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'SNL' has the Facebook whistleblower help Congress understand social media – CNN



New York (CNN Business)Social media can be difficult to understand, but luckily for Congress they had the Facebook whistleblower walk them through it on “Saturday Night Live.”

The NBC variety show opened up on Saturday with Frances Haugen, played by Heidi Gardner, giving testimony on Capitol Hill about the internal workings of Facebook. Unfortunately for Gardner’s Haugen, it quickly turned into Congress asking questions about how social media works.
“I would like to thank the Facebook whisleblower for coming forward,” Mikey Day’s Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.
Gardner’s Haugen responded by saying that it was nice to be in an office with “no skateboards.”
Day’s Blumenthal then let his colleagues ask questions to Haugen, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, played by Cecily Strong, going first.
“What Facebook has done is disgraceful and you better believe that Congress will be taking action,” she said. “Right after we pass the infrastructure bill, raise the debt ceiling, prosecute those responsible for the January 6th insurrection and stop Trump from using executive privilege, even though he’s no longer president. But after all that, you watch out, Facebook!”
She then asked if having 2,000 friends on Facebook is “good.”
“How many does Drake have? 4,000?” Strong’s Feinstein asked.
“I think he has like 50 million,” Gardner’s Haugen said.
“Oh my God, no wonder he never answered my poke,” Strong’s Feinstein responded.
The questioning then shifted to Sen. Ted Cruz, played by Aidy Bryant.
Frances Haugen, as portrayed by Heidi Gardner on "SNL"

Frances Haugen, as portrayed by Heidi Gardner on "SNL"

“I was particularly drawn to your testimony about bullying online,” Bryant’s Cruz said. “How some teenagers, and even some adult men, are bullied almost constantly.”
Bryant’s Cruz then asked how to turn off the bullying feature and said he was concerned about the toxic groups Gardner’s Haugen mentioned.
“I’ve seen groups with hateful names, like ‘Ted Cruz sucks'” Bryant’s Cruz said. “Now, shouldn’t you flag those as misinformation?”
Gardner’s Haugen explained to Bryant’s Cruz that those groups weren’t misinformation, but rather just one person’s opinion.
“Well, it’s more than one person’s opinion,” he said.
The sketch came to an end with two of social media’s leaders joining the questioning.
The first was Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg played by Alex Moffat.
“No, no, we don’t need any more from that guy,” Day’s Blumenthal said.
Instead, he went to the “O.G. social media king,” Tom from Myspace, who was played by Pete Davidson.
“Remember me? I was harmless,” Davidson’s Tom said. “I’m not doing anything of that weird algorithm stuff. We barely maintain the website.”
He then said, “Come on by, check out your friend’s band from 20 years ago” and “let’s make America top 8 again.”
Davidson’s Tom then kicked off the show with its signature catchphrase, “Live, from New York… It’s Saturday night!”

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Hollywood film-crew union reaches tentative deal, averting strike



A union that represents about 60,000 behind-the-scenes workers in film and television reached a tentative deal with producers on Saturday, averting a strike that threatened to cause widespread disruption in Hollywood, negotiators said.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees ( IATSE), which includes camera operators, make-up artists, sound technicians and others, said negotiators agreed to a new three-year contract.

“This is a Hollywood ending,” Matthew Loeb, president of the union, said in an emailed statement. “Our members stood firm. They’re tough and united.”

Shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a production backlog that led to crews working up to 14 hours a day to feed programming to streaming services.

The union had threatened to strike starting Monday if it was unable to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

A strike would have shut down film and television production around the United States in the biggest stoppage since the 2007-2008 strike by Hollywood screenwriters. It would have hit a wide range of media companies including Netflix Inc, Walt Disney Co and Comcast Corp.

IATSE was seeking to reduce working hours and raise the pay of members who work on shows for streaming platforms, where lower rates were set 10 years ago when online video was in its infancy.

IATSE, in its statement, said the proposed contract addresses those issues, including rest periods, meal breaks, a living wage for those on the bottom of the pay scale, and significant increases in compensation to be paid by new-media companies.

The new labor agreement is subject to approval by IATSE’s membership.


(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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City of Brandon – October 16th 2021 Media Release – City of Brandon –



October 16th, 2021

Brandon Police Service Media Release for the Past 24 Hours.

Impaired Driving

At 5:00 pm on Friday afternoon, officers responded to a two vehicle collision in the traffic circle at 34th St and Willowdale Ave. A vehicle driving around the circle went over the curve and back into the circle, striking the back of truck in the process. Officers at the scene observed signs of impairment from the female driver of the vehicle and arrested her for impaired driving. She provided breath samples almost triple the legal limit.  The accused, a 42 year Brandon resident, will appear in court in October on charges of Impaired Driving, Driver over 80 mg% and Dangerous Operation of a motor Vehicle.


A female youth was charged with assault on Friday.  The accused was involved in a fight a high school in Brandon on October 12th during which she punched another youth several times.  She attended the police service on Friday and was arrested. She will appear in court in December.

Theft Under $5000

A 34 year old man with no fixed address was arrested on Friday evening for Theft Under $5000.  The charges stem from a shop lifting incident at a store in the 900 block of Victoria Ave on September 11th when a man stole $70 in groceries.  The suspect was located at a mall where he was intoxicated by drugs and alcohol and refusing to leave.  He was lodged to sober up and released for court in December.

Sexual Assault

In September, a female youth disclosed to police that she was sexually assaulted by a male at a residence in the 300 block 6th St.  The victim reported she had stayed at the man’s residence and he provided her drugs.  She was assaulted by the man while she was intoxicated  by the drugs.  The suspect, a 30 year old from Brandon, was located on Friday evening and arrested for Sexual Assault and Sexual Interference. He was released on an undertaking with conditions and will attend court in December.

Other Arrests

A 44 year old man was arrested on a warrant on Friday afternoon. He was held to sober up and released to appear in court in November.

One person was lodged for Breach of Peace.

V.W. (Bill) Brown #114, Staff Sergeant

NCO i/c D Platoon

204 729 2319

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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Done with doomscrolling? Why people choose to quit social media – Global News



Do you often find yourself doomscrolling on Facebook, spending excessive amount of time on Instagram and watching TikTok videos for endless hours? You’re not alone.

As social media apps continue to consume everyday life, more and more users are re-evaluating their time on online platforms. And there is renewed pushback after a damning testimony earlier this month by a former Facebook employee, Francis Haugen, who says the company’s products harm children and fuel polarization.

Read more:
‘Chilling effect’: How whistleblower Frances Haugen unfriended Facebook

In recent years, several high-profile celebrities have either temporarily deactivated their social media accounts or chosen to log off for good for a variety of reasons.

Because these platforms are designed to keep people’s attention, abstaining can be an “uphill battle,” experts say.

“It’s what we call the attention economy,” said Shana MacDonald, a communications professor at the University of Waterloo.

“They have built their platforms to make sure that we spend the most amount of time possible on the platform,” she told Global News.

“That is how they make money, because they can show ads and also gather data from how we use their platforms, which makes them more money.”

Click to play video: 'Whistleblower: Facebook harms children, weakens democracy'

Whistleblower: Facebook harms children, weakens democracy

Whistleblower: Facebook harms children, weakens democracy – Oct 5, 2021

Despite the addiction, concerns over privacy, mental health and the flood of misinformation are some of the driving factors that motivate users to switch off completely, said MacDonald.

A Statistics Canada report published in March 2021 showed that among all social media users between 15 and 64 years old, 19 per cent reported that they had lost sleep, 22 per cent said they got less physical activity and 18 per cent had trouble concentrating on tasks or activities as a result of their social media use.

Around one in eight users also reported feeling anxious or depressed, frustrated or angry, or envious of the lives of others, according to the StatsCan study that analyzed a 2018 survey.

Read more:
5 Canadians on what social media is doing to their mental health

A majority of Canadians (88 per cent) believe social media companies should do more to prevent or remove messages of hate and racism from their platforms, according to a 2020 Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News.

A more recent online poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies this month found that 40 per cent of Canadians had a negative opinion of Facebook.

The vast majority also agreed that Facebook amplifies hate speech, helps spread fake news, damages individuals’ mental health and poses a risk to children and teenagers.

For people conscious of the negative impact, the decision to say no entirely is like an “abstinence-based internet sobriety program,” said Aimee Morrison, a professor at the University of Waterloo who specializes in social media.

“Some people can have one drink and some people can check Facebook twice a day, but other people find that their own behaviors are problematic and that the best way to address them is to leave the site entirely,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Mental Health Matters: Dealing with ‘doomscrolling’ on social media'

Mental Health Matters: Dealing with ‘doomscrolling’ on social media

Mental Health Matters: Dealing with ‘doomscrolling’ on social media – Sep 15, 2021

Celebrities who have logged off

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have not been active on social media since posting their last message on their official Instagram account in March 2020.

In a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, the Duchess of Sussex went into great detail about her mental health and how it was impacted during her time with the royal family and a target of negative press.

Read more:
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry to develop animated series for Netflix

Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone stopped using her Twitter account after it was hacked in 2012. In a 2018 interview with Elle magazine, she said “it wouldn’t be a positive thing for me.”

“If people can handle that sort of output and input in the social media sphere, power to them.”

Both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are inactive on social media

Both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are inactive on social media.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Richard Shotwell/Invision

In March 2021, French football legend Thierry Henry, who has millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter, said he was quitting social media to protest online racial abuse and bullying that he said goes unregulated.

“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore,” the former Arsenal striker said. “There has to be some accountability.”

Other celebrities who have boycotted social media include British actress Keira Knightley, New Zealand singer Lorde and Canadian actors Ryan Gosling and Keanu Reeves.

How to manage social media use

Despite being an avid social media user herself, Morrison says if people feel the services don’t have value for them, then parting ways might be the right path.

“If people want to stay on, more power to you, and if people want to leave it, I think that’s an entirely supportable decision,” she said.

Read more:
Four ways parents can help teens safely navigate Instagram

However, Professor MacDonald believes that instead of getting rid of the apps altogether, people can put in place “healthy boundaries” on their social media use.

“Especially in children … as they are developing their identities, it’s important for them to have a wide variety of interactions and social contexts … so social media should be quite limited.”

Click to play video: 'Why female political candidates in Canada are receiving more toxicity on Twitter'

Why female political candidates in Canada are receiving more toxicity on Twitter

Why female political candidates in Canada are receiving more toxicity on Twitter – Aug 29, 2021

Setting aside some phone-free hours can be a helpful strategy to limit your screen time, said Morrison.

“You can put a real live alarm clock in your bedroom and plug your phone in the kitchen before you go to bed so you’re not tempted to do doomscrolling at night,” she said.

People can also set reminders on their phone for the amount of time they want to spend on a particular app, shutting it when the timer goes off.

“There’s a number of ways, from total abstinence, like put your phone in a lockbox … or just try to find some ways that make it less easy for you to pick up your phone and do a behavior that you’re trying to stop.”

– With files from the Canadian Press, Associated Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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