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News Report Page 7 of 12
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Local stroke survivor joins the resolution for the Stroke Association

LYDIA Johnson, 29 from Hesketh Bank, is helping to rebuild lives after stroke by taking part in her 1st ever Resolution Run, in aid of the Stroke Association, on Sunday, 19 April 2020, at Croxteth Country Park, Liverpool.  A Nurse and Mother of 1, Lydia was inspired to sign up after surviving a stroke 2 years ago. Lydia said:- "I felt ill whilst at work with a bad headache and dizziness. As a migraine sufferer, I thought I just needed to get home, take some pain relief and rest in a dark quiet room, so that's exactly what I did. My husband Rob Came Home from work later that afternoon and noticed something was different this time. I was difficult to rouse and my speech was delayed and jumbled. He was concerned. I came around a little more, and I also recognised something was unusual. I had severe left sided head pain, loss of vision and was also struggling to communicate. Looking back, I shouldn't have been so stubborn and should have sought help straight away. But I was adamant Rob didn't take me to Hospital or call:- 999 as I felt it would pass and I didn't feel it warranted an ambulance or an A&E visit."

However the following day, Lydia found herself in A&E and following a CT scan and an assessment, she was given the devastating news that she'd had a stroke.  Lydia added:- "This came as a huge shock, and even more so when they told me the stroke had actually happened a little while ago, earlier than my recent symptoms. It was a bit of a puzzle to the doctors but they were glad it had been identified. Although I was in denial for many weeks about being diagnosed with a stroke, reality hit as I went through further investigations and appointments and I was so thankful that it had been recognised. Although my stroke has had little impact on my abilities and independence, it has had quite a significant impact on my psychological health. Physically I can struggle with fatigue and shortness of breath at times, as well as pins and needles to my affected side. I am just very thankful I am well supported, especially by my husband. We have even just had our first baby, our daughter Norah, which is a miracle in itself. My family and friends are also a great support and I have found comfort in my Christian faith too and support from Church. I'm proud to join the resolution and run the Resolution Run as a stroke survivor. I hope to raise at least ₤250 for the Stroke Association to help other survivors rebuild their lives after stroke. It was through their website and Facebook page I found stories similar to my own and realised I wasn't alone in my experience as a younger person. Training is going well and I am building up my running again, mostly at the gym at the moment until the weather improves. I'm also now nine months post baby so I'm also trying to get my body back in shape following my pregnancy."

Hannah Traynor, Regional Fundraiser at the Stroke Association, said:- "Stroke recovery is a marathon not a sprint. And each recovery is as individual as each survivor. That's why we're encouraging people to join our Resolution Run in Liverpool and raise vital funds for the Stroke Association. Life after stroke is different for us all, but there is one way we can stand together. The Resolution Run is the perfect opportunity to mark a milestone in your own stroke recovery, show your support for a friend or family member affected by stroke, or in memory of a loved one. You can run, walk or cheer and choose your distance to suit you. It's more than a run, it's a resolution to help rebuild lives after stroke."

There are 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK living with devastating wide ranging disabilities such as speech difficulties, memory loss and mental health issues. The Stroke Association provides specialist support, funds critical research and campaigns to make sure people affected by stroke get the very best care and support to rebuild their lives.

Entry fee is just ₤15 and runners can choose their distance from a range of distances depending on location. Walk or run, all participants will receive a medal waiting at the finish line. To join the resolution, visit:- ResolutionRun.Org.UK, send them an email or call them on:- 0300 330 0740.

Rising number of Fake Social Media Accounts

WITH the death of Caroline Flack raising highly emotional issues around Social Media and yet again the press, it is good to know some of those issues are now being looked at, but is it too late? As a society we need to think hard about what is bullying online and also how to deal with fake news. Many people within the media or in the public eye have been affected by fake profiles, on social media but sadly, many of the social media groups do not take these profiles down, once identified. We are not saying that this happened with Caroline Flack, but this is again 1 of the many problems occurring in the wild west of the internet world. Unfortunately, internet issues like cyberbullying and fake profiles do not just effect high profile businesses and high profile personalities, but also ordinary individuals and small businesses. Often fake profiles, masquerading under the notion they are 'satire,' hide darker issues, from bullying to criminal activity. It is no wonder that when Ofcom (the UK's communications regulator) conducted a study with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), in 2019, to identify concerns the nation has about using the Internet, 7 in 10 adults surveyed said they think social media platforms should be better regulated.

This week we discovered a fake profile reporting to be that of the Southport MP, Damien Moore, on Facebook and on Twitter, followed by others. This is an example of so called:- 'Satire' using real life information, but masking its true origins in an attempt to mislead.

In the case of the Southport MP's fake profile, it is trying to hide as a spoof by having a digitally manipulated photo of Damien Moore's face, placed on a picture of a male doing a briefing at the Pentagon. But it is very hard to spot as wrong, due to the cropping used by Facebook for the profile photos. But it also has copied photos from news websites, such as ours on it, along with photos from his real profile. In fact, users like this on Facebook and other social media sites often break the laws already, as the copied photos often violate copyright laws, a crime in itself. Even the added issues such as attempting to mislead people, are often overlooked by most social media platforms. So, it should not come as any surprise that the UK Government and other Governments have now starting to look at clamping down on Social Media websites as it becomes harder to distinguish fake from real materials.

Shockingly, because Facebook's blue tick system is very sketchy, combined with the loss of the:- 'Grey Verified ID Tick' for businesses, it is increasingly hard to see whose account is real and who is not at 1st glance. We also have had issues with fake profiles, due to the loss of the:- 'Grey Verified' tick.

Why is this important? In the case of the fake profiles pretending to be us, it affects our ability to protect the public from fake news. By putting their information out and ascribing it to us it deludes the viewers as to our true position. When this happens to an MP, well…! For us, we can often work to sort issues out more effectively than most, but we have recently had a few local people contacting us after having their profiles cloned, who don't have the contacts we have, in the hope we can help them resolve their problems. These fake profiles are often set up to bully, push fake news or trick people into becoming victims of fraudulent or other criminal acts.

Issues like fake profiling might however, may soon be easier to take down on social media sites within the UK. Tech firms like Twitter and Reddit are, in the near future, to be required to follow a legal 'duty of care' to their users, set by the broadcast regulator Ofcom. The watchdog will be tasked in ensuring internet companies like:- Twitter, Facebook and YouTube maintain vigilance and ensure that illegal content posted by users is removed, and they monitor for issues like cyberbullying and self harm images. But, will this help tackle fake profiles? Sadly, in a statement issued in the last few days by the UK Government, it appears to suggest Ofcom won't be in charge of anything to do with the likes of "electoral integrity." But that is not necessarily all bad news, as it is reported that electoral integrity which will be tackled within the new:- 'Defending Democracy' project, which is a programme currently underway at the Cabinet Office. Currently, copyright laws are a way of dealing with part the offending profiles, but enforcing action against the likes of Facebook is extremely difficult.

Let's hope the new rules, once they come into force will start to help people to take on these types of profiles, that not only damage the people they target, but also the platforms themselves, by undermining confidence in them. Oddly, something that seems to have escaped the large businesses, in pursuit of easy click bait profits.

Have you been affected by cyberbullying or fake profiles? If the answer is yes, please let us know... What are your thoughts on this emotive topic and please do email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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