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News Report Page 2 of 11
Publication Date:-
2020-09-06
News reports located on this page = 2.

Is the vandalism on Southport's streets the tip of the iceberg?

THE Covid19 pandemic fake news Whac-A-Mole is on the streets of Merseyside, yet again. Not so long back, we had issues with fake news claiming 5g networks would give you the Virus, leading to vandalism of masts and phone infrastructure, along with slogans being sprayed on walls denoting the claims. It is not new information that fake news, lies and falsehoods spread like wildfire and can easily take on a life of their own, but it has never been so dangerous as it is now.

Southport has had a few issues over the Covid19 crisis, but for the most part, fake news seems to have missed the seaside resort up to now. Sadly, some local businesses have now spotted conspiracy theorists are now taking hold in the small resort community, and unwelcome signs are popping up on its streets. Sadly, over the last week, many of the Town's signs reminding people about social distancing and other Coronavirus pandemic restrictions have been vandalised. Many of them with the words:- "Fake News" and also suggesting people research a debunked conspiracy theory that has been spreading on social media.

This vandalism is highlighting, not just the debunked conspiracy theory, but also the power of fake news. As the virus continues to dominate global media coverage, it has been found that fake news is now spreading faster and more easily than this virus. It has been found that the more coverage than regulated news outlets put out, the less people trust the regulated news, as they turn off to the constant warnings. That is how fake news is taking hold. Often it appears more appealing than the mainstream news content and with mainstream media consistently being undermined by Government PR blunders and political manoeuvering, it is no wonder that people turn to such unreliable sources. There's a psychological reason for the appeal of fake news; we tend to trust our friends more than experts. Using social media means the deliberate spreading of a hoax or misinformation becomes easier. People see a link and pass it on to friends, and this soon becomes a modem day urban myth, as everyone has heard of it. This opens up the door then for it to be built on, and further distorted, just like with Chinese whispers.

If you have a population who are angry or suffering from anxiety, it usually doesn't take a lot for social media to start planting doubt in people's minds. Think of what happened with propaganda in World War 2. Unsubstantiated news on social media needs to be clamped on more than ever and Government must do more to help regulated media to take on this tidal wave of falsehoods.

Many see this vandalism and a growing disregard for the rules within society as the tip of the iceberg, as people are now increasingly disillusioned and, with mass job losses looming, within many sectors, due to Covid19, many people feel the need to blame something or someone and these dangerous theories can quickly turn ugly. Apart from effects on elections and referendums, fake news in social media can assist hate speech to turn into communal violence more quickly. Just how worried should we be?

Also, the tackling of fake news by the Government and regulated media is also a risk. It can in turn promote or publicise a particular political cause or point of view in the wrong way, as fake news often uses distrust to manipulate the reader. So, if a Government, which is known for errors and is suspected of misleading people, then starts saying a subject, is "Fake News" do you trust it, or do you trust your friends on social media?

Shockingly research from Freedom House, published back in July 2019, found that only 10% of the world's population have access to a free media. That is even more reason why we do need to support freedom of expression and strengthen independent media. It also helps to explain why social media is so powerful now. But to coin a phrase from Spider-Man:- "With great power comes great responsibility."

For years though, social media platforms have either ignored or failed to realize the harms that fake news inflicts on society. It has led to a rise in issues in which social media influencers are unwittingly causing damage. For example, helping the trade counterfeit goods and in issues around the American elections. Many of the review systems now being put in place on social media have failed to pass many of the fake news test set against them. Why, well how do you spot fake news? Most are using real facts, but then twisting them to take a different view. Spotting the twisting of facts within fake news, before it inflicts harm or polarizes political views, then balancing its suppression has to be seen again ensuring free speech. This the hard part of the equation. Look at China and how it controls information for a good example of this…

 

We are not against social media, as if used correctly it is an extremely important tool, but like anything, it is only good if you also have the correct balance. The best way to do this, which has been proven time and time again, is through having an independently regulated press. Just as with propaganda, the best way to take on fake news is via a truly independent media, who should then be able to counteract the fake issues being pushed out. But again, if you only have a handful of news outlets, reporting becomes polarized and that becomes a danger in itself. It is finding that balance that is now so important.

 

Sadly, with many news organisations now failing, due to lack of funding, without Government help in the UK, we are on a very dangerous path. We are starting to put all our eggs in only a small number of baskets and this only opens up the danger to fake news even more. So please remember to support your local independent media, just as you do with your local shops…. Read local and by support your local independent, regulated press… So what are your thoughts on this topic? Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.


New underground luxe lounge bar Dwntwn launches this Autumn in Liverpool City Centre?

LIVERPOOL'S latest contemporary, independent high end cocktail lounge is opening its doors, on the 18 September 2020, to welcome new clients for the ultimate in luxury evening entertainment. Dwntwn, which is based in Harrington Street, just off Castle Street, has a hugely unique, underground location to add a hint of mystery to its luxurious surroundings. This entirely new venture has an established staff of passionate industry professionals who are bringing both tremendous experience and proven expertise to the Dwntwn name, under the guidance of General Manager, Brendan Soprano.

Dwntwn's vision is to help elevate what the Liverpool hospitality industry has to offer, with an emphasis on great service and an individual atmosphere. Their drinks menu has been curated and its technical theme uses infusions and exclusive techniques to challenge the conventional, ensuring consistency and a flourish of style every time. The Dwntwn team are all about creating a warm welcome to all new clients, ensuring both the menu and Dwntwn experience offers something for everyone.

Dwntwn guests can relax and enjoy the vibe in luxurious surroundings, whilst enjoying signature cocktails, re-imagined classics and spritzes, all provided by an inventive team who are also on hand to design custom blends of your choice:- you get to choose your own cocktail couture. From being greeted by attentive front of house staff, to being shown to your own spacious chesterfield booths, table service means you really can kick back and relax.

The Dwntwn evening begins the minute you walk down the venue's signature stairs to a grand piano with their resident lounge singer, to start you and your guests off in style, with a relaxed, early evening vibe. As the night progresses, the music will heat up via Dwntwn's featured DJ who will be providing house cuts, disco and grooves until the early hours.

The Dwntwn team have dedicated a great deal to ensuring every detail is perfect for this 1st, soft launch and General Manager, Brendan Soprano says:- "Dwntwn is already in such a wonderful location, and is perfectly placed to welcome clients who want to enjoy a 1st class evening out. As a team, we want to ensure that everything from the decor, to the music, to the drinks menus are what a discerning client expects and enjoys, all with a distinctive Dwntwn twist. We anticipate a slightly older crowd as our owners have done a lot of research on the demographics of the venue and there is certainly a gap for those of a certain age wanting to still go out in style."

As the City Centre comes to life, in the heart of a district known for both its culture and its sense of style, Dwntwn is going to be the underground choice for those who want to enjoy a chic, talked-about venue, that will welcome you as a new client, and ensure you become a returning 1, too!

 
      
 
   
 
 
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