Washington Post: Trump blames blue states for the coronavirus death toll — but most recent deaths have been in red states

Washington Post: Trump blames blue states for the coronavirus death toll — but most recent deaths have been in red states. “It is true that the early surge in deaths was heavily weighted toward states that had voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. New York and New Jersey in particular recorded hundreds of deaths a day in April, quickly contributing to the country’s total number of fatalities. Over time, though, the percentage of total deaths that have occurred in blue states has dropped. The most recent data, through Tuesday, indicates that about 53 percent of deaths have occurred in blue states — meaning that 47 percent have occurred in red ones.”

Fast Company: Facebook’s big redesign broke News Feed extensions—including some fact-checkers

Fast Company: Facebook’s big redesign broke News Feed extensions—including some fact-checkers. “In May of this year, Facebook started rolling out a major redesign for its website, with a more modern look, big navigation buttons on top, and a greater emphasis on Groups. While the overhaul was overdue, it also turned several third-party browser extensions into collateral damage, including ones that help users evaluate the trustworthiness of news stories and customize their feeds.”

Coronavirus: False claims test kits for ‘Covid-19’ were sold in 2017 (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: False claims test kits for ‘Covid-19’ were sold in 2017. “A database of worldwide shipments of chemical supplies created in 2020, but going back to 2015, did refer to their use for ‘Covid-19 kits’. The World Bank, one of the international organisations responsible for maintaining the list, says this was because these previously existing products are now being used for Covid-19 testing. The website has now been changed and a clarification issued.”

PolitiFact: Antifa activists did not start the West Coast wildfires

PolitiFact: Antifa activists did not start the West Coast wildfires. “Dozens of other posts blaming antifa for the wildfires were flagged as part of the company’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) Collectively, they’ve been shared thousands of times. Is there some evidence that these left-wing activists are responsible for the wildfires ravaging the West Coast? No. Officials have dispelled the rumors, and while investigations are still ongoing, many of the fires appear to have been sparked accidentally.”

Poynter: Fact-checkers offer additional suggestions for how to improve Facebook ahead of the 2020 presidential election

Poynter: Fact-checkers offer additional suggestions for how to improve Facebook ahead of the 2020 presidential election. “After Facebook announced plans Thursday to scale back on political ads and increase voter information ahead of the 2020 elections, fact-checkers offered some additional suggestions for how the tech platform might handle potential misinformation.”

Poynter: No, the CDC did not ‘quietly adjust’ U.S. coronavirus deaths

Poynter: No, the CDC did not ‘quietly adjust’ U.S. coronavirus deaths. “As of Aug. 31, the CDC reported that 182,622 Americans have died since the start of the pandemic — and some estimates put the death toll even higher. The agency told us that the vast majority of deaths involving COVID-19 can be attributed to the virus. Claims that the CDC adjusted its COVID-19 death numbers appear to have originated on Facebook before making their way to Trump’s Twitter feed, according to VineSight, an organization that uses artificial intelligence to surface potential misinformation. Several posts have been shared thousands of times.”

Poynter: The Fact-Checking Development Grant has awarded 22 projects in 12 countries. Meet the grant winners

Poynter: The Fact-Checking Development Grant has awarded 22 projects in 12 countries. Meet the grant winners. “The Fact-Checking Development Fund will support 22 projects from 12 countries. The winners, who are splitting $1 million from received from YouTube (via the Google News Initiative), will develop new tools to improve fact-checking workflows, new formats to reach new audiences and, especially, use video to disseminate accurate information. Twelve of the 22 awarded projects will focus on videos, five will test formats and five will develop new ways to speed up the fact-checking process.”

Coronavirus: The US has not reduced its Covid-19 death toll to 6% of total (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: The US has not reduced its Covid-19 death toll to 6% of total. “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it has been deluged with queries about false rumours the official tally of Covid-19 deaths is drastically lower than the publicised headline figure of about 185,000. Social-media posts making this bogus claim have been circulating widely on the internet. And one re-tweeted by President Trump was removed by Twitter for breaching its guidelines.”

Snopes: Oleandrin Is a Deadly Plant Poison, Not a COVID-19 Cure

Snopes: Oleandrin Is a Deadly Plant Poison, Not a COVID-19 Cure. “As a medical ethnobotanist, I study the traditional uses of medicinal plants to discover promising leads for new drugs to fight infectious diseases. It’s vital to consider both the potential benefits and risks of plant extracts in such research. I am concerned by recent reports that a chemical found in the oleander plant is being touted as a potential treatment for COVID-19.”

Poynter: Automated fact-checking can catch claims that slip past human checkers. Here are the two ways they work.

Poynter: Automated fact-checking can catch claims that slip past human checkers. Here are the two ways they work.. “Although media literacy is essential to turning the tide, the use of automation and algorithms could help conduct fact-checking efforts at scale. In his 2018 report, Lucas Graves essentially identified two types of automated fact-checking: fact-checks that verify claims by validating them against an authoritative source or a story that had already been verified, and fact-checks that rely on ‘secondary signals’ such as stance detection — a computing technique that determines whether a piece of text agrees or disagrees with a claim. Here is an overview of journalistic uses and research projects looking at both aspects.”

Lifehacker: How to Call Out Dodgy Claims on Social Media Without Giving Them More Fuel

Lifehacker: How to Call Out Dodgy Claims on Social Media Without Giving Them More Fuel. “Disinformation and misinformation can run rampant online but while debunking it seems the obvious thing to do, there are best practices for carrying out your noble intentions. Most importantly, it means not further amplifying false claims to people who might be susceptible to them.”

BuzzFeed News: Facebook’s Preferential Treatment Of US Conservatives Puts Its Fact-Checking Program In Danger

BuzzFeed News: Facebook’s Preferential Treatment Of US Conservatives Puts Its Fact-Checking Program In Danger. “Since at least late 2016, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended Facebook by insisting it should not be ‘an arbiter of truth,’ while creating a third-party fact-checking program to fill that role of umpire. But journalists and researchers at the dozens of organizations that make up Facebook’s fact-checking operation say the company is often just that. Some told BuzzFeed News they were surprised to learn their verdicts had been ignored or overruled by Facebook in a closed-door process with little transparency, and warned that this risks undermining the program’s credibility.”

Coronavirus: The viral rumours that were completely wrong (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: The viral rumours that were completely wrong. “Remember those panicky viral messages you were forwarded on WhatsApp at the start of the pandemic? They may have come as a text, voice note or blurry picture forwarded by a ‘friend of a friend’ – and most of them were scarcely credible. Here’s the truth behind a few of the most heart-stopping coronavirus rumours that we debunked at the time.”

Coronavirus: Three Biden claims about Trump fact-checked (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Three Biden claims about Trump fact-checked. “Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has made several claims about President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Mr Biden says the president has ordered a slowdown in coronavirus testing, is failing to provide enough protective equipment for healthcare workers, and has attempted to block public-health funding. We’ve taken a look at these claims.”

Fact check: Fauci warned Trump administration in 2017 of surprise infectious disease outbreak (USA Today)

USA Today: Fact check: Fauci warned Trump administration in 2017 of surprise infectious disease outbreak. “The claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci, in 2017, warned the Trump administration of the likelihood of an infectious disease outbreak is TRUE based on our research. Fauci did not warn about the coronavirus specifically, as some posts claim, but rather, that a more general ‘surprise infectious disease outbreak’ would take place.”