While the platforms have made an effort to combat health misinformation and disinformation, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have historically shied from making judgments about political content or content that doesn’t explicitly tell the viewer to do something that will cause them harm. In the past, all three have maintained they are merely technology platforms and not arbiters of truth—at times to a ridiculous extent.Conspiracy theorists have exploited this position to great effect, creating misinformation that narrowly fits within a platform’s rules. For example, a video that suggests vaccines are ineffective or poisonous is considered “borderline content” by YouTube and is therefore demoted in its rankings—but not taken down. That doesn’t always stop its spread. Content makers can use other platforms to direct viewers to their videos. And in the event that a video is taken down—for example, in the case of the misinformation-riddled viral … [Read more...] about As health misinformation and politics collide, social networks face a choice
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The order comes in retaliation to Twitter’s decision to fact-check a presidential tweet containing misinformation about absentee voting. Twitter’s move marks the first time a major social media platform has provided fact-based context for President Trump’s tweets, which are often full of misinformation. As the 2020 election heats up, the decision may lead to more questions about when Twitter should apply a misinformation label and when it shouldn’t. … [Read more...] about Trump’s new executive order is a ‘mugging of the First Amendment,’ says Sen. Wyden
In reality, Twitter could have gone farther if it really intended to silence the president or even his supporters. To say nothing of removing the tweet entirely (which did break its terms of service, after all), it could have fully removed the retweet button from Trump’s message—leaving the tweet live but making it impossible to endorse or amplify. On the contrary, it enabled a retweet, but only with comment (your personal, accountable endorsement or criticism), and only with Trump’s message hidden behind a view button. These are the slightest of speed bumps, intended to slow down the viral public discourse by all of three seconds—but not stop it. … [Read more...] about Hush, Trump. Twitter is going easy on you.
What if a platform suddenly has to attract and engage users based not on stoking and amplifying controversy, but by offering them something of real value? Rather than just existing as a place to complain, vent, and self-righteously judge others, successful platforms in the post-Section 230 world would have to give users more than a quick emotional jolt. Maybe it’s spiritual connection. Maybe it’s enhanced forms of remote learning. Maybe it’s providing medical care. Maybe it’s something we’ve never even thought of. This is the time to find out. … [Read more...] about Trump vs. Twitter: Is there a silver lining in the Section 230 fight?
The Sur La Table painting was commissioned by Downtown Santa Monica Inc., after its chief executive, Kathleen Rawson, disheartened by the closed businesses in her district, contacted Evan Meyer, chief executive of Beautify and a street artist himself. “Can we do something that can give people some hope?” she asked him. Rawson pulled together a small budget for several “COVID-19 response murals,” as she called them, on the city’s newest canvases. … [Read more...] about Coronavirus pandemic | Murals send a message of hope in grim times