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RUSSELL WANGERSKY: When social media becomes a sewer – The Guardian

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Anyone who has ever watched CBC reporter David Cochrane at work knows that he’s a journalist for the digital age.

Even as he waits for a producer to signal in his earpiece that he’s on air, Cochrane works his phone constantly: I’ve always wondered which out be the first to wear out, his wrists or his thumbs.

He is e-connected near-constantly, the kind of journalist that, years ago, would work every door in a neighbourhood doggedly trying to gather the last piece of information everyone else has missed. I think he does it because he likes it; maybe he’s addicted to it.

All of that makes Friday’s decision by Cochrane a little fascinating. In a series of tweets, he announced he was bailing out of Twitter, that the social media site had become, for him, just too toxic.


The truth is, it’s a kind of harassment that, if it were happening in a regular workplace, would be dealt with immediately and decisively.


I believe it. If you look at what’s posted on prominent journalists’ accounts — anything from their social media to their email accounts — you’d be horrified. There’s everything from insults about their clothes, their bodies and their voices to graphic descriptions of — well, use your imagination. And even if you do, you’re unlikely to top what journalists — especially female journalists — deal with on a daily basis.

Cochrane said stop — and he’s right.

Remember, this is their workplace. For journalists, having an electronic ear to the ground is a crucial part of the business. Tips and hints arrive that way. Interesting stories you might never have seen turn up that way, too. Most outlets expect their journalists to have a public presence. That means having a Twitter account, and using it often enough to add what your employer sees as value.

But sites like Twitter can also be a sewer, where people make up for their lack of real information or legitimate argument with sheer bullying stridency.

I use Twitter all the time. It’s a good tip sheet for what’s going on, especially during a pandemic when many people are away from their traditional workplaces. No one bothers to come after me; maybe I’m not mainstream enough. Maybe I’m too flippant, posting anything from pictures of dinner to photos of parasites that attack fish by eating the fish’s tongue and replacing it with themselves.

It’s clear, though, that others in journalism are not so lucky.

I think of it as, in some ways, becoming the pool of sludge that comments on online news stories used to be — and still are, with some sites. Early on in the world of comments, you’d occasionally get well-thought-out responses to stories. Quickly, though, a new commenter with actual facts would squashed by one of several comment denizens who simply exist and squat there to belittle, insult and demean. I was delighted when comments sections went dark — not because I think people don’t have a right to voice their opinions, but because I don’t anyone has the right to endlessly insult others without any sort of repercussions.

It makes it hard to do your job if you know everything you post will garner repeated personal attacks.

If you were a doctor, would you like to have some stranger sitting in the examining room, announcing to all in earshot what a quack you were?

If you were pouring cement, how long would you suffer someone nearby yelling “you’re too stupid to make a sidewalk,” before you went over to have a little word?

The truth is, it’s a kind of harassment that, if it were happening in a regular workplace, would be dealt with immediately and decisively.

Turning it off might be exactly the right thing to do.

Russell Wangersky’s column appears in SaltWire newspapers and websites across Atlantic Canada.


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London social media campaign celebrates newcomers working in the health sector – Global News

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Saskatchewan reported 19 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday as the province hit a new single-day testing record.

Of the new cases, 15 are in the Saskatoon area, with 13 of them being linked to known cases or events, says the Ministry of Health.

Two new cases have been reported in the central east and Regina zones.

Read more:
Saskatchewan government releases COVID-19 guidelines for Halloween, Thanksgiving

As of Saturday, Saskatchewan has a total of 1,863 reported cases. Two cases previously reported have been removed as they live outside of Saskatchewan, say officials.

There are 134 active cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, with a total of 1,705 people who have recovered from the virus.

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Here is a breakdown of where Saskatchewan’s active cases are:

  • Saskatoon: 83
  • Regina: 19
  • Central West: 8
  • Central East: 5
  • South East: 5
  • South Central: 4
  • North Central: 3
  • South West: 3
  • North West: 1
  • Far North East: 1
  • Far North West: 1
  • North East: 1

There are eight people in hospital, all who are receiving inpatient care.






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Saskatoon chamber of commerce asks SHA for mask-wearing ad blitz


Saskatoon chamber of commerce asks SHA for mask-wearing ad blitz

Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 24 people.

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Coronavirus breakdown

Here is a breakdown of total Saskatchewan cases by age:

  • 318 people are 19 and under
  • 603 people are 20 to 39
  • 577 are 40 to 59
  • 303 people are 60 to 79
  • 62 people are 80 and over

Women make up 51 per cent of the cases, men make up 49 per cent.

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SHA issues potential COVID-19 exposure alert for Yorkton gym

Officials said 931 cases are linked to community contact or mass gatherings, 279 are travel-related, 534 have no known exposure and 119 are under investigation by public health.

There have been 69 cases involving health-care workers.

Saskatchewan has completed 183,216 COVID-19 tests to date, up 2,984 from Friday, making it the highest daily number of tests performed to date, according to data provided by the Ministry of Health.

The previous record was set on Sept. 18, when 2,984 tests were performed.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Bill Maher Scolds Media For Being “No Help Amplifying” His Concerns Donald Trump Won’t Leave Office Peacefully – Deadline

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UPDATED with video: President Donald Trump pretty much secured the main talking point for this week’s Real Time With Bill Maher after a Wednesday press conference in which Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he lost the November election to Joe Biden.

The topic of the concern over whether Trump would refuse to vacate the White House peacefully has been front and center for Maher for almost two years. It came up time and time again in Friday night’s show, from pressing Sen. Bernie Sanders on what a plan might look like if Trump declined to exit in January if Biden wins, to clear frustration that it’s taken “mainstream media” outlets so long to catch up to his concerns.

“It does f*ckin’ stick in my craw that nobody listened to me and that I got no help from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN — mainstream media, should have amplified,” he said. “Mainstream media — I got no help amplifying the point I was making.”

The subject took up the majority of the opening conversation from Sanders, who appeared via video (Maher was back in the studio for a third week in a row in front of a notably small, socially distanced audience).

“If Trump attempts to stay in office after losing, there will be a number of plans out there to make sure he is evicted from office,” Sanders said, echoing some of what he said in his last Real Time appearance in April. At one point during a Sanders answer, Maher nudged back, “I still don’t know what the plan is.” (See the entire video above.)

During the midshow panel with author and CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers and Manhattan Institute fellow and podcaster Coleman Hughes, an engaging discussion on race eventually turned back to what Maher called “the theme that has obsessed me.”

He showed two montages — one of previous Real Time episodes dating to April 2018 featuring Maher asking the question of what if Trump doesn’t leave office if he loses, another of Trump mentioning Maher’s theory during several rally speeches.

[embedded content]

Afterward, he turned to Trump’s comments earlier in the week.

“There’s a headline I saw in the New York Times yesterday, ‘Trump Won’t Commit to Peaceful Transfer of Power’ — and it was on page 15,” Maher said. “This was not the paper I grew up with, but OK.”

He relayed the main points of Trump’s comments, in response to a question from Playboy reporter Brian Karem, which included the president saying “we’re going to have to see what happens.” Maher read a passage from NYT reporter Michael Crowley’s report, which said in part that “Mr. Trump’s refusal — or inability — to endorse perhaps the most fundamental tenet of American democracy, as any president in memory surely would have, was the latest instance in which he has cast grave uncertainty around the November election and its aftermath.”

“I would put that on the front page – but that’s just crazy me,” Maher said.

He added that he was going to drop the subject — though that doesn’t seem likely with 38 days to go until the election.

Maher is off next week and returns with a fresh show October 9.

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Molly Russell social media material 'too difficult to look at' – BBC News

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.css-1xtcmof-Placeholderposition:relative;display:block;padding-bottom:56.25%;background-color:#EEEEEE;.css-1xtcmof-Placeholder imgoverflow:hidden;position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:center;-webkit-justify-content:center;-ms-flex-pack:center;justify-content:center;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;width:100%;height:100%;object-fit:cover;

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.css-1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyrightposition:absolute;bottom:0;right:0;background:#3F3F42;color:#EEEEEE;padding:0.25rem 0.5rem;text-transform:uppercase;image copyrightRussell family

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.css-14iz86j-BoldTextfont-weight:bold;Instagram has passed thousands of pages of “pretty dreadful” material from the account of Molly Russell to her family’s legal team, a court heard.

The 14-year-old killed herself in 2017 after viewing graphic images of self harm and suicide on the platform.

A pre-inquest hearing on Friday was told not all the material had been studied yet as it was too difficult for lawyers and police to look at for long.

A date for the inquest itself is yet to be set.

The inquest will look at how algorithms used by social media giants to keep users on the platform may have contributed to her death.

Oliver Sanders QC told Barnet’s Coroner’s Court how Instagram’s parent company Facebook had recently released a “significant volume” of material relating to the case.

He said: “We haven’t been able to review it all yet. Some of it is pretty dreadful and it is not something that can be reviewed in a long sitting and certainly not late at night.”

He added certain parts of the material had been redacted and lawyers and police were trying to find out why.

Molly Russell

image copyrightRussell Family

The court also heard the investigation was seeking the cooperation of Snapchat, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, although until recently only Pinterest had co-operated fully.

But Snapchat could not disclose data without an order from a US court, WhatsApp had deleted Molly’s account and Twitter was reluctant to handover material due to European data protection laws, the hearing was told.

Coroner Andrew Walker said “some or all” of those social media companies could be named as interested parties in the inquest as they would be “best placed” to give technical information for the case.

He also asked for a psychologist with expertise in the potential psychological impacts of viewing extreme material to be appointed to give evidence.

A further pre-inquest review is due to take place on 26 November.

.css-po6dm6-ItalicTextfont-style:italic;If you’ve been affected by .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:linkcolor:#3F3F42;.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visitedcolor:#696969;.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visitedfont-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focusborder-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em).css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visitedborder-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;self-harm, eating disorders or emotional distress, help and support is available via the BBC Action Line.

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