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Media instructor explains pros and cons of 'Freeze Wednesday' – CTV Toronto

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LETHBRIDGE —
If you’re wondering why some celebrities are MIA on some social media platforms, it’s because of “Freeze Wednesday,” a campaign aimed at preventing misinformation.

In June, an initiative called “Black out Tuesday” was launched to bring attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, Freeze Wednesday is a call for action to stop Facebook and Instagram from allowing people to spread disinformation and hate speech.

Lethbridge College digital communications and media instructor Kris Hodgson-Bright said there should be stronger monitoring, but admitted it can be tough to do,

“You have to balance that with free speech and expression of thought,” he said. “Whenever there’s hate speech or anything that’s harmful, racist or inflammatory or anything like that, we really need to encourage our students just to really take a stance as much as can in being socially conscious of how they can create a better environment online.”

The group Stop Hate for Profit received some pretty big celebrity support.

Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian-West posted about the protest Tuesday stating they won’t be posting or sharing anything on the two platforms for 24 hours. Hodgson-Bright said using those platforms is what drives their brand, however simply not using the platforms for 24 hours doesn’t leave much of a mark once it’s done.

“If celebrities actually took a stance and deactivated their Facebook and Instagram accounts I think that actually would send a clearer message to Mark Zuckerberg and just see how you can really have a lot more power when you sign off of an account and you find other ways to communicate.”

He said he already doesn’t use Facebook or Instagram but said his students do have Lethbridge campus media which is an account they use to share the stories they’re doing as well use it a tool to have better understanding of how to use the benefits of social media.

As for the freeze, it’s only one of the steps the group wants to achieve.

The group’s website has a “Week of Action Toolkit” which explains that following Freeze Wednesday, on Thursdays, the message is “Stop Inciting Violence and Spreading Hate” then the focus on Friday is “Election Disinformation and Voting.”

Although Hidgson-Bright believe there could be a firmer intuitive taken by celebrities, he said that the freeze is a step in the right direction. Especially since it’s no secret people prefer to read the quick version on things when they can.

“For those who don’t have the time in the day and they want to do something quick and they see this taken a stance great do something as simple and easy as that and maybe in that opportunity as well take things a little deeper.”

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Vision7 acquires affiliate marketing agency AIM » Media in Canada – Media In Canada

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Vision7 acquires affiliate marketing agency AIM

CEO Joseph Leon shares why the practice is becoming more crucial these days, especially for media agencies.

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CEO Joseph Leon shares why the practice is becoming more crucial these days, especially for media agencies.

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U.S. designates six more Chinese media companies as foreign missions – The Globe and Mail

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department, in Washington, on Oct. 21, 2020.

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday the State Department was designating the U.S. operations of six more China-based media companies as foreign missions, a move he said was aimed at pushing back against communist propaganda.

Pompeo also told a State Department news conference the United States would launch a dialogue on China with the European Union on Friday and that on Sunday he would begin a trip to India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.

He said he expected the meetings would include discussions about how “free nations can work together to thwart threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

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The State Department named the newly designated publications as the Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, the Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, the Beijing Review, and the Economic Daily. It brought to 15 the number of Chinese media outlets so designated this year.

It was the latest U.S. step to curb Chinese activity in the United States in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key foreign policy theme.

Pompeo said the move was part of efforts to push back against “Chinese communist propaganda efforts” in the United States.

“They are also substantially owned, or effectively controlled by a foreign government,” he said.

“We are not placing any restrictions on what these outlets can publish in the United States; we simply want to ensure that American people, consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party itself. Not the same thing.”

The State Department has previously required Chinese media outlets to register as foreign missions and announced in March it was cutting the number of journalists allowed to work at U.S. offices of major Chinese media outlets to 100 from 160.

In response, China expelled about a dozen American correspondents with the New York Times, News Corp’s Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

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The United States also said last month it would require senior Chinese diplomats to get State Department approval before visiting U.S. university campuses or holding cultural events with more than 50 people outside mission grounds.

China’s embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Washington designated four major Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies in June and five in February. The designation requires the outlets to inform the U.S. State Department of their personnel rosters and real-estate holdings.

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U.S. FCC lawyer says agency can change rules on social media liability shield – Reuters Canada

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top lawyer at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said Wednesday the telecommunications regulator has legal authority to redefine the immunity shield protecting social media companies that could make it easier for users to file lawsuits challenging content removal decisions.

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the headquarters of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

In July, President Donald Trump’s administration asked the agency to limit protections for social media companies under Section 230, a provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that shields them from liability for user-generated content and allows them to remove lawful but objectionable posts.

FCC General Counsel Tom Johnson said in a blog post Wednesday “the scope of the Section 230 immunity shield must be interpreted by someone… the only question is whether the FCC or a federal court will do the interpreting.”

Johnson added that if the FCC narrows social media companies’ liability shield it “would simply allow private parties to bring lawsuits, as appropriate, under other sources of federal and state law.”

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said last week that the agency will move forward to set new rules after pressure from Republicans in Congress seeking quick action to limit legal protections for social media after Twitter blocked some links to an unsubstantiated New York Post article critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Johnson noted the ultimate decision “whether this legal framework should be adopted” is up to the five commissioners.

Many legal experts and internet companies say the FCC has no authority to issue regulations under Section 230.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said Wednesday “the FCC has no business being the President’s speech police.”

Trump in May directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to petition the FCC for changes after Twitter TWTR.N warned readers to fact-check his posts about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting.

The Internet Association, a group representing major internet companies, including Facebook Inc FB.O, Amazon.com Inc, AMZN.O Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google GOOGL.O said the FCC “lacks the authority to make the changes proposed in the NTIA’s petition because they conflict with the plain language of Section 230.”

Pai for months refused to offer comment on the petition. Still any final regulation could take at least another year.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by David Gregorio

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