HuffPost: Wearing A Mask Is More Popular — And A Little Less Partisan — Than You Might Expect

HuffPost: Wearing A Mask Is More Popular — And A Little Less Partisan — Than You Might Expect. “An increasingly broad majority of Americans are wearing masks in public, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, which finds far more of a consensus on the benefits of masks than high-profile skirmishing over the issue might suggest. Democrats, especially, are prone to overstate the level of GOP opposition to masks, the survey finds.”

New York Times: Would You Go to a Movie Right Now? Republicans Say Yes. Few Others Do.

New York Times: Would You Go to a Movie Right Now? Republicans Say Yes. Few Others Do.. “A majority of Republicans say they would feel comfortable flying on an airplane, eating indoors in a restaurant or seeing a movie in a theater. Large majorities of Democrats and political independents say they would not. Those findings, from a survey conducted in early July for The New York Times by the online research firm SurveyMonkey, show how opinions about the pandemic increasingly fall along partisan lines. Separate data on mobility shows the same partisan split in actual behavior — and it can’t be explained by differences in the prevalence of the virus itself.”

Techdirt: Trumpian Loudmouths Apparently Losing Interest In Parler With No One To Play Victim To

Techdirt: Trumpian Loudmouths Apparently Losing Interest In Parler With No One To Play Victim To. “What a shock. Parler, the site that falsely claimed that it would be the ‘free speech’ alternative to Twitter, but who quickly realized that it was going to have to aggressively ban users as well, is apparently suffering from abandonment.”

The Atlantic: Facebook’s Pandemic Feuds Are Getting Ugly

The Atlantic: Facebook’s Pandemic Feuds Are Getting Ugly. “The pandemic has opened up a new front in the American culture wars. There have been protests against masks and lockdowns in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and several other states. In North Carolina, Facebook has served as a highly visible hub for both sides. Reopen NC has sparked more than 30 smaller, county-specific groups that started sharing its videos of mask burnings in the spring and have echoed its complaints about government ‘tyranny’ all summer. It also has a number of antagonists, who bristle at the group’s flagrant disregard for public health and have spent the last several months becoming more and more embittered—often referring to those who don’t take the pandemic seriously as ‘plague rats.'”

NiemanLab: Hundreds of hyperpartisan sites are masquerading as local news. This map shows if there’s one near you.

NiemanLab: Hundreds of hyperpartisan sites are masquerading as local news. This map shows if there’s one near you.. “Using previous research and news reports as a guide, we’ve mapped the locations of more than 400 partisan media outlets — often funded and operated by government officials, political candidates, PACs, and political party operatives — and found, somewhat unsurprisingly, that these outlets are emerging most often in swing states, raising a concern about the ability of such organizations to fill community information needs while prioritizing the electoral value of an audience.”

Route Fifty: Scolding Beachgoers Isn’t Helping

Route Fifty: Scolding Beachgoers Isn’t Helping. “Our national pandemic conversation, like almost everything else, has turned into a polarized, contentious tug-of-war in which evidence sometimes matters less than what team someone is on. And in a particularly American fashion, we’ve turned a public-health catastrophe into a fight among factions, in which the virus is treated as a moral agent that will disproportionately smite one’s ideological enemies—while presumably sparing the moral and the righteous—rather than as a pathogen that spreads more effectively in some settings or through some behaviors, which are impervious to moral or ideological hierarchy. Add in our broken digital public sphere, where anger and outrage more easily bring in the retweets, likes, and clicks, and where bikini pictures probably do not hurt, and we have the makings of the confused, unscientific, harmful, and counterproductive environment we find ourselves in now.”

NiemanLab: Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview

NiemanLab: Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview. “Americans increasingly exist in highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own information universes. Within segments of the political blogosphere, global warming is dismissed as either a hoax or so uncertain as to be unworthy of response. Within other geographic or online communities, the science of vaccine safety, fluoridated drinking water, and genetically modified foods is distorted or ignored. There is a marked gap in expressed concern over the coronavirus depending on political party affiliation, apparently based in part on partisan disagreements over factual issues like the effectiveness of social distancing or the actual COVID-19 death rate.”

Tampa Bay Times: How mask mandates are playing out in Florida’s 2020 elections

Tampa Bay Times: How mask mandates are playing out in Florida’s 2020 elections. “With about a month to go before in-person voting starts for Florida’s Aug. 18 primary, the state’s 67 elections supervisors are planning for the coronavirus pandemic. Among the issues they must consider: what to do about voters and masks. Wearing a mask — or not — has become a flash point, with disputes and confrontations involving the use of masks flaring on social feeds across the nation.”

New York Times: Trump Uses Mount Rushmore Speech to Deliver Divisive Culture War Message

New York Times: Trump Uses Mount Rushmore Speech to Deliver Divisive Culture War Message. “The scene at Mount Rushmore was the latest sign of how Mr. Trump appears, by design or default, increasingly disconnected from the intense concern among Americans about the health crisis gripping the country. More than just a partisan rally, it underscored the extent to which Mr. Trump is appealing to a subset of Americans to carry him to a second term by changing the subject and appealing to fear and division.”

CU Boulder Today: As the coronavirus spread, two social media communities drifted apart

CU Boulder Today: As the coronavirus spread, two social media communities drifted apart. “On Feb. 11, 2020, the World Health Organization put a name to the mysterious respiratory disease spreading with alarming speed around the globe: COVID-19. Around the same time, two of the internet’s most popular communities for discussing this unfolding crisis began to drift apart—with one increasingly embracing racist language and conspiracy theories, while the other tended to avoid those topics. Now, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are exploring this tale of two online communities: the r/Coronavirus and r/China_flu discussion boards on the social media site Reddit.”

The data is in: Fox News may have kept millions from taking the coronavirus threat seriously (Washington Post)

Washington Post: The data is in: Fox News may have kept millions from taking the coronavirus threat seriously. “Three serious research efforts have put numerical weight — yes, data-driven evidence — behind what many suspected all along: Americans who relied on Fox News, or similar right-wing sources, were duped as the coronavirus began its deadly spread. Dangerously duped.”

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.”

Ohio State News: Twitter posts reveal polarization in Congress on COVID-19

Ohio State News: Twitter posts reveal polarization in Congress on COVID-19. “The rapid politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen in messages members of the U.S. Congress sent about the issue on the social media site Twitter, a new analysis found. Using artificial intelligence and resources from the Ohio Supercomputer Center, researchers conducted an analysis that covered all 30,887 tweets that members sent about COVID-19 from the first one on Jan. 17 through March 31. The algorithm they created could correctly classify the political party of the member who sent each tweet 76 percent of the time, based only on the text of the tweet and the date it was sent.”

The Politic: Internet Bots are Taking Over Politics—and Social Media Companies Can’t Stop Them

The Politic: Internet Bots are Taking Over Politics—and Social Media Companies Can’t Stop Them. “A recent Carnegie Mellon report found that almost half of all the tweets using this #ReopenAmerica came from bots, leading me to wonder how these bots continue to infiltrate our social media in such an unstoppable manner. So, I decided to make my own.”

Fast Company: There’s a simple way to reduce extreme political rhetoric on Facebook and Twitter

Fast Company: There’s a simple way to reduce extreme political rhetoric on Facebook and Twitter. “As major tech companies struggle with their responsibilities to the users and communities they serve, the question of what political candidates should be allowed to say in their online postings has emerged as a flash point. Each of the various platforms have taken different approaches to this question, but they each ignore the most important consideration of all: Why is it more advantageous online for a political candidate to be sensational rather than measured?”