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Some Alberta nurses worry proposed social media policy would muzzle health advocacy and criticism – Global News

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The United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) has concerns with proposed rules its governing college has drafted regarding social media standards for nurses.

The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) says one of its jobs — under the Health Professions Act (HPA) — is to produce standards of practice to help members in different work situations.

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David Kay, chief professional conduct officer for CARNA, said the college posted a draft social media policy for nurses on Sept. 30 for consultation.

“CARNA supports the HPA process that invites regulated members, stakeholders such as AHS, Covenant Health, unions and the public to provide their insight on the drafts,” Kay explained in an email to Global News.

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“CARNA takes the consultation process seriously.

“The comment process is typically 30 days. When the consultation process is over, CARNA considers all the comments received, reviews them and makes revisions, as necessary.”

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But the union, which represents more than 30,000 registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and allied workers in Alberta, has raised several issues with the proposed social media standards.

UNA spokesperson Cameron Westhead says the union “strongly opposes them” and is worried about their impacts on nurses’ freedom of speech and the ability to advocate for good health policy.

The draft policy reads, in part, that when using social media during online conduct, the member must:

  • Post only professional and ethical content;
  • Not post opinions, comments or information that could harm a client, person, employer, another health professional, colleague or organization;
  • Review past online presence and remove any posts that could be considered unprofessional, controversial or problematic;
  • Not post opinions, comments or information that could harm their reputation or that of a member, the college or the profession;
  • Direct any complaints about a client, person, employer, another health colleague, organization, regulated member, the regulatory college or the profession through appropriate channels;
  • Cease any online activity and remove any online content that could negatively impact the public’s perception of or trust in the regulated member or the profession.

But the nurses union argues the new standards are “an intrusive overreach.”

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The UNA says the social media rules would likely “place a chill on the willingness of nurses to lend their knowledge and experience to be advocates within public discourse on policies surrounding health and the socioeconomic determinants of health [that are] not in the public interest.”


Click to play video 'War of words between United Nurses of Alberta and province over collective bargaining'



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War of words between United Nurses of Alberta and province over collective bargaining


War of words between United Nurses of Alberta and province over collective bargaining

“The draft social media standards conflict with the right of nurses to freedom of expression, a right that was recently affirmed by the courts in the Strom decision,” UNA said.

“As per this decision, criticism of the health-care system by front-line workers is in the public interest and should not be unreasonably restricted as these draft standards attempt to do.

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“Any social media standards must take into account the implications of this court decision.”

Read more:
Saskatchewan Court of Appeal quashes fine against nurse who made critical Facebook post

A few weeks after her grandfather’s death in 2015, Carolyn Strom, a registered nurse from Prince Albert, Sask., wrote on Facebook that some unnamed staff at his long-term care facility in Macklin, Sask., were not up to speed on delivering end-of-life care. Strom made the post as a private citizen but the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association found her guilty of professional misconduct.

However, on Oct. 6, 2020, Saskatchewan’s highest court overruled the disciplinary decision and the $26,000 fine levied against Strom. The judge ruled that criticism of the health care system is in the public interest and when it comes from frontline workers it can bring positive change.


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Saskatchewan Court of Appeal quashes fine against nurse who made critical Facebook post


Saskatchewan Court of Appeal quashes fine against nurse who made critical Facebook post

In a letter to CARNA, the union shared its “serious concerns with the draft standards,” saying they “inappropriately extend into the personal lives of nurses to restrict their freedom of expression” and would “severely restrict the ability of nurses to fulfill their duty to advocate for quality practice environments and meet the professional obligations set out in the foundational practice standard indicators and CNA code of ethics.”

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Read more:
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The letter, signed by UNA president Heather Smith, says:

“While CARNA has the responsibility to protect the public from harm, fulfilling this duty must be balanced with ensuring that CARNA is not unnecessarily and unreasonably restricting the rights of their members.

“UNA suggests that the social media standards are unnecessary given that unprofessional conduct can already be addressed through existing practice standards.

“Given that nurses have a professional obligation to question health policy, advocate for improvements to practice environments and have a charter right to express themselves, barriers to these must be carefully avoided.”


Click to play video 'Toews and Shandro say they won’t lay off Alberta nurses during pandemic'



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Toews and Shandro say they won’t lay off Alberta nurses during pandemic


Toews and Shandro say they won’t lay off Alberta nurses during pandemic

Members of the nursing college had until Oct. 25 to provide feedback on the proposed changes.

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Kay would not say how much feedback CARNA received on the issue, but said: “CARNA will ensure the feedback being obtained is given thoughtful review and consideration.”

He said it would be “premature” to provide a date for when the proposed standards might be implemented.

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

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Bill Barr bashed in right-wing media after election fraud comments: 'He is either a liar or a fool or both' – CNN

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Since he was confirmed as attorney general, William Barr has been somewhat of a hero in the right-wing media universe. He has assailed the Russia probe. He has talked a big game about cracking down on Antifa. He has sharply criticized the news media. On and on it goes.
But his celebrity status took a hit on Tuesday when he undercut President Trump’s brazenly false contention that there was massive voter fraud in the 2020 election. Speaking to the Associated Press, Barr said that, “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
The statement from Barr, which merely recited a simple fact, not only cut against what Trump has been saying, but also what Trump’s propagandists and allies in right-wing media have been feeding their audiences. For weeks, these media personalities have strung their audiences along, suggesting that damning proof of fraud was just around the corner. Which is why the comment from Barr stung so bad.
The comment effectively forced these right-wing stars to pick between acknowledging the reality Barr laid out or continuing Trump’s fantasy. Trump’s most devoted propagandists chose the latter. And so they started to throw Barr under the bus, just as they’ve done with every other conservative who has dared to contradict the president. (Think about how former conservative stars such as Jeff Sessions, Justin Amash, Paul Ryan, and others were treated when they didn’t blindly oblige Trump’s demands.)

“A liar or a fool or both”

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, whose conspiratorial program is a favorite of the president, attacked Barr in brutal terms on his show. “For the attorney general of the United States to make that statement — he is either a liar or a fool or both,” Dobbs said. Dobbs then went further, suggesting Barr was “perhaps compromised.” He characterized Barr as having “appeared to join in with the radical Dems and the deep-state and the resistance.”
Dobbs wasn’t the only one. Newsmax host Greg Kelly, who has risen to fame in right-wing media circles in the last few weeks for suggesting Trump could emerge as the winner of the election, went after Barr on his show. “Some of us are wondering if he is a warrior with the Constitution or if he’s just a bureaucrat,” Kelly said. Kelly added that he “can’t believe” if Barr “looked for voter fraud he wouldn’t find any.” And Mark Levin said he “regret[ted] to say” that Barr’s comments were “misleading.”
The far-right blogs were even harsher. The Gateway Pundit, a fringe website which Trump has repeatedly promoted, published a post that said Barr had revealed himself as “totally deaf, dumb and blind.” The post went on to say that Barr’s “masquerade as someone opposed to the criminality of the Deep State” had been “exposed as a venal lie” and that he was a “fraud.” It concluded, “You either fix the damn corrupt system or we will abandon you…Our days of tolerating betrayal are over.”

Some hold fire

While Barr faced strong criticism from some notable names in right-wing media, others refrained from attacking him on Tuesday night. Notably, heavyweights Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity didn’t skewer the AG. It will be interesting over the next 24 hours if this anti-Barr narrative takes greater hold in the Trump-friendly media, or if it dissipates.

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Trump threatens defence veto over social media protections – BarrieToday

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is threatening to veto a defence policy bill unless it ends protections for internet companies that shield them from being held liable for material posted by their users.

On Twitter Tuesday night, Trump took aim at Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects companies that can host trillions of messages from being sued into oblivion by anyone who feels wronged by something someone else has posted — whether their complaint is legitimate or not.

Trump called Section 230 “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” adding, “Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill.”

Trump has been waging war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against conservative voices.

In October he signed an executive order directing executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to study whether they can place new regulations on the companies.

Since losing the presidential election, Trump has flooded social media with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Twitter has tagged many such Trump tweets with the advisory, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”

Tuesday’s veto threat is another potential roadblock for the passage of the annual defence policy measure, which is already being held up in Congress by a spat over military bases named for Confederate officers. The measure, which has passed for 59 years in a row on a bipartisan basis, guides Pentagon policy and cements decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, military personnel policy and other military goals.

The Associated Press

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Trump threatens defence veto over social media protections – CTV News

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WASHINGTON —
U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to veto a defence policy bill unless it ends protections for internet companies that shield them from being held liable for material posted by their users.

On Twitter Tuesday night, Trump took aim at Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects companies that can host trillions of messages from being sued into oblivion by anyone who feels wronged by something someone else has posted — whether their complaint is legitimate or not.

Trump called Section 230 “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” adding, “Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill.”

Trump has been waging war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against conservative voices.

In October he signed an executive order directing executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to study whether they can place new regulations on the companies.

Since losing the presidential election, Trump has flooded social media with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Twitter has tagged many such Trump tweets with the advisory, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”

Tuesday’s veto threat is another potential roadblock for the passage of the annual defence policy measure, which is already being held up in Congress by a spat over military bases named for Confederate officers. The measure, which has passed for 59 years in a row on a bipartisan basis, guides Pentagon policy and cements decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, military personnel policy and other military goals.

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