BBC: German cashier shooting linked to Covid-19 conspiracies

BBC: German cashier shooting linked to Covid-19 conspiracies. “A man suspected of shooting dead a cashier at a German petrol station has been linked to Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and the far right. The 20-year-old student employee was shot after a row over face masks, in what is thought to be the first killing linked to German Covid rules. Researchers believe the suspect, named only as Mario N, was a far-right supporter and Covid-denier.”

The lesson of ivermectin: meta-analyses based on summary data alone are inherently unreliable (Nature Medicine)

Nature Medicine: The lesson of ivermectin: meta-analyses based on summary data alone are inherently unreliable. “Recently, we described flaws in one randomized control trial of ivermectin, the results of which represented more than 10% of the overall effect in at least two major meta-analyses. We described several irregularities in the data that could not be consistent with them being experimentally derived4. That study has now been withdrawn by the preprint server on which it was hosted. We also raised concerns about unexpected stratification across baseline variables in another randomized controlled trial for ivermectin6, which were highly suggestive of randomization failure.”

No More Apologies: Inside Facebook’s Push to Defend Its Image (New York Times)

New York Times: No More Apologies: Inside Facebook’s Push to Defend Its Image. “Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, signed off last month on a new initiative code-named Project Amplify. The effort, which was hatched at an internal meeting in January, had a specific purpose: to use Facebook’s News Feed, the site’s most important digital real estate, to show people positive stories about the social network.”

Dangerous transmissions: anti-vax radio shows reach millions in US while stars die of Covid (The Guardian)

The Guardian: Dangerous transmissions: anti-vax radio shows reach millions in US while stars die of Covid. “Fox News and even more extreme rightwing television channels like Newsmax and One America News draw the headlines, and Facebook is often noted as a source for conspiracy theories, but behind the scenes thousands of small radio stations make up a patchwork of conservative media across the US that is enjoyed by millions. In terms of the spread of misinformation, talk radio’s impact is unappreciated, Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog, said.”

Mother Jones: A Wildly Popular App for Churches Is Now an Anti-Vax Hotbed

Mother Jones: A Wildly Popular App for Churches Is Now an Anti-Vax Hotbed. “In its promotional materials, Subsplash promises to give individual churches full control over their content. Indeed, what is available on Subsplash-hosted platforms varies widely, as it reflects the diversity in spiritual and political beliefs of the vast array of congregations in the United States. “With no ads or censorship, auto-updated content, and a fully-customizable media player, keeping gospel-centered content in front of your community has never been easier,” the company boasts. But there’s a dark side to the company’s hands-off approach. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Subsplash has given voice to and amplified messages from many religiously affiliated anti-vaccine activists.”

WATCH: Children Tell CNN They Blame Tucker Carlson For Their Father’s Covid Death (Mediaite)

Mediaite: WATCH: Children Tell CNN They Blame Tucker Carlson For Their Father’s Covid Death. “Katie and Evan Lane recently lost their 45-year-old father to Covid, and have made a public plea for others to get vaccinated. Their efforts took them to CNN New Day Monday morning, an appearance in which they blamed their father’s death on vaccine misinformation he learned from Fox News prime time host Tucker Carlson.”

Newswise: As COVID-19 and Online Misinformation Spread, Children and Teens Were Poisoned with Hand Sanitizer and Alcoholic Drinks

Newswise: As COVID-19 and Online Misinformation Spread, Children and Teens Were Poisoned with Hand Sanitizer and Alcoholic Drinks. ” During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as false health information spread on social media, the number of children and teens poisoned with hand sanitizer or alcoholic beverages surged in Iran. These poisonings resulted in hundreds of hospitalizations and 22 deaths. Misinformation circulating on social media included the false suggestion that consuming alcohol (methanol) or hand sanitizer (ethanol or isopropyl alcohol) protected against COVID-19 infection (it does not).”

Report: Facebook’s Own Research Confirms It Is a Hotbed of Vaccine Denial (Mother Jones)

Mother Jones: Report: Facebook’s Own Research Confirms It Is a Hotbed of Vaccine Denial. “According to a company memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal and released this morning, around the time COVID-19 vaccines became widely available last spring, ‘roughly 41% of comments on English-language vaccine-related posts risked discouraging vaccinations.’ The document and other internal memos show, the Journal writes, “that Facebook has often made minimal or ineffectual efforts to address the issues and plays them down in public.””

NiemanLab: How “engagement” makes you vulnerable to manipulation and misinformation on social media

NiemanLab: How “engagement” makes you vulnerable to manipulation and misinformation on social media. “Social media algorithms — the rules their computers follow in deciding the content that you see — rely heavily on people’s behavior to make these decisions. In particular, they watch for content that people respond to or ‘engage’ with by liking, commenting and sharing. As a computer scientist who studies the ways large numbers of people interact using technology, I understand the logic of using the wisdom of the crowds in these algorithms. I also see substantial pitfalls in how the social media companies do so in practice.”

The Oregonian: Oregon Medical Board revokes license of doctor who bucked COVID guidelines, spread misinformation

The Oregonian: Oregon Medical Board revokes license of doctor who bucked COVID guidelines, spread misinformation. “The Oregon Medical Board revoked the license of a Dallas doctor earlier this month after he refused to follow COVID-19 guidelines in his office, spread misinformation about masks and over-prescribed opioids to his patients, according to medical board documents. The board also fined Steven Arthur LaTulippe $10,000 on Sept. 2.”

Ivermectin overdose death probed in NM: “I don’t want more people to die” (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Ivermectin overdose death probed in NM: “I don’t want more people to die”. “A person in New Mexico is suspected of dying from an overdose of ivermectin, a state official announced Thursday. A second person in the state is also in critical condition following use of the drug, which is an antiparasitic medication mainly used in veterinary medicine to deworm animals, such as cattle and horses. If the death is confirmed to have been caused by ivermectin, it is believed to be New Mexico’s first known fatal ivermectin overdose.”

CNET: Facebook tackles harmful authentic accounts with new approach

CNET: Facebook tackles harmful authentic accounts with new approach. “Facebook’s security team routinely takes action against fake accounts that mislead others about their purpose and identity. That team is now going to crack down on groups that attempt to use real accounts to evade enforcement and spread harm. The tech company might reduce the reach of content from these accounts or pull down these authentic accounts, Pages and Groups.” I’m including news like this because Facebook is so large that even what it says it’s going to do makes an impact. But I no longer believe that Facebook is operating with good intentions, and I do not believe it will make any serious effort to limit disinformation on its platform.

Wired: In Kenya, Influencers Are Hired to Spread Disinformation

Wired: In Kenya, Influencers Are Hired to Spread Disinformation. “ON MAY 18 of this year, the insidious hashtag #AnarchistJudges appeared on Kenyan Twitter timelines. Apparently driven by a number of faceless bots, and retweeted by a series of sock puppet accounts, the deluge of tweets cast suspicion on both the competence and integrity of senior High Court of Kenya judges that had just shot down the Constitutional Amendments Bill of 2021. Many falsely claimed the judges were involved in narcotics dealings, bribery, and political partisanship. It quickly became one of the country’s top trending topics. Such malicious, coordinated disinformation attacks are rapidly growing in Kenya, my Mozilla Foundation colleague Brian Obilo and I have found in a new investigation.”