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Category Archives: Social Media

Twitter’s reply-limiting feature is now available to everyone

Engadget – “Twitter is making one of its boldest experiments official. After months of testing, the company is bringing its reply-limiting feature, which allows users to control who can reply to their tweets, to all users. With the update, which is rolling out now to Twitter’s apps and website, users can choose who can reply to tweets before they send them. The options are everyone, people you follow, and people you mention. If you choose people you mention, but don’t mention anyone in the tweet, it effectively means no one can reply. The settings don’t affect the ability to retweet or quote tweet…”

People are using Facebook and Instagram as search engines

NiemanLab – During a pandemic, that’s dangerous – Data voids on social networks are spreading misinformation and causing real world harm. Here are some ideas on how to fix the problem. “We are especially vulnerable when we want to know something — such as how to treat Covid-19 — but no credible information exists. At… Continue Reading

Strengthening Privacy Protections in COVID-19 Mobile Phone–Enhanced Surveillance Programs

RAND Brief via Mary Whisner – Strengthening Privacy Protections in COVID-19 Mobile Phone–Enhanced Surveillance Programs [PDF only] by Benjamin Boudreaux, Matthew A. DeNardo, Sarah W. Denton, Ricardo Sanchez, Katie Feistel, Hardika Dayalani “Public health officials worldwide are struggling to manage the lethal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As part of the response, governments, technology companies,… Continue Reading

Disinformation campaigns are murky blends of truth, lies and sincere beliefs – lessons from the pandemic

The Conversation: “The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned an infodemic, a vast and complicated mix of information, misinformation and disinformation. In this environment, false narratives – the virus was “planned,” that it originated as a bioweapon, that COVID-19 symptoms are caused by 5G wireless communications technology – have spread like wildfire across social media and other… Continue Reading

The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free

Current Affairs: “Paywalls are justified, even though they are annoying. It costs money to produce good writing, to run a website, to license photographs. A lot of money, if you want quality. Asking people for a fee to access content is therefore very reasonable. You don’t expect to get a print subscription  to the newspaper gratis, why would… Continue Reading

How the Pandemic Defeated America

The Atlantic – A virus has brought the world’s most powerful country to its knees. “…Despite ample warning, the U.S. squandered every possible opportunity to control the coronavirus. And despite its considerable advantages—immense resources, biomedical might, scientific expertise—it floundered. While countries as different as South Korea, Thailand, Iceland, Slovakia, and Australia acted decisively to bend… Continue Reading

Americans who believe there is some truth to conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was planned

Pew Research Center: “Most Americans (71%) have heard of a conspiracy theory circulating widely online that alleges that powerful people intentionally planned the coronavirus outbreak. And a quarter of U.S. adults see at least some truth in it – including 5% who say it is definitely true and 20% who say it is probably true,… Continue Reading

Americans Fault China for Its Role in the Spread of COVID-19

“Americans’ views of China have continued to sour, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Today, 73% of U.S. adults say they have an unfavorable view of the country, up 26 percentage points since 2018. Since March alone, negative views of China have increased 7 points, and there is a widespread sense that China… Continue Reading

Americans Who Mainly Get Their News on Social Media Are Less Engaged, Less Knowledgeable

Those who rely on social media for news are less likely to get the facts right about the coronavirus and politics and more likely to hear some unproven claims – “The rise of social media has changed the information landscape in myriad ways, including the manner in which many Americans keep up with current events.… Continue Reading

Why Congress should look at Twitter and Facebook

MIT Technology Review: “If America’s politicians really care about the damage online platforms can do, they should look at online conspiracy theories—and how they’re made worse by the design of social media sites…Platforms have too much power to sway public opinion and influence behavior—and that directly affects our capacity to engage in deliberative debate and… Continue Reading