunity. Another element to take advantage of on social media is the extent to which it levels the playing field. You can start a business or create a movement. “No matter what your skills or background or interests, social media enables you to begin a venture for yourself. Think outside the box in terms of what you can do,” says Kirstel.

Exercise caution and ensure transparency. Of course, it’s not all positive. There is a dark side to social media. While there is no magic bullet, Campher says, “Transparency is key to maintaining the good. Relationships work best when they are enlightened and that is also true of all media including social media.” Kirstel points out the negatives on social media can be outweighed by the “pure gold that exists in discovery, learning, education and new connections,” that can result from the platforms.

Leverage the power to transform. Campher is optimistic and believes, “Social media has the power to transform society for the better.” Through building relationships, ensuring transparency, enhancing accountability and delivering solutions, social media can help us through tough times. Kirstel points out the amplification of voices via social media. “All your stakeholders are on social media—investors, analysts, shareholders, community members, and more,” he says. This can be transformative because of its reach and potential positive influence.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a reset in many aspects of life and social media is one of them. Use of media—including social media—has increased significantly. Leverage the power of social media to build relationships, relieve pressure and embrace opportunities. Use caution, of course. But overall realize how powerful social media can be in transforming relationships and society—for the better.

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