Poynter: Vaccine gaslighting, mask falsehoods and fake cures dominate recent claims added to the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance Database

Poynter: Vaccine gaslighting, mask falsehoods and fake cures dominate recent claims added to the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance Database. “As world leaders and everyday citizens roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated against COVID-19, purveyors of falsehoods have turned to a new tactic — claiming those vaccinations were a hoax. Vice President Kamala Harris, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa have all been the subject of false claims that their televised vaccinations were ‘staged.’”

The Guardian: A few rightwing ‘super-spreaders’ fueled bulk of election falsehoods, study says

The Guardian: A few rightwing ‘super-spreaders’ fueled bulk of election falsehoods, study says. “A handful of rightwing ‘super-spreaders’ on social media were responsible for the bulk of election misinformation in the run-up to the Capitol attack, according to a new study that also sheds light on the staggering reach of falsehoods pushed by Donald Trump.”

Phys .org: Blind trust in social media cements conspiracy beliefs

Phys .org: Blind trust in social media cements conspiracy beliefs. “Researchers found that people with a strong trust in information found on social media sites were more likely to believe conspiracies, which falsely explain significant events as part of a secret evil plot, even if they could identify other types of misinformation. The study, published in the journal Public Understanding of Science on March 5, showed this held true for beliefs in older conspiracy theories as well as newer ones around COVID-19.

American Independent: No, immigrants aren’t spreading COVID to Americans like Republicans claim

American Independent: No, immigrants aren’t spreading COVID to Americans like Republicans claim. “Republicans are back to blaming immigrants for the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, even as officials like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reverse crucial safety measures intended to curb the pandemic. Facing pushback for his announcement on Tuesday, lifting the statewide mask mandate and other coronavirus safety restrictions, Abbott went on the defensive, claiming in an interview with CNBC on Thursday that Biden had put Texans in danger by ‘releasing immigrants’ into the state.”

CNN: Right-wing misinformation on Facebook is more engaging than its left-wing counterpart, research finds

CNN: Right-wing misinformation on Facebook is more engaging than its left-wing counterpart, research finds. “According to the research, accounts rated by outside media watchdogs as being far-right and frequent spreaders of misinformation are far more likely to generate likes, shares and other forms of engagement on their respective Facebook pages than right-wing sources of reliable information — which in turn are better at generating engagement than left-wing sources of misinformation.”

Axios: Facebook to lift political ad ban imposed after November election

Axios: Facebook to lift political ad ban imposed after November election. “Facebook will finally allow advertisers to resume running political and social issue ads in the U.S. on Thursday, according to a company update. The big picture: Facebook and rival Google instituted political ad bans to slow the spread of misinformation and curb confusion around the presidential election and its aftermath.”

Clubhouse Conspiracy: How The Popular App Became A Haven For Anti-Vaxxers (Refinery 29)

Refinery 29: Clubhouse Conspiracy: How The Popular App Became A Haven For Anti-Vaxxers. “Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, a board-certified internal medicine physician, founded a club on the app called All Things Covid last month. Since then, it has grown to almost 25,000 members due in part to weekly Q&A with expert clinicians and scientists answering any and all questions about coronavirus. In these discussions, Ungerleider said that she and fellow physicians occasionally encounter audience members who are anti-vaccine.”

Washington Post: When U.S. blamed Saudi crown prince for role in Khashoggi killing, fake Twitter accounts went to war

Washington Post: When U.S. blamed Saudi crown prince for role in Khashoggi killing, fake Twitter accounts went to war. “Saudi-based Twitter accounts using fake profile pictures, repetitive wording and spammy tactics sought to undermine the conclusion by U.S. intelligence officials, made public Friday, that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ‘approved’ the operation that led to the killing of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.”

Mashable: The AI-powered fact checker that investigates QAnon influencers shares its secret weapon

Mashable: The AI-powered fact checker that investigates QAnon influencers shares its secret weapon. “Founded in 2017 by CEO Lyric Jain, [Logically] combines its AI tech with human fact-checking experts in order to uncover, track, archive, and debunk conspiracy theories ranging from QAnon to misinformation about COVID-19. The company already has a few public-facing products, such as mobile apps and web browser extensions to help users navigate online misinformation they may come across throughout their everyday internet use.”

Tubefilter: TikTok Removed Nearly 350,000 Videos For Violating Election Policies

Tubefilter: TikTok Removed Nearly 350,000 Videos For Violating Election Policies. “TikTok removed nearly 350,000 videos for violating its rules against election msinformation, disinformation, and manipulated media in the latter half of 2020, the platform revealed in its third transparency report. A further 441,028 videos were restricted from appearing in users’ For You feeds because they were flagged by fact-checkers, TikTok said.”

Washington Post: Among Latino immigrants, false vaccine claims are spreading as fast as the virus

Washington Post: Among Latino immigrants, false vaccine claims are spreading as fast as the virus. “Latinos face higher chances of being infected by the coronavirus, getting hospitalized and dying of ­covid-19 but are twice as likely to lack the health insurance to afford treatment. They have suffered the sharpest drop in employment since March, and many who have held onto jobs are essential workers who risk exposure every day. Yet they also appear to be getting vaccinated at very low rates.”

NiemanLab: New research shows how journalists are responding and adapting to “fake news” rhetoric

NiemanLab: New research shows how journalists are responding and adapting to “fake news” rhetoric. “Researchers Hong Tien Vu and Magdalena Saldaña use a nationally representative survey of U.S. journalists to examine how newsroom practices have changed (or not) amid the rise of misinformation and the rhetoric of ‘fake news.’ Specifically, the authors focused on whether journalists reported having either adopted new approaches or intensified existing ones as a way of ‘preventing’ misinformation and thereby avoiding complaints of spreading fake news.”

Reuters: From Clubhouse to Twitter Spaces, social media grapples with live audio moderation

Reuters: From Clubhouse to Twitter Spaces, social media grapples with live audio moderation. “The explosive growth of Clubhouse, an audio-based social network buoyed by appearances from tech celebrities like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, has drawn scrutiny over how the app will handle problematic content, from hate speech to harassment and misinformation.”