ABC News (Australia): Federal Government used Google Translate for COVID-19 messaging aimed at multicultural communities

ABC News (Australia): Federal Government used Google Translate for COVID-19 messaging aimed at multicultural communities. “Critical public health messages by the Commonwealth about the coronavirus pandemic were bungled amid revelations bureaucrats used Google Translate to communicate with multicultural communities. The decision by the Department of Home Affairs has been revealed in documents obtained by the ABC that show official translators were initially sidelined.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri to use social media ‘influencers’ to promote virus safety

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri to use social media ‘influencers’ to promote virus safety. “Coming soon to an Instagram or Twitter feed near you: Social media influencers promoting coronavirus prevention measures on behalf of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. As part of a new effort to spread the message about safety precautions people can take during the pandemic, the governor reviewed a list of prospective influencers last week who would be tasked with reminding people to practice social distancing measures, wash their hands and wear a mask when out in the public.”

Inside Edition: How Musicians Are Doing Things Differently to Encourage People to Vote Amid COVID-19

Inside Edition: How Musicians Are Doing Things Differently to Encourage People to Vote Amid COVID-19. “As the clock ticks down closer to Election Day, more and more musicians are encouraging their fans to get out and vote. While musicians encouraging fans to vote is nothing new, this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, things will have to be done differently. Artists have always influenced and commented on the culture around them. Yet, moreso in America since the Vietnam War, musicians have encouraged their fans to vote and push for change. ”

The Journal (Ireland): Government spends almost €700,000 on social media and digital ads related to Covid-19

The Journal (Ireland): Government spends almost €700,000 on social media and digital ads related to Covid-19. That’s a bit over $815,000 USD. “THE GOVERNMENT SPENT almost €700,000 on digital and social media ad campaigns related to Covid-19 during the first nine months of the year, new figures show. Figures provided to TheJournal.ie reveal that €688,805 was spent across nine campaigns informing the public about various aspects of the pandemic.”

CNET: TikTok launches US elections guide to combat misinformation

CNET: TikTok launches US elections guide to combat misinformation. “TikTok said Tuesday that it’s rolling out a guide within the short-form video app that will show users trustworthy information about the upcoming US elections. The release of TikTok’s US elections guide is in line with how other social networks are trying to combat political misinformation ahead of the US elections in November. Other social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, also created an online hub for election content to direct people to authoritative sources.”

The Lantern: College Republicans, Democrats Campaign For November Election During Pandemic

The Lantern: College Republicans, Democrats Campaign For November Election During Pandemic. “In the middle of a notorious swing state, Ohio State is a breeding ground for young leaders from across the political spectrum. The university’s chapters of College Democrats and College Republicans are fighting for party wins in Ohio despite restrictions on in-person meetings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The Hill / Changing America: Native American communities make a final push to get out the vote this November

The Hill / Changing America: Native American communities make a final push to get out the vote this November. “Many Native American households lack access to the internet, where the census count is taking place for the first time ever, and in-person efforts were postponed due to COVID-19. Now, members of the community are concerned that they will be disenfranchised yet again at the ballot box. The nonprofit is hosting two virtual town halls on Facebook about the importance of voting and representation on Sept. 22, National Voter Registration Day, and Oct. 14. A new website includes resources for Native American people to check their voter registration and make a plan to vote safely.”

MIT Technology Review: Letter-writing staved off lockdown loneliness. Now it’s getting out the vote.

MIT Technology Review: Letter-writing staved off lockdown loneliness. Now it’s getting out the vote.. “Of course, there’s nothing new about writing letters. But a combination of social distancing measures and a volatile political year has made the traditional act of putting pen to paper suddenly more attractive than just shooting an email or an emoji-filled text. Beyond Instagram-fueled social projects for people in quarantine, letter writing has become a form of retro-political activism to help get out the vote.”

Hyperallergic: Guerrilla Girls and Julie Mehretu Among 60+ Artists Helping You “Plan Your Vote”

Hyperallergic: Guerrilla Girls and Julie Mehretu Among 60+ Artists Helping You “Plan Your Vote”. “A new, nonpartisan initiative launched by the nonprofit Vote.org seeks to channel the power of art to encourage voter participation. Along with links to register to vote, check absentee status, and set voting reminders, among other crucial resources, the ‘Plan Your Vote’ website offers a digital library of voting advocacy visuals that are free for anyone to download and circulate.”

ProPublica: Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Also Threatens Ability to Spread Accurate Information on How to Vote

ProPublica: Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Also Threatens Ability to Spread Accurate Information on How to Vote. “Facebook this week said it would bar political ads in the seven days before the presidential election. That could prevent dirty tricks or an ‘October surprise’ and give watchdogs time to fact-check statements. But rather than responding with glee, election officials say the move leaves them worried. Included in the ban are ads purchased by election officials — secretaries of state and boards of elections — who use Facebook to inform voters about how voting will work. The move effectively removes a key communication channel just as millions of Americans will begin to navigate a voting process different from any they’ve experienced before.”

The Conversation: How social media are levelling Kenya’s political field – and lessons learnt

The Conversation: How social media are levelling Kenya’s political field – and lessons learnt. “Social media were used sparingly by politicians in Kenya’s 2007 elections. However, there was a significant increase in use in the 2013 elections, and an even greater push in the 2017 elections. Over 80% of candidates had an online presence with the winning political coalition, Jubilee, using social media most aggressively. The greatest attraction for politicians is the large number of Kenyans on social media. The latest data put internet penetration at 90%. There are 8 million social media users and over 80% of Kenyans visit platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp.”

Egyptian Streets: Why Egyptian Minister Rania Al-Mashat’s Social Media Activity Matters

Egyptian Streets: Why Egyptian Minister Rania Al-Mashat’s Social Media Activity Matters. “My lack of attention to the other political figures in Egypt and their work could be explained by their little to very much absent activity online. Each time I searched a name, it was mainly the ministry’s main page that would come up, or a poorly activated social media account….Yet Rania Al-Mashat’s social media activity, on the other hand, is active, managed, and distinctive from the official ministry’s account. Though I did not track her increase of followers or engagement over time, one can simply look at the comments and reactions to her posts and recognize how her social media activity is building a profile for her and her work.

New York Times: Why Random Government Accounts Are All Over Your Timeline

New York Times: Why Random Government Accounts Are All Over Your Timeline. “Earlier this month… the San Antonio Water System, which regulates the water utilities for the Texas city, tweeted a joke about Baby Yoda reaching to flush the toilet. In October, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer fired off a tweet about clogging a friend’s toilet using an image of the widely memed Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Department of Transportation in Northern Virginia used a GIF of a confused German shepherd to ask drivers to refrain from speeding.”

NiemanLab: Text-for-housing-data service Outlier Media and MuckRock combine to close more information gaps around the country

NiemanLab: Text-for-housing-data service Outlier Media and MuckRock combine to close more information gaps around the country. “Two nimble but powerful organizations are joining forces to continue reimagining journalism as a public service. The three-person team of Detroit’s text-for-housing-info startup Outlier Media is becoming part of MuckRock, the 10-year-old nonprofit news site focused on accountability journalism through public records, they announced Monday.”

Mashable: In the internet era, public libraries are more vital than ever

Mashable: In the internet era, public libraries are more vital than ever. “Back in 2018, Forbes sent Twitter into fury with a now-retracted column. Its big idea: Amazon should replace libraries because it has ‘provided something better.’ The Kindles, Netflixes and Starbucks of the world have rendered libraries obsolete, the author suggested; monetizing libraries would not only save taxpayer money but also bolster Amazon’s stockholder value. Librarians and activists are fighting hard against this idea. In fact, they’re making the case for why libraries are even more important in a world redefined by companies like Amazon.”