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Modern Social Media for Armenia: A Tool, not a Solution – Armenian Weekly



Հայրենիքի փրկութիւնը հերաձայնով չի կատարուիր։
The Armenian homeland’s salvation will not be realized with social media and mobile phones.

During the 2020 Artsakh War, there was a flood of social media posts from Armenians across the globe. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were inundated with news of Turkey and Azerbaijan’s aggression and attacks on Armenia and Artsakh. The Diaspora found comfort, and some might say some sort of purpose on social media, believing that the posts and stories placed on our accounts made a difference in spreading news and awareness regarding our cause. Not surprisingly, the world and its political leaders responded to our online activism with near total silence.

In the aftermath of the loss of more than half of Artsakh – we learned a bitter lesson – especially my generation.  Social media is a tool – strong in some ways – but also a paper tiger in other ways. The truth be told, in the days following the loss of so much of Artsakh and the loss of so many brave heroes, I learned an essential lesson: we Armenians must depend on ourselves to build, rejuvenate and strengthen the Armenian nation. We must never look elsewhere for comfort or external aid that, at the end of the day, may never arrive.

Let’s look at one scenario: a non-Armenian is scrolling through Instagram during the afternoon in October 2020, looking through their friends’ adventures and outings. This individual comes across your post and sees that there is a war in some place far, far away. Why would this individual care for something that is not personal to them? Why will this individual research something they will likely forget the very next day? If you are lucky, this person will search some facts, come across Azeri and Turkish propaganda and call it a day. There is a good chance that nothing will come out of that encounter because our cause, in many ways, is of unique concern to the Armenian people. Our cause is a part of us because we feel its force in our bones and understand it in our hearts. The reason you care is because this war was a threat to your people, your nation, your holy lands.

This much is clear: it is only the Armenian people who will push and ultimately forge a brighter future for our homeland. It is only the Armenian people who can create the homeland we strive to see. And that homeland will not be built through social media. I believe hands-on work is the key to creating a better and stronger Hairenik.

Making positive change in our homeland is a contact sport—a hands-on enterprise. Social media can help enable and spread news of this work, but it is not fundamental to the effort. That effort has to be through direct action on the ground in Armenia and Artsakh as well as across the Diaspora – not with memes and posts that provide clickbait.

Think of the direct actions you can take to make a change for Artsakh.

A fine example of direct action in support of Artsakh is the ARF Youth Office’s Verelk initiative – a Capacity + Capital + Capabilities hybrid entrepreneurship program for aspiring young entrepreneurs and change-makers in Artsakh.

A fine example is the recent work of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Youth Office which inspired the entrepreneurial dreams of emerging leaders in Artsakh by sponsoring Verelk, “a Capacity + Capital + Capabilities hybrid entrepreneurship program for aspiring young entrepreneurs and change-makers in Artsakh. Verelk’s mission is to accelerate the economic reconstruction at a local scale and ensure increased and sustainable living standards for the youth (18 – 35 year-olds) in the aftermath of the Artsakh War.” Thus far, this ARF Youth Office initiative has been a huge success and a clear example of direct action on the ground in Artsakh.

Here are some ideas you could participate in, just to name a few.

Make a change by simply visiting Artsakh and speaking to the local youth, their parents and elderly to understand the challenges and realities they face. Understanding their circumstances and situation is important in order to mold your action to create a more secure and resilient Artsakh.

Make a change by reaching out to your local Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) chapter and becoming an activist for your nation in the Diaspora. Make a change by participating in AYF Youth Corps and Camp Javakhk, bringing ear-to-ear smiles on the faces of children whose childhoods, in many ways, have been stripped away as witnesses of war. 

Make a change by participating in the AYF Internship Program and Birthright Armenia, by partaking in opportunities that hone in on your career interests and help you visualize your life should you choose to repatriate to your homeland. 

Make a change by reading Karekin Njdeh and Raffi, understanding how our struggle in the past is very similar to the reality we face today. Make a change by revitalizing the Armenian language in the Diaspora by creating Armenian book clubs in schools and communities, normalizing its use through different avenues.

The possibilities for hands-on work are endless. Anything is possible.

To those who want to see and make change, take your shovel, your pen, and your sword – take whatever you have –  and get to work. 

Our homeland awaits.

Let us answer her call for help and build towards our bright future – not with social media posts alone – but with our hands, our hearts and our minds.

Areni Hamparian

Areni Hamparian

Areni Hamparian is a current second year university student and a longtime member of the AYF Pasadena “Nigol Touman” Chapter. She spent this summer in Artsakh working with the AYF in Stepanakert.

Areni Hamparian

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Media Beat, Sept. 20, 2021 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News



Paul Anka: The Bob Lefsetz podcast

Will the pandemic become endemic?

During the pandemic, because of measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing, the flu virtually disappeared. But when we return to “normal” (or whatever the new normal becomes), the confluence of Covid-19 and influenza each fall and winter could become a major public-health challenge.

The question becomes, crassly: How much illness and death are we willing to accept as “normal”? – André Picard, The Globe and Mail

B.C. blogger ordered to pay $30K for online complaints in doctor defamation suit

A Kelowna blogger who was unhappy with a breast augmentation surgery that offered uneven results learned that sounding off online can have costly consequences, according to a Supreme Court of B.C. decision posted Aug. 25.

“While internet postings in the nature of reviews of restaurants and services are the norm in today’s world, defamatory comments dressed up as reviews that are not factual or do not qualify as fair comment are subject to the laws of defamation,” Justice Gary Weatherill wrote. – Kathy Michaels, Global News

China’s shadow play supports Liberal re-election

The Liberals are counting on voters not to notice that what distinguishes their own foreign policy is the thing that has caused the Chinese government and its network of diplomats and well-connected friends in Canada to be rather too obvious in their enthusiasm for a Liberal re-election. So enthusiastic, in fact, that they’re already coming close to violating Canadian laws intended to safeguard federal elections from foreign interference.

It began on Aug. 25, when Chinese ambassador Cong Peiwu, without explicitly naming him, insinuated that Erin O’Toole was placing his party’s “political interests” ahead of fruitful Canada-China relations. After an obligatory throat-clearing to the effect that it was not his intent to comment on or interfere in the election, Cong said China would oppose anyone “hyping up issues related to China or smearing China.” – Terry Glavin, Ottawa Citizen

Working class Canadians are fed up and fighting back

Inequality has been rising for decades, but during the stress test of the pandemic, the imbalance became grotesque. While grocery workers were battling to get within scraping distance of a living wage, Loblaws saw its 2021 first-quarter profits grow by 30 per cent over the previous year, to $313 million. Empire Co Ltd., which owns Sobeys, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo and IGA, saw its net earnings swell 47 per cent in the first quarter, to $191.9 million. Amazon’s first-quarter profits were more than triple its 2020 margins, at $8.1 billion, even as COVID-19 chewed through its warehouse workers and its delivery drivers urinated in bottles so they wouldn’t miss their targets.

Last fall, the Brookings Institution produced a report contrasting the corporate and shareholder windfalls of the biggest U.S. companies with the crumbs they begrudgingly offered their frontline workers. The report noted that the two behemoths—Amazon and Walmart—took in an average of $10.7 billion in extra profit and their stock prices surged 65 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively, but their workers received an average of just $0.95 per hour and $0.63 per hour in extra pandemic pay. – Shannon Proudfoot, Maclean’s

StatsCan Q2 data: Employment strengthens in the wake of third-wave restrictions

Employment rose by 90,000 in August, the third consecutive monthly increase. Gains in August were concentrated in full-time work and among women. Employment in accommodation and food services increased by 75,000. The national unemployment rate fell to 7.1%, the lowest rate since the onset of the pandemic.

Total employment has risen by 415,000 from May to August as third wave restrictions eased. All of the net gains during this three-month period were in service industries, led by cumulative gains of 211,000 in accommodation and food services. Sixty percent of net employment gains from May to August were among 15- to 24-year-olds, as the employment rate among youth by August had essentially returned to pre-pandemic levels.

With August’s headline increase, total employment has rebounded to within 1% of its pre-pandemic level (cumulative losses since February 2020 stood at 156,000 or -0.8%). The employment rate in August was 60.5%, down 1.3 percentage points from the rate in February 2020. The number of employed people who worked less than half of their usual hours in August remained elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels (+29.9%), while total hours worked remained 2.6% below. Among workers who worked at least half their usual hours in August, 24% worked from home, the lowest share since the onset of the pandemic.

Australian media companies can be liable for defamation posted on Facebook pages

Some of Australia’s biggest media companies have lost a bid in the high court to escape liability for defamatory third-party comments on their social media posts.

The majority found that merely facilitating and encouraging comments amounted to “participation” in the communication of defamatory material, even if the original poster was not aware of the content of later comments.

The decision is expected to have ramifications for Australian media companies, making them likely to ban comments on more posts or discouraging them from posting stories to social media. – Paul Karp, The Guardian

Wall Street influencers are making $500K, topping even bankers

At first no one could explain why business was picking up at Betterment, a robo adviser aimed at newbie investors. There were about 10,000 signups in one day. 

Then came the answer: A 25-year-old TikToker from Tennessee was posting videos describing how to retire a millionaire by using the platform.

His name is Austin Hankwitz, and he’s managed to land one of the hottest new gigs: full-time “finfluencer.” – Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, Bloomberg

Facebook troll farms reached 140M Americans monthly before 2020 election

An internal report, written in October 2019, shows that in the run-up to the 2020 election, Facebook’s most popular pages for Christian and Black American content were being run by Eastern European troll farms.

These pages were part of a larger network that collectively reached nearly half of all Americans, according to the report. They achieved that reach not through user choice but primarily as a result of Facebook’s own platform design and engagement-hungry algorithm. – Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review

Top US newspapers losing print sales since pandemic started

America’s biggest three newspapers – the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and USA Today – together lost more than 500,000 of print circulation between the first quarter of 2020 and the latest reported period, which covers the six months to March 2021. – William Turvill, Press Gazette

The saga to serve papers on Prince Andrew

To serve a member of the Royal Family once meant to do one’s duty for Queen and country.

But a month-long chase by US lawyers to find Prince Andrew and in the legalese, serve him with allegations of abuse, has brought a whole new meaning to the phrase. – Dominic Casciani, BBC News

Inside film talent deals in the streaming era: ‘It’s the Wild, Wild West’

Late last year, it quickly became evident that Hollywood’s dealmaking machine of the past 30 years was broken. The pandemic had changed the way people watched feature films — with some debuting on streaming services and some in theatres — and a new approach to contracts for talent would be needed, particularly for A-listers accustomed to significant backend bonuses based on box office returns that may be diminished or eliminated altogether.

Fast-forward to September 2021: What does dealmaking actually look like? – Beatrice Verhoeven, The Wrap

The Absurdity of the Marketing Industry

For decades, the marketing industry has been notable for its addiction to bullshit and sophistry. We have now entered new territory — an era in which marketing can truly be described as dabbling in absurdism.

Welcome to “Generation Alpha“, the newest idiotic generational hustle of marketing researchers.

 Generation Alpha are people born between 2010 and 2024. I just checked my calendar and it seems 2024 hasn’t happened yet. But that doesn’t bother researchers. Understanding the values of people who can’t speak yet and some who are not born yet is the disruptive innovation that makes the insights into Gen Alpha so powerful!

Listen to this horseshit about Generation Alpha from Ad Age“they care about issues such as sustainability and social equality—but unlike previous generations, they have embraced activism from a very young age and expect brand change as a result.” Are you fucking kidding me? Five-year-olds expect brand change? Fetuses care about sustainability?

There is no word to describe the idiocy of these experts. These kids are still crapping their pants and they have “embraced activism?”

Go ahead. Try to tell me you could make this shit up. Is it any wonder marketing is viewed as the clown show of the business world? – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

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Students find community on new social media app – GW Hatchet



Students find community on new social media app – The GW Hatchet

[embedded content]

GW students have found a new sense of community on Jeti, a social media app launched last summer. The location-based app, which users can post on anonymously, has gained traction among students with the number of daily users increasing since the start of the semester.

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City of Brandon – September 18th Media Release – City of Brandon –



For the last 24 hours: 

Stolen Vehicle Recovered:

At about 9:30 AM Friday morning, a vehicle stolen from Winnipeg was located unoccupied in the 300 block Louise Avenue, by a member on patrol.  The vehicle was seized and towed to BPS where it was subjected to a forensic examination.

Fire in Apartment Complex:

At 1:12 PM Friday, a resident of an apartment within 1400 Pacific Avenue reported fire alarms were sounding in his unit.  Members attended and found an active fire within the suite, which was quickly extinguished.  Investigation revealed that the fire was caused accidentally when the tenant set a bag of groceries on the stove, incidentally turning a burner on, which ignited some of the contents of the grocery bag.

Arrest Warrants Executed:

A 41 year-old male was arrested on the strength of an arrest warrant on Friday evening after being checked in the 1000 block Victoria Avenue.  A police records checked showed he was wanted for failing to attend for identification.  He was processed and released to appear in court on a later date.

A 33 year-old female rom Winnipeg was arrested for possession of property obtained by crime after a vehicle was stopped on the TransCanada Highway.  An arrest warrant, held by the Winnipeg Police Service for the noted offence, was returned during a records query.  The accused was released from custody to appear in court in Winnipeg on December 14th.

An unendorsed warrant for arrest for a 36 year-old Brandon man was executed just before 2:00 AM this morning.  The male was wanted for failing to comply with conditions of an undertaking.  He was held in custody and will appear before the court today.

Boissevain RCMP arrested a 61 year-old male resident of Hartney, MB on the strength of an arrest warrant held by BPS, for failing to attend court.  The accused was later released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court on November 29th.

Ste Rose RCMP arrested a 43 year-old male during the course of an investigation and learned that BPS held an endorsed warrant for arrest for failing to attend for identification.  The accused will appear before the court today on all charges.

Failing to Comply with Orders:

A 22 year-old female was checked by police in the 0-00 block 10th Street just before midnight Friday night.  She was found to be bound by an undertaking that included a daily curfew condition, which the accused was breaching.  She was processed and released to appear in court on December 16th.

A 47 year-old male was also arrested for violating a curfew condition of a release order.  At 4:20 AM this morning, the accused was located in the 0-00 block 9th Street, well outside of his 9:00 PM – 8:00 AM curfew. He too was processed and released to appear in court on December 16th.


Four males were held overnight under the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act after being located in separate incidents, and being intoxicated to the point they were unable to safely care for themselves.  They will be released once they are more sober.


Acting Staff Sergeant D. Lockkhart, #101

B Platoon


Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637).  Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.


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