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Social Media Misinformation Is Making Americans Less Empathic – Forbes



According to new data from a recent survey conducted by the United Way of the National Capital Area, more than half of all Americans – 57% – said that misinformation on social media has influenced their empathy levels. In addition, 27% of respondents added they have even changed where they get their news from due to empathy burnout.

Apart from Gen Z, respondents from each generation said that Facebook is the social media app most contributing to their empathy burnout.

According to the researchers, empathy burnout takes shape when “a person is regularly expending much of their energy – emotional, physical, mental – to care for others to the point that they themselves feel exhausted.” Many can likely relate to those feelings.

“We posed questions about news events contributing to their burnout, characteristics of compassion fatigue, and coping strategies they turn to for relief,” explained Nedelka Phillips, senior vice president, for marketing and fundraising at United Way NCA. “Over half of Americans say that misinformation on social media has influenced their empathy levels.”

The fact that so many people now rely on social media as a news source is certainly adding to the problem – in part because it is filled with so much misinformation and even disinformation.

“QAnon, for instance, creates an army of people that deeply believe falsehoods and aggressively fight to assure their unbelievable truths are believable,” suggested technology analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group.

“This is creating a level of conflict that is very troubling because the foundation underneath these untruths are weak and that creates insecurity with those that propose them and this insecurity is likely the foundation for the related increasing anger and escalations to violence when these beliefs are rightfully challenged turning social media platforms into cesspools of misbehavior and abuse,” warned Enderle. “Social Media, and especially Facebook’s, over focus on revenue is driving a world I doubt anyone working at that company wants to live in and this is a serious problem because it is working against the natural trend for the world to become more accepting and collaborative over time.”

Perhaps today, thanks to social media, you can also fool a lot of people a lot of the time – and the platforms are profiting from it.

“In effect, social media is helping to weaponize gullible people, not to accomplish any kind of broad objective, but instead to maximize revenue with the cost of creating a far more hostile and unsafe world,” added Enderle. “As a result Facebook and other services that knowingly allow this misbehavior to maximize short term revenues and profits are becoming an existential risk to the human race which will likely end badly for both our race and firms like Facebook.”

What Happened To Social?

An increasing missing element of “social media” is the social aspect. Instead, the platforms have become echo chambers of opinions.

“In the evolution of technology there has always been unintended consequences. Interestingly, for a medium that started out as a force for being more social – it now often seems like it’s tilting towards the ‘dark-side,’ and being a platform for being anti-social.” said Susan Schreiner of C4 Trends. “It’s become a hotbed for hate, fear-mongering and disinformation. Today, social media is mirroring an increasing coarseness in the way people interact with each other in-person. It’s as if people’s dark-side are hiding behind the veil of social media.”

While political intransigence and lack of collegiality, the pandemic, and the fear of uncertainty are contributing factors – social media makes it easy to attack someone or to act as a bully, without responsibility or consequence, warned Schreiner.

“There’s a rebellion against respect – and the attitude of ‘I can disagree, but do it politely,'” she suggested.

Politeness is certainly missing in most social media exchanges.

“Social media is giving permission for narcissism and people’s worst instincts and characteristics to just ‘hang-out’ without concern for others,” added Schreiner. “Social media has given permission to ‘me’ and ‘I’ taking precedence over ‘we’ and considering or respecting the feelings or viewpoints of others.”

Even with all of social media’s negativity, there still is hope to be optimistic but it will take work.

“It’s no longer enough just to click on Facebook or Twitter and blindly accept at face value whatever is being said. It’s not like in the age of broadcast when one could rely on three-TV channels and authorities like Walter Cronkite,” Schreiner noted.

“On some levels it comes down to the ‘mob’ versus personal interactions. It’s like tabloid headlines versus The New York Times or The Washington Post,” she warned. “While we saw lots of fear-mongering during the pandemic, we also saw on social media the kindness among strangers – with members in neighborhood groups helping each other or members in certain types of Facebook groups offering emotional support to those alone.”

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Hollywood Enlists Asian Media in US-Led $71 Billion Piracy Fight – BNN



(Bloomberg) — Hollywood studios battling online piracy have enlisted the first Asian members of an industry coalition set up to seek out and shut down illegal streaming sites.

The Hong Kong-based streaming service Viu and True Visions, a leading Thai pay-TV provider, will be the first Asian companies to join the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, whose members include Netflix Inc., Walt Disney Co. and other major media companies.

The alliance is part of the US Motion Picture Association and has 39 members, with plans to enlist other players in Latin America and elsewhere. Dues from the media organizations are used to finance legal fights against the theft of content.

Piracy has been on the rise during the pandemic, costing US entertainment companies an estimated $29 billion to $71 billion in lost revenue annually, according to executives at the organization. And media companies typically notice, and act on, copyright and intellectual property theft before police.

“We now have local partners fighting this local fight, who can connect to local law enforcement,” Charles Rivkin, chairman of the alliance and the Motion Picture Association, said in an interview. “It’s a whole lot more effective when you have a local player come in with the MPA than the MPA just parachuting in on our own and trying to make headway.”

Expanding Ranks

While the organization is mostly made of US companies, including all of the major Hollywood studios and streaming services that form the MPA trade group, it also has international partners. BBC Worldwide and Vivendi SE’s Canal+ are two of its biggest European members. Rivkin said he has long sought to expand the group’s footprint in Asia-Pacific, where some of the largest illegal streaming sites are run.

Viu is one of the biggest streaming platforms in Asia, with 58.6 million monthly active users, according to the company. True Visions is a cable and satellite TV operator based in Thailand, and last month helped the alliance and local police arrest an alleged content pirate and shut down his website.

“We recognize the need to address the piracy that is widespread in our markets,” Marianne Lee, chief of content acquisition and development at Viu, said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring consumers move from illegal piracy sites to legal options.”

While Hollywood has battled film and TV piracy for years, it became particularly problematic after major studios made their content more readily accessible online during pandemic lockdowns. John Fithian, the head of the National Association of Theatre Owners, said in April piracy was so widespread in 2021 that studios scrapped plans to debut their big, new films online rather than in theaters.

The alliance says it’s also looking to partner with major sports leagues across the world, since they are also the target of digital content thieves. In April, ACE added beIN Media Group, one of the biggest international sports broadcasters, to its ranks.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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Boston media explodes after Red Sox blow it without unvaccinated closer Houck –



Editor’s Note: The COVID-19 situation, in sports and around the world, is constantly evolving. Readers in Canada can consult the country’s public health website for the latest.

The Boston media is known for being tough on their teams at all times.

It reaches another level, though, when something like Tuesday night happens.

Because Boston Red Sox closer Tanner Houck is unvaccinated, he had to be placed on the restricted list prior to this week’s series in Toronto against the Blue Jays.

And wouldn’t you know it, his absence loomed large on Tuesday when the Blue Jays scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 win over the Red Sox.

Longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy and other members of the Boston media were quick to post their feelings on Twitter.

Without Houck, the Red Sox asked Tyler Danish, who pitched the eighth, to go back out for the ninth.

But Danish, who has zero career saves, let the first two runners on. That prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to replace him with Hansel Robles.

Robles wasn’t any more successful, giving up RBI singles to Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to end it.

When asked if the situation made him more frustrated about the vaccination situation, Cora said no.

“We go with the 26 that are here, and we try to get 27 outs and we didn’t do it,” Cora said.

The Blue Jays have now won five of six against the Red Sox in Toronto this season heading into Wednesday’s series finale when Toronto will start ace Alek Manoah.

And, maybe just maybe, the same two teams will play in the same venue in October.

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Media Release – June 29, 2022 – Guelph Police – Guelph Police Service



Fake gun call doesn’t work

A male who reported a bogus firearms incident in an attempt to avoid being arrested instead faces additional charges.

Approximately 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Guelph Police Service officers located a stolen motorcycle in a downtown parking lot. Investigation led them to an apartment unit where they believed the responsible male was hiding.

While officers were on scene, a 911 call was received by the communications centre reporting a male with a firearm at a business on Eramosa Road. Several officers responded and determined the report was fake and intended to draw officers away from the downtown apartment.

After extensive negotiations, a male was arrested just before 9:30 p.m. A 38-year-old Guelph male is charged with possessing stolen property over $5,000, public mischief and failing to comply with a release order. He was held for a bail hearing Wednesday.

Male charged with impaired, mischief

A Guelph male was charged with mischief after smearing feces on a surveillance camera at the Guelph Police station following his arrest for impaired driving.

Just after 6 p.m Tuesday, the Guelph Police Service received reports of an erratic driver in the area of Woodlawn Road West and Imperial Road North. A short time later the running vehicle was located at the owner’s residence with the male still sitting inside. Officers detected an odour of alcoholic beverage on his breath and observed an empty beer can inside the vehicle. Testing at the police station confirmed the male had more than the legal amount of alcohol in his system.

While the male was being held awaiting his release, he began to cover a cellblock camera with a pillow. After the pillow was taken away he used his hand to smear feces on the camera lens.

A 47-year-old Guelph male is charged with impaired operation and mischief. His driver’s licence was suspended for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for seven days. He will appear in a Guelph court July 12, 2022.

Male arrested for break and enter

A Guelph male has been arrested nearly two months after a north-end garage was entered.

On May 8, a resident in the area of Victoria Road North and Ingram Drive reported a break-in to his garage. Video surveillance showed a vehicle stopping in front of the house approximately 3:20 a.m. A male entered the garage and stole tools and other items.

A suspect was identified from the video and arrested Tuesday.

A 32-year-old Guelph male is charged with break and enter, prowl at night and breach of probation. He will appear in a Guelph bail court July 5, 2022.

Total calls for service in the last 24 hours – 240

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