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Category Archives: Social Media

New Map Reveals Distrust in Health Expertise Is Winning Hearts and Minds Online

GW Today – Researchers warn scientists are fighting health misinformation in the wrong place. “Communities on Facebook that distrust establishment health guidance are more effective than government health agencies and other reliable health groups at reaching and engaging “undecided” individuals, according to a first-of-its-kind study published today by researchers at George Washington University and other institutions in the journal Nature. The researchers tracked the vaccine conversation among 100 million Facebook users during the height of the 2019 measles outbreak. The new study and its “battleground” map reveal how distrust in establishment health guidance could spread and dominate online conversations over the next decade, potentially jeopardizing public health efforts to protect populations from COVID-19 and future pandemics through vaccinations. Professor Neil Johnson and his GW research team, including professor Yonatan Lupu and researchers Nicolas Velasquez, Rhys Leahy and Nico Restrepo, collaborated with researchers at the University of Miami, Michigan State University and Los Alamos National Laboratory to better understand how distrust in scientific expertise evolves online, especially related to vaccines. [h/t Pete Weiss]

“There is a new world war online surrounding trust in health expertise and science, particularly with misinformation about COVID-19, but also distrust in big pharmaceuticals and governments,” Dr. Johnson said. “Nobody knew what the field of battle looked like, though, so we set to find out.”…

Considering the Source: Varieties of COVID-19 Information

LC CRS Reports – Considering the Source: Varieties of COVID-19 Information, May 19, 2020: “In common parlance, the terms propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation are often used interchangeably, often with connotations of deliberate untruths of nefarious origin.In a national security context, however, these terms refer to categories of information that are created and disseminated with different… Continue Reading

Test & Trace: A Strategy to Reopen Economies Safely

“#TestAndTrace is an organization working to popularize the concept with the public and help implement Test and Trace in the United States. Our team previously helped power and scale the #Masks4All movement which has popularized the use of homemade masks in public and has reached ~1+ billion people (via social media, news outlets, and governments) in the first… Continue Reading

Trump Is Treating Michigan the Way He Treated Ukraine

Rolling Stone: “A few weeks before President Trump was impeached last December for attempting to blackmail Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan warned the House Judiciary Committee of a future in which the president used similar tactics on his own country: “Imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that’s… Continue Reading

Don’t Leave Workers Out of the Library Narrative

Library Journal Opinion by Callan Bignoli: “There’s been a trend in articles coming out in major publications about how excited people are to get back to their libraries and how resilient libraries are—something EveryLibrary’s Patrick Sweeney called “happy-go-lucky library stories” at the recent #LIBREV conference. While they pay important attention to the needs libraries are… Continue Reading

The Rise of the Anti-Lockdown Sheriffs

The Marshall Project – Opposition to stay-at-home orders is the latest example of a history of powerful sheriffs, which stretches back to the end of slavery and the settling of the frontier. “…Mike Herrington [Chaves County NM] is one of at least 60 sheriffs nationwide, spread across more than a dozen states, who are publicly… Continue Reading

Facebook released dataset of 10,000 hateful memes

Facebook AI Blog: “…In order for AI to become a more effective tool for detecting hate speech, it must be able to understand content the way people do: holistically. When viewing a meme, for example, we don’t think about the words and photo independently of each other; we understand the combined meaning together. This is… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues May 16, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues May 16, 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

Welcome Back to the Office. Your Every Move Will Be Watched.

WSJ.com: “Many office workers have become used to widespread security cameras and keycards that register entries and exits. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, buildings installed enhanced security measures, including logging in visitors and X-raying briefcases. But the arrival of Covid-19 is taking surveillance to a higher level, with some employers planning to track movements… Continue Reading

Facebook uses 1.5bn Reddit posts to create chatbot

BBC News: “Facebook has launched a new chatbot that it claims is able to demonstrate empathy, knowledge and personality. “Blender” was trained using available public domain conversations which included 1.5 billion examples of human exchanges. The social media giant said 49% of people preferred interactions with the chatbot, compared with another human. But experts say… Continue Reading