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Philippine police draw flak for plan to monitor social media on quarantine – The Guardian



MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine police drew criticism from netizens and activists on Sunday for a plan to monitor social media to enforce quarantine rules, with critics accusing the authorities of authoritarianism and double standards.

National Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, head of a task force enforcing quarantine protocols, warned of fines and penalties of community service for people violating precautionary measures, while violators of liquor bans will face “additional charges”.

“Police could use public postings on social media as leads, and these will be over and above the police visibility operations we are conducting and will complement tips we get from police hotline,” Eleazar told Reuters by phone.

Manila ended a second round of strict lockdown measures on Aug. 19 to boost business activity, but people still must wear masks in public and observe one-meter distancing, while children, the elderly and pregnant women are urged to stay at home.

The plan to monitor social media, announced on Saturday, seems to show the police agency “wants to use the pandemic to turn us into a police state, where every action is being watched by the authorities,” Renato Reyes, secretary general of left-wing activist group Bayan (Nation) said on Twitter.

Critics said the plan shows a double standard after a police chief was allowed to keep his post despite flouting a ban on social gatherings in May.

Photographs on the police force’s Facebook page showed Debold Sinas, chief of the National Capital Region police, celebrating his birthday along with dozens of people without masks sitting close together, with beer cans on their tables despite an alcohol ban. Sinas apologised.

Eleazar said criminal and administrative cases have been filed against Sinas for the incident.

The Philippines has recorded 234,570 coronavirus cases, the highest in Southeast Asia, with 3,790 COVID-19 deaths.

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by William)

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Advocacy group urging social media platforms be held accountable for content they publish –




One of the advantages of the internet is it provides a wealth of knowledge to anyone who has a device that can access it.

However, one of the downsides is with so much information available, a lot of it is unverified, while some of it can even be so inaccurate it becomes harmful.

Because of this, many believe social media companies, such as Facebook and YouTube should be held accountable for the information shared on their websites.

A new research report released by watchdog group FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting argues these companies should be considered publishers, and thus held accountable for user-generated content published to their platforms.

Our elected officials don’t need to create new laws to deal with this problem. They don’t need to define harmful content, police social media, or constrain free expression in any new way. All government needs to do is apply existing laws,” Daniel Bernhard, Executive Director for FRIENDS, said in a news release.

“But if a judge decides that content circulated on social media breaks the law, the platform which publishes and recommends that illegal content must be held liable for it,” he continued.

In their defense, social media companies have argued that they simply function as bulletin boards that display user-generated content without editorial control–they posit that it would be impossible to discover illegal content from among the 100 billion daily posts.

Platforms such as Facebook claim to advertisers that they have technology that recognize content users post before it is published and pushed out to others.

Additionally, Facebook routinely exercises editorial control by promoting content users have never asked to see, including extreme content that would land other publishers in legal trouble, as well as conceals content from users without consulting them–another form of editorial control.

Facebook and other social media platforms have complaints processes where they are alerted to potentially illegal or otherwise objectionable content. Yet it is their own community standards, not the law, which dictates whether they will remove a post,” George Carothers, director of research for FRIENDS, said in the same release.

“Even then Facebook employees say that the company does not apply its own standards when prominent right-wing groups are involved,” he continued.


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Media Beat: September 24, 2020 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News



Bob Hoffman – Ageism: Ignore 55+ at your own peril

A few weeks ago, Mark Read, CEO of WPP, the world’s largest agency company, made the quintessential rookie mistake. He told the truth.

In a call with analysts, Read said… “the average age of someone who works at WPP is less than 30. They don’t hark back to the 1980s, luckily.”

In doing so, Read acknowledged out loud and in public something that ad industry aristocrats have been denying for years — their brazen flouting of laws forbidding age discrimination.

Since then Read has been tripping in his underwear issuing feeble apologies and pretending that what he said isn’t really what he said. The worst kept secret in the ad business is the enthusiasm with which agencies create fictitious rationales for getting rid of older employees.

While people over 50 represent about 45% of adults in the US, they represent about 6% of ad agency employees. That was before COVID. Now that agencies have cover for firing older employees, you can bet the percentage will go even lower. According to the chart on the right, at WPP 75% of their 130,000 employees are under 40. About 8% are over 50.

To compare the maturity and experience of WPP employees to other fields, let’s have a look at the medical and legal professions. While 75% of WPP employees are under 40, 24% of doctors and 26% of lawyers are. Apparently experience and maturity are valued quantities when your health or freedom may be at stake, but not so much when your business is on the line.

If you want to excuse the blatant discrimination of the ad industry by claiming that creative enterprises require young people, I urge you to watch video I link to below. I think it will debunk that baloney.

The demographic cleansing of experienced, talented people in favor of young inexperienced people in the ad industry is not without its consequences:
   – Marketers are virtually unanimous in believing that advertising is not as effective as it once was.
   – Consumer perceptions of the ad industry are at an all-time low.
   – It is widely acknowledged that creativity in advertising has become abysmal.
   – Ad fraud and the acceptance of unsavory practices have become normalized.
None of this is an accident. It is the predictable outcome for an industry that has systematically weeded out mature, experienced, and talented people.

Creating effective advertising is difficult enough in the hands of the best minds in our industry. When it’s in the hands of the unskilled or inexperienced it can be a very expensive clown show, or as a comedian named Fred Allen once described it, “Advertising is 85% confusion and 15% commission.” Perhaps a little too close for comfort.

Instead of having the best available people create their advertising, marketers have been conned into wasting billions of dollars on idiotic schemes concocted by bungling amateurs and posers.

As regular readers know, the stupidity of ignoring and devaluing mature people has been a cause célèbre of mine for years. (Below is a video excerpt from a talk I gave last year on the subject.)

If you think that ageism in advertising is solely a by-product of agencies having to cut costs, you’re wrong. Most agencies wouldn’t hire a 55-year-old copywriter if she came free and gift-wrapped. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

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Cogeco doesn’t need a blockbuster deal for U.S. cable giant Astound to ensure its future

Spoiler alert: Cogeco Inc. and subsidiary Cogeco Communications Inc. are not going to win this prize, because sources say they turned down an invitation to bid on Astound businesses that include a northeastern U.S. cable network that would dovetail neatly with the Montreal-based companies’ expansion-hungry U.S. subsidiary, Atlantic Broadband.

There are two very different ways to react to Cogeco’s choice to stay on the sidelines. – Andrew Willis, The Globe and Mail (subscription)

YouTube launches its TikTok rival, YouTube Shorts, initially in India

YouTube says India — notably, a large market where Chinese-owned TikTok is already banned — will be the first to gain access to YouTube Shorts at launch. However, the plan is to bring the feature to more markets in time. YouTube didn’t offer a timeline for when that would happen, though.

Related to this, YouTube will introduce a new watch experience that lets you swipe through YouTube Shorts vertically — also, just like TikTok. The company had already added a new row on the YouTube homepage for watching short videos… – Sarah Perez, TechCrunch


Macaulay Culkin is not like you

“… I enjoy acting. I enjoy being on set,” he says. “I don’t enjoy a lot of the other things that come around it. What’s a good analogy. The Shawshank Redemption. The way he gets out of prison is to crawl through a tube of shit, you know? It feels like to get to that kind of freedom, I’d have to crawl through a tube of shit. And you know what? I’ve built a really nice prison for myself. It’s soft. It’s sweet. It smells nice. You know? It’s plush.” – Ryan D’Agostino, Esquire

Trump deploys YouTube strategy for his re-election bid

Trump campaign advisers said Facebook was almost always a better campaign tool than YouTube in 2016 given its powerful targeting abilities and the lack of public scrutiny around them. But as Democrats have caught up on Facebook and the platform’s every move is dissected, Trump officials say YouTube has been more effective at times than Facebook at mobilization, fundraising and persuasion in 2020. YouTube has also become an increasingly influential force on the internet generally. – Alex Thompson, Politico

The Schitt’s Creek Emmys sweep

Eugene, Catherine, Dan and Annie talk about their “Schitt’s Creek” sweep at the Emmys on Jimmy Kimmel Live

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'It's just a piece of fabric': Misinformation, media distrust fuelling anti-mask movement, Sask. professor says – CTV News



A distrust of mainstream media and reliance on social media for news is fueling the anti-mask movement, according to a professor at the University of Regina.

“The answer seems to be that people are getting junk information, basically, and probably from social media and that’s driving a lot of what’s going on,” Gordon Pennycook, a behavioural science associate professor at the University of Regina, said.

The anti-mask movement has grown in Saskatchewan over the past few months, despite push back from the Premier and the province’s Chief Medical Health Officer.

“There should be no stigma as to whether someone is wearing a mask or isn’t wearing a mask,” Premier Scott Moe said on Wednesday.

Moe proclaimed the COVID-19 pandemic “is real” during Tuesday’s COVID-19 provincial update, seven months into the fight against the virus.

Anti-mask protests have become common in cities across Saskatchewan in recent months. The No Masks Saskatchewan Facebook group has grown to more than 2,900 members since it was created a month ago.

Pennycook said people joining this group aren’t willing to listen to facts about masks.

“There’s room for reasonable behaviour, but that’s different than joining a Facebook group that’s specifically associated with not liking masks, which is kind of a weird thing to care about, it’s just a piece of fabric over your face,” he said.

CTV News reached out to the creator of the Facebook group for comment, but didn’t receive a response.

Pennycook added Saskatchewan avoiding being hard hit by the initial wave of COVID-19 compared to other parts of Canada and the United States is contributing to people not taking the virus seriously.

“The extent to which people think it’s a serious problem is going to have a huge impact on whether they think masks are effective,” he said.

While the anti-mask movement is vocal, Pennycook doesn’t believe it will spread out of its small portion of the population.

“It’s a pretty small portion of the population that actually has these views,” he said. “The average person is fairly reasonable, they know it’s a mask, there’s a pandemic, it’s not a big deal.”

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