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Daily Archives: October 20, 2020

Politics, Polarization and the Pandemic: Which Media Sources Can You Trust?

“Since the outbreak began, news about Covid-19 has been subject to political manipulation and misinformation, and it continues to spread today. Making matters more complex, we all inevitably bring our own implicit biases or “motivated reasoning” in determining what news and information to believe and what to discount as propaganda from “the other side.” This is particularly true on our social media platforms. But it is still possible- urgent actually–to know how to identify, assess and understand what counts as credible evidence, information and reporting on the virus, since the difference between believing accurate information vs. believing bad information can literally be a matter of life and death. In this one hour interactive panel, four research, media, and data experts will discuss how to make sense of and evaluate sources in our complex and contentious media and information ecosystem. Topics include: science, trust and expertise; filter bubbles and motivated reasoning; understanding data visualizations; and tools and tips for avoiding and identifying misinformation. Members of the audience will also have the opportunity to share their own experiences and observations making this a highly interactive event ” [via Bob Berkman, Business Librarian, Learning Initiatives, University of Rochester (NY)]

  • Stephanie Barrett, MLIS, UR Social Science Librarian with a specialty in public health information
  • Robert Berkman, MA Journalism, UR Business Librarian. Editor, The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research
  • Sarah Pugachev, MS Information Science, Director of Carlson Science & Engineering Libraries and Research Initiatives
  • Kristana Textor, PhD Games & Learning. Instructor, Digital Media Studies

State of the Facts 2020: 37% of Americans say it’s harder to find facts since the pandemic began

AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (October, 2020). “State of the Facts 2020: COVID-19.” Topline Results Report “Eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are still paying close attention, but few have trusted sources for factual information. Over half of Americans are paying close attention to information related to the virus these days. But 43%… Continue Reading

Mouthwashes, oral rinses might be useful for reducing the viral load n the mouth after infection

Penn State. “Mouthwashes, oral rinses may inactivate human coronaviruses, study finds.” ScienceDaily, 19 October 2020. “Certain oral antiseptics and mouthwashes may have the ability to inactivate human coronaviruses, according to a new study. The results indicate that some of these products might be useful for reducing the viral load, or amount of virus, in the… Continue Reading

Why Social Media Is So Good at Polarizing Us [includes a 4.24 min video which is free to watch] – Mathematicians are teaming up with political scientists to create models of how social media divides us, and results suggest at least one popular solution might actually make the problem worse. “Americans are more polarized than ever—at least by some measures. A growing body… Continue Reading

Until a coronavirus vaccine is ready, pneumonia vaccines may reduce deaths from COVID-19

Via LLRX – Until a coronavirus vaccine is ready, pneumonia vaccines may reduce deaths from COVID-19 –  Prof. Robert Root-Bernstein is an immunologist and physiologist interested in the effects of combined infections on immunity vaccines. Two vaccines – pneumococcal vaccine and the Hib vaccine – protect against bacterial pneumonias. These bacteria complicate both influenza and… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 18, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 18, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

The Problem of Free Speech in an Age of Disinformation

The New York Times – The First Amendment in the age of disinformation. “…The United States is in the middle of a catastrophic public-health crisis caused by the spread of the coronavirus. But it is also in the midst of an information crisis caused by the spread of viral disinformation, defined as falsehoods aimed at… Continue Reading

Justice Department Sues Monopolist Google For Violating Antitrust Laws

“Today, the Department of Justice — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms. The participating… Continue Reading

The socially distanced library: staying connected in a pandemic

OUPBlog: “The concept of a socially distanced library would be considered the ultimate antithesis of the modern-day library. The past two decades have witnessed the evolution of the library from a mostly traditional space of quiet study and research into a bustling collaborative, social space and technology center. The library has been described as a… Continue Reading

Eight Persistent COVID-19 Myths and Why People Believe Them

Scientific American – From a human-made virus to vaccine conspiracy theories, we rounded up the most insidious false claims about the pandemic. Because the pathogen first emerged in Wuhan, China, President Donald Trump and others have claimed, without evidence, that it started in a lab there, and some conspiracy theorists believe it was engineered as… Continue Reading

Monthly poverty rates in the United States during COVID-19

Center on Poverty & Social Policy – “This report presents monthly poverty rates in the U.S. before and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. In contrast to measures of poverty based on a family’s annual resources, we project poverty rates based on a family’s monthly resources. We find that the monthly poverty rate increased from 15% to… Continue Reading