Covid-19: What’s the harm of ‘funny’ anti-vaccine memes? (BBC)

BBC: Covid-19: What’s the harm of ‘funny’ anti-vaccine memes?. “Memes, often in the form of humorous images and videos, are a major part of how people communicate on the internet, but they can also be used to spread disinformation. We’ve been looking at how these memes can present false and misleading information about Covid-19 vaccines, feeding into concerns about their efficacy or safety.”

Mashable: Facebook comments on Fauci and Zuckerberg’s vaccine talk suggest we’re totally screwed

Mashable: Facebook comments on Fauci and Zuckerberg’s vaccine talk suggest we’re totally screwed. “Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Anthony Fauci talked all things coronavirus Monday afternoon, but if you tuned in to the Facebook livestream you’d be forgiven for missing the finer points of the discussion. That’s because the often deranged user comments, running alongside the conversation and overflowing with COVID-19 misinformation, had a tendency to distract.”

BBC: Masked comic superheroes fight Covid disinformation

BBC: Masked comic superheroes fight Covid disinformation. “In Priya’s Mask, due to be launched on 2 December, the comic crusader joins hands with Jiya, the ‘Burka Avenger’, a popular character from a Pakistani cartoon show, as the two go about trying to tackle the pandemic – and also the ‘infodemic’, a major proliferation in fake news surrounding the coronavirus.”

The Cut: Their Patients Have COVID-19 and Still Think It’s a Hoax

The Cut: Their Patients Have COVID-19 and Still Think It’s a Hoax. “On November 14, a South Dakota nurse named Jodi Doering wrote a viral Twitter thread about her experience treating COVID patients in intensive care units who called the virus a hoax (‘Their last dying words are, “This can’t be happening. It’s not real,”‘ she told CNN.) And while her story was criticized for being extreme (and possibly misrepresentative), she highlighted a real crisis in hospitals around the country, especially in red states where governors have refused mask mandates and the president’s false claims about the virus are taken as gospel. In interviews with the Cut, 12 nurses described dealing with COVID-denying patients, from ones who simply refused treatment to those who spit or coughed on them and recited conspiracy theories about the virus.”

New York Times: Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth

New York Times: Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth. “In the past several months, as Facebook has come under more scrutiny for its role in amplifying false and divisive information, its employees have clashed over the company’s future. On one side are idealists, including many rank-and-file workers and some executives, who want to do more to limit misinformation and polarizing content. On the other side are pragmatists who fear those measures could hurt Facebook’s growth, or provoke a political backlash that leads to painful regulation.”

ABC News Australia: You may have seen pictures of vaccine vials dated March 15 on social media. There’s a simple explanation

ABC News Australia: You may have seen pictures of vaccine vials dated March 15 on social media. There’s a simple explanation. “Low case numbers, eased lockdowns and the fast-approaching new year have prompted Australians to turn their attention to the likelihood of a return to some sort of pre-COVID normal and to the vaccines that may help get us there. In this week’s newsletter, we debunk suggestions that the quick start on developing a vaccine meant the pandemic must have been ‘planned’, and look at claims around the efficacy rates of the various vaccine contenders.”

New York Times: How Misinformation ‘Superspreaders’ Seed False Election Theories

New York Times: How Misinformation ‘Superspreaders’ Seed False Election Theories. “New research from Avaaz, a global human rights group, the Elections Integrity Partnership and The New York Times shows how a small group of people — mostly right-wing personalities with outsized influence on social media — helped spread the false voter-fraud narrative that led to those [“Stop the Steal”] rallies.”

Washington Post: When Twitter fact-checks Trump’s tweets, it polarizes Americans even more, our research finds

Washington Post: When Twitter fact-checks Trump’s tweets, it polarizes Americans even more, our research finds . “Scholars have studied when fact-checking political misinformation effectively changes what citizens believe. Sometimes, research finds that such rebuttals can backfire; individuals confronted with contrary views double down on their beliefs. Other research suggests that correction backfires are relatively rare. But scholars have never investigated the effects of labeling misinformation when the source is the president of the United States.”

CNET: Twitter will begin warning you a tweet is misleading even if you’re just liking it

CNET: Twitter will begin warning you a tweet is misleading even if you’re just liking it. “Twitter is expanding its warnings for when you try to retweet a tweet labelled as being misleading. Now, even liking a labeled tweet will earn you a warning. According to the social media company, the prompts to read more info before retweeting has led to a 29% decrease in quoting misleading tweets.”

Brookings Institution: How to deal with AI-enabled disinformation

Brookings Institution: How to deal with AI-enabled disinformation. “Some forms of disinformation can do their damage in hours or even minutes. This kind of disinformation is easy to debunk given enough time, but extremely difficult to do so quickly enough to prevent it from inflicting damage. Elections are one example of the many domains where this can occur. Financial markets, which can be subject to short-term manipulation, are another example. Foreign affairs could be affected as rumors spread quickly around the world through digital platforms. Social movements can also be targeted through dissemination of false information designed to spur action or reaction among either supporters or opponents of a cause.”

New York Times: How Steve Bannon and a Chinese Billionaire Created a Right-Wing Coronavirus Media Sensation

New York Times: How Steve Bannon and a Chinese Billionaire Created a Right-Wing Coronavirus Media Sensation. “Dr. Li-Meng Yan wanted to remain anonymous. It was mid-January, and Dr. Yan, a researcher in Hong Kong, had been hearing rumors about a dangerous new virus in mainland China that the government was playing down. Terrified for her personal safety and career, she reached out to her favorite Chinese YouTube host, known for criticizing the Chinese government. Within days, the host was telling his 100,000 followers that the coronavirus had been deliberately released by the Chinese Communist Party. He wouldn’t name the whistle-blower, he said, because officials could make the person ‘disappear.'”

Washington Post: The disinformation system that Trump unleashed will outlast him. Here’s what reality-based journalists must do about it.

Washington Post: The disinformation system that Trump unleashed will outlast him. Here’s what reality-based journalists must do about it.. “Social media platforms, streaming ‘news’ channels and innumerable websites will spew lies and conspiracy theories, and will keep weakening the foundation of reality that America’s democracy needs to function. So what, if anything, can the reality-based press do to counter it? I see three necessities.”

CNET: The election’s over, but baseless voter-fraud claims still roam the web

CNET: The election’s over, but baseless voter-fraud claims still roam the web. “The online nonsense has created a massive game of whack-a-mole for social media companies, which are shellacking problematic posts with labels that say the claims of fraud are disputed and voter fraud is rare, and that include a link to the CISA’s page on election integrity. Here are some of the most outlandish stories running amok online. And just to be clear: They’re all bogus.”

BBC: YouTube, Facebook and Twitter align to fight Covid vaccine conspiracies

BBC: YouTube, Facebook and Twitter align to fight Covid vaccine conspiracies. “Three of the largest social networks have said they will join forces with fact-checkers, governments and researchers to try to come up with a new way of tackling misinformation. Vaccine misinformation has been rife on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, with many questioning their efficacy.”