Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Most Americans Think Social Media Sites Censor Political Viewpoints

FASTER, PLEASE:  Doctors found a new drug that might block coronavirus infections.

5 companies that want to track your emotions - Fortune: “Faced with ongoing social isolation, a turbulent economic climate, and continued uncertainty about when life will return to a simulacrum of normalcy—and what that normal will even look like—many adults are exhibiting mounting signs of clinical anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. As the world’s public health and economic crises give rise to a mental health one, researchers are exploring a bevy of innovative solutions to help people monitor and regulate their emotions. Case in point: Researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, recently created a new app that users can download to keep tabs on their mental well-being. The app analyzes data like users’ voice recordings, keystrokes, and sleep patterns. This is part and parcel of a larger trend: Thanks to new advances in technology, human emotions are becoming increasingly measurable and quantifiable. From emotion-sensing robots to cars with sensors to digital wristbands, the field of emotion detection technologies is blossoming, with forecasters projecting that the market size will surge from $21.6 billion in 2019 to $56 billion by 2024…”

Coronavirus: Germany puts on crowded concerts to study risks BBC


Americans have complicated feelings about their relationship with big technology companies. While they have appreciated the impact of technology over recent decades and rely on these companies’ products to communicate, shop and get news, many have also grown critical of the industry and have expressed concerns about the executives who run them. This has become a particularly pointed issue in politics – with critics accusing tech firms of political biasand stifling open discussion. Amid these concerns, a Pew Research Center surveyconducted in June finds that roughly three-quarters of U.S. adults say it is very (37%) or somewhat (36%) likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable. Just 25% believe this is not likely the case. 

Majorities in both major parties believe censorship is likely occurring, but this belief is especially common – and growing – among Republicans. Nine-in-ten Republicans and independents who lean toward the Republican Party say it’s at least somewhat likely that social media platforms censor political viewpoints they find objectionable, up slightly from 85% in 2018, when the Center last asked this question. At the same time, the idea that major technology companies back liberal views over conservative ones is far more widespread among Republicans. Today, 69% of Republicans and Republican leaners say major technology companies generally support the views of liberals over conservatives, compared with 25% of Democrats and Democratic leaners. Again, these sentiments among Republicans have risen slightly over the past two years…”

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy Continue reading