CNET: 11 coronavirus health myths, fact checked

CNET: 11 coronavirus health myths, fact checked. “Well before the coronavirus was named a pandemic by the World Health Organization, people started sharing all sorts of questionable advice on how to protect yourself from getting infected, ranging from misguided (like making your own hand sanitizer) to outright dangerous (like injecting bleach into your body). It’s reached the point where Facebook has moved to ban any ads promoting fake coronavirus cures. In an effort to get the facts straight, we’re going to bust these common coronavirus myths that have taken over our feeds.”

ScienceBlog: How Conspiracy Theories Emerge – And How Their Storylines Fall Apart

ScienceBlog: How Conspiracy Theories Emerge – And How Their Storylines Fall Apart. “A new study by UCLA professors offers a new way to understand how unfounded conspiracy theories emerge online. The research, which combines sophisticated artificial intelligence and a deep knowledge of how folklore is structured, explains how unrelated facts and false information can connect into a narrative framework that would quickly fall apart if some of those elements are taken out of the mix.”

CNET: Coronavirus, BLM protest conspiracy theories collide on Facebook and Twitter

CNET: Coronavirus, BLM protest conspiracy theories collide on Facebook and Twitter. “A pandemic, societal protests and a contentious election have created an especially challenging environment for Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Content moderators and fact-checkers are struggling to prevent the spread of obvious misinformation while giving users space to voice their opinions. The problem has gotten knottier for the online platforms as false claims about both the health crisis and Floyd’s killing collide, making content moderation decisions — taxing in the best of situations — even tougher.”

Poynter: How Faktograf worked across borders to stem COVID-19 misinformation in southeastern Europe

Poynter: How Faktograf worked across borders to stem COVID-19 misinformation in southeastern Europe. “Misinformation doesn’t care about borders, especially in southeastern Europe, where trust in the media tends to be low and news avoidance is sky-high. False news can spread quickly via popular messenger apps like Viber and WhatsApp. That has been the key takeaway from Faktograf’s COVID-19 experience. The Zagreb-based fact-checking organization knows that mis- and disinformation are as much of a problem in nearby Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia as they are in Croatia. Tackling the issue in one country isn’t enough.”

University of Toronto News: U of T librarian creates online resource to fight COVID-19 misinformation

University of Toronto News: U of T librarian creates online resource to fight COVID-19 misinformation . “In the midst of the pandemic, experts are raising alarms about another public health threat: an ‘infodemic’ of online medical misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19. In an effort to fight the spread of faulty facts, Vincci Lui, a librarian at the University of Toronto’s Gerstein Science Information Centre, has put together a new online library resource for the U of T community: ‘How can I spot misinformation about the coronavirus and COVID-19?'”

NiemanLab: The little things — pop-ups, notifications, warnings — work to fight fake news, new evidence shows

NiemanLab: The little things — pop-ups, notifications, warnings — work to fight fake news, new evidence shows. “‘Relatively short, scalable interventions could be effective in fighting misinformation around the world.’ In 2017, Facebook released a set of ‘Tips to spot false news.’ Developed in collaboration with First Draft, the tips were ‘promoted at the top of users’ news feeds in 14 countries in April 2017 and printed in full-page newspaper advertisements in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Mexico, and India,’ write the authors of a study published this week in PNAS.”

Coronavirus: 5G and microchip conspiracies around the world (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: 5G and microchip conspiracies around the world. “Some of the most persistent conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus pandemic have continued to spread around the world. We’ve picked out some of the most pervasive false claims and look at how far they’ve travelled.”

Washington Post: New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic

Washington Post: New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic. “In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others.”

Newsweek: ‘Freedom to Breathe Agency’ Masks Exemption Cards Are Fake—How to Tell

Newsweek: ‘Freedom to Breathe Agency’ Masks Exemption Cards Are Fake—How to Tell. “While it is true that businesses are not allowed to question the nature of a person’s disability or request documentation proving the ailment, when it comes to face masks, things get tricky. A number of states including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and others enforced rules requiring residents to wear face masks when visiting essential businesses or using public transportation due to the coronavirus pandemic back in April. In Washington state, Governor Jay Inslee issued a public health order on Tuesday requiring individuals to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces as well as outdoor public areas where social distance guidelines can’t be regulated.”

AFP Fact Checking: False social media posts claim Israel has reported zero deaths from COVID-19 due to baking soda remedy

AFP Fact Checking: False social media posts claim Israel has reported zero deaths from COVID-19 due to baking soda remedy. “Multiple posts shared repeatedly on Facebook and Twitter since March 2020 claim that Israel has reported zero deaths from the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. The posts also claim Israeli citizens have protected themselves from COVID-19 by drinking a remedy of hot water, lemon and baking soda, which purportedly ‘kills’ the virus. Both claims are false; as of June 21 the World Health Organization (WHO) states Israel has reported 305 deaths from COVID-19; health experts say there is no evidence the baking soda concoction can cure or prevent COVID-19 infections.”

CNN: Facebook exec admits there is a ‘trust deficit’ as advertiser boycott accelerates

CNN: Facebook exec admits there is a ‘trust deficit’ as advertiser boycott accelerates. “A Facebook executive acknowledged Tuesday that the social media giant faces a ‘trust deficit’ amid a widening advertiser revolt over misinformation and hate speech on the platform.”

The Conversation: How fake accounts constantly manipulate what you see on social media – and what you can do about it

The Conversation: How fake accounts constantly manipulate what you see on social media – and what you can do about it. “Undoubtedly you’ve heard reports that hackers and even foreign governments are using social media to manipulate and attack you. You may wonder how that is possible. As a professor of computer science who researches social media and security, I can explain – and offer some ideas for what you can do about it.”

Phys .org: Simple interventions can help people spot false headlines

Phys .org: Simple interventions can help people spot false headlines. “A team of researchers studied Facebook’s efforts to educate users on how to spot misinformation. After being exposed to tips on how to spot misinformation, people in the United States and India were less likely to say a false headline was true. The researchers also found, however, that people’s ability to spot erroneous information weakened over time, leading the authors to conclude that digital literacy needs to be taught with regularity.”

Poynter: Posts about COVID-19 vaccines bring an overdose of misinformation

Poynter: Posts about COVID-19 vaccines bring an overdose of misinformation . “The world waits anxiously for a vaccine that will halt the deaths and devastation from the coronavirus. But until that happens, fear and uncertainty are generating a gigantic list of falsehoods about this topic. Extra caution is essential when reading about COVID-19 vaccines.”

CNN: Some Facebook groups created to protest lockdowns are now hotbeds for misinformation

CNN: Some Facebook groups created to protest lockdowns are now hotbeds for misinformation. “Earlier this spring, as some Americans increasingly tired of stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, groups began cropping up on Facebook demanding that state officials reopen the economy. Some of these groups, which researchers say total in the hundreds on Facebook, echoed rhetoric by President Donald Trump and quickly gained a massive following, in some cases adding thousands of members a day. But even after all 50 states have moved to reopen their economies in recent weeks, engagement within these Facebook groups remains high. Now, instead of focusing on calls to end the lockdowns, many of these groups are increasingly becoming hotbeds of conspiracy theories and misinformation for other issues, according to researchers who track their activities.”