Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut June 14, 2017 - 10:00 am

Watch those tweets and Facebook posts, urges Nunavut MLA

"Any statements that we may post on the Internet will not be private and may represent how the world perceives us indefinitely”

Baker Lake MLA Simeon Mikkungwak asks Nunavummiut, June 6 in the Nunavut legislature, to be cautious about what they post publicly on social media. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)
Baker Lake MLA Simeon Mikkungwak asks Nunavummiut, June 6 in the Nunavut legislature, to be cautious about what they post publicly on social media. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)

Baker Lake MLA Simeon Mikkungwak used his member’s statement at the legislature last week to make a public service request: The next time you update your Facebook status or send out a tweet, please practice safe posting. 

“As our society becomes more technologically advanced, we also become more vulnerable in a number of ways. With the advent of cyberbullying and live streaming, it is now more important than ever for us to practice safe and responsible Internet use,” Mikkungwak said in his June 6 statement.

His warning comes following a few troubled incidents this spring—one involving an RCMP shooting and the other a school bomb scare—where social media played a role.

While social media allow people in Nunavut to connect with loved ones, share with their communities, sell and swap items and advertise local events, Mikkungwak told Nunatsiaq News later that he is concerned some users don’t realize their posts could be “borderline slanderous” or even considered “defamation of character or libel.”
“Anyone could access what you put on social media,” he said. “There were [posts] that I felt that were harmful for some Nunavut people to see.” 

Early in May, a man in Hall Beach died following a firearms-related confrontation with the police. Before his death, the 39-year-old man posted on his Facebook page “I hope you watch this suicide by cop.” The Facebook account has since become a memorial page.

Mikkungwak’s statement also pointed to the importance of checking your online privacy settings.

“I would like to remind our viewers that any statements that we may post on the Internet will not be private and may represent how the world perceives us indefinitely,” he said, urging people to “think hard” about potential consequences before posting comments, photos, or videos online.

In April, a Coral Harbour teacher had his contract terminated after he briefly posted an altered image of an ISIS beheading on a community Facebook page.

In the photo, the teacher replaced the head of American journalist James Foley with his own face and added a photo of a local woman, with whom he had previously been involved, beside the executioner.

The photo caused concern among parents and led to rumours of a bomb threat in the community.

An Internet safety guide from the Nunavut Teachers Association states, “don’t post information, comments or pictures that would be embarrassing if they appeared on the front page of a newspaper.”

Mikkungwak asked for the Government of Nunavut and the RCMP to increase efforts, “to educate the public on how to use the Internet and social media in a safe and responsible manner,” but he said he recognized they have limited control over a person’s behaviour online.

He also asked people in Nunavut to report harmful content to site administrators.

“I encourage all Nunavummiut to remain vigilant in keeping our communities safe in both the physical and virtual worlds,” he said.

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(15) Comments:

#1. Posted by Common Sense on June 14, 2017

The territory is falling apart but glad to see that they are concerned about your social media posts. Thanks for looking out for me!

#2. Posted by Harold (iqaluit) on June 14, 2017

bought my first computer in 2003 but i couldn’t set up the darn thing . its still just laying in a heap in our bedroom collecting dust and dog fur . worst 7 thousend dollars i ever spent .

now i use this stupid thing my son bought me last year its much smaller than my old one but this one is great because it gives me the weather . i tried the tweeter after hearing about mr trumps troubles but I dont think it works anymore ....

#3. Posted by Undeveloped and Neglected on June 14, 2017

#1 - federal government should be totally embarrassed that one of “their own” is allowed to be falling apart.  It shows just how much they value the territory of Nunavut, the most neglected region of Canada!

They should open up Nunavut to the rest of Canada and the world by building an all weather road to Rankin Inlet from Manitoba - cheaper power, fibre optics, new development opportunities and so much more would open up and build up the territory from the ruins that you just mentioned about!

How much does Canada value Nunavut?

#4. Posted by lack of values on June 14, 2017

Social media isn’t the problem. Uneducated people are. Learn to read. Learn to exercise common sense. Sad to watch as Nunavut continues to spiral ever further into mindless self-destruction.

Canada does not need to value Nunavut ... Nunavut needs to learn how to value itself.

#5. Posted by Values on June 14, 2017

@lack of values… it is tempting to try to find one issue to blame. It is distressing for everyone to live and work in the midst of relentless suffering in their own lives and in others’ lives and to witness the struggles of a government and other organizations that are chronically under capacity, dealing with issues that require far more financial and human resources than they have. But, there is no one issue or group of people to blame, no single flaw or cause, and no single answer. We are in a complex, constantly changing situation and there are many factors…  and, as uncomfortable as it may be to accept, the solutions are also complex and involve many factors. We need to keep moving forward, one day and one year at a time, take the long view, and bravely accept that there is no simple answer. There is so much blame lately. It is taking precious energy that we can’t spare. Most people are just doing their best.

#6. Posted by Dontbuythebs on June 16, 2017

@ Values.Nunavut had a total budget of 1.5 billion dollars, of which 83% percent is GIVEN to the territory from the rest of Canadian’s,  think about that for a moment. Thats just under 43000 per person. The list of taxes owing on property owned here is long and large. People should look at the budget, and ask where does this money and in who’s pockets it goes. Waste and corruption happen here on a scale that is sad and shameful.

#7. Posted by Feel the Inukness on June 16, 2017

#4- not all problems point to education. English is mostly the second language here. Because people do not have excellent spelling doesn’t mean they are not educated. The lack of values is perception. What one culture values, another may not. It doesn’t mean Inuit are wrong and others are right. Southerners, wether you like it or not, are guests on this land. Always were, always will. The ONLY reason southerners move here is to better themselves financially. All other claims (I want to see the culture, the arctic looks so nice etc..) are full of shi!
The ones destroying Nunavut are not the ones that were born and raised here. It would be the southerners with their southern expectations.

#8. Posted by Waaambulance driver on June 16, 2017

#7 - When you whine about and blame southerners for everything it really makes you look childish.

Unfortunately, that impression is one that reflects on your entire culture. It’s quite sad really.

Anyway, something to think about.

#9. Posted by Caleb on June 16, 2017

Have you read the Nunavut Land claims Agreement?
Like it or not we are part of Canada.
This land had many invaders long before Columbus!
    Remember that next time you are in your house, watching T.V. ,
enjoying pop and pizza.
    You can always live a precolonial lifestyle if you wish.

#10. Posted by Nothing begets nothing! on June 16, 2017

#6 Dontbuythebs - But $1.5B is peanuts compared to what other regions in Canada receive and we are more isolated and therefore, more expensive.  And yes, we pay taxes too and we are the most undeveloped circumpolar region in the world!  How embarrassing is that for the feds?  No seaports, no SAR’s, no all weather roads…nothing!!

#11. Posted by in reality on June 16, 2017

#10 Per capita Nunavut receives way more than any other region in Canada (Besides perhaps the NWT).

In reality the provinces generate their own revenue through taxation. Most provinces have robust economies by comparison to Nunavut, which has almost no economy and very little ability to generate its own revenue (part of the reason why the GN is after devolution also).

But I know, everyone in Nunavut feels so neglected. I’m starting to think that self pity is becoming a modern cultural trait here. Kinda sad really.

#12. Posted by Per Capita My Foot! on June 16, 2017

Yes, we hear that Nunavut receives more $$ PER CAPITA than any other region - that has always been your excuse to not invest anymore in the poverty stricken and overly undeveloped Nunavut.  We don’t feel self pity but only want what the rest of our fellow Canadians totally take for granted - all weather roads connecting your home to the rest of Canada and the world, bridges such as Ambassador, Peace and Confederation Bridges - to name a few out of hundreds and hundreds or them, seaports, and so much more that make your homes easily accessible for tourists, our fellow Canadians and others.

#13. Posted by Too much! on June 16, 2017

Dear # 12: ‘Invest’ is not the right word for the money that is sunk into this black hole.

#14. Posted by Cost benefit analysis on June 17, 2017

#12 Billions of dollars in trade pass over the Ambassador Bridge every day. This is what typically justifies the tax payers expense on such projects.

Can you tell us what discernable benefits there are to the rest of Canada to building a very expensive road to the Kivalliq?

I would suggest there are very few, if any.

#15. Posted by Head North To Understand on June 19, 2017

Hey #14 Cost benefit analysis:  Check this out:

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