Search Engine Watch: Google blocked 3.4 billion ads, suspended 5.6 million accounts in 2021

Search Engine Land: Google blocked 3.4 billion ads, suspended 5.6 million accounts in 2021. “Google blocked or removed 3.4 billion ads in 2021, according to its annual Ads Safety Report, which was released today. Google also tripled the number of account-level suspensions for advertisers in the last year. 3.4 billion ads blocked or removed. The top three categories of bad ads were abusing the ad network (652 million); adult content (287 million); and trademark (137 million).”

Kazinform: Over 73,000 people died in Slovakia last year, highest figure since 1919

Kazinform: Over 73,000 people died in Slovakia last year, highest figure since 1919. “Over 73,000 people died in Slovakia last year, which is the highest absolute figure to be reported since 1919, the Statistics Office reported on Thursday, TASR reports. Excess mortality, i.e. the number of extra deaths when compared to the five-year average before the pandemic, amounted to 37 percent last year. The highest number of people died in January 2021.”

Washington Post: U.S. life expectancy continued to drop in 2021, new analysis shows

Washington Post: U.S. life expectancy continued to drop in 2021, new analysis shows. “Life expectancy in the United States, which declined dramatically in 2020 as the coronavirus slammed into the country, continued to go down in 2021, according to a new analysis that shows America faring worse during the pandemic than 19 other wealthy countries — and failing to see a life expectancy rebound despite the arrival of effective vaccines.”

Associated Press: How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed after two years?

Associated Press: How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed after two years?. “More countries are shifting toward a return to normal and learning to live with the virus. Safe, effective vaccines have been developed and there’s better understanding of how to treat people sickened by the virus. Two years after the pandemic began, questions remain about the coronavirus. But experts know a lot more about how to keep it under control.”

Mashable: Crypto ‘romance scammers’ stole $139 million from victims in 2021

Mashable: Crypto ‘romance scammers’ stole $139 million from victims in 2021. “‘A newly released data spotlight shows that in 2021 reported losses to romance scammers were up nearly 80 percent compared to 2020, and the total reported lost over the past five years has now reached $1.3 billion,’ cautions the FTC. ‘According to the spotlight, consumers who paid romance scammers with cryptocurrency reported losing $139 million in total in 2021, more than any other payment amount.’”

CNET: A lot more people reported being scammed on social media in 2021, FTC says

CNET: A lot more people reported being scammed on social media in 2021, FTC says. “2021 was a big year for scammers on social media, the Federal Trade Commission reported on Thursday. The 95,000 consumers who reported being scammed on social media was more than twice the number from 2020. The $770 million those consumers reported represented about one quarter of all reported fraud losses from 2021.”

CNET: Robocalls fuel jump in complaints to federal regulator

CNET: Robocalls fuel jump in complaints to federal regulator. “In a biennial report to Congress published Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission said it received more than 5 million complaints about violations of rules tied to the Do Not Call Registry in fiscal year 2021, which ended Sept. 30. That’s up from about 4 million complaints received in fiscal 2020. In fiscal 2019, the agency received nearly 5.4 million complaints, according to FTC data.”

Google Blog: “New normal” and other words we used a lot this year

Google Blog: “New normal” and other words we used a lot this year. “As a writer, something I’ve been thinking about in the last few weeks of 2021 are the words we used this year. 2020 was the year of ‘now more than ever,’ a phrase that began to feel meaningless as the ‘now more than ever’-worthy moments kept coming (and admittedly, as we all kept calling them that). If 2020 was the year of “now more than ever,” then what was 2021?”

The year in review: Take a bite out of 2021 (Google Blog)

Google Blog: The year in review: Take a bite out of 2021. “Last year, as we wrapped up 2020, so many of us looked around and wondered what the world would be like now. Would many people return to the office? Would kids return to classrooms? Would we return to restaurants, concerts, football games? The COVID-19 vaccine helped move many of us in that direction, but as 2021 ends, we’re still grappling with many of those same questions.”

Mashable: Wildest things tech executives said in 2021

Mashable: Wildest things tech executives said in 2021. “Tech executives are typically known for their work ethic, bank accounts, ability to imagine a different world in the future, and, on occasion, some very weird hobbies. What they are not known for, though, is their ability to communicate in a way that is calm, confidence-inducing, or even, at the very least, kind. And in 2021, boy, did we see that on display.”

New York Times: The 2021 Good Tech Awards

New York Times: The 2021 Good Tech Awards. “Every December, partly to cheer myself up after a year of covering tech’s scandals and shortfalls, I use this column to lift up a handful of tech projects that improved the world during the year. My criteria are somewhat loose and arbitrary, but I look for the kinds of worthy, altruistic projects that apply technology to big, societal problems, and that don’t get much attention from the tech press, like start-ups that are using artificial intelligence to fight wildfires, or food-delivery programs for the needy.”