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Tesla disbands US media relations team

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Tesla has dissolved its U.S. media relations team, website Electrek reported on Tuesday, in yet another unconventional move by the automaker.

Reuters could not immediately reach the EV maker to verify the development.

Unlike its peers who spend millions of dollars on advertising and marketing, Tesla has largely shunned traditional channels to promote its brand and vehicles.

Its main channel for product promotion is CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account, which has more than 39 million followers. His tweets about new features or future technology are reshared widely on other Twitter accounts and websites.

Tesla also employs a sales strategy through which it bypasses dealerships and sells directly to consumers.

The company’s media relations teams for its European and Asian markets remain in place, Electrek reported.

Source:- Automotive News Europe

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National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook – Aldergrove Star

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Black Press Media has joined Canada’s news media publishers in calling for all political parties in Parliament to support the adoption of Australia’s approach to combat the monopolistic practices of Google and Facebook.

The two American web giants control the lion’s share of online advertising dollars and distribute newspaper content without compensation in Canada, as in democracies around the world. The model being implemented in Australia counters these monopolistic practices and levels the digital playing field – at no cost to taxpayers and without user fees or other charges.

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues. They use their monopoly control not just to divert advertising from news media publishers, but also to divert millions in advertising revenue that they place on news media sites. Even when advertisers pay specifically to advertise on news media sites, Google and Facebook keep most of that revenue, while gathering and using data on news media site readers and advertisers for their own purposes.

Black Press Media CEO Rick O’Connor stated, “It is vital that we establish the principle that the content we produce and that is subsequently picked up and carried on the platforms such as Google and Facebook should be compensated by the platforms so that we can continue to provide the journalism that our local communities want.

“This is a principle that is only recently being accepted by the platforms, thus the need to work in concert with the rest of the industry to fight for local journalism.”

The recommendation that Canada adopt the Australian model is contained in Levelling the Digital Playing Field, a report commissioned by News Media Canada and prepared by global advisory firm FTI Consulting, which conducted an in-depth analysis of actions taken in democracies around the world to address the same challenge.

News Media Canada represents more than 90 per cent of news media readership in Canada including daily, regional, community, and ethnocultural news publications.

“A strong, diverse and independent news media is valued by Canadians and crucial to our democracy,” said Jamie Irving, vice-president of New Brunswick news publishing company BNI and Chair of News Media Canada’s working group.

“Publishing real news costs money, and Google and Facebook – two of the biggest companies in the world – cannot continue to be allowed to free-ride on the backs of Canadian news media publishers who produce news content, without fair compensation. The time to tackle the global web giants, as the federal government indicated in September, is now.”

Key elements of the Australian model include:

  • An effective approach that requires no new government funding, consumer taxes, or user fees.
  • Publishers, with the approval of government, form a collective bargaining unit to negotiate compensation for the use of their content and intellectual property. It is only through this government approved collective approach that the immense monopoly power of the web giants can be countered, and the digital playing field levelled.
  • A code of conduct to ensure that the web monopolies do not use new algorithms and other proprietary technology to expand their market domination and entrench unfair competitive practices.
  • Enforcement. Under the Australia model, the web giants are subject to fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars for a single infraction. Penalties of this scale are the only effective ways to rein in companies of this unprecedented size and power.
  • Comparable context. Both Canada and Australia publishers are facing significant challenges from the web giants. Canada and Australia share strong regional identities, and similar parliamentary and legal systems.

The government of Canada announced in its speech from the throne on Sept. 23, “The government will act to ensure their revenue is shared more fairly with our creators and media, and will also require them to contribute to the creation, production and distribution of our stories, on screen, in lyrics, in music and in writing.”

News Media Canada is calling on the government to tackle the web giants and adopt the Australian model in Canada.

The CEO members of the following companies are leading the discussions with the government of Canada including Glacier Media, Black Press, Torstar, Postmedia, Globe and Mail, La Presse, Quebecor and Brunswick News.

Canadian-owned Black Press operates more than 80 print and website publications in B.C., Alberta and the Yukon.

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3 reforms social media platforms should make in light of ‘The Social Dilemma’ – TechCrunch

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“The Social Dilemma” is opening eyes and changing digital lives for Netflix bingers across the globe. The filmmakers explore social media and its effects on society, raising some crucial points about impacts on mental health, politics and the myriad ways firms leverage user data. It interweaves interviews from industry executives and developers who discuss how social sites can manipulate human psychology to drive deeper engagement and time spent within the platforms.

Despite the glaring issues present with social media platforms, people still crave digital attention, especially during a pandemic, where in-person connections are strained if not impossible.

So, how can the industry change for the better? Here are three ways social media should adapt to create happier and healthier interpersonal connections and news consumption.

Stop censoring

On most platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, the company determines some of the information presented to users. This opens the platform to manipulation by bad actors and raises questions about who exactly is dictating what information is seen and what is not. What are the motivations behind those decisions? And some of the platforms dispute their role in this process, with Mark Zuckerberg saying in 2019, “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”

Censorship can be absolved with a restructured type of social platform. For example, consider a platform that does not rely on advertiser dollars. If a social platform is free for basic users but monetized by a subscription model, there is no need to use an information-gathering algorithm to determine which news and content are served to users.

This type of platform is not a ripe target for manipulation because users only see information from people they know and trust, not advertisers or random third parties. Manipulation on major social channels happens frequently when people create zombie accounts to flood content with fake “likes” and “views” to affect the viewed content. It’s commonly exposed as a tactic for election meddling, where agents use social media to promote false statements. This type of action is a fundamental flaw of social algorithms that use AI to make decisions about when and what to censor as well as what it should promote.

Don’t treat users like products

The issues raised by “The Social Dilemma” should reinforce the need for social platforms to self-regulate their content and user dynamics and operate ethically. They should review their most manipulative technologies that cause isolation, depression and other issues and instead find ways to promote community, progressive action and other positive attributes.

A major change required to bring this about is to eliminate or reduce in-platform advertising. An ad-free model means the platform does not need to aggressively push unsolicited content from unsolicited sources. When ads are the main driver for a platform, then the social company has a vested interest in using every psychological and algorithm-based trick to keep the user on the platform. It’s a numbers game that puts profit over users.

More people multiplied by more time on the site equals ad exposure and ad engagement and that means revenue. An ad-free model frees a platform from trying to elicit emotional responses based on a user’s past actions, all to keep them trapped on the site, perhaps to an addictive degree.

Encourage connections without clickbait

A common form of clickbait is found on the typical social search page. A user clicks on an image or preview video that suggests a certain type of content, but upon clicking they are brought to unrelated content. It’s a technique that can be used to spread misinformation, which is especially dangerous for viewers who rely on social platforms for their news consumption, instead of traditional outlets. According to the Pew Research Center, 55% of adults get their news from social media “often” or “sometimes.” This causes a significant problem when clickbait articles make it easier to offer distorted “fake news” stories.

Unfortunately, when users engage with clickbait content, they are effectively “voting” for that information. That seemingly innocuous action creates a financial reason for others to create and disseminate further clickbait. Social media platforms should aggressively ban or limit clickbait. Management at Facebook and other firms often counter with a “free speech” argument when it comes to stopping clickbait. However, they should consider the intent is not to act as censors that are stopping controversial topics but protecting users from false content. It’s about cultivating trust and information sharing, which is much easier to accomplish when post content is backed by facts.

“The Social Dilemma” is rightfully an important film that encourages a vital dialogue about the role social media and social platforms play in everyday life. The industry needs to change to create more engaged and genuine spaces for people to connect without preying on human psychology.

A tall order, but one that should benefit both users and platforms in the long term. Social media still creates important digital connections and functions as a catalyst for positive change and discussion. It’s time for platforms to take note and take responsibility for these needed changes, and opportunities will arise for smaller, emerging platforms taking a different, less-manipulative approach.

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Nova Scotia PNP invites programmers and media developers – Canada Immigration News

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Published on October 22nd, 2020 at 12:52pm EDT

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Nova Scotia invited immigration candidates to apply for a provincial nomination on October 22.

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) released the draw’s eligibility criteria for Express Entry candidates. Those who were invited now have the chance to get a provincial nomination through the Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities Stream. The NSNP did not say how many invitations were issued.

Invited candidates needed to have a primary occupation as computer programmers and interactive media developers, or NOC 2174. They need to provide letters of reference from employers to prove that they have three or more years of full-time or equivalent part time experience.  This work experience must have been done within the five years preceding the application.

They also need at least one year of Canadian work experience, in any occupation with a NOC skill level of O, A, or B.

Get a Free Express Entry Assessment

The Canadian Language Benchmark requirement is seven in all English language abilities.

Candidates need to have a bachelor’s degree or completed another post-secondary program of at least three years.

The deadline to apply for the provincial nomination is 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2020.

Candidates must include copies of their language tests and proof of education in their applications. If educational credentials were obtained outside of Canada, candidates need to include an Educational Credential Assessment report.

Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities Stream invites immigration candidates based on the needs of the province’s labour market. The previous Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draw out of Nova Scotia, invited Express Entry candidates with experience in the automotive industry.

Express Entry candidates invited

In order to be considered for a provincial nomination from Nova Scotia through the Labour Market Priorities Stream, candidates first need to have a profile in the Express Entry system.

Express Entry manages applications for Canadian permanent residence through three federal immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Express Entry candidates are ranked on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). They are awarded points based on factors such as their age, work experience, education, and language ability in English or French.

Now that Nova Scotia has issued invitations, also known as Letters of Interest, invited candidates now have 60 calendar days to complete their application for a provincial nomination.

If they receive the provincial nomination from Nova Scotia, they will automatically be awarded an additional 600 CRS points, which will effectively guarantee that they will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in a subsequent Express Entry draw.

Get a Free Express Entry Assessment

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  • Shelby ThevenotShelby Thevenot

    Shelby Thevenot

    Editor, CIC News

    Shelby is an Editor at CIC News.

    Shelby has worked as a freelance writer, photojournalist and staff video journalist before she came to CIC News in 2019.

    She has lived in Manitoba, Alberta, B.C., and now Quebec. Her exposure to life in multiple communities across Canada
    helps her connect readers with the places where they may end up living someday.

    Helping people navigate the complex Canadian immigration system is what drives her to create new, engaging, and comprehensive content for CIC News readers.

    Talking to people with interesting stories and insights is the best part of her day. Send story ideas to shelby.thevenot@canadavisa.com.

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