Can’t get out to a winery for a tasting?
Let the winery come to you.
COVID-19 has forced wineries up and down the Okanagan Valley to halt wine tastings.
The alternative, virtual wine tastings, utilizing all forms of social media.
“We’ll sit down and we’ll open a wine and we’ll taste through it. Since people can’t come in, we can’t walk them through a tasting in the shop, we walk them through a tasting online,” said Lindsay O’Rourke of Tightrope Winery. “We know of people or groups that are organizing their own wine tasting among friends. They’ll use those videos as well to watch along while they’re tasting with their friends.”
Many wineries throughout the Okanagan are relying on Facebook Live and YouTube videos to promote their product.
“The various social media platforms and short videos have allowed us to get as much of that message out as we can,” said Dylan Roche of Roche Wines. “We can share details about the wines, new releases and remind people that we’ve got lots of good wine.”
At Home with Bordertown Winery in Osoyoos is a virtual tasting series every Saturday at 6 pm on Facebook Live.
“We also use Zoom platform and do wine tastings, where the wine club member of the person who purchase a tasting kit prior will receive their wine at home, and a virtual ambassador, like myself, will talk about the wine, and guide the client through the different wines they receive,” said wine consultant Carl Boucher on one of the recent sessions.
And wine connoisseurs are certainly appreciative of the ability to check out wine information online.
“The comments have been really positive. They’ve been like, wow, I’ve learned so much, or, when are you going to talk about this. Some of the questions have even stumped us. We’re like, wow, that’s amazing, we’ll have to get back to you,” said Cindy Ferrie of Bordertown. “The audience ranges from the person who just enjoys a nice glass of red or white wine right through to the people who want to know the more technical aspects about the wine making process.”
As for some of the other wineries getting into virtual tastings, Joe Luckhurst of Road 13 Vineyards, hosts Tireside Tastings every Thursday at 4.30 p.m. on Instagram Live, Kismet Estate Winery has the Sunday Live Series, every Sunday at 12 p.m. on Facebook and Instagram, Hester Creek Estate Winery has posted a series of virtual tasting videos on their YouTube with winemaker Mark Hopley, including tasting notes and pairing suggestions for the 2019 Pinot Gris Viognier.
Inside, virtual wine tastings will continue through the Okanagan.
“It’s going to warm up here and the vines will start to grow,” said Graham O’Rourke of Tightrope Winery. “The virus doesn’t affect the grape vines, and I just do what I have to do.”
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Facebook slaps labels on 'state-controlled' media outlets – ZDNet
Facebook has begun labelling media outlets it deems to be “state-controlled”, which it assesses based on various factors such as government influence and ownership. It also will slap similar labels on ads from these publishers later this year in a move, it says, aims to provide greater transparency.
The social media platform on Thursday kicked off efforts to label media organisations that were “wholly or partially” under the editorial control of their government. It had announced plans to do so last October as part of a string of initiatives to curb election interference on its site.
Applying labels to state-controlled media outlets would offer “greater transparency” to readers who should know if the news came from publications that might be under the influenced of a government, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a post. He added that similar labels would be placed on ads from these publishers later this year.
Applied globally, these labels would be placed on the publication’s Pages, Ad Library Page, and Page Transparency section. They also would be extended to posts in News Feeds in the US over the next week, Gleicher said.
In addition, later this year, ads from such media outlets would be blocked in the US “to provide an extra layer or protection” against foreign influence in the public debate around the upcoming US elections in November, he said.
A check on China’s Xinhua News and Russia’s Sputnik News profiles on Facebook revealed each had a label, displayed as “China state-controlled media” and “Russian state-controlled media”, under their respective Page Transparency section.
Such labels, however, would not be added to US news outlets because Facebook believed these organisations, including those run by the US government, had editorial independence, Gleicher said in a Reuters report.
In establishing its policy criteria, he said in his post that Facebook consulted more than 65 experts worldwide who specialised in media, governance, and human rights development to understand the “different ways and degrees” to which governments exerted editorial control over media companies.
He noted that the defining qualities of state-controlled media extended beyond government funding and ownership and included an assessment of editorial control. To determine if publishers were wholly or partially under the government’s editorial control, he said Facebook looked at various factors including the media organisation’s mission statement and mandate, ownership structure, editorial guidelines around sources of content, information about newsroom staff, funding source, and accountability mechanisms.
Country-specific factors, such as press freedom, also were assessed, he said.
Media organisations that disagreed with such labels could submit an appeal with Facebook and offer documentation to argue their case. To demonstrate their independence, publishers should provide indication of established procedures to ensure editorial independence or an assessment by an independent, credible organisation that determined such procedures had been adhered to and their country’s statute — safeguarding editorial independence — had been observed.
But while it is moving to stick labels on such media outlets, Facebook is less willing to do so for other types of content. CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently came under fire for refusing to take action against posts from US President Donald Trump, including one that appeared to incite violence against protesters in the country. The post, which first appeared on Twitter and was reposted on Facebook, was later restricted on Twitter for breaching its policies on glorifying violence. Zuckerberg, however, specifically declined to enforce similar action, prompting several of his employees to stage a “virtual walkout” in protest.
Facebook last September said advertisers running campaigns on social issues, elections, and politics on its platform in Singapore would have to confirm their identity and location, and reveal who was responsible for the ads. It said the move was part of efforts to stem the spread of “misinformation” and help block foreign interference in local elections. It also came amid calls from Singapore’s Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam for regulations to deal with “hostile information campaigns”.
Facebook earlier this week complied with a Singapore government directive to block local access the National Times Singapore page, but described the order as “severe and risk being misused to stifle voices and perspectives” online. The social media platform in February also had adhered to the government’s order to block local access the States Times Review page, whilst highlighting it was “deeply concerned” that the move stifled freedom of expression in Singapore.
Such government directives were enabled by the country’s Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), which was passed in May last year, following a brief public debate, and came into effect on last October along with details on how appeals against directives could be made. The Bill had passed despite strong criticism that it gave the government far-reaching powers over online communication and would be used to stifle free speech as well as quell political opponents.
China says social media firms should not selectively create obstacles for media – The Guardian
BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Friday that social media companies should not selectively create obstacles for media agencies, responding to Facebook Inc’s decision to start labeling state-controlled media organisations.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a daily briefing that any media agency operating in line with relevant laws of various countries should be treated equally.
The world’s biggest social network will apply the label to Russia’s Sputnik, Iran’s Press TV and China’s Xinhua News, according to a partial list Facebook provided.
(Reporting by Huizhong Wu; writing by Se Young Lee; editing by John Stonestreet)
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