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Daily Archives: August 18, 2020

Avaaz Report Facebook’s Algorithm: A Major Threat to Public Health

In this report, Avaaz uncovers global health misinformation spreading networks on Facebook that reached an estimated 3.8 billion views in the last year spanning at least five countries — the United States, the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. Many of these networks, made up of both websites and Facebook pages, have spread vaccination and health misinformation on the social media platform for years. However, some did not appear to have had any focus on health until Feb. 2020 when they started covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Section 1, we take a closer look at the global health misinformation networks, and show how 82 websites spreading health misinformation racked up views during the COVID-19 pandemic to a peak of 460 million estimated views on Facebook in April 2020. These websites had all been flagged by NewsGuard for repeatedly sharing factually inaccurate information, many of them before the pandemic.

We compared this to content from leading health institutions and found that during the month of April, when Facebook was pushing reliable information through the COVID-19 information centre, content from the top 10 websites spreading health misinformation reached four times as many views on Facebook as equivalent content from the websites of 10 leading health institutions, such as the WHO and CDC…”

Research shows answering one robocall doesn’t lead to more

engadget: “In an attempt to better understand robocalls, researchers from North Carolina State University set up 66,606 fake phone lines and recorded 1,481,201 unsolicited calls over an 11-month period. Their research debunks a couple longstanding myths, but it also confirms that if your number is spoofed, you may be in for a robocall “storm.” While… Continue Reading

Google Maps Just Got a Colorful New Update

Gizmodo: “Google Maps is getting a colorful new update in the coming weeks, adding terrain and street-level granularity to its UI that, after 15 years, was in desperate need of a makeover. To do this, Google’s using computer vision (a form of AI) to analyze landscape features in its extensive library of satellite imagery and… Continue Reading

Blacksmiths Forge Peace By Turning Guns Into Garden Tools

Urban Gardens – Blacksmiths Forge Peace By Turning Guns Into Garden Tools: “Blacksmiths Fred Martin and son Mike, are the founders of RAWtools, a grassroots initiative whose mission is to “disarm hearts and forge peace” by turning guns into garden tools. RAWtools draws inspiration from the Hebrew bible, in the words of the prophet Isaiah… Continue Reading

How to Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts Without Deleting Them

Gizmodo: “There are many reasons to avoid wanting a social media digital paper trail of your entire life. Maybe there are posts there you think your new employer won’t like, or that your new partner’s parents won’t like, or even ones that you don’t believe in anymore. But wiping the slate clean and starting again… Continue Reading

Landlord Tech Watch

“Landlord Tech Watch—what the real estate industry describes as residential property technology, is leading to new forms of housing injustice. Property technology, or “proptech,” has grown dramatically since 2008, and applies to residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, effectively merging the real estate, technology, and finance industries. By employing digital surveillance, data collection, data accumulation, artificial… Continue Reading

USPS will suspend any policy or operational changes until after 2020 election

Gizmodo – House Releases Bill to Keep the USPS Alive Until After the Election Note – See previous posting on the issue – Oversight Cmte Calls Postmaster General to Testify at “Urgent” Hearing on Sweeping Operational and Organizational Changes; See Also a copy of the bill The Delivery for America Act Via Postmaster General Louis… Continue Reading

Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan Russia Report Volume 5

“U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the below statement on the release of the fifth and final volume of the Committee’s bipartisan Russia investigation titled, “Volume 5: Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities”: “After more than three and a half years of work, millions of documents, and… Continue Reading