Jozef Imrich, name worthy of Kafka, has his finger on the pulse of any irony of interest and shares his findings to keep you in-the-know with the savviest trend setters and infomaniacs.
''I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.''
The library has faced an average of 100 threats a month since it started digitising its collection of historical treasures in 2012, according to Manlio Miceli, its chief information officer. – The Guardian
The next disinformation challenge
Pfizer’s announcement this
week that it had a 90% effective vaccine against COVID-19 provided a
glimpse of the wave of mis- and disinformation that could engulf any effort
to bring about broad distribution – and acceptance – of such a vaccine.
announcement itself was the subject of a conspiracy theory: that it came
out after the election so that voters couldn’t give the Trump
administration credit for it.
COVID cured, the very instant the networks called the race for Biden,”
tweeted Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
CNN’s Sanjay Gupta about the timing, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the
news happened when it did because “the science brought it at exactly this
time. We announced it the moment we learned about it.”
himself blamed government regulators for the post-election timing. His
son Donald Trump Jr. suggested it was “nefarious.”
there might be a silver lining here. An effort by Trump to take credit for
development of the vaccine could be interpreted as an endorsement of it,
and thus offset the anti-vaccination misinformation circulating in the
online circles that many of his followers inhabit.
is important because of the growing online intersection of vaccine
hesitancy and anti-government conspiracy theories. As First Draft’s Claire
told The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill this week, new research by the
nonprofit organization showed that vaccine disinformation “was no longer
limited to hardcore anti-vaxxers, but had spread through a constellation of
another report from the London-based Center for Countering Digital Hate,
which argued that social media companies had not done enough to combat
anti-vaxxers, an accompanying poll of U.S. voters found a “major
gap” in vaccine hesitancy between those who voted in 2016 for Hillary
Clinton (29%) and those for Trump (55%).
suggests a push by the President and his party to persuade their base could
be valuable,” wrote the report’s author, Imran Ahmed, the center’s
be sure, anti-vaxxers are motivated by a number of different factors, not
just their partisan preferences. But at a politically polarized time that
seems to demand sides-taking, the worst outcome would be for one “side” or
the other to align itself with misinformation about a COVID-19 vaccine that
has the scientific community behind it.
that sense, the development of a vaccine in the politically brackish waters
of a lame-duck presidency and Congress – and efforts by politicians who
have a following to take credit for it – might not be the worst
Susan Benkelman, API
. . . politics
disinformation machines after the U.S. presidential election was
called for Joe Biden shifted into high gear, with much of the false
information coming from those who claimed the outcome was “rigged.”
President Trump’s tweets were flagged numerous
times by Twitter.
Insider’s Allana Akhtar profiled the
social media platform Parler that has become a haven for election
disinformation after crackdowns by larger platforms like Twitter and
advertises itself as “non-biased free speech social media.”
conservative commentators and politicians like Sean Hannity and Texas
Sen. Ted Cruz have promoted the platform as an alternative to
“Silicon Valley censorship.”
Writing in The
New York Times opinion section, Emily Dreyfuss from the Shorenstein
Center at Harvard explained how a hashtag
with a typo was designed to avoid social media companies’ efforts
to take down the content.
#typosquatting, this tactic is often used by trolls and media
manipulators to get around the rules of social media platforms,” she
. . . science and
As noted above,
there have been many questions about whether the social media
platforms, and the public, are prepared for the deluge of
misinformation surrounding vaccines. In the United Kingdom, tech
Facebook and Twitter agreed to work with the government to stamp
out vaccine disinformation, the Telegraph reported.
But there are
concerns that the companies are not doing enough. Some highlights:
This past week and a half
has been a veritable fact-checking Super Bowl, with fact-checkers in the
United States and beyond working overtime to quickly verify or debunk an
avalanche of false claims related to the 2020 election. All of them deserve
our heartfelt praise and gratitude, but there’s not enough space in this
newsletter to do them justice, so we’re going to focus on this fact-check
by PolitiFact of a video purporting to show ballot stuffing in Flint, Mich.
This claim was also tackled by Agence
France Presse, Reuters,
and the Associated
reverse image search, fact-checkers were able to discover the video was
part of 2018 reporting by The
Washington Post about ballot stuffing during Russian elections. Many
also pointed to the numerous double-headed eagles, a Russian state symbol,
scattered around the polling place as a clue that the video may be
What we liked: This fact-check is emblematic of the
importance of stopping before we share. Falsehoods like this one use the
appearance of veracity combined with the hope viewers will not look too
closely before they further the spread of misinformation. While the Russian
eagles are easy for fact-checkers to spot, intense emotions and a tsunami
of falsehoods makes it more difficult for the public. Fact-checks like
these can help them see the way.
Harrison Mantas, IFCN
a fake image of The Washington Times calling the 2000 presidential
election for Al Gore in an effort to show the fallibility of news
outlets in calling presidential races. The newspaper responded