UPDATE: Google is now saying NBC News got it wrong, here's Google's update below. Business Insider has a new story covering the update here.
NBC News reports that Google has threatened to ban two extreme-right websites from the Google advertising platform because they publish race-related disinformation. The two sites, ZeroHedge and The Federalist, would no longer be able to generate revenue from any ads served by Google Ads if their accounts end up being suspended by Google. Read the rest
Russia-linked accounts supported Kremlin infowar campaigns, China bots spread ‘deceptive’ claims about COVID and Hong Kong politics
Roger Stone was convicted of witness intimidation and lying to Congress.
• “Our algorithms exploit the human brain's attraction to divisiveness.”
• “64% of all extremist group joins are due to our recommendation tools”
• GOP operative turned Facebook policy VP Joel Kaplan, who threw a party for Brett Kavanaugh upon his Supreme Court confirmation, killed any action on Facebook's internal findings, reports WSJ Read the rest
Twitter said Tuesday it's not taking any action on grotesquely abusive tweets by impeached U.S. President Donald Trump about the 2001 death of a woman who once worked as a congressional staff member for Joe Scarborough, after her husband asked the company to remove the false and personally harassing tweets. Read the rest
[Update: Shortly after this post, Trump lashed out at Twitter, on Twitter.]
This is huge. Twitter today for the first time labeled a tweet by the President as misleading. Read the rest
Trump has snit, verbally abuses 2 female reporters, ends press conference abruptly
• Fox News personality who once proudly boasted on TV of not having washed hands in 10 years tells Americans to go out and get coronavirus on purpose
In this clip, Fox News' Pete Hegseth calls for people to go out and get infected by coronavirus. Read the rest
Bleach injections and tanning beds as treatments. The false link between 5G and COVID-19. This onslaught of bullshit claims and quackery around COVID-19 is an "infodemic," as the World Health Organization says. In the science journal Nature, University of Alberta law professor Timothy Caulfield, the Canada research chair in health law and policy, explains why "all scientists — not just a few of us — must stand up for quality information." From Nature
There is some evidence that alternative treatments and placebo effects can relieve distress — a common justification for tolerating unproven alternative treatments. But it’s inappropriate to deceive people (even for their benefit) with magical thinking, and it is inappropriate for scientists to let such misinformation go unremarked.
Second, more researchers should become active participants in the public fight against misinformation. Those pushing unproven ideas use the language of real science — a phenomenon I call ‘scienceploitation’ — to legitimize their products. It is, alas, all too effective. Homeopathy and energy therapies, proponents argue, depend on quantum physics. Colonic hydrotherapy is justified using phrases borrowed from microbiome studies. And the language of stem-cell research is used to promote a spray claiming to have immune-boosting properties.
We need physicists, microbiologists, immunologists, gastroenterologists and all scientists from relevant disciplines to provide simple and shareable content explaining why this hijacking of real research is inaccurate and scientifically dishonest.
"Pseudoscience and COVID-19 — we’ve had enough already" (Nature)
Read the rest
'The virus just isn't nearly as deadly as we thought it was'
After The Markup revealed that Facebook users were being targeted with bad ads for garbage products, Facebook has now agreed to remove “pseudoscience” as an ad targeting option for advertisers.
Yes, this was allowed during the coronavirus pandemic, until a news website shamed Facebook into eliminating it. Read the rest
On Wednesday, Facebook said it will label posts from popular accounts to reveal their geographic origin, an attempt to limit election-year political misinformation by foreign entities. Read the rest
Another bananas White House coronavirus press conference.
I really don't know what to say here. This is so demented, and so awful, I just can't even. Read the rest
On the YouTube description of the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: "As COVID-19 continues to dominate the news cycle, John Oliver looks at the various sources of misinformation about the disease - from televangelists and the right wing media, to President Trump himself."
If you want to see something really scary, scroll to 3:30 in the video. (That's Kenneth Copeland by the way, who is worth $300 million and owns a $260,000 Maserati). Read the rest
Wow, Dr. Phil is awful. Mister Phil, really. Gentle reminder than “Dr. Phil” is not a licensed doctor. Read the rest