Squiz Today / 09 September 2021

Squiz Today – Thursday, 9 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

The shortest route from A to up-to-speed.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I said to them ‘look, I have met Maggie Beer, she’s a lovely woman and she would be beside herself’.”

Said Adelaide resident Pete Hart of a Facebook ad he saw that has the legendary cook spruiking cannabis products. There’s no need to be too open-minded – the regulator has confirmed it is a scam

Publishing more than they thought…

Australian news publishers can be held responsible for defamatory comments readers leave on their Facebook pages, the High Court ruled yesterday. It’s a landmark decision that experts say will change how media companies use social media and how social media users engage with news content online. And it all started with a former teenage prisoner who sued News Corp Australia and Nine Entertainment.

A hooded and shackled 17yo Dylan Voller was featured on ABC TV’s Four Corners in 2016 when the program looked into the mistreatment of children in detention in the Northern Territory. Following the broadcast, the Sydney Morning Herald (now owned by Nine), The Australian and Sky News (both with News Corp) posted links to stories they’d produced about the Four Corners revelations on their Facebook pages. Voller didn’t claim those stories were defamatory – he argued the media outlets were ‘publishers’ of the Facebook users’ comments he considered defamatory. The companies disagreed, but they lost in the NSW Supreme Court in 2019. They appealed to the High Court, which yesterday upheld the previous decision.

Quite a bit… Anyone – not just news publishers – with a public Facebook page and a desire to use it to communicate with their customers/audience should take note. As Sydney Uni defamation expert Professor David Rolph said yesterday, the decision “obviously has implications for ordinary users of social media platforms, because they can be held liable as publishers where they post material to their Facebook pages and encourage engagement”. The media companies involved in the case will change the way they use social media, they say. As for Dylan Voller – he will have his legal costs covered, but his defamation case has a long way to go… All the courts have done so far is clarify that Nine and News were the ‘publishers’ of the comments – whether the comments were defamatory is yet to be determined.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Meanwhile, in coronavirus news today…

• The Delta strain has “mild” effects on children, a new report from the National Centre for Immunisation and Research confirmed yesterday. Sure, the virus has spread 5 times faster in NSW educational facilities than in previous outbreaks, but 2% of children who have caught have been hospitalised. Most of those were for ‘social reasons’ like their COVID infected parents requiring medical care.

• Emails sent between Pfizer and federal officials mid last year show Health Minister Greg Hunt turned down an initial offer from the pharmaceutical giant to discuss its vaccine. The comms released under freedom of information show his department’s chief drug wheeler-and-dealer taking the lead. Oz signed its first contract with Pfizer in November. The Morrison Government continues to reject claims it was slow to act.

• And the Feds will start making vaccine passports available for vaxxed Aussies from next month. There are questions about how they will be used within Australia. As for international travel, restrictions are not expected to start lifting until December, when at least 80% of the eligible population is double jabbed. Also ready to shake off restrictions: regional Victoria (sans Shepparton) and regional NSW

Australian News

Paris terrorist attacks suspects go on trial

Six years after the Islamic State launched 3 deadly attacks on Paris, 20 alleged terrorists had their first day in court yesterday. The attacks were France’s worst post-WWII atrocity, with 130 people killed by 9 suicide bombers who targeted a soccer match, cafés/restaurants, and the Bataclan concert hall on 13 November 2015. The trial is unprecedented in scale in France. There are 330 lawyers, and the custom-built court will hear from 1,800 plaintiffs. Six defendants will be tried in absentia as they are presumed dead or are in prison. But Salah Abdeslam – a Belgian man who is alleged to be the key perpetrator and the only surviving attacker – will appear, and it’s the first time relatives and survivors will get the chance to confront him. “We’ve all got our own expectations, but we know it’s an important step in building our life afterward,” survivor Arthur Dénouveaux said. The trial is expected to last 9 months.

World News

A blow for Afghan women

The new Taliban government in Afghanistan will ban women from playing sport, a spokesman confirmed yesterday, because they might expose their faces and bodies. That will likely see the late-November Test match between Australia and Afghanistan cancelled as Federal Sport Minister Richard Colbeck withdrew his support. Last night he said that Afghan athletes would “remain welcome in Australia, but not under the flag of the Taliban”. He’s also called on the International Cricket Council to take a stand against the Taliban, given their position on women’s participation. “Excluding women from sport at any level is unacceptable,” he said. Meanwhile in Afghanistan, reports overnight say small groups of female demonstrators have protested against the formation of an all-male interim government – some were beaten by Taliban militants before being dispersed. 

Sport World News

Britney and her dad’s break up official

Ultimate dadager Jamie Spears has filed the paperwork to end the conservatorship that has controlled his daughter Britney’s life and finances for the last 12 years. After mental health issues surfaced in 2007, Jamie and a lawyer took control of the 39yo’s life, money, career – and a whole lot more. The pop star has been pushing to end the arrangement, telling a hearing in July her father should be jailed for abuse. Despite previously defending the arrangement, her father said via a statement: “If Ms Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr Spears believes that she should get that chance”. Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart called the development “vindication” and said she will “continue to explore all options” regarding pressing charges against her father.


Fans go moony for Sally Rooney

The highly-anticipated 3rd novel from Normal People author Sally Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You*, hit shelves around the world this week, and booksellers are celebrating the enthusiastic response from fans. At a sold-out launch event at British book retailer Waterstones in London on Monday night, a big crowd lined up in front of the store to be one of the first to snag themselves a copy and meet Rooney in person. It’s the first book launch the retailer has hosted since the 3rd instalment of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy* was released early last year. “It’s rare for a book launch to have such wide cultural awareness and such a cultural impact,” Waterstones Bea Carvalho said. “But that speaks to [Rooney’s] appeal… She nails what it’s like to be young today, but she also plays into our nostalgia, and so she appeals to all ages.” Too bad not everyone agrees with her

*Buy using this link and The Squiz may earn a little commission.


Apropos of Nothing

A hat tip to Colonel Sanders on his birthday. Whether it’s hosting weddings, making candles that smell like its trademark gravy, or designing special edition Crocs – KFC pulls out a PR winner every so often. The latest innovation – a chicken burger with salami and cheese. Note: the chicken fillets are the buns

Speaking of birds… Growing up, we had geese – Gordon and his 2 lady friends Gilda and Gertrude. So we can firmly attest that the honking trio and their offspring came nowhere near the majesty of these geese who helped win the award for drone photo of the year.

Speaking of majestic scenes – a Queensland town full of scarecrows qualifies, right?

Australian News Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.15am (AEST) – Tennis – US Open Quarter Final – Novak Djokovic v Matteo Berrettini – New York

R U OK? Day – this year they’re asking you to check in with people you know in the hospitality industry to ask “Are you really OK?”

Independence Day for North Korea and Tajikistan

International Beauty Day

Birthdays for Hugh Grant (1960), Adam Sandler (1966), Michael Bublé (1975) and Michelle Williams (1980)

Anniversary of:
• 9-month-old Mary Stuart being crowned Queen of Scots (1543)
• Congress officially renaming the United Colonies the United States of America (1776)
• the birthdays of explorer William Bligh (1754), author Leo Tolstoy (1828), KFC founder Colonel Sanders (1890) and musician Otis Redding (1941)
• Tibet becoming an autonomous region of China (1965)
• the death of Mao Zedong (1976)
• Queen Elizabeth II becoming our longest-reigning monarch at 63 years and 7 months, beating the previous record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria (2015)

Squiz the Day

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