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Social media 'out of control,' says Norfolk mayor – The Sudbury Star

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Port Rowan man pleads guilty to threatening Chopp

Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp. File photo

File photo / Simcoe Reformer

Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp says harassment and even threats of violence have been part of her job since being elected in 2018.

“I’m pretty tough, but the constant barrage of abuse that some find amusing has affected my psychology,” the mayor said in an interview last week.

Earlier this month, a 57-year-old Port Rowan man was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm to Chopp.

Dana Robert Dargie was placed on house arrest for 30 days and put on probation for 18 months, during which he is banned from communicating with or going near the mayor. He also can’t go to the municipal building or attend any Norfolk council meetings. And he was directed to get counselling for anger management.

“It’s my understanding that he was warned once to stop and he didn’t,” Chopp said of Dargie.

But Dargie is just one of many people who lash out on social media against the mayor, who has faced controversy over council’s decisions to cut services and staff, among other things.

At a Norfolk council meeting last Tuesday, the mayor was accused by her council colleagues of using bullying tactics and intimidation as the politicians aired their feelings and grievances. Chopp refused to participate in the meeting, gathering her things and leaving.

Along with emails and negative online comments, Chopp is mocked through a parody account on Twitter, which often compares her to U.S. President Donald Trump. She said a members-only Facebook site with 3,000 members seems to have been formed specifically to discuss and denigrate her work and that of Norfolk CAO Jason Burgess, who is the municipality’s fifth CAO in just over a year.

She said she regularly receives inappropriate emails, including some from a “dirty old man,” who has sent dozens of messages, including half-naked photos of himself.

“I never used to believe in blocking people but that has changed in recent times. Social media has become too out of control, too offensive, too damaging and too harassing.”

And that harassment has extended to her family.

Chopp said her parents’ Hamilton-area farm was visited last year by bylaw officers looking for illegal cannabis.

“They realized they had been sent on a wild goose chase the second they stepped onto the farm but said they had so many phone calls and emails telling them to check it out that they finally went.”

A spokesperson for the City of Hamilton confirmed bylaw officers visited the farm and found no violations.

Chopp said that incident is still under investigation and included a “22-page manifesto” from someone named “Harry Smith,” who mailed his allegations to major media organizations in Canada and to Chopp’s employer, Air Canada, where she works as a pilot. The “manifesto” said the mayor is a narcissistic dictator and psychopath, who owns her own plane and runs a marijuana business.

“I think there’s a reason why women, in particular, don’t want to get involved in politics,” she said. “I can give you a list of more than a dozen men I’m allegedly sleeping with. And, if they don’t get off on that one, they call me a lesbian.”

Chopp said she has pondered taking civil action against some of the harassers as the abuse intensifies

She said she hopes Dargie’s conviction will stop others.

“But I don’t think it will,” she said. “Social media has taken on a life of its own and the facts don’t seem to matter.

“Ignoring the keyboard warriors is difficult but I will do my best to soldier on.”

SGamble@postmedia.com

@EXPSGamble

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InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Friday, January, 22, 2021, 16:12 EST – InvestorIntel

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InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at info@investorintel.com

Watchlist Companies:
– Media Central Corp Inc (FLYY.CN) 0.02 (33.33%)n- QYOU Media Inc (QYOU.V) CAD 0.21 (24.24%)n- Moovly Media Inc (MVY.V) CAD 0.14 (16.67%)n- WOW! Unlimited Media Inc (WOW.V) CAD 0.51 (2.00%)n- HubSpot Inc (HUBS) USD 393.48 (1.21%)n- MediaValet Inc (MVP.V) CAD 2.82 (1.08%)n- Stingray Group Inc (RAY-A.TO) CAD 7.66 (0.92%)n- Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 4.95 (0.61%)n- Slack Technologies Inc (WORK) USD 42.65 (0.54%)n- Wix.com Ltd (WIX) USD 249.49 (0.23%)n- Zoom Video Communications Inc (ZM) USD 383.40 (0.15%)n- Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 472.44 (0.09%)n- Postmedia Network Canada Corp (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.55 (0.00%)n- Quizam Media Corp (QQ.CN) 0.37 (0.00%)n- Lingo Media Corp (LM.V) CAD 0.08 (0.00%)n- Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.35 (0.00%)n- ZoomerMedia Limited (ZUM.V) CAD 0.11 (0.00%)n- Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc (TBRD.V) CAD 2.95 (-1.01%)n- Network Media Group Inc (NTE.V) CAD 0.17 (-2.94%)n- GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.29 (-17.14%)n

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Opposition leader urges UN to halt Belarus media crackdown – 570 News

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CAMEROON, Cameroon — The main opposition challenger in Belarus’ disputed presidential election urged the United Nations on Friday to call for a halt to “violence and lawlessness” in the country, including media censorship, internet shutdowns, website blockages and cancellation of accreditation for journalists.

Former presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya told an informal meeting of the U.N. Security Council that since September the situation in her nation “has only worsened” and the media remain under assault from President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.

Mass protests have gripped Belarus, a former Soviet nation of 9.5 million people, since official results from the Aug. 9 presidential election gave Lukashenko a landslide victory over Tsikhanouskaya. She and her supporters refused to recognize the result, saying the vote was riddled with fraud.

Authorities have cracked down on the largely peaceful demonstrations, the biggest of which attracted up to 200,000 people. Police have used stun grenades, tear gas and truncheons to disperse the rallies, and thousands of people have been beaten. Nevertheless, the protests have continued.

According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, in 2020 independent journalists were detained over 470 times, 97 served administrative arrests, 50 media websites were blocked, and 15 journalists are currently facing “false criminal charges,” Tsikhanouskaya said.

But the former English language teacher said the assault on the media “is just part of the bigger picture of repression in Belarus,” where she said more than 32,000 people have been detained and about 900 are suspects in politically motivated criminal cases. She said the U.N. has reported 400 cases of torture and eight activists have died “in relation to state-backed violence.”

“Not a single government official has been held responsible,” she said.

“In spite of this violence, Belarusians continue protesting every day,” Tsikhanouskaya said. “This demonstrates courage, dignity and resilience.”

Among journalists under arrest are four members of the Belarus Press Club, including its founder, Yuliya Slutskaya; Ihar Losik, administrator of the most popular social media channel in the country who has been on hunger strike for over a month; and three female journalists imprisoned on charges of organizing mass protests and disclosing information about a protester, Roman Bandarenka, who was “killed by the regime’s cronies,” Tsikhanouskaya said.

She said her husband, prominent video blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski, “is charged with organizing mass protests but his guilt is telling the truth and running for president.” She said she and their two children haven’t seen him for almost eight months.

Tsikhanouskaya became a presidential candidate after her husband’s arrest on May 29, and she fled to neighbouring Lithuania after the election in fear of repercussions.

Pavel Latushka, a member of the Belarus opposition’s Coordination Council, highlighted examples of “the essential role of independent media that show the abuses perpetrated by the Lukashenko regime.” Several journalists spoke of their ordeals and their colleagues’ courageous reporting.

Tsikhanouskaya said the U.N. should “take a vocal stand to stop the violence and lawlessness in Belarus,” including against the media, and she called on the Security Council to put Belarus on its agenda — a move strongly opposed by council member Russia, which is Belarus’ neighbour and ally.

The virtual council meeting was organized by Estonia and co-sponsored by France, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu expressed alarm that “representatives of free media — journalists, cameramen, bloggers — have been turned into a target for the government’s repression along with the protesters.”

Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, called the meeting “a clear provocation and a blatant attempt of interference into internal affairs of a sovereign state.”

He said claims where a losing side doesn’t accept election results and claims they were “fraudulent” and “rigged” aren’t rare. He pointed Donald Trump’s refusal to concede that he lost the U.S. presidential election to Joe Biden while claiming widespread election fraud.

Polyansky said there are further similarities between the United States and Belarus.

“The losing side instigates popular protest,” he said. “But there is a big difference in how these cases are presented by the Western media.”

“Whereas actions here (in the United States) are characterized as criminal, the actions of Belarusian opposition are being praised and its appeals are supported with sanctions while self-proclaimed leaders are being presented as legitimate leaders of the country `a la (Juan) Guaidó’” in Venezuela, Polyansky said.

Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press

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InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Friday, January, 22, 2021, 18:04 EST – InvestorIntel

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InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at info@investorintel.com

Watchlist Companies:
– Media Central Corp Inc (FLYY.CN) 0.02 (33.33%)n- QYOU Media Inc (QYOU.V) CAD 0.21 (24.24%)n- Moovly Media Inc (MVY.V) CAD 0.14 (16.67%)n- WOW! Unlimited Media Inc (WOW.V) CAD 0.51 (2.00%)n- HubSpot Inc (HUBS) USD 393.48 (1.21%)n- MediaValet Inc (MVP.V) CAD 2.82 (1.08%)n- Stingray Group Inc (RAY-A.TO) CAD 7.66 (0.92%)n- Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 4.95 (0.61%)n- Slack Technologies Inc (WORK) USD 42.65 (0.54%)n- Wix.com Ltd (WIX) USD 249.49 (0.23%)n- Zoom Video Communications Inc (ZM) USD 383.40 (0.15%)n- Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 472.44 (0.09%)n- Postmedia Network Canada Corp (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.55 (0.00%)n- Quizam Media Corp (QQ.CN) 0.37 (0.00%)n- Lingo Media Corp (LM.V) CAD 0.08 (0.00%)n- Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.35 (0.00%)n- ZoomerMedia Limited (ZUM.V) CAD 0.11 (0.00%)n- Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc (TBRD.V) CAD 2.95 (-1.01%)n- Network Media Group Inc (NTE.V) CAD 0.17 (-2.94%)n- GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.29 (-17.14%)n

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