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INFORMAL FACEBOOK POLL: Most readers don’t want tougher health restrictions

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It appears most readers do not want the province to impose tougher health restrictions upon Manitobans.

It appears most readers do not want the province to impose tougher health restrictions upon Manitobans.

That is, at least, according to an informal poll conducted on Facebook Saturday.

“Yes, if it is accompanied by the higher rate of vaccination. Clearly, people cannot follow the guidelines.”
— Natalia Panina

“Yes, if it is accompanied by the higher rate of vaccination. Clearly, people cannot follow the guidelines.”
— Natalia Panina

The poll came in response to the province’s active COVID-19 caseload, which is growing and brings with it the possibility of stricter health regulations coming into play.

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The question posed to readers was: “Should the province impose tougher health restrictions now that it’s becoming clearer we’re in a third wave?”

Although some people engaged in conversations among themselves, 51 responded directly to the post by Saturday afternoon.

“Doesn't matter what you do. People are going to do whatever the hell they want to do. Not sure if the province has noticed this over the past year.”
— Cole Delaurier

“Doesn’t matter what you do. People are going to do whatever the hell they want to do. Not sure if the province has noticed this over the past year.”
— Cole Delaurier

Of these 51 respondents, 16 provided reactions that did not answer the question.

Of the 35 respondents to either directly answer or strongly imply an answer to the questions, 24 rejected the call for tougher health restrictions and 11 were in support.

Some of the “no” respondents wrote that health measures have done more harm than good, while others wrote that people shouldn’t need to be told what to do.

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“If the tougher restrictions didn't work for the first two waves, what makes you think they'll work now?”
— Valerie Chalmers

“If the tougher restrictions didn’t work for the first two waves, what makes you think they’ll work now?”
— Valerie Chalmers

“People just need to use proper protocol,” Holly Draper wrote. “It’s no different if you were sick with anything. Our province, our businesses, cannot survive if we continue this way. We need to start making people accountable.”

Responses have been edited for clarity, length and grammar.

“Yes” respondents believe restrictions reduce COVID-19 infection rates.

“Yes! New Zealand had a complete shutdown and my friends who live there are now allowed to go about their daily business as normal because of it. There was a case a couple months ago and they put the whole town in a lockdown until they figured out the contacts etc. I understand that they are an island and it may be slightly easier, but we aren’t even able to follow the rules in the slightest and are seeing cases in more remote areas.”— Abigail Burtnick

“Yes! New Zealand had a complete shutdown and my friends who live there are now allowed to go about their daily business as normal because of it. There was a case a couple months ago and they put the whole town in a lockdown until they figured out the contacts etc. I understand that they are an island and it may be slightly easier, but we aren’t even able to follow the rules in the slightest and are seeing cases in more remote areas.”— Abigail Burtnick

“New Zealand had a complete shutdown and my friends who live there are now allowed to go about their daily business as normal because of it,” Abigail Burtnick wrote. “There was a case a couple of months ago, and they put the whole town in lockdown until they figured out the contacts, etc. I understand that they are an island and it may be slightly easier, but we aren’t even able to follow the rules in the slightest and are seeing cases in more remote areas.”

“Most of us are really good at following rules. Some of us follow recommendations, too,” Denise K. Dewar wrote. “A third group needs enforcement to comply.”

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Despite the overwhelming “no” response, the ambiguity behind some of the answers among those who failed to directly answer the question on both sides of the spectrum at least partially invalidates whatever conclusion might be drawn from the results. 

“I do not want to see more shut downs. Instead of just naming businesses that defy current health orders, add individuals to that list. I also think in a month we will need to open things further as we pass the 60 per cent vaccinated with their first shot. COVID will never disappear, the vaccination just diminishes the death and hospitalizations. It’s here to stay, the sooner we get on with life the better.”
— Darryl Gerrard

“I do not want to see more shut downs. Instead of just naming businesses that defy current health orders, add individuals to that list. I also think in a month we will need to open things further as we pass the 60 per cent vaccinated with their first shot. COVID will never disappear, the vaccination just diminishes the death and hospitalizations. It’s here to stay, the sooner we get on with life the better.”
— Darryl Gerrard

Some expressed frustration regarding current restrictions, noting their support would depend on what the “tougher health restrictions” are.

Numerous respondents wrote that whatever restrictions are put in place will prove irrelevant.

“If all these restrictions had been reasonable, and most importantly consistent and made sense and jives with everything else, I think people would have had less problem following all of them,” Michelle Forster wrote.

“Here is a crazy idea! It’s not mine I stole it from a doctor who was on CBC last year. End the lockdowns and mandates and educate the public on facts about the virus so they can do a personal risk assessment on the activity.”
— Corey Wilson

“Here is a crazy idea! It’s not mine I stole it from a doctor who was on CBC last year. End the lockdowns and mandates and educate the public on facts about the virus so they can do a personal risk assessment on the activity.”
— Corey Wilson

“Doesn’t matter what you do,” Cole Delaurier wrote. “People are going to do whatever the hell they want to do. Not sure if the province has noticed this over the past year.”

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Jesse Bulizuik’s response echoed the rule-breaking sentiment other respondents were so critical of, writing: “Free country, I’ll do what I want. Then again, we aren’t free — doubt we ever will be again.”

Tougher restrictions should have been put in place earlier on, wrote Brian Doc Hodkin, who suggested it might have spared us the third wave.

“The positivity rate has gone up. Proof that people can’t follow procedure. Every time they loosen the numbers go up. Unfortunately, wilful ignorance is driving the virus numbers up. Do I want more restrictions? No. But if it will protect people until everyone is vaccinated then yes. People are being very selfish and cavalier about this virus. The government needs to legislate the people who think it’s not a problem.”
— Grant Kukurudz

“The positivity rate has gone up. Proof that people can’t follow procedure. Every time they loosen the numbers go up. Unfortunately, wilful ignorance is driving the virus numbers up. Do I want more restrictions? No. But if it will protect people until everyone is vaccinated then yes. People are being very selfish and cavalier about this virus. The government needs to legislate the people who think it’s not a problem.”
— Grant Kukurudz

Although fake news was at a minimum in respondents’ answers, Rob Ryan used his response to clarify the reality of the situation.

“I worked as a respiratory therapist in critical care for 25-plus years and you definitely don’t want to end up on a ventilator,” he wrote. “So for all these anti-vaxxers and people who don’t believe how serious this pandemic is, you’ll change your attitude if you or a loved one ends up in ICU.”

Lisa Jean offered a similar take, writing: “It’s frustrating for health-care workers who are exhausted listening to those that say this isn’t real. If you only saw things from our dedicated nursing and medical staff point of view.”

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» tclarke@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @TylerClarkeMB

“They should have more travel (country to country) restrictions. More compliance officers enforcing protocols are being g done and fining all the anti mask people that choose to not wear one or sanitize. Jobs can stay open the way they are.”
— Tracey Dougall

“They should have more travel (country to country) restrictions. More compliance officers enforcing protocols are being g done and fining all the anti mask people that choose to not wear one or sanitize. Jobs can stay open the way they are.”
— Tracey Dougall

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Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey

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Facebook has had its share of controversies this year. The company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents.

Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.

Yahoo Finance notes, “Facebook has had its share of controversies this year.” Starting in January, Meta-owned WhatsApp got caught up in a huge controversy after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy (Terms of Service). WhatsApp said it would collect user information and share it with third-party apps for a better user experience. However, the app gave users no choice but later made modifications to the policy under pressure. Similarly, the company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents showing the company’s problematic practices. It was revealed that Meta-owned Instagram had a negative impact on teenage girls, but the company did almost nothing to rectify the problem.

Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.

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However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.

On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.

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Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal

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In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.

In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.

Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws

It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.

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Russian social media laws

As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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