US Department of Education: Secretary DeVos Directs FSA to Stop Wage Garnishment, Collections Actions for Student Loan Borrowers, Will Refund More Than $1.8 Billion to Students, Families

US Department of Education: Secretary DeVos Directs FSA to Stop Wage Garnishment, Collections Actions for Student Loan Borrowers, Will Refund More Than $1.8 Billion to Students, Families. “U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today that, due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the Department will halt collection actions and wage garnishments to provide additional assistance to borrowers. This flexibility will last for a period of at least 60 days from March 13, 2020.”

Phys .org: Online shoppers swayed by customer reviews of physical products—not experiences

Phys .org: Online shoppers swayed by customer reviews of physical products—not experiences. “We live in a world of online reviews. Before spending on everything from restaurant meals to a new pair of jeans or even a European vacation, many of us often check Amazon, Yelp or TripAdvisor first. But not all customer reviews are created equal. In fact, we put more trust in reviews about material items than we do about experiences.”

The Verge: Yelp says it shut down 550 user accounts after discovering a fraudulent review ring

The Verge: Yelp says it shut down 550 user accounts after discovering a fraudulent review ring. “Yelp knows its credibility is only as good as its reviews, so today, it’s releasing its first Consumer Alerts Report, which details incidents in which Yelp’s team intervened to cut off fraudulent reviews or activity. The report shines a light on behavior that one would likely expect happens on a review site — people trying to game the system — but only focuses on successful cases where either Yelp’s human team or software detected abnormal behavior.”

VentureBeat: DoNotPay now lets you share online subscriptions without divulging your password

VentureBeat: DoNotPay now lets you share online subscriptions without divulging your password. “DoNotPay, the digital lawyer that shot to prominence for its bot that helps drivers appeal parking tickets, has launched a new product aimed at consumers. With the DoNotPay Subscription Sharing Chrome extension, anyone can share access to their online accounts — like Spotify, Netflix, Disney+ — without divulging their password.”

Mashable: Relying on crowdfunding to pay health bills? It’s more common than you might think.

Mashable: Relying on crowdfunding to pay health bills? It’s more common than you might think.. “Researchers from NORC at the University of Chicago recently conducted a survey to learn about the prevalence of crowdfunding health campaigns. It turns out that a large swath of the American public — approximately 50 million, or 20 percent of Americans — have contributed to these sorts of campaigns. What’s more, eight million Americans have started a campaign to help pay for medical expenses for themselves or someone in their household, while 12 million had started a campaign for someone else. According to the researchers’ survey, that’s three percent and five percent, respectively.”

Newswise: What’s your brand?

Newswise: What’s your brand?. “Researchers created an algorithm that successfully predicted consumer purchases. The algorithm made use of data from the consumers’ daily activity on social media. Brands could use this to analyze potential customers. The researchers’ method combines powerful statistical modeling techniques with machine learning-based image recognition.”

Column: Would you write a 5-star Amazon review in return for a $20 bribe? (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: Column: Would you write a 5-star Amazon review in return for a $20 bribe . “It won’t be a news flash to anyone that a significant percentage of online reviews are untrustworthy. For as long as reviews have been posted on websites, there have been attempts by consumers and businesses to game the system. Nor will anyone be shocked to learn that a behemoth like Amazon has a hard time policing its own site. The company has been scrambling for years to battle both dubious reviews and counterfeit goods.”