When California's legislature opened hearings on a proposed ban on fur sales, they met with stiff opposition: Andrew Aguero, who described himself as a Native American student said that it was "people from a privileged culture are telling people of my culture that our culture is inhumane" (the bill exempted traditional indigenous uses of fur from the ban); they also heard from Andrew DiGiovanna, another student who said he opposed the bill on environmental grounds; Edwin Lombard said it was “an affront to the African-American community" who used furs to "show we could overcome barriers" like redlining. Read the rest
Derek Yach, president of The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, sent a letter to 344 public health researchers and groups inviting them to bid for grants from a $1b fund set up by tobacco giant -- the list was a roster of Yach's former colleagues from his stint at the World Health Organization. Read the rest
Fiverr.com is a website where people will do all sorts of things for as little as $5. People will draw illustrations, fix problems with website code, promote things on their blog, or compose a podcast jingles. Some people offer to write a 5-star review for any book or product on Amazon for $5. It is against Amazon's rules to write shill reviews, and now more than 1000 alleged shill reviewers are getting sued. Amazon has sued websites that offer shill reviews in the past, but this is the first time the company has gone after individuals.
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Court documents say Amazon conducted an "extensive investigation" into the Fiverr users. It claims some tried to dodge Amazon.com's review controls by posting from different accounts and IP addresses.
"In at least one instance, the seller of a 'Verified Review' was willing to receive an empty envelop, not the product itself, simply to create a shipping record," the court filing says.